With NASA's Hubble Space Telescope, a team of astronomers at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland, discovered a distant, medium-sized planet of dimensions similar to Neptune – because they call GJ 3470b and evaporates 100 times faster than a body Which was previously discovered, the GJ 436b, according to an article published Thursday at the scientific portal Phys.org.
"That's the proof Planets can lose a significant portion of their total mass. The GJ 3470b is losing more mass than any other planet we've seen so far, "says David Singh, a distinguished professor at the American University and the project director who led the discovery. In a few billion years, half the planet, "Singh added.
The latest discovery, which will enable the scientific community to better understand how the planets are formed and evolving, is part of the PanCratic Comparative Exoplanet Treasury (PanCET) program to measure the atmospheres of 20 planets with ultraviolet, optical and infrared light. As they orbit their stars, "for Determine How each planet is affected by its ownaround the"
The new planet, which is 96 light-years away from Earth and orbits a red dwarf star in the direction of the star of cancer, has lost significantly more mass than 436b GJ and has a remarkably small exosphere due to its smaller densities and more intense radiation absorption by its host star. This lower density of GJ 3470b means it can not hang gravitationally to a warm atmosphere.
While the planet in which the similar planet has been studied is between 4,000 and 8,000 million years ago, the star that contains the new celestial body is only 2 billion years old, which means that the planet's atmosphere has more radiation to heat because being younger is active.
According to a study led by Singh, the 3470b could Lost up to 35% of their total mass. Also, scientists believe that in a few billion years Can be a simple rocky core As a result of the loss of all your gas. The researchers hope his team will be able to study more planets looking for helium in infrared light, which would allow a greater range of search than if they use hydrogen in ultraviolet light, concludes Singh.