Exoplanet evaporates. And by space standards - very fast!

Exoplanet nearly 100 light-years from Earth disappears. And very quickly - on space standards, are alarmed astronomers. Using the space telescope "Hubble", they have discovered GJ 3470b - a medium-sized exoplanet around Neptune, which evaporates to 100 times faster than previously detected planets of the same size. "This suggests that the world may lose a significant proportion of its entire mass," said David Singh, a professor of astrophysics at Johns Hopkins University, the study's author.

Exoplanet evaporates. And by space standards - very fast!

"GJ 3470b is losing its weight than any other planet that we've seen so far; only a few billion years, half the world would no longer be. "

Does this mean that our planet is here and so evaporate - and all its contents and occupants?

The results were published in Astronomy & Astrophysics.

Alarm planet

This study was part of a program Panchromatic Comparative Exoplanet Treasury, headed by Singh. Its mission - to measure the atmosphere of 20 exoplanets in the ultraviolet, optical and infrared light as they rotate around their stars. PanCET - the largest program of observations of exoplanets, which was launched on NASA telescope "Hubble". Astronomers are particularly interested in how the world lose their mass in the process of evaporation. Planet like super-Earths and hot Jupiter, which move at close relative to the star orbits are very hot conditions, which lead to deflation of the outer layers of the atmosphere.

While large extrasolar planets the size of Jupiter and Earth-sized extrasolar planets are quite common, medium-sized extrasolar planets - Neptune (roughly four times Earth bollshe) - are rare. Scientists attribute this to the fact that the atmosphere of Neptune blown away and they turn eventually into a smaller planet.

Hard enough, however, to watch them in the process, because scientists can explore exoplanets only in ultraviolet light, which limits their study nearby stars at a distance of no more than 150 light-years from Earth, not hidden by interstellar material.

The bare kernel

GJ 3470b is 96 light years away and orbits the red dwarf star in the general direction of the constellation Cancer.

"Hubble" discovered that the exoplanet GJ 3470b has lost much more weight and become much less exosphere than the first study extrasolar planet the size of Neptune, GJ 436b, due to the low density and strong radiation of the parent star. The low density of GJ 3470b leads to the fact that the planet is unable to gravitationally keep the heated atmosphere, and if the home star planet GJ 436b from 4 to 8 billion years, the native star GJ 3470b only 2 billion years old. The young star more active and powerful, and therefore emits more heat to heat the planet's atmosphere.

Singh's team estimated, GJ3470b, may have lost up to 35 percent of their total weight, and in a few billion years to lose all the gas will only have a solid core.

"We are beginning to better understand how planets form and what properties affect their overall composition," says Singh. "Our goal in this study - see widely atmosphere of planets to determine how each planet is exposed to the environment. Comparing the different planets, we can begin to make a more general picture of their development. "

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