A group of astronomers has discovered the existence of a new kind of planet, composed mostly of water and a mild steam atmosphere, indicated Tuesday the Center for Astrophysics, Harvard-Smithsonian (Cambridge, northeastern United States) and NASA.
It’s a planet outside our solar system called “GJ1214b”, discovered in 2009 thanks to NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope, which, according to recent studies of a group of astronomers, has “a huge fraction of its mass” composed of water, indicating a joint statement.
In our solar system there are three types of planets: rocky and terrestrial (Mercury, Venus, Earth and Mars), giant planets (Jupiter and Saturn) and ice giants (Uranus and Neptune).On the other hand, there are several planets that orbit around distant stars, among which there are worlds of lava and “Jupiters” hot.
“Observations of the Hubble Space Telescope NASA added this new type of planet,” stressed the Center for Astrophysics, Harvard-Smithsonian and NASA in its statement, which explains the studies conducted by astronomer Zachory Berta and a group of colleagues.
The “GJ1214b”, located 40 light years from Earth, is considered a “super-Earth”, with 2.7 times the length of our planet and seven times its weight.It orbits every 38 hours around a red dwarf star and has estimated temperature of 450 degrees Fahrenheit (232 degrees celsius).
In 2010, a group of scientists led by Jacob Bean had indicated that the atmosphere of “GJ1214b” should be composed mostly of water, after measuring its temperature, However, their observations may also have been made due to the presence of a cloud that completely surrounds the planet. Measurements and observations made by Berta and her colleagues when “GJ1214b” passed before his sun allowed to prove that the star’s light was filtered through the planet’s atmosphere, showing a set of gases.
The equipment allowed us to distinguish the Hubble an atmosphere of steam and then astronomers could calculate the density of the planet from its mass and size, proving that it has “much more water than the Earth, let alone rock.”