Lunar and Planetary Institute






LPI Earth and Space Science Newsletter

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New Type of Planet: the Mega-Earth
Astronomers have discovered a new type of planet - a rocky world weighing 17 times as much as Earth. This type of planet was not expected to form; scientists suspect that such a massive planet would accumulate gas and become a gas giant. This planet, discovered by the Kepler mission and then observed by the Telescopio Nazionale Galileo, is too dense to be a gas giant.

Potential ‘Goldilocks’ Planet Found
A new-found planet is in a "just-right" location around its star where liquid water could possibly exist on the planet’s surface. A team of international astronomers have discovered a potentially habitable super-Earth orbiting a nearby star in a habitable zone, where it isn’t too hot or too cold for liquid water to exist. The team said this discovery demonstrates that habitable planets could form in a greater variety of environments than previously believed.

Meteorites Brought Ammonia to Earth?
Researchers have teased ammonia of a carbon-containing meteorite from Antarctica, and propose that meteorites may have delivered that essential ingredient for life to an early Earth.
Modified from http://www.universetoday.com/83608/meteorites-may-have-delivered-first-ammonia-for-life-on-earth/