NASA spotted a snake-like exoplanet that shed and regrew its own atmosphere


The hellish world of GJ 1132 b, discovered in 2015, is only 60% larger than Earth and roughly the same age as our home planet. Even the atmospheric pressure at the surface is similar to that here on Earth.

However, this is where the similarities to our life-giving world end. Unlike our own world, GJ 1132 b, found 41 light years from Earth, is covered with a cauldron of poisonous gases. Oddly enough, this is perhaps the second atmosphere that encompassed this world.

Using the Using the Hubble Space Telescope, astronomers examined the atmosphere of this rocky planet. They discovered that GJ 1132b was probably once covered with an atmosphere of hydrogen and helium.

“Starting from several times the diameter of the Earth, this so-called ‘sub-Neptune’ would have quickly lost its primordial atmosphere of hydrogen and helium due to the intense radiation of the young hot star that it orbits. In a short time, such a planet would be reduced to a bare core the size of Earth. This is where things got interesting ” NASA describes.

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