Astronomers probe atmosphere of alien world thats a cross between Earth and

first_imgNASA, ESA, AND L. HUSTAK (STSCI) By Katie CameroJul. 3, 2019 , 1:55 PM Country * Afghanistan Aland Islands Albania Algeria Andorra Angola Anguilla Antarctica Antigua and Barbuda Argentina Armenia Aruba Australia Austria Azerbaijan Bahamas Bahrain Bangladesh Barbados Belarus Belgium Belize Benin Bermuda Bhutan Bolivia, Plurinational State of Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba Bosnia and Herzegovina Botswana Bouvet Island Brazil British Indian Ocean Territory Brunei Darussalam Bulgaria Burkina Faso Burundi Cambodia Cameroon Canada Cape Verde Cayman Islands Central African Republic Chad Chile China Christmas Island Cocos (Keeling) Islands Colombia Comoros Congo Congo, the Democratic Republic of the Cook Islands Costa Rica Cote d’Ivoire Croatia Cuba Curaçao Cyprus Czech Republic Denmark Djibouti Dominica Dominican Republic Ecuador Egypt El Salvador Equatorial Guinea Eritrea Estonia Ethiopia Falkland Islands (Malvinas) Faroe Islands Fiji Finland France French Guiana French Polynesia French Southern Territories Gabon Gambia Georgia Germany Ghana Gibraltar Greece Greenland Grenada Guadeloupe Guatemala Guernsey Guinea Guinea-Bissau Guyana Haiti Heard Island and McDonald Islands Holy See (Vatican City State) Honduras Hungary Iceland India Indonesia Iran, Islamic Republic of Iraq Ireland Isle of Man Israel Italy Jamaica Japan Jersey Jordan Kazakhstan Kenya Kiribati Korea, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Republic of Kuwait Kyrgyzstan Lao People’s Democratic Republic Latvia Lebanon Lesotho Liberia Libyan Arab Jamahiriya Liechtenstein Lithuania Luxembourg Macao Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Madagascar Malawi Malaysia Maldives Mali Malta Martinique Mauritania Mauritius Mayotte Mexico Moldova, Republic of Monaco Mongolia Montenegro Montserrat Morocco Mozambique Myanmar Namibia Nauru Nepal Netherlands New Caledonia New Zealand Nicaragua Niger Nigeria Niue Norfolk Island Norway Oman Pakistan Palestine Panama Papua New Guinea Paraguay Peru Philippines Pitcairn Poland Portugal Qatar Reunion Romania Russian Federation Rwanda Saint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha Saint Kitts and Nevis Saint Lucia Saint Martin (French part) Saint Pierre and Miquelon Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Samoa San Marino Sao Tome and Principe Saudi Arabia Senegal Serbia Seychelles Sierra Leone Singapore Sint Maarten (Dutch part) Slovakia Slovenia Solomon Islands Somalia South Africa South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands South Sudan Spain Sri Lanka Sudan Suriname Svalbard and Jan Mayen Swaziland Sweden Switzerland Syrian Arab Republic Taiwan Tajikistan Tanzania, United Republic of Thailand Timor-Leste Togo Tokelau Tonga Trinidad and Tobago Tunisia Turkey Turkmenistan Turks and Caicos Islands Tuvalu Uganda Ukraine United Arab Emirates United Kingdom United States Uruguay Uzbekistan Vanuatu Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of Vietnam Virgin Islands, British Wallis and Futuna Western Sahara Yemen Zambia Zimbabwe Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Country Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*) Gliese 3470 b isn’t like anything in our solar system. The strange world—midway between Earth and Neptune in mass—orbits a star about half the mass of the sun roughly 100 light-years away. Now, astronomers have taken a detailed look at Gliese 3470 b’s atmosphere, the first time researchers have done so for a planet like this.Astronomers used NASA’s Hubble and Spitzer space telescopes to measure which frequencies of starlight Gliese 3470 b absorbs and reflects as it circles around its star. The planet has a relatively thin atmosphere comprised primarily of hydrogen and helium, NASA announced yesterday. That’s similar to the atmosphere of the sun, with the exception of heavy elements such as oxygen and carbon. The planet (above) also has a hefty rocky core, the analysis reveals.Gliese 3470 b appears to have formed close to its star, where it still sits today. This might explain why the planet was able to develop its unconventional atmosphere. One hypothesis is that it was able to corral gases from a primordial disk of gas surrounding its star. Typically when this happens, planets become giant gas worlds known as “hot Jupiters.” But Gliese 3470 b stayed relatively small, perhaps because the disk of gas dissipated before the planet was able to bulk up, the team speculates. Email Astronomers probe atmosphere of alien world that’s a cross between Earth and Neptune NASA’s new James Webb Space Telescope—Hubble’s successor set to launch in 2021—will penetrate the planet’s atmosphere to greater depths. Until then, astronomers have to solve another mystery about Gliese 3470 b: whether to call it a “super-Earth” or a “sub-Neptune.”last_img