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Water Worlds, Aqua Worlds and Habitability

20 Sep 2018, 15:19 UTC
Water Worlds, Aqua Worlds and Habitability NASA, ESA, M. Kornmesser

The more exoplanet scientists learn about the billions and billions of celestial bodies out there, the more the question of unusual planets — those with characteristics quite different from those in our solar system — has come into play.

Hot Jupiters, super-Earths, planets orbiting much smaller red dwarf stars — they are all grist for the exoplanet mill, for scientists trying to understand the planetary world that has exploded with possibilities and puzzles over the past two decades.

Another important category of planets unlike those we know are the loosely called “water worlds” (with very deep oceans) and their “aqua world” cousins (with a covering of water and continents) but orbiting stars very much unlike our sun.

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