Distant “Waterworld” is Confirmed
A new class of planet has been confirmed by astronomers, after the discovery exoplanet GJ 1214b in 2009. This planet is referred to as a “Super Earth”, as it is a waterworld that is about 2.7 times the time Earth’s diameter and almost 7 times as heavy, with a thick and steamy atmosphere.
Since the planet was originally discovered by a land-based telescope in 2009, it required the use of the Hubble telescope to confirm that a large portion of its mass is water. Previously, in 2010, astronomers released measurements of its atmosphere, suggesting that the exoplanet’s atmosphere was most likely composed of water; however, it was just as likely that it was comprised of a haze similar to Titan’s.
The planet orbits a red-dwarf star at a distance of just two million kilometers, thus inducing temperatures most likely higher than 200˚C on its atmosphere. These high temperatures could signify the existence of exotic materials.