Friday, February 24, 2012

New planet: water, water, everywhere

Science fiction world discovered

Science fiction writers have many times used the idea of a planet entirely covered by water,  Now scientists think they've found one.  Forty light years from Earth lies  GJ 1214b, a planet 2.7 times the size of Earth but only half as dense.  There are a couple of possible explanations, but the discoverers lean to a rocky planet with a stupendous amount of water.  That's a little counter-intuitive, since the planet is only 1.6 million miles from its star compared to Earth's 93 million. And thus, it would be far weirder than a waterworld. Ice would exist as a result of pressure, not cold. The envelope of the planet would be steam.
COMMENT: Hot or not, this has some interesting implications. After all, "extremeophiles" on Earth live in boiling-hot water.  Until we can go to GJ 1214b, the science fiction writers should get busy.

1 comment:

city said...

nice idea.. thanks for sharing.