The paper Three Possible Origins for the Gas Layer on GJ 1214b is of relevance. Scientists first reported in 2010 that GJ 1214b's atmosphere is likely composed primarily of water, but their findings were not definitive. For all observations, we used the TF imaging mode on OSIRIS (Cepa 1998; Cepa et al. Discovered in 2009 , the planet is about 2.7 times Earth’s diameter and is almost 7 times as massive. The others have all been gas giants. Astronomers estimate the planet¹s temperature to be about 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Scientists have discovered a new type of alien planet — a steamy waterworld that is larger than Earth but smaller than Uranus. The radius of GJ 1214b lies 0.49 ± 0.13 R E above the water-world curve (caption to their figure 3). They've discovered several alien worlds that orbit two suns, like Luke Skywalker's home planet of Tatooine in the "Star Wars" films. Berta and his colleagues report their results online in the Astrophysical Journal. • GJ 1214b’s atmosphere is not well-described by a hydrogen-dominated atmosphere in chemical equilibrium • Other possibilities include: • No methane / High clouds • High mean molecular weight atmosphere (> 20% H 2O) • Additional observations will be necessary to break the degeneracy between the different possibilities Previous studies of GJ 1214b yielded two possible interpretations of the planet’s atmosphere. Given the uncertainties in the nature of the atmosphere of GJ 1214b… GJ 1214b is located in the constellation Ophiuchus, some 40 light-years from us. 1998), then the radius of the planet, GJ 1214b, would also be smaller by a comparable amount—resulting in a planet that does not require a large atmosphere to explain its observed radius. The radius of GJ 1214b lies 0.49 ± 0.13 R E above the water-world curve (caption to their figure 3). When GJ 1214b was first discovered in 2009, just 42 light-years from Earth, astronomers couldn’t decide exactly what it was—either a mini-Neptune, with an extended, gassy atmosphere, or a planet made largely of water, with a more compact atmosphere rich in water vapor. The exoplanet, orbiting a small star only 40 light-years away from us, thus opens dramatic new perspectives in the quest for habitable worlds. It is also the first super-Earth around which an atmosphere has been found. (Baraffe et al. Only 2.7 times the size of Earth and 6.6 times as massive, the new planet takes 38 hours to circle a dim red star, GJ 1214, in the constellation Ophiuchus about 40 light-years from here. Clouds in the atmosphere of the super-Earth exoplanet GJ 1214b 2014 KREIDBERG L., BEAN J., DESERT J.-M., BENNEKE B., DEMING D. et al. Here we report a measurement of the transmission spectrum of GJ 1214b at near-infrared wavelengths that definitively resolves this ambiguity. The exoplanet, orbiting a small star only 40 light-years away from us, has a mass about six times that of the Earth. Models for the structure of this planet predict that it likely possesses an H-He envelope of at least 0.05% of the total mass of the planet. An atmosphere that is not depleted in either methane or carbon is specifically ruled out. Enter your email to receive notifications of new posts. Photochemical hazes are expected to form in the upper atmosphere (p<10μbars) and coagulate to larger GJ 1214b, first discovered in December 2009, is 2.7 times the size of Earth and 6.5 times as massive. GJ 1214b is classified as a water-world, and is the only example of such a planet yet to be discovered. The super-Earth GJ 1214b gravitational acceleration: 8.93 m s–2 radius: 2.678 R e distance from star: 0.01432 AU stellar flux at planet: 21519 W m–2 rotation period: 1.5803925 Earth days (synchronous) The data, obtained with the Hubble Space Telescope, are sufficiently precise to detect absorption features from a high mean-molecular-mass atmosphere. Visit our corporate site. Super-Earth 40 light years away 'is rich in water with a thick, steamy atmosphere', confirm Japanese astronomers. Instead of using photometric observations to get a broadband spectrum, in this paper, the authors actually take spectroscopic measurements using the Keck telescope with the NIRSPEC spectrograph. For that reason, scientists have nicknamed the planet "the waterworld". NASA's James Webb Space Telescope, which is slated to launch in 2018, may be able to get an even better look at the planet's atmosphere, researchers said. GJ 1214b, also known as Gliese 1214b, is 42 light years from Earth and was discovered in November 2009. Here we report a measurement of the transmission spectrum of GJ 1214b at near-infrared wavelengths that definitively resolves this ambiguity. There was a problem. GJ 1214b thus appears to have much more water than Earth does, and much less rock. presence of an atmosphere on GJ 1214b is rather probable. The data, obtained with the Hubble Space Telescope, are sufficiently precise to detect absorption features from a high mean-molecular-mass atmosphere. Through a comparison with theoretical models, the density in turn provides limited but highly useful information ab… | astrobites, Where did my giant planet gift come from? An artist's conception shows a super-Earth known as GJ 1214b with its parent star and another world. Two classes of models have been proposed to explain the planet's observed low density. The observed spectrum, however, is featureless. Multi-color Transit Photometry of GJ 1214b through BJHK s Bands and a Long-term Monitoring of the Stellar Variability of GJ 1214. Their observations alone are also consistent with an atmosphere that is denser than hydrogen/helium, but that type of atmosphere was ruled out by the near-infrared data published earlier this year; however, they suggest that further observations might be necessary to verify this conclusion. Overplotted are three models for the atmosphere of GJ1214b: a hydrogen dominated atmosphere with solar composition (green line), a hydrogen dominated atmosphere with clouds and low methane abundance (red line) and a water dominated atmosphere (blue line). It orbits a red-dwarf star at a distance of 1.2 million miles (2 million kilometres), giving it an estimated surface temperature of 446 degrees Fahrenheit (230 degrees Celsius) — too hot to host life as we know it. The optical and mid-infrared measurements have suggested that the atmosphere is made mostly of heavier elements (such as water) rather than having a hydrogen and helium atmosphere; alternately, a haze or cloud layer high in the atmosphere could also fit the observations. There are also tantalizing hints that the planet has a gaseous atmosphere. If the atmosphere of GJ 1214b has abundant hydrogen, then it must be cloaked by a thick blanket of clouds (like Venus) or haze (like Saturn's moon Titan). In a water-rich atmosphere, such as the one on GJ 1214b, the effect of the Rayleigh scattering is much weaker than in a hydrogen-dominated atmosphere. This planet In this paper, the authors hope to resolve some of these apparent discrepancies with a high-resolution spectrum of GJ 1214b during transit. New Subaru Telescope observations of super-Earth GJ 1214 b show that the exoplanet is likely to have a water-rich atmosphere. The same is true for Kepler-11f. The standard-bearer for this new class of exoplanet is called GJ 1214b, which astronomers first discovered in December 2009. The planet will actually look slightly bigger in radius (and cause a bigger dip) if we are observing it in a wavelength where there is a prominent absorption feature in the atmosphere. New observations by NASA's Hubble Space Telescope suggest that GJ 1214b is a watery world enshrouded by a thick, steamy atmosphere. 1998), then the radius of the planet, GJ 1214b, would also be smaller by a comparable amount—resulting in a planet that does not require a large atmosphere to explain its observed radius. These last two sets of abundances have been previously suggested as a way to resolve the differences between the optical, mid-infrared, and near-infrared observations. Its atmosphere could consist entirely of water vapor or some other type of heavy molecule, or it could contain high-altitude clouds that prevent the observation of what lies underneath. The newly discovered planet GJ 1214b is the first known transiting super-Earth requiring a significant atmosphere to explain its observed mass and radius. Since astronomers know GJ 1214b's mass and size, they're able to calculate its density, which turns out to be just 2 grams per cubic centimeter (g/cc). Therefore there must be a deep (0.49 R E is 3120km) atmosphere to explain the transit radius. The exoplanet GJ 1214b, which orbits a star 40 light-years from Earth, offers astronomers a unique chance to study its atmosphere because it passes directly in front of … For the model to fit their observations, it’s required that the model must fit better than a flat-line. GJ1214b, shown in this artist’s view, is a super-Earth orbiting a red dwarf star 40 light-years from Earth. by Caroline Morley | Apr 13, 2011 | Daily Paper Summaries | 0 comments. While these are hard to measure from the ground since there is so much water in Earth’s atmosphere, they should be easy to characterize from space using the Hubble Space Telescope. 2OBSERVATIONS Photometric observations of GJ 1214b were conducted using the GTC telescope on La Palma. Please deactivate your ad blocker in order to see our subscription offer. Clouds in the atmosphere of the super-Earth exoplanet GJ 1214b 2014 KREIDBERG L., BEAN J., DESERT J.-M., BENNEKE B., DEMING D. et al. The black points show the previously published data, and the open circles show the averages of the models. We explore cloudy, extended H2-He atmosphere scenarios for the warm super-Earth GJ 1214b using an optimal estimation retrieval technique. Recent observations of the transiting super-Earth GJ 1214b reveal that its atmosphere may be hydrogen-rich or water-rich in nature, with clouds or hazes potentially affecting its transmission spectrum in the optical and very-near-IR. Qemist 22:04, 23 December 2009 (UTC) "We’re using Hubble to measure the infrared color of sunset on this world," Berta said. However, their observations could also be explained by the presence of a planet-enshrouding haze in GJ 1214b’s atmosphere. Berta and his team used Hubble's Wide Field Camera 3 to help dispel the doubts. Gliese 1214 b (often shortened to GJ 1214 b) is an exoplanet that orbits the star Gliese 1214, and was discovered in December 2009.Its parent star is 48 light-years from the Sun, in the constellation Ophiuchus.As of 2017, GJ 1214 b is the most likely known candidate for being an ocean planet. The data show that GJ 1214b's atmosphere isn't, as previously theorized, a puffy, cloud-free layer of mainly hydrogen gas. Using Hubble, astronomers led by Laura Kreidberg and Jacob Bean of the University of Chicago took a closer look at GJ 1214b. Future observations could draw more conclusions about the atmosphere by looking at water features; a methane-depleted hydrogen-helium dominated atmosphere should exhibit prominent absorption features from water. Thank you for signing up to Space. They modeled solar composition planets and planets with abundances of heavy elements that were 10 times and 30 times solar abundances. (Image: © NASA, ESA, and D. Aguilar (Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics)), A mysterious 'wobble' is moving Mars' poles around, How to watch the rare 'triple conjunction' of Mercury, Jupiter and Saturn tonight, Wandering polar vortex may cause a wild, snowy winter. 40 light-years away lies the exoplanet GJ 1214b, a searingly hot "super-Earth" orbiting a red dwarf star. By measuring the absorption spectra of the planet’s atmosphere, astronomers were able to shed light onto its composition. The other is a "water world" scenario where the bulk of the planet would be composed primarily of water. The data, obtained with the Hubble Space Telescope, are sufficiently precise to detect absorption features from a high mean-molecular-mass atmosphere. These alien planets are a diverse bunch. Preliminary studies for the properties of clouds and photochemical hazes in the atmosphere of GJ 1214b suggested that both components can provide a flat spectrum (Morley et al. This so-called "super-Earth" is about 2.7 times Earth’s diameter and weighs nearly seven times as much as our home planet. GJ 1214b represents a new type of planet, like nothing seen in the Solar System or any other planetary system currently known. Transit observations of the super-Earth GJ 1214b rule out cloud-free H{sub 2}-dominated scenarios, but are not able to determine whether the lack of deep spectral features is due to high-altitude clouds or the presence of a high mean molecular mass atmosphere. Different teams of astronomers have published photometric observations in the optical, near-infrared, and mid-infrared — and each group concludes the atmosphere is different! Because GJ 1214b is so close to Earth, it's a prime candidate for study by future instruments. Abstract: Recent observations of the transiting super-Earth GJ 1214b reveal that its atmosphere may be hydrogen-rich or water-rich in nature, with clouds or hazes potentially affecting its transmission spectrum in the optical and very-near-IR. Discovered by the MEarth project and investigated further by the HARPS spectrograph on ESO’s 3.6-metre telescope at La Silla, GJ1214b is the second super-Earth exoplanet for which astronomers have determined the mass and radius, giving vital clues about its structure. Planets specifically lacking methane and with very low total carbon abundance are also examined. Clouds in the atmosphere of the super-Earth exoplanet GJ 1214b @article{Kreidberg2014CloudsIT, title={Clouds in the atmosphere of the super-Earth exoplanet GJ 1214b}, author={L. Kreidberg and J. L. Bean and J. © Here we report a measurement of the transmission spectrum of GJ 1214b at near-infrared wavelengths that definitively resolves this ambiguity. A eureka moment? An alien machine already visited us, Harvard astrophysicist still contends. One requires a rocky inner core with a significant hydrogen-helium atmosphere.