Scientists have discovered an exoplanet that retains its atmosphere despite relentless radiation from a nearby star

A a rare exoplanet that must be “peeled” by intense radiation from a nearby red giant starenveloped in a contrasting atmosphere, forcing scientists to rethink their theories about how planets die in extreme environments.

The newly discovered planet, named TIC365102760 B and nicknamed the “Phoenix” for its habitability, demonstrates the great diversity of solar systems and the complexity of planetary evolution. The planet belongs to the category of “hot Neptunes”, that is, giant exoplanets that have many similarities to Uranus or Neptune, the most distant, icy giants of the Solar System, although they are closer to their stars and hotter. This particular planet is 6.2 times the size of Earthcompletes an orbit around its star every 4.2 days and is about six times closer to its star than Mercury is to the Sun.

The process of stripping its atmosphere must have been slower than scientists thought. They calculate it the planet is 60 times less dense than the densest “hot Neptune” discovered so far and will not live for more than 100 million years.

Exoplanets like these are often undiscovered because their small size makes them difficult to detect. The research team used a new method to detect it.

“This is the smallest planet we’ve found around one of these red giants and probably the lowest-mass planet orbiting a giant star we’ve ever seen,” notes Sean Granblatt, an astrophysicist at Johns Hopkins University and lead author of the study. “That’s why he looks really weird. “We don’t know why other smaller and denser ‘hot Neptunes’ still have atmospheres when they lose their atmospheres in less extreme environments,” he said. The findings could help scientists better understand how atmospheres like Earth’s might have evolved, he said.

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