A now-retired telescope owned by NASA has made an amazing discovery about exoplanets.
The study of the universe has drawn the attention of NASA and, in general, the entire scientific community to the existence of many celestial bodies in open space, even very different from those found near us within the solar system.
It is one of the most amazing celestial bodies and attracts the attention of researchers There are definitely exoplanets.
The word “exoplanet” has been mentioned many times in scientific research and articles, but not everyone knows exactly what it means.
to Exoplanet means a planet outside the solar systemIt is therefore a planet that is not part of the group we all know, which consists of Earth, Mars, Mercury, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune and Venus.
Exoplanets are very important for the scientific study of the universe because they can provide various information about the creation of these celestial bodies, and as has already happened in the past, a twin planet of our Earth could be found.
In this way, scientists can not only understand how the Earth formed, but whether it is possible to find a planet capable of hosting life in open space.
A retired NASA telescope makes an amazing discovery
Specifically, as mentioned above, NASA’s interest in exoplanets is at an all-time high, and therefore every discovery made regarding this type of celestial body is considered extremely important.
In recent days, in connection with this topic, a new discovery has been made that concerns us Class of exoplanets.
The most curious aspect of this discovery, apart from the result of the research itself, is that it has been done The telescope is now retired.
In fact, the discovery was completed by Kepler Space TelescopeIt launched exactly on March 7, 2009 to search for Earth-like planets, and its mission ended in 2018.
Although 5 years have passed since the end of the mission, the new discoveries have now been analysed.
Recently, data from the Kepler mission was studied and NASA scientists came to a rather important conclusion, namely, they discovered why There is a clear difference regarding size Of various exoplanets.
Thanks to the results of the retired telescope, NASA will then provide an explanation for this phenomenon.
Exoplanets that differ in size: here’s why
Exoplanets, like the planets of the solar system, can be of different sizes and are classified in order to fit in relation to the planets we already know.
For example, there are super-Earths, hot Jupiters, sub-Neptunian planets and so on, but recently researchers have noticed a strange lack of exoplanets of size between super-Earths and sub-Neptunes, i.e. with The volume is equal to 1.5-2 times the volume of the Earth.
The team of researchers, who examined Kepler mission data, found a large presence of sub-Neptunian planets, that is, planets with a mass similar to that of Neptune, but with a smaller radius.
This massive presence of planets of the same size has led scientists to assume the existence of different exoplanets They lost mass and shrank over time.
It seems that the reason for this phenomenon is due to the core of these exoplanets.
In fact, the hot cores of these exoplanets would have been emitting energy The radiation is able to push the atmosphere of these planets apart and scatter it out into open space.
The first hypothesis was a hypothesis PhotoevaporationBut this is a phenomenon that mostly occurs on small planets, while the exoplanets in question are certainly hundreds of millions of years older.
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