Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

2/23/2012 (3 years ago)

Catholic Online (

More than twice the size of Earth, world dominated by water and not rock

The planet is being described as "a waterworld enshrouded by a thick, steamy atmosphere." The planet is an entirely different kind of planet dominated by water and not by rock, gas or other common materials. Researchers at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics made the discovery after scrutinizing the planet with NASA's Hubble Space Telescope.

Described as a 'super-Earth,' GJ1214b is about 2.7 times Earth's diameter.

Described as a "super-Earth," GJ1214b is about 2.7 times Earth's diameter.


By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online (

2/23/2012 (3 years ago)

Published in Technology

Keywords: GJ1214b, waterworld, planets, astronomy

LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Dubbed "GJ1214b," the planet was discovered in 2009 by the ground-based Earth Project. "GJ1214b is like no planet we know of," astronomer Zachary Berta said. "A huge fraction of its mass is made up of water."

Described as a "super-Earth," it is about 2.7 times Earth's diameter.

Continuing studies in 2010 led to scientists suspecting that the planet, where the temperature is some 450 degrees Fahrenheit was largely covered in water. Bertha confirmed this, and his co-authors used the Hubble to study the planet when it crossed in front of its host star.

The light of the star, filtered through the planet's atmosphere, gave clues to the mix of gasses, backing up the water vapor theory.

"The Hubble measurements really tip the balance in favor of a steamy atmosphere," Berta said.

Further measurements and estimates led scientists to conclude that the planet has much more water than Earth and much less rock.

That, together with high temperatures and pressure, likely produce some highly exotic results, including "hot ice," scientists say.

Our solar system contains three basic planet types: rocky, like Earth; gas giants like Jupiter or Saturn; and ice giants like Uranus.

Some other factoids about the freshly discovered planet include the fact that GJ1214b orbits its red-dwarf star every 38 hours at a distance of 1.3 million miles. This means that the planet has a steam temperature of 450 degrees Fahrenheit. According to researchers, "the high temperatures and high pressures would form exotic materials like 'hot ice' or 'superfluid water,' substances that are completely alien to our everyday experience."

In addition, the planet is well-traveled - Theorists believe that GJ1214b formed "farther out from its star," then traveled inward over the course of its history, landing in the system's "habitable zone."



Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'

Copywriter 2015 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for October 2015
That human trafficking, the modern form of slavery, may be eradicated.
Evangelization: That with a missionary spirit the Christian communities of Asia may announce the Gospel to those who are still awaiting it.


More Technology

What the heck is Dark Matter and what's Triangulum II? Watch

Image of Triangulum II may have a greater concentration of dark matter than any other object yet observed.

By Marshall Connolly, Catholic Online (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Scientists have discovered a galaxy that may be composed mostly of dark matter. Dark matter is an elusive substance that is yet to be described by scientists. They know what it does, but not what it is. The discovery could help solve the mystery. LOS ANGELES, CA ... continue reading

Anonymous VS ISIS: Hacker group launches counter-terrorism attacks from the shadows Watch

Image of Hacker group Anonymous takes on ISIS (YouTube).


While ISIS supporters and member utilize social media to attract recruits and sympathizers to their cause, hacker group Anonymous has stepped forward to fight back. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Following the Paris terror attacks Friday, hacker group Anonymous ... continue reading

3 reasons why having sex with robots is wrong, according to the Catholic Church Watch

Image of Should we have sex with robots? Not according to the teachings of the Church, and Natural Law itself.

By Marshall Connolly, Catholic Online (THE CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

As robotics manufacturers look to the future, they're planning to tap into the multi-billion dollar sex industry. In the not-too distant future, people will be able to keep robot companions that provide them with sexual gratification. What happens when people begin ... continue reading

Ever wonder why the other line always moves faster? This book has the answer Watch

Image of The practice of lining up is taught in school and is a quintessential aspect of modern civilization.

By Marshall Connolly, Catholic Online (THE CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Why does the other line move faster than yours? This is a question explored, and answered in a new book which used science and history to study standing in line. In "Why Does the Other Line Always Move Faster: The Myths and Misery, Secrets and Psychology of Waiting in ... continue reading

The unimaginable truth behind Facebook's threat to society that you need to know NOW Watch

Image of Has social media taken over?


Teenage internet sensation Essena O'Neill decided to leave social media behind after realizing it did nothing but make her dependent on anonymous "likes" and "shares." Her dependency on social media is just one of many. What else does social media cause? LOS ANGELES, ... continue reading

Move over Uber - Check out the newest 'Air Taxis' that the richest people will ride Watch

Image of Magnetic levitation technology produces the lift and forces the car to propel forward, which makes the system energy efficient.


Futuristic, "Jetsons" -styled "air taxis," that glide 20 to 30 feet above the air on elevated tracks will be debuting in Israel shortly. The dream project of Skytran, based in Mountain View, California had been perfecting the technology over the past five ... continue reading

Here are five shocking surprises from Comet 67P that are keeping scientists awake at night Watch

Image of Rosetta and the Philae lander. Both are on a three-year mission to gather data about comet 67P, but so far they've served to mystify as much as they have explained.

By Marshall Connolly (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

The recent announcement that Comet 67P/Churymov-Gerasimenko (67P) is rich in oxygen molecules has sent scientists scurrying to explain this extraordinary finding. It is the latest in strange discoveries reported by the Rosetta spacecraft in orbit around the enigmatic ... continue reading

If it's not an alien megastructure, could it be... a black hole? Watch

Image of Could it be aliens? No.

By Marshall Connolly, Catholic Online (THE CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Astronomers continue to puzzle over a distant star that for some reason, is having a substantial quantity of its light blocked from reaching Earth. The find is one-of-a-kind and is fueling speculation that intelligent life could be at work. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic ... continue reading

Are you under surveillance? Watch

Image of The government sanctions the use of tech that is able to connect to your phone and pull anything they want from it.


Stingray is the name of a device called an IMSI-catcher or a "cell-site simulator," and is roughly the size of a briefcase. It works by impersonating cell phone towers and strips metadata or content from phones that connect to them. What does the government have to say ... continue reading

Science learns the plague is older, more important than previously believed Watch

Image of Scientists studying plague victims have discovered the disease is much older than previously believed.

By Marshall Connolly (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

The Black Death is a historical footnote today, and the only people who worry about the plague are those who work around wild animals that could carry it. By and large, the plague is a thing of the past and few people care about it anymore. And this is a mistake. LOS ... continue reading

All Technology News


Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Subscribe to Catholic OnlineYouTube Channel

the FEED
by Catholic Online

  • UPDATE: Did the U.S. military actually know they were bombing the ...
  • The unexpected thing one Syrian refugee did for Germany that will ...
  • New ISIS video taunts United States to 'bring it on'
  • Prayer For Courage HD Video
  • St. John Berchmans: Saint of the Day for Thursday, November 26, 2015
  • The Miracle Prayer HD Video
  • Daily Readings for Thursday, November 26, 2015

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Daniel 5:1-6, 13-14, 16-17, 23-28
1 King Belshazzar gave a great banquet for his noblemen, a thousand of ... Read More

Psalm, Daniel 3:62, 63, 64, 65, 66, 67
62 Bless the Lord, sun and moon, praise and glorify him for ... Read More

Gospel, Luke 21:12-19
12 'But before all this happens, you will be seized and persecuted; you ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for November 25th, 2015 Image

St. Catherine of Alexandria
November 25: St. Catherine of Alexandria, Virgin and Martyr ... Read More