Skip Nav
Humor
17 People Who Emoji Better Than You
Tech Tips
How to Create a Wedding Hashtag No One Else Will Have
Tech Tips
The Easy Way to Block Contacts From Sending Messages or Calls

Water Planet Discovered

3 Facts About GJ1214b: The Water Planet

A team of astronomers at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics discovered a new earth-sized planet just 40 light-years from earth that is completely covered in water. Though I immediately imagine a web-toed Kevin Costner wandering around looking for dirt to trade, Zachory Berta, who was part of the team that made the discovery, says that the planet isn't just covered by an ocean, but that there's also a "dense atmosphere of water vapor," which could make living conditions rough for humans. Dreaming of new worlds? Learn more about GJ1214b below.

  • It's so hot right now — GJ1214b orbits its red-dwarf star every 38 hours at a distance of 1.3 million miles. This means that the planet has a steam temperature of 450 degrees Fahrenheit. Talk about a steam bath! According to researchers, "the high temperatures and high pressures would form exotic materials like 'hot ice' or 'superfluid water,' substances that are completely alien to our everyday experience."
  • Size matters — The water planet is bigger than Earth but smaller than Uranus, coming in at about 2.7 times Earth's diameter and weighing almost seven times as much.
  • It's well-traveled — Theorists believe that GJ1214b formed "farther out from its star," then traveled inward over the course of its history, landing in the system's "habitable zone."
Around The Web
Join The Conversation
Emoji Ball Python
NASA's Images of Change Around the World
Picture of a Dying Star
When Is the Solar Eclipse in 2024?
Best Places to Watch the Solar Eclipse in US 2017
NASA's First Cuban-American Astronaut Is Going to Space
NASA New Planets Memes
Best #7NamesFor7NewPlanets Tweets
Photo of Earth From Saturn Rings
Alton Brown and Bill Nye on Netflix
From Our Partners
Latest Technology & Gadgets
All the Latest From Ryan Reynolds