The Riddle of Super-Earths: Clues from GJ 9827

  1. Brian G Turner

    Brian G Turner He's a very naughty boy! Staff Member

    Nov 23, 2002
    Super-earths are some of the most common exoplanets found:


    And yet super-Earths remain the most mysterious of exoplanets, because we don't have anything truly to compare with in our own solar system.

    However, the star GJ 9827 appears to have no less than three of them - and it's a star that's long been observed and so may provide clues to the ever enigmatic super-Earths.

    Gassy or metal? Newly found planets straddle the line for super-Earths
    Apr 14, 2018

    BAYLOR There Are Always new Things to Learn.

    Jun 29, 2014
    Are any of theses super Earths capable of sustaining life as we know it?
    Apr 15, 2018
    Harpo likes this.
  3. Venusian Broon

    Venusian Broon Defending the SF genre with terminal intensity

    Dec 7, 2011
    I wonder how skewed this data still is, (presumably, I assume) due to measurements and techniques not being abled to pick up lighter planets? As these get refined and better we could get a swing towards Earth-sized and smaller.

    However the main point which I think will remain no matter what, is that, actually, our solar system is perhaps not the 'standard, average' sort of solar system out there - which is excellent news for our theories about solar system formation and evolution. We now have loads of other examples to ponder and hypothesis with...

    @BAYLOR - it will depend on quite a lot of factors and information that I don't think we have. Are the planets, as the article discusses, gassy or metallic? 'Life as we know it' probably would prefer a metallic planet, but at those sizes and densities, the gravity would be significantly higher - everything geologic and biological will be short, squat and low to the ground. What sort of atmosphere do these planets have? etc. :D
    Apr 15, 2018

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