Friday, May 18, 2007

Extrasolar Planet has Hot Ice

Thirty light-years away from us is the extrasolar planet of GJ 436 b (I guess we have run out of mythological God names for planets). The Neptune-sized planet orbits its star at 1/14 the distance of Mercury to out sun Sol. Needless to say the planets surface temperature is extremely hot.

Measurements comparing size and mass of the planet led astronomers to theorize the planet is comprised mostly of water. Because of the heat and pressure of being so close to the sun, the water on the planet would be in the form of "Hot Ice." The water is forced into a solid mass while remaining around 600 degrees Fahrenheit (300 degrees Celsius).

While the world is full of so many wonders but the universe has so much more. Whether it is study heights on the moon, geomorphology on Mars, or hot ice on extrasolar worlds: geographers can aid their fellow scientists in astronomy.

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