Water World of GJ 1214b

Astronomy Science ~ In 2009, the planet GJ 1214b was discovered by a team of astronomers. This planet attracted attention because it is th...

Astronomy Science ~ In 2009, the planet GJ 1214b was discovered by a team of astronomers. This planet attracted attention because it is the first planet found have a thick enough atmosphere. Moreover, the position is also not far from its parent star although the planet GJ 1214b is a cold planet, but it was warm enough to be able to maintain the water in liquid form.

Do GJ 1214b would remain a mystery?

Hubble Telescope observations on the planet GJ 1214b is turning out to new stories as well as adding another new type of planet. Astronomer Zachory Berta of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, analysis data on GJ 1214b and successfully prove that the planet GJ 1214b is a water planet in thick steam atmosphere.

And pulled again, GJ 1214b is like no other planet that has been known over the years. Most of the mass is actually composed by water!

Exoplanet GJ 1214b

Planet GJ 1214b was discovered in 2009 in the ground-based MEarth project (read: Mirth), led by David Charbonneau of the (Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics). Planet classified as a Super-Earth has diameter of 2.7 size of Earth and its mass is almost seven times the mass of Earth. The size of the composition.

Exoplanet GJ 1214b moves around its parent star every 38 hours at a distance of 2 million kilometers, or about 70 times closer than the orbit of the Sun - Earth (150 million km). The surface temperature of the planet GJ 1214b reaches 232ยบ Celsius.

Planet GJ 1214 GJ 1214b orbiting a five times smaller than the mass of the Sun and a brightness of 300 times fainter. The star is located at a distance of 40 light-years away in the Ophiuchus constellation. GJ 1214 is an M-class star or red dwarf star that is still relatively cool star with a surface temperature of only about 2700 degrees Celsius. (- The surface temperature of the Sun in the range of 5500 degrees Celsius)

Water World

In 2010, Jacob Bean conduct research on the atmosphere of GJ 1214b and find the atmosphere on the planet had water as the main constituent. But, as the argument can also be explained by the presence of fog in the atmosphere of GJ 1214b.

In the observation and study of exoplanet GJ 1214b this time, Berta and his colleagues used Hubble-owned WFC3 instrument to study GJ 1214b when it crossed in front of the star (from the perspective of the observer). When there is such a transit, the star's light is filtered through the planet's atmosphere so that the observer can get a clue mixture of gas content in it. In the case of GJ 1214b, Berta using Hubble to measure the infrared color of the setting of the star on the planet.

If present in the atmosphere it is a mist, then the fog will be transparent to infrared light than visible light. Therefore, the Hubble observations can provide the difference between the atmosphere compiled by vapor or mist.

Results of analysis of observations showed the spectrum of GJ 1214b does not have special properties at a broad wavelength range. Atmosphere models remain consistent with the Hubble data compiled by the meeting atmospheric water vapor.

Due to the mass and size of planets already known, so the astronomers can calculate the density of the planet is about 2 grams / cm3. The water in this case has a density of 1 g / cm3, while Earth's average density is 5.5 g / cm3. Therefore concluded that GJ 1214b has much more water and little rocks.

From the characteristics of the planet then it may be concluded that the internal structure of GJ 1214b would be very different from the Earth we know. High temperatures and pressures would form exotic materials like 'hot ice' or 'superfluid water ".

How this planet formed? Experts suspect theoretical GJ 1214b formed at a location farther from the star where water ice was plentiful, and then migrate to the inside of the system in the early history of the system of GJ star in 1214. In the process of migration, GJ 1214b is also across the habitable zone of the star. But how long it will last there is not yet known.

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AstroNation: Water World of GJ 1214b
Water World of GJ 1214b
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