A new study analyzed why large and Neptune-sized exoplanets are rare
A new study analyzed why large and Neptune-sized exoplanets are rare

A new study analyzed why large and Neptune-sized exoplanets are rare

A new study analyzed why large and Neptune-sized exoplanets are rare

A new study analyzed why large and Neptune-sized exoplanets are rare: Sub-Neptunes- extrasolar planets with Ready between 2.7 and 3 times Earth – are much larger than planets the size of Neptune and larger. A new study proposes that this fall is so sudden because the Sub-Neptune atmosphere merges easily with the magma oceans on its surface, when the planets reach approximately 3 times the size of the Earth.

“This is a clear advantage in the data, and it is quite dramatic.” We are surprised that the planets want to stop growing almost 3 times the size of the Earth, “said Dr. John, a planet scientist at the University of Chicago. Edwin Kight said.

It is believed that Sub-Neptune has oceans of magma on its surfaces, which remain warm thanks to a thick layer of hydrogen-rich atmosphere.

Dr. “So far, almost all models have ignored this magma, but it is considered chemically inert, but liquid rock flows almost like water and is very reactive,” Kight said.

Dr. Kight and his colleagues considered the question of whether the ocean could begin to dissolve the atmosphere, because the planets receive more hydrogen.

In this scenario, when a sub-Neptune occupies more gas, it accumulates in the atmosphere and the downward pressure begins to form where magma meets the atmosphere.

First, magma raises excess gas at a constant rate, but as pressure increases, hydrogen begins to dissolve in magma much more easily.

“Not only that, but a little of the additional gas remaining in the atmosphere increases the atmospheric pressure and, therefore, a large fraction of the gas that arrives later will dissolve in magma,” said Dr. Cometa explained.

Thus, the growth of the planet stops before it reaches the size of Neptune.

The authors of the study call it the “fugitive crisis”, after the word that measures the ease with which a gas dissolves in a mixture as a function of pressure.

“The theory fits well with existing observations,” Dr. Comet mentioned.

“There are also many markers that astronomers can see in the future.”

“For example, if the theory is correct, then planets with oceans of magma that are cold enough to crystallize on the surface must show different profiles, because it will prevent the ocean from absorbing so much hydrogen.” “.

The study was published in the Astrophysical Journal Letters.

The superpopular exoplanet is nothing like the solar system

The “superpopular” exoplanet is nothing like the solar system: In recent years, studies of extrasolar planets have exploded. Currently, astronomers have been able to confirm the existence of 4,104 planets beyond our solar system, awaiting confirmation from another 4900. Studies of these many planets have revealed things about the range of possible planets in our universe and have taught us that there are many for which there are no analogues in our solar system.

For example, thanks to the new data obtained by the Hubble Space Telescope, astronomers have learned more about a new class of exoplanets known as “overpopulated” planets. The planets of this class are basically young gas giants that are comparable in size to Jupiter but have masses that are only slightly taller than those on Earth. This causes the density of cotton candy in its atmosphere, hence its cheerful nickname.

The only known examples of this planet live in the Kepler 51 system, a young Sun-like star located about 2,615 light years away in the Cygnus planetarium. Within this system, three exoplanets have been confirmed (Kepler-51B, C and D) that were first detected by the Kepler space telescope in 2012. However, it was not until 2014 that the density of these planets was confirmed, and This was a big surprise.

Three giant planets that orbit the star Kepler 51 similar to the Sun compared to some planets in our solar system. Credits: NASA, ESA and L. Hastak and J. Olmsted (STScI)
While these gas giants have atmospheres that are formed by hydrogen and helium and are the same size as Jupiter, they are also a hundred times lighter in terms of mass. How and why their atmospheres would skyrocket remains a mystery, but the fact that the nature of their atmosphere makes the Super Puff planets a leading candidate for atmospheric analysis.

This is exactly what an international team of astronomers, led by Jessica Libby-Roberts of the Center for Astrophysics and Space Astronomy (CASA) of the University of Colorado, Boulder, tried to do. Using data from Hubble, Libby-Roberts and his team analyzed the spectra obtained from the Kepler-51B atmosphere and to see if the components (including water) were there.

When the planets passed in front of their stars, the light absorbed by their atmosphere was tested in infrared wavelengths. To the team’s surprise, they discovered that the spectra of both planets had no revealing chemical signatures. This was attributed to the presence of salt crystals or photochemical clouds in its atmosphere.

Therefore, the team relied on computer simulations and other devices to say that the Kepler-51 planets are mostly hydrogen and helium, covered with a thick mist made of methane. This is similar to Titan’s movement to the atmosphere of Saturn (Saturn’s largest moon), where there are clouds of methane gas primarily in the nitrogen atmosphere that obscure the surface.

"It was completely unexpected," Libby-Roberts said

“It was completely unexpected,” Libby-Roberts said. “We had planned to visit large water absorption facilities, but they weren’t there. They forced us out! “However, these clouds provided the team with valuable information on how Kepler-51B and D compare with other low-mass gas-rich exoplanets observed by astronomers.” As Libby-Roberts stated in a CU Boulder press release:

“We knew they were low density. But when you break a cotton ball in the form of Jupiter, it is really low density … it definitely prevents us from coming to visit us. We expected to find water, but we could not observe the signature of any molecule. “

The team was able to improve the size and mass of these planets by measuring their effects of time. In all systems, there are slight changes in the planet’s orbit period due to its gravitational attraction, which can be used to obtain the mass of a planet. The team’s results coincided with previous estimates for the Kepler-51B, while estimates for the Kepler-51D indicated that it is a little less massive (also known as more bloated) than before.

The team also compared the spectra of the two superpoletas with other planets and obtained results that indicated that cloud / fog formation is associated with the planet’s temperature. This supports the hypothesis that the planet is colder, it will be the cloud that some astronomers have discovered thanks to recent discoveries of exoplanets.

Mini Neptune planets vary in size from about 1.5 to 4 times the size of the Earth and have a rocky core of varying thickness and a complete gas shell. Sincerely: Geoff Mercy
Last but not least, the team noted that both Kepler-51B and D are losing gas quickly. In fact, the team estimates that the ancient planet (which is closer to its original star) is throwing tens of billions of tons of matter into space every second. If this trend continues, the planets will be significantly reduced in the next billion years and can become mini-Neptune.

In this sense, this would suggest that exoplanets are not so uncommon after all, which makes mini-catches seem very common. It also suggests that super puffs are responsible for the age of the planet’s low density system. While the solar system is about 4.6 billion years old, Kepler-51 dates back to about 500 million years.

The planetary model used by the team suggests the possibility of planets forming beyond the Kepler-51 frost line, the limit beyond which unstable elements freeze, and then migrate inward. Instead of heterogeneous planets, then, Kepler-51B and D may be the first examples that astronomers have seen in the initial stage of development of one of the most common types of planets in our universe.

As Zach Berta-Thompson (assistant professor of APS and co-author of the new research) explained, this makes the Kepler-51 a “unique laboratory” to test theories of early planetary evolution:

“This is an extreme example of what is great about the exoplanet in general. They give us the opportunity to study worlds that are very different from ours, but place the planets in a broader context in our solar system.”

Illustration of NASA’s James Webb space telescope: NASA
In the future, the deployment of next-generation instruments, such as the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST), will allow astronomers to investigate the atmosphere of the Kepler-51 planets and other superpoletas. Thanks to the sensitivity of JWSTs with infrared wavelengths, we can still see their dense clouds and determine what these “cotton candy” planets are made of.

A new study analyzed why large and Neptune-sized exoplanets are rare:

A new study analyzed why large and Neptune-sized exoplanets are rare: subneptunes – extrasolar planets with radius between 2.7 and 3 times the Earth – are much larger than the size of Neptune and larger planets. A new study proposes that this decrease is so sudden because the sub-Neptune atmosphere easily merges with the magma oceans on its surface, when the planets reach approximately 3 times the size of the Earth.

“This is a clear advantage in data, and it is quite dramatic.” We wonder if the planets want to stop growing about 3 times the size of the Earth, “said Dr. John, a planetary scientist at the University of Chicago. Edwin Kight said it is believed that Sub-Neptune has seas of magma. surface, which remains hot until it forms a thick layer of atmosphere that contains hydrogen.

Dr. “,” So far almost all models have ignored this magma, but it is considered chemically inert, but liquid rock flows like water and is very reactive, “said Kate. Dr. Kight and his colleagues consider the issue of whether the ocean can begin to dissolve the atmosphere, since the planets get more hydrogen.In this scenario, when a sub-Neptune is with more gas For stores, so it is stored in the atmosphere it seems to be the pressure under the which meets the Magma environment.

First, magma increases excess gas at a constant rate, but as pressure increases, hydrogen begins to dissolve very easily in magma. “Not only that, but some of the extra gas left in the atmosphere increases. atmospheric pressure and therefore, most of a subsequent incoming gas will merge with magma, so the growth of the planet stops before reaching the size of Neptune. 

The author of the study calls it a “fugitive crisis” , after the term that easily dissolves a gas in the mixture as a function of pressure. The theory fits well with existing observations, “Dr. Cometa noted. There are also many markers that astronomers can see in the future. “

“For example, if the theory is correct, planets with magma oceans that are cold enough to crystallize on the surface have to show different profiles, because it will prevent the ocean from absorbing so much hydrogen.” “The study was published in the Astrophysical Journal Letters.” Superpopular “is nothing like the solar system of exoplanets. In recent years, studies of extrasolar planets have exploded.

Currently, astronomers have been able to confirm the existence of 4,104 planets beyond our solar system, awaiting confirmation from another 4900. The study of these many planets has revealed some things about the range of possible planets in our universe and taught us that there are many that are not analogous in our solar system.

For example, thanks to the new data obtained by the Hubble Space Telescope, astronomers have learned more about a new class of exoplanets known as “superfluous” planets. The planets of this class are basically young gas giants comparable in size to Jupiter, but they have masses that are slightly taller than those on Earth. It causes the density of cotton candy in its surroundings, hence its cheerful nickname.

The only known examples of this planet live in the Kepler 51 system, a young Sun-like star located about 2,615 light years away in the Cygnus planetarium. Within this system, three exoplanets have been confirmed (Kepler-51B, C and D) that were first detected by the Kepler space telescope in 2012. However, it was not until 2014 that the densities of these planets were confirmed, and This was a big surprise.

Three massive planets that revolve around the Kepler 51 star similar to the Sun compared to some planets in our solar system. While these gas giants have atmospheres formed by hydrogen and helium and are the same size as Jupiter, they are also a hundred times lighter in terms of mass. How and why its atmosphere will touch the sky remains a mystery, but the fact that the nature of its atmosphere makes the Super Puff planets a leading candidate for atmospheric analysis.

This is exactly what an international team of astronomers, led by Jessica Libby-Roberts of the Center for Astrophysics and Space Astronomy (CASA) of the University of Colorado, Boulder, tried to do. Using data from Hubble, Libby-Roberts and his team analyzed the spectra obtained from the Kepler-51B atmosphere and to see if the components were (including water). When the planets passed in front of their stars, the light absorbed by their atmosphere was tested in infrared wavelengths. To the team’s surprise, they discovered that the spectra of both planets had no chemical signatures. This was attributed to the presence of salt crystals or photochemical clouds in its atmosphere.

Therefore, the team relied on computer simulations and other devices to say that the Kepler-51 planets are mainly hydrogen and helium, covered with a thick mist made of methane. This is similar to Titan’s movement of Saturn’s atmosphere (Saturn’s largest moon), where the nitrogen atmosphere consists primarily of clouds of methane gas that obscure the surface. 

It was completely unexpected, said Libby-Roberts. We had planned to visit large water absorption facilities, but they weren’t there. They forced us! However, these clouds provided the team with valuable information on how Kepler-51B and D compare with other low-mass gas-rich exoplanets observed by astronomers.

As Libby-Roberts stated in a CU Boulder press release: We knew they were low density. But when you break a Jupiter-shaped cotton ball, it’s really low density … it definitely prevents us from coming. We expected to find water, but we could not observe the signature of any molecule. The team was able to improve the size and mass of these planets by measuring their effects over time. In all systems, there are slight changes in the duration of the planet’s orbit due to its gravitational attraction, which can be used to obtain the planet’s mass.

The team’s results coincide with the previous estimates for the Kepler-51B, while the estimates for the Kepler-51D indicate that it is a little less massive (also called more swollen) than previously reported. . The team compared the spectra of the two superpolates with other planets and obtained results that indicated that cloud / fog formation is associated with the planet’s temperature. This supports the hypothesis that as the planet cools, it will be a cloud that some astronomers have developed thanks to recent exoplanet discoveries.

The mini Neptune planets vary from about 1.5 to 4 times the size of the Earth and have a rocky core of varying thickness and a full gas layer. Sincerely, Geoff Mercy: Last but not least, the team notes that both the Kepler-51B and D are losing fuel quickly. In fact, the team estimates that the ancient planet (which is close to its original star) throws tens of billions of tons of matter into space every second. If this trend continues, the planets will be significantly reduced over the next billion years and could become mini Neptune.

In this sense, this would suggest that exoplanets are not uncommon after all, which makes mini-catches very common. It also suggests that super puffs are responsible for the age of the planet’s low density system. While the solar system is about 4.6 billion years old, Kepler-51 is about 500 million years old.

The planetary model used by the team suggests the possibility of planet formation beyond the Kepler-51 Frost Line, beyond which volatile elements freeze, and then migrate inward. Instead of heterogeneous planets, then, Kepler-51B and D may be the first examples that astronomers have seen in the early stages of the development of one of the most common types of planets in our universe.

As Zach Berta-Thompson (Assistant Professor of APS and co-author of the new research) explained, this makes the Kepler-51 a “unique laboratory” to test theories of early planetary evolution: it is an extreme example of what is great. Exoplanet in general. They give us the opportunity to study worlds that are very different from ours, but place the planets in our solar system in a wider context.
Illustration of NASA’s James Webb space telescope: NASA

In the future, the deployment of next-generation devices, such as the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST), will allow astronomers to investigate the atmosphere of the Kepler-51 planets and other superpopes. Thanks to the sensitivity of JWSTs with infrared wavelengths, we can still see their dense clouds and determine what these “blue cotton” planets are made of.

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