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Ocean Planets on the Brink of Detection 159

ZonkerWilliam writes "It seems, at least theoretically, that there may be 'ocean planets' out there in the galaxy. If there are, we are closer than ever to detecting them. The formation of such planets is fairly likely, reports the PhysOrg article, despite the lack of an obvious example in our own solar system. We may have a former ocean planetoid in the neighborhood, orbiting the planet Jupiter: the moon Europa. These water worlds are the result of system formation castoffs, gas giant wannabes that never grew large enough. If any of these intriguing object exist nearby, the recently launched CoRoT satellite will be the device we use to see it. The article explains some of the science behind 'ocean worlds', as well as the new technology we'll use to find them."

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