19 de octubre de 2020
ÚLTIMAS NOTICIAS:
English - News

"Ultra-Hot Neptune," new exoplanet 260 light years from Earth

 The exoplanet (seen here in an artist's conception) is scientifically designated LTT9779b, is a little larger than Neptune but has double the mass and, because it orbits so close to its star, the temperature in its atmosphere is about 1,700 C (over 3,000 F). EFE-EPA/--

The exoplanet (seen here in an artist's conception) is scientifically designated LTT9779b, is a little larger than Neptune but has double the mass and, because it orbits so close to its star, the temperature in its atmosphere is about 1,700 C (over 3,000 F). EFE-EPA/--

Santiago, Sep 21 (efe-epa).- An investigation headed by Chilean scientists has discovered the first so-called "Ultra-Hot Neptune," a type of exoplanet considered to be a "rare beast" and located 260 light years from Earth, a distance that is relatively close by in astronomical terms, even though it takes light from it 260 years to reach us.

The planet, which bears the scientific name LTT9779b, is a little larger than the seventh planet from the sun - Neptune, a gas giant - but it has twice the mass, a similar density and orbits so close to its star that its year lasts just 19 hours and the temperature of its atmosphere is greater than 1,700 degrees C (3,000-plus F).

The exoplanet orbits only about 5 percent of the distance from the Sun to Mercury, the hottest planet in the Solar System and the closest one to the sun.

According to the scientific paper published on Monday in the prestigious magazine Nature, the temperature of this newly discovered heavenly body provides scientists with a unique opportunity to study the atmospheres of planets outside the Solar System.

At a similar temperature, the heavy elements can be ionized in the atmosphere and the molecules broken down. This provides scientists with a unique laboratory for studying the chemistry of planets outside the Solar System, according to the leader of the investigation, James Jenkins, a professor with the Astronomy Department at the Physical Sciences and Mathematics Faculty of the state-run Universidad de Chile.

The exoplanet was detected by the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS), which since its launch in April 2018 has been observing different sectors of the sky - 13 zones in the Southern Hemisphere during its first year in operation and then 13 zones in the Northern Hemisphere in its second year.

LTT9779b is located in the so-called Neptune Desert, an area in the radio and wavelength bands where Neptune-like worlds are rarely found, according to the Nature article.

The exoplanet is a "rare beast" because it exists in a zone of space that is sparsely populated by gas-giant planets of its kind - that is, the region very, very close to their parent stars - and finding such a world in that region is highly unusual, according to the investigation.

The parent star that the exoplanet orbits is about half the age of the Sun, that is to say about two billion years old, and given the intense radiation so close to it scientists did not expect to find a Neptune-like object there that has been able to hold on to its atmosphere for such a long time.

Normally, intense radiation of that kind would strip the atmosphere from any planet orbiting so close to its star.

LTT9779b has an atmosphere with a mass equivalent to three times the mass of Earth. However, because the planet is so close to the star, the radiation from the star should have destroyed it quickly. The question is "How could the exoplanet maintain its atmosphere for such a long time?" Jenkins said.

According to the publication, future studies of the exoplanet's atmosphere could shed light on some of the current mysteries about how this kind of planet forms, how they evolve and the details of their composition.

EFE

Comentarios

Histórico de noticias
Piñera: Chile wants to live in peace after night of extreme violence

Santiago, Oct 19 (efe-epa).- Chilean President Sebastian Piñera said Monday that the majority of his country's citizens wans to live "in democracy and in...

Argentina nearing 1 million Covid-19 cases with no end in sight

Buenos Aires, Oct 19 (efe-epa).- Seven months of restrictions have not managed to bend the coronavirus infection curve in Argentina, a country that now is...

Pelosi gives White House 48-hour ultimatum to agree on rescue package

Washington, Oct 18 (efe-epa).- The speaker of the US House of Representatives, Democrat Nancy Pelosi, on Sunday gave the White House 48 hours to reach an...

Mexican artist reinvents painting shoes for Day of the Dead

By Jose de Jesus Cortes

Barrett sidesteps giving Senate committee her view on presidential powers

By Susana Samhan

Trump's son Barron tested positive for coronavirus, first lady says

Washington, Oct 14 (efe-epa).- Barron, the youngest son of President Donald Trump, tested positive for the coronavirus after both his parents became...

IAPA awards journalistic excellence, honors press victims of Covid-19

Miami, Oct 14 (efe-epa).- The Inter American Press Association (IAPA) on Wednesday presented its 2020 awards, including a special one granted posthumously...

LatAm facing challenge of keeping pandemic from infecting elections

By Laura Nuñez Marin

TV series showcases work of honest Mexican cops

By Monica Rubalcava

Paraguay presents poverty reduction plan with 2030 target

Asuncion, Oct 12 (efe-epa).- The Paraguayan administration on Monday presented the National Poverty Reduction Plan - Jajapo Paraguay (Let's Do It,...

Democrats put Obamacare at center of Supreme Court debate

By Beatriz Pascual Macias

Trump preparing for Florida rally convinced that he's immune to COVID-19

Washington, Oct 12 (efe-epa).- President Donald Trump has tested negative for Covid-19 and is not contagious, White House physician Dr. Sean Conley...

Fauci: Trump campaign used my comments without permission

Washington, Oct 11 (efe-epa).- The US government's top epidemiologist, Dr. Anthony Fauci, one of the key spokesmen on health issues amid the coronavirus...

Trump: I'm immune from Covid-19, ready to resume election campaign

By Laura Barros

Dancing at Miami elderly care facilities on skids due to social distancing

By Jorge I. Perez

Six ultrarightists charged with planning to kidnap Michigan's Gov. Whitmer

New York, Oct 8 (efe-epa).- Six people linked to an extreme rightist militia group have been arrested and charged with planning to kidnap and possibly...

Big chasm between California, Trump in approach to climate crisis

By Javier Romualdo

Mexican Nobel Prize winner Mario Molina dies

Mexico City, Oct 7 (efe-epa).- Mexican scientist Mario Molina, who won the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1995 for his studies on the ozone layer, died...

Trump breaks Covid-19 quarantine, says infection is "blessing from God"

Washington, Oct 7 (efe-epa).- President Donald Trump on Wednesday returned to work in the Oval Office, despite not having spent the required time in...

Venezuela's electricity industry facing multiple challenges

By Gonzalo Dominguez Loeda

Trump proposes to Congress sending out 2nd stimulus check

Washington, Oct 7 (efe-epa).- President Donald Trump on Wednesday challenged House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to immediately approve sending a second check for...

Activist in orca costume asks Miami's Seaquarium to free Lolita

Miami, Oct 6 (efe-epa).- Animal rights activists, including one woman dressed as an orca but wearing shackles, gathered on Tuesday in front of the Miami...

Trump to debate Biden Oct. 15 as new survey shows ex-VP with 16-pt lead

By Laura Barros

Peru resumes international flights after six months of travel isolation

Lima, Oct 5 (efe-epa).- After six months virtually isolated from the world, with no regular flights in or out, on Monday Peru resumed its air connections...