Social Media Sidebar

Announcement

Please sign up, comment on articles and bring your friends!

Current poll

PlanetTech is asking:

What do you think about our new web site?

Love it, indeed
Really good solution
Same as old one
The old one was better
This is a new option

Quote of the day

People say we're running out of energy. That's only true if we stick with these old 19th century technologies. We are awash in energy from sunlight.

 

Ray Kurzweil

 

A Nearby Exoplanet Might Have Oxygen-Rich Atmosphere

RATE THIS! +23
Posted in Science on 21st Aug, 2016 08:23 PM by AlexMuller

GJ 1132b, an extrasolar planet about 1.2 times the size and 1.6 times the mass of the Earth, intrigued astronomers when it was discovered last year. Also known as Gliese 1132b, the planet orbits the red dwarf star GJ 1132, which is only 1/5 the size of our Sun and is cooler and much fainter than the sun.

 
Located 39 light-years from Earth, GJ 1132b circles its star every 1.6 days at a distance of 1.4 million miles. The planet might have an atmosphere despite being baked to a temperature of around 450 degrees Fahrenheit (232 degrees Celsius). But would that atmosphere be thick and soupy or thin and wispy?
 
New research, led by Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics’ Laura Schaefer, suggests the latter is much more likely. Dr. Schaefer and co-authors examined the question of what would happen to GJ 1132b over time if it began with a water-rich atmosphere.
 
Orbiting so close to its host star, the exoplanet is flooded with UV light (which breaks apart water molecules into hydrogen and oxygen, both of which then can be lost into space). However, since hydrogen is lighter it escapes more readily, while oxygen lingers behind.
 
“On cooler planets, oxygen could be a sign of alien life and habitability,” Dr. Schaefer said.
 
“But on a hot planet like GJ 1132b, it’s a sign of the exact opposite – a planet that’s being baked and sterilized.”
 
Since water vapor is a greenhouse gas, GJ 1132b would have a strong greenhouse effect, amplifying the star’s already intense heat. As a result, its surface could stay molten for millions of years.
 
A ‘magma ocean’ would interact with the atmosphere, absorbing some of the oxygen, but how much? Only about 1/10, according to the model created by the team. Most of the remaining 90% of leftover oxygen streams off into space, however some might linger.
 
“This planet might be the first time we detect oxygen on a rocky planet outside the Solar System,” said co-author Dr. Robin Wordsworth, from Harvard Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences.
 
If any oxygen does still cling to GJ 1132b, next-generation space telescopes may be able to detect and analyze it.
 
The magma ocean-atmosphere model could help astronomers solve the puzzle of how Venus evolved over time.
 
Venus probably began with Earthlike amounts of water, which would have been broken apart by sunlight. Yet it shows few signs of lingering oxygen. The missing oxygen problem continues to baffle astronomers.

Tags: spaceexoplanetastronomyresearch

Read original article » Back to category

Comments



 

Recent headlines

  • Posted in Software on 2017-09-19 18:06:17
    China orders Bitcoin exchanges in capital city to close..read more
    Posted in Hardware on 2017-09-19 18:00:15
    LinkSpace is a Chinese startup that will try to make.....read more
    Posted in Medicine on 2017-09-19 17:54:24
    A Permanent Vaccine Against Tooth Cavity and Decay..read more
    Posted in Software on 2017-09-18 18:14:00
    China to become artificial intelligence 'world leader' by.....read more
    Posted in Science on 2017-09-18 18:10:24
    There's an Ocean Deep Inside the Earth..read more
Posted in Business on 2013-10-10 01:33
China is working towards a manned lunar mission in about.....read more
Posted in Business on 2013-10-20 07:17
Spacex says China is their main competitor for commercial.....read more
Posted in Software on 2013-10-20 06:43
Pirate Bay Browser Clocks 1,000,000 Downloads..read more
Posted in Medicine on 2013-10-10 02:10
Google reportedly investing hundreds of millions into new.....read more
Posted in Medicine on 2013-10-14 03:13
Endothelial Cells Can Repair and Regenerate Organs,.....read more
Posted in Science on 01.01.2010
Spacex says China is their main competitor for commercial.....read more
Posted in Science on 01.01.2010
Staring at Your Phone Could Be Making You Short Sighted..read more
Posted in Science on 01.01.2010
Oculus Rift virtual reality headset coming to mobile, but.....read more
Posted in Science on 01.01.2010
China is working towards a manned lunar mission in about.....read more
Posted in Science on 01.01.2010
Delivering drugs via nanoparticles to target mitochondria..read more

Recent Blog Posts

  • Posted by AlexMuller
    Scientists probe Neptune's depths to reveal secrets of icy.....read more
    Posted by AlexMuller
    New terahertz imaging approach could speed up skin cancer.....read more
    Posted by AlexMuller
    Rebutting the claim that antidepressants do not work..read more
    Posted by AlexMuller
    Artificial neural networks decode brain activity during.....read more
    Posted by AlexMuller
    Four Earth-sized planets detected orbiting the nearest.....read more

Login to your Account

Login to your PlanetTech Account here

Username:
Password:
Remember me
or

Create a New Account

You just need username and password

The following errors occured:
Username:
Email:
Password:
Verify password:
Remember me