- 22 February 2012 | Environment
Scientists have discovered a new type of alien planet. A steamy waterworld that is larger than Earth but smaller than Uranus. GJ 1214b was discovered in 2009, by the ground-based MEarth Project.
Described as a "Super-Earth," it is about 2.7 times Earth's diameter and weighs almost 7 times as much. Studies in 2010 led scientists to believe that the planet, where the temperature can reach up to 450 degrees Fahrenheit, is largely covered in water.
The high temperatures and high pressures form exotic materials like 'hot ice' and 'superfluid water'. GJ 1214b represents a new type of planet, like nothing seen in the solar system or any other planetary system currently known.
The new waterworld planet may be the next sanctuary of surfing for the future generations. For now, GJ 1214b will still be an uncrowded spot.