Hot Super-Earths Stripped By Host Stars

Posted: Apr 11 2016, 9:10am CDT | by , in News | Latest Science News

Hot Super-Earths Stripped by Host Stars
This image shows a planet being stripped by host star's heat. Credit: Peter Devine
  • Sweltering Super-Earths cut down to Size by Stars

It has been shown by astronomers that sweltering super-earths have been cut down to size by their host stars.

Astronauts have employed the services of the NASA Kepler space telescope in order to discover a series of new entities. These are extrasolar planets that have had their climates ravaged by their host stars.

The study was published in the journal Nature Communications today (11 April 2016).

Planets with an atmosphere that lies in close propinquity to their host stars get hit by huge doses of radiation. This causes their covers to get literally blown away. Such stripping normally happens in planets with a rocky core and gaseous exterior.

Asteroseismology was used to assess the conditions of these planets to levels that were unseen previously. The resonance of these stars was used to tell about their properties and internal structures.

This has implications for our solar system and and the planets in it. The evolution of our solar system and the host star, the sun around which its planets revolve in elliptical manner will be better gauged via this research.

The planets that face such a situation are like an object placed close to a hair dryer which are turned on the highest setting.

The chances of such a planet being stripped of its atmosphere is very high. Now with the evidence being just in, such a case seems to be the norm in this situation. All doubts about the matter have been allayed.

Thus planets that lie close to their host stars may have been quite large once upon a time. It was the process of stripping that led to their decimation and shrinkage. Such planets may have seemed very radically apart from what they are now when they began their evolutionary history.

Dr Guy Davies, from the University of Birmingham's School of Physics and Astronomy, said: 'For these planets it is like standing next to a hairdryer turned up to its hottest setting. There has been much theoretical speculation that such planets might be stripped of their atmospheres. We now have the observational evidence to confirm this, which removes any lingering doubts over the theory.'

Dr Davies added: 'Our results show that planets of a certain size that lie close to their stars are likely to have been much larger at the beginning of their lives. Those planets will have looked very different.'

Scientists are looking further into the matter and will let the public know about the whole matter with the passage of time. They are expecting to discover many more of these 'stripped systems using a new generation of satellites, including the NASA TESS Mission which will be launched next year.'

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