General, Research, Technology

Why do some planets eat their own atmosphere?

For many years, our solar system has beenthe only one in the universe. At least, humanity believed this before the discovery of the first exoplanet in the late 1980s. Since then, the best telescopes in the world began to gradually discover a whole treasury of planets orbiting distant stars, by the end of 2019 numbering as many as 4,133 copies. When in 2014, the NASA Kepler space telescope handed over to scientists a list of more than 700 completely new distant planets - many of them were not like what we saw earlier. Unlike gas giants such as Jupiter, which are most easily found from Earth's orbit, new planets were smaller and mostly had a rocky surface. The properties of these very unusual objects could really astound astronomers.

The surface of the exoplanet in the artist's view

Which exoplanets are the strangest in the universe?

In the universe you can find a great manyexoplanets, whose sizes are either very similar to earthly or extremely different from them. At the same time, scientists were able to discover an unusual strangeness, which manifests itself in the fact that when the exoplanet reaches three times the size of the Earth, it suddenly stops growing.

See also: What can look like exoplanets orbiting cold stars?

According to the information portal phys.org, scientists from the University of Washington were able to find an original solution to this space puzzle. According to their official statement, the oceans of magma on the surface of some planets easily absorb their own atmosphere when a stony object reaches an especially large size.

Perhaps it is the TESS telescope that will be able to shed light on how the sub-neptune planets actually look

Covering most exoplanets, moltenthe oceans of magma do not freeze over time, gradually becoming saturated with their own hydrogen atmosphere and literally devouring the “sky”. In this scenario, the pressure in the place where the atmosphere meets magma begins to increase. At first, magma absorbs the added gas at a constant speed, but with increasing pressure, hydrogen begins to dissolve much more easily in magma, while slowing down the growth of a planet tending to reach the size of Neptune.

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Despite the fact that in the solar system is notthere are planets that could boast of such a unique ability of the ocean to absorb the magma of the gas envelope of a planetary object; future studies of the TESS telescope could shed light on the theory of scientists from Washington. In addition, a number of already discovered exoplanets, whose sizes are slightly larger than the earthly ones, may well fall into the category of precisely such planets, which significantly reduces our chances of finding alien life.

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