Data reveals evidence of molecular absorption in the atmosphere of a hot Neptune

ScienceDaily | Oct 26, 2020 at 9:02 PM
  • The discovery was made with data provided from the now-retired NASA Spitzer Space Telescope, which allows a unique, infrared view of the universe to look into regions of space that are hidden from optical telescopes.
  • Indeed, most close-in hot exoplanets are either gas giants the size of Jupiter or Saturn that have enough mass to retain most of their atmosphere using their high gravity against the evaporation caused by the star, or small rocky exoplanets that have lost their atmosphere to the star long ago.
  • This molecule is not unexpected in the atmospheres of hot large planets (hot Jupiters), but to find it in a hot Neptune may provide clues on the origin of this planet and how it managed to hold onto its atmosphere.