A Planet Whose Oceans Are 10 Billion Years Old

Earth's oceans have been around for about 4 billion years, but they've changed a lot since the early millennia when they covered the whole planet and harbored methane-loving microbes. On a super-Earth, however, oceans might persist for more than twice as long — with intriguing results. » 1/06/15 3:07pm 1/06/15 3:07pm

We Have the First Weather Forecast for a Super-Earth

Our galaxy is filled with massive planets known as super-Earths. But what these planets are like has been anyone's guess. Now, for the first time, astronomers have determined that a super-Earth 42 light years away is incredibly cloudy – and that could affect our search for life on these potentially habitable worlds. » 1/01/14 7:30am 1/01/14 7:30am

Astronomers say this Super Earth could have oceans of water

At just 40 light years from Earth, Gliese 1214b is one of the nearest Super-Earths we've discovered in our search for planets beyond the solar system. Now, a team of Japanese researchers say it could well be an "ocean world," abundant in good old H2O. » 9/05/13 1:08pm 9/05/13 1:08pm

According to astronomers, "super Earths" should not exist

NASA's Kepler telescope has now identified an insane 2,326 possible exoplanets. What's particularly shocking is how many of these planets are giant rocky planets known as Super-Earths, which defies everything we thought we knew about planet formation. » 12/19/11 9:30am 12/19/11 9:30am

Bizarre solar system crams three giant planets into fraction of…

The Kepler-18 system is one of the galaxy's busiest places, with two Neptune-sized planets and a super-Earth orbiting around a single star. We know this, thanks to a bold new exoplanet-hunting technique that could help us find more Earth-like planets. » 10/04/11 4:00pm 10/04/11 4:00pm

Why Earth might have started out as a gas giant

All planets are vast clumps of dust and gas packed together by gravity. If there's lots of material, a gas giant is the result. If there isn't much material, you get a rocky planet. At least, that's what we thought. » 9/18/11 11:20am 9/18/11 11:20am

Potentially habitable "Super-Earth" is among 50 newly discovered…

HD 85512 b is a rocky planet about 3.6 times the mass of Earth, located right at the edge of its star's habitable zone. That means it's capable of supporting life... and the early results suggest it's a very real possibility. » 9/12/11 11:19am 9/12/11 11:19am

Steamy alien planet reveals atmosphere of giant "super-Earth" for the…

We've discovered 500 exoplanets, most of them gas giants even bigger than Jupiter. But some, known as super-Earths, are rocky worlds only a bit larger than our planet, and now we've discovered the cloudy atmosphere of one of these worlds. » 12/02/10 11:00am 12/02/10 11:00am

Two Saturn-sized planets are locked in elegant orbital dance around…

A Sun-like star is home to two huge planets both about the size of Saturn. This pair of planets are locked in orbital resonance, with one planet taking almost exactly twice as long to orbit the star as the other. » 8/26/10 1:12pm 8/26/10 1:12pm

Jupiter became king of the planets by devouring a "Super Earth"

Jupiter became the solar system's biggest planet by consuming its chief rival, a massive rocky planet ten times bigger than Earth. New discoveries suggest Jupiter and Saturn learned a lesson from their mythological namesakes, "eating" any planet that opposed them. » 8/16/10 1:13pm 8/16/10 1:13pm

"Super Earth" Discovered Orbiting A Red Dwarf Star

Just 13 parsecs away, a planet astronomers are calling a "super Earth" is orbiting a dwarf star. Its radius is over twice that of Earth, and there's something very surprising in its core. » 12/17/09 7:30am 12/17/09 7:30am

"Earth's Twin" Discovered In Distant Solar System?

If life on Earth isn't doing it for you, then there's good news - an alternative may be around the corner. As German scientists announce that theoretical "Super-Earths" - planets 10 times the size of Earth with similar atmospheres - could support life for 35 per cent longer than our home planet, NASA scientists have… » 11/12/07 6:33am 11/12/07 6:33am