Distant Planet May Be On Its Second Atmosphere, NASA’s Hubble Finds

  • Released Thursday, March 11, 2021
  • ID: 13194

Scientists using NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope have found evidence that a planet orbiting a distant star that may have lost its atmosphere but gained a second one through volcanic activity.

The planet, GJ 1132 b, is hypothesized to have begun as a gaseous world with a thick hydrogen blanket of atmosphere. Starting out at several times the diameter of Earth, this so-called “sub-Neptune” is believed to have quickly lost its primordial hydrogen and helium atmosphere due to the intense radiation of the hot, young star it orbits. In a short period of time, such a planet would be stripped down to a bare core about the size of Earth. That’s when things got interesting.

For more information, visit https://nasa.gov/hubble.

Credit: NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center
Paul Morris: Lead Producer

Additional Visualizations:
Artist’s impression of Exoplanet GJ 1132 b: Robert Hurt
Atmosphere escaping an exoplanet (artist’s impression): NASA, ESA, M. Kornmesser
Artist’s impression of WASP-107b: ESA/Hubble, NASA, M. Kornmesser
Video animation of of Exoplanet GJ 1132 b: Robert Hurt
Aerial of oozing red lava in Hawaii: Artbeats
Aerial from Puu Oo volcanic vents on Hawaii's Kilauea: Artbeats
Exovolcano Animation Background Only: Michael Lentz
Illustration depicting one interpretation of planet GJ 357 c: Chris Smith

Music Credits:
"Planetary Exploration" by Richard Andrew Canavan [PRS] via Sound Pocket Music [PRS], and Universal Production Music.

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Credits

Please give credit for this item to:
NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center. However, please credit individual items as indicated above.


Missions

This visualization is related to the following missions:


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