Gliese 436 b Is Coated in Burning Ice
This may seem completely foreign to you, but just for a moment try to pretend you are Han Solo (ladies, you can pretend you're Princess Leia). You are in the rebel base on the planet Hoth, and every inch of the entire planet is covered in ice. What you are picturing right now is somewhere close to the actual Gliese 436 b. The key difference, however, is that the planet is so close to its star that it stays at a consistent 800 degrees Fahrenheit on the surface.
In other words, T-shirt weather.
"So where the hell did all this damn ice come from?" you say, because it's understandably confusing and because once you're Han, it's hard to step out of character. Everyone knows there's no way that ice, let alone liquid water, can exist at more than four times its boiling temperature.
But Gliese 436 b has the remarkable ability to defy everything you know about the predictability of matter. The gravity on the planet is so powerful that it compresses all of the water vapor in the atmosphere and pushes it together into a solid, forming a thick layer over the entire planet of what scientists call "ice ten."
It's like Satan's Aspen.