Found an exoplanet that could lose its atmosphere

An international team of researchers has announced the discovery of a previously unknown exoplanet. It is assumed that in the past it could have completely lost its atmosphere.

Hot super-Earth in the artist’s image. Source: ESA/Hubble

The discovery was made by the TESS space telescope. It could detect periodic changes in the brightness of the star TOI-784, located at a distance of 210 light-years from Earth. It is a yellow dwarf that is about 10% lighter and smaller than the Sun. The age of the star is estimated at 7.8 billion years. 

TESS data shows that TOI-784 has a companion that has a radius 1.93 times greater than the radius of the Earth. Subsequent observations using ground-based observatories made it possible to establish its mass. It is 9.67 Earth masses, which gives an average density of 7.4 g/cm3. Thus, at a size comparable to a mini Neptune, the exoplanet discovered by TESS is a rocky super-Earth

The find is interesting because the newly found exoplanet falls into the so-called Fulton gap. Astronomers use this term to denote a relatively “empty” gap observed in the distribution of exoplanets with a radius of 1.5 — 2 terrestrial. Scientists suggest that the Fulton gap marks the boundary between super-Earths and mini Neptunes. According to a fairly popular version, the formation of these bodies initially proceeds the same way and is separated only at the final stages, when the stellar wind “blows away” most of the atmosphere of some planets, leaving a rocky core. It is quite possible that such a fate befell the exoplanet found by TESS.

In conclusion, it is worth saying that spectrographic observations have shown that TOI-784 has another exoplanet. Most likely, it is not transit. Its mass is estimated at 12.6 – 31.1 Earth masses.

According to

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