Distant Planet May Be On Its Second Atmosphere, NASA’s Hubble Finds
Released on March 11, 2021
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.
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.