It looks like you're using an Ad Blocker.
Please white-list or disable AboveTopSecret.com in your ad-blocking tool.
Some features of ATS will be disabled while you continue to use an ad-blocker.
ScienceDaily (May 5, 2011) — NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope has detected the crossing of a solid planet in front of a star located at only 42 light-years in the constellation Cancer. Thanks to this detection, astronomers know that this "super-Earth" measures 2.1 times the size of our Earth. This is the smallest exoplanet detected in the neighborhood of our Sun.
"So far, the exquisite capabilities of Spitzer have been extensively used to study known transiting exoplanets, all of them being giant planets similar to Jupiter or Neptune. For the first time, Spitzer is used to detect the transit of a super-Earth, a solid planet not much larger than our own Earth," says Michaël Gillon from University of Liège (Belgium), the leader of the team that made this detection. "Thanks to the high-precision of Spitzer, we now know the nature of this planet, and, interestingly, it is very different from all the planets of our solar System."
The planet name is 55 Cancri e. With 8 times the mass of the Earth, for a size 2.1 larger, it is simply too big to be purely ........
The bigger the earth like planet is the more gravity, it has to make some difference. Look at humans in space zero gravity our body's start to change.
Originally posted by Xcathdra
reply to post by FarBeyondDriven69
Not sure how much gravity has to do with it. Judging by some of the larger species in our own past, like planets and trees, they were larger because of the atmosphere content (richer in areas than current). Even then it might not be entirely accurate if we take a look at the Giant redwoods and sequoia trees in California (things are massive).
There are biological reasons why life forms grow to their given size, and that links to why the carbon based life forms can grow large and methane and ammonia based life forms remain microscopic. It has a lot to do with supporting the cellular structure in mass, and therefore a given gravitational pressure.