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Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Newly discovered "super Earth" has water, atmosphere

Exciting news on the astronomy front: the most Earth-like planet yet outside our solar system has been discovered. The world, which thus far is known only by its official nomenclature GJ 1214b, is 40 light years away (practically in our backyard, cosmically speaking 'course). It's six times the mass of our Earth and according to analysis is literally swimming in liquid water. It orbits a red star, kinda making it "Krypton meets Waterworld". But it ain't quite the habitable sorta world that astronomers are looking for: the temperatures on this planet are around 400 degrees Fahrenheit and the air pressure is much higher than we're used to on Earth.

Maybe we should name it "Saunaworld"? :-P