Astronomers have finally discovered a rocky planet with an atmosphere

Astronomers have finally discovered a rocky planet with an atmosphere

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Being so close to its star, any atmosphere should be stripped away by stellar radiation and winds. But dissolved gases in the vast lava ocean covering the planet can keep boiling to refill the atmosphere, Hu said.

“The planet may not be habitable because it is so hot that it does not contain liquid water, which is thought to be a prerequisite for life,” Hu said.

All previous exoplanets found to have atmospheres were gaseous planets, not rocky. As Webb pushes the boundaries of exoplanet exploration, the discovery of a rocky planet with an atmosphere represents progress.

On Earth, the atmosphere warms the planet, contains the oxygen that people breathe, protects from solar radiation, and creates the pressure necessary for liquid water to persist on the planet's surface.

“On Earth, the atmosphere is vital to life,” Demory said. “This result on 55 CNC e raises hopes that Webb can conduct similar investigations on planets much cooler than 55 CNC e, which may support liquid water on their surface. But we're not there yet. Are.”

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