It is thought that GJ 1214b was once entirely covered in a warm ocean of liquid water.
- GJ 1214b, also known as Gliese 1214b, is 42 light years from Earth and was discovered in November 2009.
- GJ 1214b is classified as a water-world, and is the only example of such a planet yet to be discovered.
- The planet orbits a small red dwarf star which has only 16% the mass of our own sun.
- Its low mass suggests that unlike Earth GJ 1214b may only have a small amount of rock in its composition.
- It is thought GJ 1214b once orbited in the habitable zone around its host star, which may have allowed life to exist in its warm oceans.
- GJ 1214b is now a hot world with temperatures around 200C (392F)
- Despite being hot its high atmospheric pressures would stop its oceans from boiling.
- Water on GJ 1214b would now have a very strange consistency and would seem very alien to us, as a result of high temperatures and atmospheric pressure it would be more like thick hot ice or alternately acting more like a gas than a liquid.
GJ 1214b orbits very close to its parent red dwarf star.
GJ 1214b OrbitGJ 1214b revolves around its host star at a distance of only 1.3 million miles (2 million km) and takes just one and a half days to make one complete orbit.
GJ 1214b AtmosphereAnalysis of the planet using the Hubble Space Telescope suggests GJ 1214b has a dense steamy atmosphere which is mostly composed of water vapor.
GJ 1214b Mass and RadiusGJ 1214b is estimated to have a mass of around 6 to 7 times that of Earth, with a radius of around 2.7 times that of Earth, its low mass suggests a large amount of the planet is made up of water. It is thought the planet originally formed as an ice world far from its host star.
GJ 1214b StatisticsHost Star: GJ 1214
Host Star Type: Red Dwarf - M Class
Host Star Mass: 16% of Sun
Distance from Earth: 42 light years
Planets Detected in System: 1
Discovery Date: 17th November 2009
Detection Method: Transit Method
Exoplanet Type: Water World
Mass: 6 to 7 x Earth
Diameter: 2.7 x Earth
Distance from host star: 1.3 million miles (2 million km)
Orbital Period: 1.58 days
Atmosphere: A thick atmosphere primarily composed of water vapor.
Temperature: Around 200C (392F)
Gravity: 0.9 x Earth's gravity
Possibility of Life: Due to the lack of any water in its liquid form, combined with the high temperatures and pressure it is highly unlikely life could exist on GJ 1214b.