Icy "super-Earth" found around faraway star – Yahoo! News

Icy “super-Earth” found around faraway star – Yahoo! News

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A cold, heavy “super-Earth” has been found orbiting a distant star, using a method that holds promise for detecting faraway planets that closely resemble our own, astronomers said on Monday.

The planet weighs 13 times as much as Earth and is orbiting a star about 9,000 light-years away. But instead of circling close to its star, as Earth does, this “super-Earth” is about as distant from its star as Jupiter and Saturn are from the Sun.

An international team of scientists figured the new planet probably has a temperature of minus 330 degrees F (minus 201 C), making it one of the coldest planets detected outside our solar system.

The discovery is billed as a super-Earth because it is thought to be a rocky, terrestrial planet like Earth, even though it is much more massive.

The planet was detected by astronomers using a project called OGLE — short for Optical Gravitational Lensing Experiment — which looks for changes in light coming from distant stars.

Cool! A more massive world that is rocky and cold. I’m betting that if life evolved there, they people are short and stocky, strong, and have lots of facial hair. And they live underground. And wield axes. And drink a lot. Also, they speak with a Scottish accent.


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