super earth

Alien Planet’s Clear Weather Could Show Way To ‘Super-Earth’ Atmospheres

by Elizabeth Howell September 25, 2014

In an encouraging find for habitability researchers, astronomers have detected molecules on the smallest planet ever — a Neptune-sized planet about 120 light-years from Earth. The team behind the discovery says this means the dream of understanding the atmospheres on planets even closer to size of Earth is getting closer. “The work we are doing […]

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Gliese 15Ab: The Closest Known Super-Earth?

by Shannon Hall September 9, 2014

Our solar neighborhood is rich with planetary systems. Within 20 light-years we’ve detected sizzling gas giants and rocky planets orbiting closer to their host star than Mercury orbits the Sun. Astronomers have now added one more to the list, and this one — a super-Earth dubbed Gliese 15Ab — ranks as one of the closest […]

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‘Vulnerable’ Earth-Like Planets Could Survive With Friction: Study

by Elizabeth Howell July 9, 2014

If you’re a potentially habitable world orbiting in a zone where liquid water can exist — and then a rude gas giant planet happens to disturb your orbit — that could make it difficult or impossible for life to survive. But even in the newly eccentric state, a new study based on simulations shows that […]

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New Technique Finds Water in Exoplanet Atmospheres

by Jason Major February 25, 2014

As more and more exoplanets are identified and confirmed by various observational methods, the still-elusive “holy grail” is the discovery of a truly Earthlike world… one of the hallmarks of which is the presence of liquid water. And while it’s true that water has been identified in the thick atmospheres of “hot Jupiter” exoplanets before, […]

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Super-Earths Could Be More ‘Superhabitable’ Than Planets Like Ours

by Elizabeth Howell February 4, 2014

Alien planets that are slightly bigger than Earth could be more life-friendly than exoplanets closer to our own size, a new study implies. These so-called “super-Earths” that are about two to three times that of our own planet could be “superhabitable” — implying that our own planet is a rare bird indeed when it comes to being good […]

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