Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Scientists discover Earth-like, water-rich planet: study

PARIS (AFP) – Astronomers have discovered a new Earth-like planet that is larger than our own and may be more than half covered with water, according to a study published Wednesday in the science journal Nature.
The so-called "super Earth" is about 42 light years away in another solar system and has a radius nearly 2.7 times larger than that of our planet, according to the study by the Harvard-Smithsonian Centre for Astrophysics.
The discovery of the planet, called GJ 1214b, represents a "major step forward" in the search for worlds similar to the Earth, added the University of California's Geoffrey Marcy in a commentary also in Nature. end quote

new quote
Its density suggests however it "is composed of about three-fourths water and other ices and one fourth-rock," it said. "There are also tantalising hints that the planet has a gaseous atmosphere. end quote.

Though this is 42 light years away and is much hotter than earth and is 2.7 times larger than earth, still this is what scientists have been waiting for, an earth like water rich planet.

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