Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Red Dwarf Burns Off Planet’s Hydrogen Giving It Massive Comet-Like Tail

29.06.2015

A giant cloud escaping from a warm, Neptune-mass exoplanet is reported in this week’s Nature.

Depicted in an image by Mark Garlick and issued by the University of Warwick, it has been suggested that low-mass exoplanets orbiting close to their parent stars could have had some fraction of their atmospheres ‘burnt off’ by extreme irradiation from the star, but confident measures of such losses have been lacking until now.


Mark Garlick/University of Warwick

A large cloud of hydrogen gas absorbing the light from a red dwarf star as its exoplanet, GJ 436b, passes in front. The cloud is created as of result of x-rays emitted from the red dwarf burning off GJ 436b’s upper atmosphere

Commenting on the visual depiction Dr Peter Wheatley, from the University of Warwick’s Astronomy and Astrophysics Group and one of the research’s co-authors, said that:

“What we can see is a large cloud of hydrogen gas absorbing the light from a red dwarf star as its exoplanet, GJ 436b, passes in front. The cloud is created as of result of x-rays emitted from the red dwarf burning off GJ 436b’s upper atmosphere.

“The cloud forms a comet-like tail as a result of ultraviolet light coming from the star pushing on the hydrogen and causing it to spiral outwards.

“Around 1000 metric tonnes of hydrogen are being burnt off from GJ 436b’s atmosphere every second; which equates to only 0.1% of its total mass every billion years. The same process is likely to be much stronger on other exoplanets, where the entire atmosphere could be removed or evaporated to destruction”.

Dr Wheatley led the x-ray observations used to trace the heating of the GJ 436b’s atmosphere.

Notes:
• The research, A giant comet-like cloud of hydrogen escaping the warm Neptune mass exoplanet GJ 436b, is published by Nature.
• The research was led by Dr David Ehrenreich of Observatoire de l’Université de Genève.
• Picture free to use with credit to Mark Garlick/University of Warwick.

Contact Information
Tom Frew
International Press Officer
a.t.frew@warwick.ac.uk
Phone: +44 24 765 75910

Tom Frew | newswise
Further information:
http://www.warwick.ac.uk

More articles from Physics and Astronomy:

nachricht Comet or asteroid? Hubble discovers that a unique object is a binary
21.09.2017 | NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center

nachricht First users at European XFEL
21.09.2017 | European XFEL GmbH

All articles from Physics and Astronomy >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Highly precise wiring in the Cerebral Cortex

Our brains house extremely complex neuronal circuits, whose detailed structures are still largely unknown. This is especially true for the so-called cerebral cortex of mammals, where among other things vision, thoughts or spatial orientation are being computed. Here the rules by which nerve cells are connected to each other are only partly understood. A team of scientists around Moritz Helmstaedter at the Frankfiurt Max Planck Institute for Brain Research and Helene Schmidt (Humboldt University in Berlin) have now discovered a surprisingly precise nerve cell connectivity pattern in the part of the cerebral cortex that is responsible for orienting the individual animal or human in space.

The researchers report online in Nature (Schmidt et al., 2017. Axonal synapse sorting in medial entorhinal cortex, DOI: 10.1038/nature24005) that synapses in...

Im Focus: Tiny lasers from a gallery of whispers

New technique promises tunable laser devices

Whispering gallery mode (WGM) resonators are used to make tiny micro-lasers, sensors, switches, routers and other devices. These tiny structures rely on a...

Im Focus: Ultrafast snapshots of relaxing electrons in solids

Using ultrafast flashes of laser and x-ray radiation, scientists at the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics (Garching, Germany) took snapshots of the briefest electron motion inside a solid material to date. The electron motion lasted only 750 billionths of the billionth of a second before it fainted, setting a new record of human capability to capture ultrafast processes inside solids!

When x-rays shine onto solid materials or large molecules, an electron is pushed away from its original place near the nucleus of the atom, leaving a hole...

Im Focus: Quantum Sensors Decipher Magnetic Ordering in a New Semiconducting Material

For the first time, physicists have successfully imaged spiral magnetic ordering in a multiferroic material. These materials are considered highly promising candidates for future data storage media. The researchers were able to prove their findings using unique quantum sensors that were developed at Basel University and that can analyze electromagnetic fields on the nanometer scale. The results – obtained by scientists from the University of Basel’s Department of Physics, the Swiss Nanoscience Institute, the University of Montpellier and several laboratories from University Paris-Saclay – were recently published in the journal Nature.

Multiferroics are materials that simultaneously react to electric and magnetic fields. These two properties are rarely found together, and their combined...

Im Focus: Fast, convenient & standardized: New lab innovation for automated tissue engineering & drug

MBM ScienceBridge GmbH successfully negotiated a license agreement between University Medical Center Göttingen (UMG) and the biotech company Tissue Systems Holding GmbH about commercial use of a multi-well tissue plate for automated and reliable tissue engineering & drug testing.

MBM ScienceBridge GmbH successfully negotiated a license agreement between University Medical Center Göttingen (UMG) and the biotech company Tissue Systems...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

“Lasers in Composites Symposium” in Aachen – from Science to Application

19.09.2017 | Event News

I-ESA 2018 – Call for Papers

12.09.2017 | Event News

EMBO at Basel Life, a new conference on current and emerging life science research

06.09.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Comet or asteroid? Hubble discovers that a unique object is a binary

21.09.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Cnidarians remotely control bacteria

21.09.2017 | Life Sciences

Monitoring the heart's mitochondria to predict cardiac arrest?

21.09.2017 | Health and Medicine

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>