Super-Earths - Definition

Definition

In general, the super-Earths are defined as exclusively by their mass, and the term does not imply temperatures, compositions, orbital properties, adaptability, or environments similar to that of Earth. A variety of specific mass values are cited in definitions of super-Earths. While sources generally agree on an upper bound of 10 Earth masses, (~69% of the mass of Uranus, which is the Solar System gas giant with the least mass), the lower bound varies from 1 or 1.9 to 5, with various other definitions appearing in the popular media. Some authors further suggest that the term be limited to planets without a significant atmosphere, or planets that have not just atmospheres but also solid surfaces or oceans with a sharp boundary between liquid and atmosphere, which the four giant planets in our solar system do not have. Planets above 10 Earth masses are termed giant planets. By informal convention, giant planets may be subdivided into "super-Jupiters" (more than 2-3 Jupiter masses up to brown dwarf mass), "Jupiters" (like Jupiter and Saturn, greater than 30 Earth masses), and "Neptunes" (of a mass similar to Uranus and Neptune, of 10-30 Earth masses).

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