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September 30 2012

Why 'Super-Earth' Alien Worlds May Be Unlikely to Support Life


So-called "super-Earth" alien worlds may bear little resemblance to our own home planet and thus could be less likely to support life than previously believed, a new study suggests.

Super-Earths alien planets bigger than Earth, but containing less than 10 times its mass may be undifferentiated hunks of rock, possessing neither a mantle nor a core, researchers found. Super-Earths may also lack magnetic fields, which help protect life on our planet by shielding it from harmful radiation.

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