Inside the vapor atmosphere of exoplanet GJ 1214b

GJ 1214b has about one planetary mass Six times Earth’s and very hot (About 450 degrees Fahrenheit or 232 Celsius), and therefore unlikely to be one of the habitable planets. It is considered a super-Earth exoplanet. That means It is larger than Earth and smaller than Neptune, not Earth-like. It is only 42.7 times the diameter of Earth and orbits about 1 million miles (1.6 million kilometers) from its star in 38 hours (as opposed to Earth in our solar system, which takes 365 days to orbit the Sun.)

This exoplanet is tidally locked, meaning one side always faces its star. Thus, one side of the planet is in perpetual daylight with a blazing sun, while the other side is in perpetual freezing darkness. It has a dense and hazy atmosphere. Even so, heat is still transported around the planet by its dense atmosphere. Because heavier and lighter molecules conduct heat differently, scientists can figure out a planet’s makeup from measuring heat flow.

Scientists believe that GJ 1214b and evolved from its star than now. Then something was sent near the red dwarf star it was orbiting. As it approached, its atmosphere was stripped away.

This article was created with AI technology, then fact-checked and edited by HowStuffWorks editors.


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