25 Feb '12, 4pm

New Waterworld Discovered, Smaller Than Uranus (Photos)

New Waterworld Discovered, Smaller Than Uranus (Photos)

© NASA, ESA, and D. Aguilar (Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics) Calling Kevin Costner . Don't tell BP . Astronomers at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics (CfA) have come up with a new class of planet, described as "a waterworld enshroded by a thick, steamy atmosphere." You might call it a sequel to the original discovery of the exoplanet, called GJ1214b. NASA explains that GJ1214b is smaller than Uranus (the planet), but larger than Earth. Too bad it's 40 light-years away. Or maybe that's a blessing (for the planet). This new planet likely has much more water than Earth, experts say , and much less rock. The "waterworld" finding was made by astronomer Zachory Berta and colleagues from the Harvard-Smithsonian CfA , using the Hubble Space Telescope . The image at top is a new artist's view of GJ1214b, described further as a super-Earth orbiting a red d...

Full article: http://www.treehugger.com/natural-sciences/water-world-di...

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