The first transiting super-Earth was discovered by the CoRoT spacecraft in 2009. This planet, called CoRoT-7b, is so close to its central star that one of its hemispheres may be permanently covered in pools of molten lava. Another super-Earth, also found in 2009, is GJ 1214b. The volume-to-mass ratio of this planet, and its distance from its host star, suggest that a large portion of it may consist of liquid water (see ocean planet).
In 2011, astronomers using the HARPS instrument at La Silla Observatory, in Chile, announced, among a batch of 50 new exoplanets, the discovery of a super-Earth in the habitable zone of its central star. HD85512b, which is about 3.6 times as massive as the Earth, is in an orbit that suggests its surface temperature ranges from about 30° to 50°C, and that its atmosphere is very humid.
Related category EXTRASOLAR PLANETS AND SUBSTELLAR OBJECTS
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