APR 22, 2016 10:22 AM PDT

Evidence Found for Exoplanets Having Atmosphere Stripped Away by Host Star

WRITTEN BY: Anthony Bouchard

Scientists have long had the interest in Earth-like exoplanets because it’s thought that exoplanets like Earth are the most likely to have similar breeding grounds for life forms. As a result, we study them as closely as possible, despite being light years away from them.
 

Researchers are studying the effects of host stars on the atmospheres of Earth-like exoplanets.


Researchers are digging deeper to find out why some of these Earth-like exoplanets, which are anywhere from two to ten times larger than our own planet, seem to have no atmosphere. The one thing they all have in common is their distance from their host star. The findings are published in the journal Nature Communications.
 
As it turns out, they are so close to their host star in many instances, that the radiation from the star may have actually stripped the planets of their atmosphere. Differences in magnetic fields may also play a big role in the atmosphere stripping, as we have learned from the differences between Earth and Mars.
 
“For these planets it is like standing next to a hairdryer turned up to its hottest setting,” University of Birmingham’s Dr Guy Davies explained. “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.”
 
The team used data collected by NASA’s Kepler space telescope and used a technique called asteroseismology in order to learn more about the host stars of these Earth-like exoplanets, as well as the exoplanets themselves.
 
The findings reveal that the exoplanets would have looks significantly different at the start of their lives than they currently do, because with a gaseous atmosphere, they would have different colors, or even appear bigger than they actually are at the core.

Could the Earth one day face a similar scenario? Thankfully, we've got a fair distance from the Sun, as well as powerful magnetic fields protecting our atmosphere, but like Mars, it's always possible that the magnetic fields could dissipate...

Source: Nature Communications

About the Author
  • Fascinated by scientific discoveries and media, Anthony found his way here at LabRoots, where he would be able to dabble in the two. Anthony is a technology junkie that has vast experience in computer systems and automobile mechanics, as opposite as those sound.
You May Also Like
AUG 22, 2020
Space & Astronomy
Are There More Rogue Planets than Stars?
AUG 22, 2020
Are There More Rogue Planets than Stars?
Researchers from Ohio State University have theorized that there may be more rogue planets (planets that don't orbit ...
AUG 26, 2020
Space & Astronomy
Is a Supernova to Blame for the Devonian Extinction Event?
AUG 26, 2020
Is a Supernova to Blame for the Devonian Extinction Event?
Over the roughly 4.5 billion years of Earth's existence, there have been several periods were biodiversity has been near ...
OCT 07, 2020
Space & Astronomy
Earth-Sized Rogue Planet Found Drifting Through Our Galaxy
OCT 07, 2020
Earth-Sized Rogue Planet Found Drifting Through Our Galaxy
A team of astronomers has found a lone planet the size of Earth drifting through the Milky Way. Known as a ‘rogue ...
OCT 08, 2020
Space & Astronomy
Astronomers Observe a Supermassive Black Hole Surrounded by Galaxies
OCT 08, 2020
Astronomers Observe a Supermassive Black Hole Surrounded by Galaxies
The Very Large Telescope (VLT) of the European Southern Observatory (ESO), an array of four individual telescopes in the ...
OCT 10, 2020
Space & Astronomy
Are There Planets Better for Life than Earth?
OCT 10, 2020
Are There Planets Better for Life than Earth?
Researchers have found at least 24 planets outside of our solar system may be better for life than Earth. Each a little ...
NOV 07, 2020
Space & Astronomy
Scientists Discover Planet with Atmosphere of Vaporized Rock
NOV 07, 2020
Scientists Discover Planet with Atmosphere of Vaporized Rock
Researchers have identified an exoplanet that appears to have an atmosphere composed of vaporized rock and oceans runnin ...
Loading Comments...