Hubble Reveals Exoplanet’s Transformation
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Text, News From The Universe. March 26, 2021
Hubble Reveals Exoplanet's Transformation.
There is intriguing evidence that a rocky, Earth-size exoplanet was once a gas giant, and is on its second atmosphere.
NASA's Hubble Space Telescope indicates that the planet's original atmosphere was blasted away by radiation from its star.
The gas giant planet, a little smaller than Neptune, was stripped down to a rocky core about the sixe of Earth.
Volcanic activity on the surface is continually releasing hydrogen to form a new atmosphere, balancing what escapes into space.
Could this process of going from gas planet to a rocky one be common?
The upcoming James Webb Space Telescope may be able to study the exoplanet surface, revealing geologic activity and clues about its evolution.
This news was brought to you in part by the Space Telescope Science Institute in Baltimore MD.