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Planet Hunt Satellite Spots Rare hot Neptune



  tess hot neptune image 7655e ngts 10b 1
An artistic impression of a hot gas giant and its host star. SciNews.com

Astronomers have used NASA's TESS data for planetary hunting to make an unusual discovery: a planet the size of Neptune, orbiting extremely close to its star. The planet TOI-1

32b has a orbital period of only 2.11 days and its surface temperature is estimated to be 1111 degrees Celsius (2,032 degrees Fahrenheit).

Hot neptunes are rare, although astronomers often find planets the size of Jupiter or star. Somewhat larger than the Earth's orbits near their stars, very few Neptune-sized planets have been discovered in this vicinity. Astronomers believe that this could be due to atmospheric loss, as Neptune-sized planets near their stars lose gases from their atmosphere and rapidly disintegrate into smaller earth-sized planets.

This has led to a phenomenon that astronomers often call the "Neptune Desert," an area around a star where planets of Neptune magnitude are almost never found.

"Although planets of Neptune size orbiting sun-like stars are common, they are very rare in short cycle times, "said researcher Dr Matias Diaz of the Universidad de Chile and colleagues in their work." A number of early studies pointed to a shortage of planets of Neptune size with periods of less than 2 to 4 days , and the term & # 39; Neptune's Desert & # 39; was coined to explain this deficiency. "

With the discovery of TOI-132b, the researchers have found a hot Neptune sitting directly on the border of this Neptune desert, the star around which the planet revolves, TOI-132 , is a G-dwarf star that is 6 billion years old and slightly smaller and less massive than our Sun.

To understand why TOI-132b has survived, but other hot Neptune have not, the scientists have They found that it is heavy, about 23 times heavier than the Earth and has a rocky core that makes it tight, which helped to survive the atmosphere of the planet, which probably prevented it It has been eroded into a smaller form. "The survival of the atmosphere on the planet is probably due to the large core mass and the incompatibility of either 100% rock or water," said the F orscher in her article.

The article is available for reading in the pre-publication archive arXiv and is published in the journal Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society.

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