Stellar Data for


Type of Star:

Spectral Class:




Surface Temperature:

Yellow Dwarf


59 Lightyears

2,86 L

1,1 Solar Masses

5500 K

The Planet of 70 Virginis


Orbital Radius:

Orbital Period:



7,42 Jupiter Masses

0,48 AU

116,7 Days



Comparison to Solar System


70 Virginis 

Speculations about 70 Virginis b

70 Virginis b with one of its moons

With more than seven Jupiter masses, 70 Virginis b is a giant planet in the true sense of the word. It is not only warmed by the parent star, another source of heat would be friction within the dense atmosphere. 70 Virginis b may glow softly in red and infrared light.

Similar to Jupiter, 70 Virginis b may have moons. Since the planet's gravity is considerably higher, some of these moons may be very large, even surpassing the size of Earth. But the velocity of large impacting objects early in the system's formation may have shattered many of these moons, or at least stripped off their atmosphere. Relatively poor in water and nitrogen, such an Earth-sized moon has little to buffer the temperature difference between dayside and nightside. But the rotation of such a moon would be locked by the giant planet's tidal forces, so day and night would last for several weeks. Any remaining water in the atmosphere would rain down on the cool night side, forming small bodies of water. In early daytime, these ponds slowly evaporate, leaving behind a liveless desert, as the surface is warmed to 85°C.

Small bodies of liquid water may exist at least temporarily on a moon of 70 Virginis b.

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