A Little Neptune Suggests Big Things


“When astronomers discovered the planet known as GJ 1214b a couple of years ago, they knew they had an oddball world on their hands. They just weren’t certain what form the oddness took. Whirling around a star some 40 light-years from Earth, GJ 1214b was about 2.7 times as wide as our home planet, with about 20 times the volume, making it a “super-Earth,” about midway in size between Earth and Neptune.”


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