Mini-Neptunes will turn into a super-Earth within a few hundred million years

Recently, scholars Discover the four little Neptuneswhose atmosphere is shrinking at a rate consistent with the theory of atmospheric escape. This indicates that these planets will eventually shrink to the size of Earth. The stars they revolve around are to blame for this situation.

Mini-Neptunes are among the most frequently discovered objects outer planets into space by the Kepler mission. Interesting in our corner Milky Way We haven’t seen them yet. Celestial bodies of this type have a mass greater than that of the Earth and at the same time less than that of Neptune. Like the blue planet, it is shrouded in a dense atmosphere made of hydrogen and oxygen. The radius of the outer planets appears to be at least twice the radius of our planet.

There are also exoplanets of this type super earthIts radius is 1 to 1.5 times that of the Earth. Scientists note that between 1.5 and 2 times the radius of the blue planet there is a strange gap in which the occurrence of exoplanets is extremely rare – this is called this Small planet radius spacing.

Researchers believe it exists because, above a certain critical limit, exoplanets have enough mass to maintain their original atmosphere, which increases their size. This puts them in the small Neptune category. On the other hand, super-Earths do not have enough mass or have lost or never had their original atmosphere.

Possible pathways for atmospheric loss are photoevaporation or so-called primary weight loss.

scientists z California Institute of Technology He used spectroscopy to study four small Neptunes orbiting orange dwarfs. The team found that all four planets experienced significant losses of helium that escaped into space according to Photo pairing concept. Moreover, these losses are enough for the exoplanets to “rid themselves” of their atmosphere in just a few hundred million years – a short time on the cosmic time scale.

In short, image coupling is intense X-rays and UV rays Coming from a young star clearing the atmosphere of an exoplanet. Researchers say the discovery indicates that most of the small Neptunes orbiting Sun-like stars are likely Transforms into a super land This is mainly done by pairing photos.

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