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The Mysterious World of Gliese 1214 b. What Do We Know about Ocean Planets?

Imagine an ocean where water is constantly boiling, it’s boundless, there is no coast in sight. It stretches as far as the horizon, although this fact is evasive to the observer, because as far as the eye can see the horizon is constantly shrouded in dense fog.

Thick clouds with not a chink between them hide a huge, but dim sun. Only negligible fluctuations in the level of light indicate transitions from nights to days and nights again. If it has stopped being pitch-dark and it’s deep grey all around you, it means sunrise. And deep down, under scores of kilometres of water, there lies a billion-ton core of scorching ice. This is what the unique and mysterious world of Gliese 1214 b must look like.

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1.7k shares, 324 points

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