Hubble Sees Evaporating Planet Getting The Hiccups

  • Released Thursday, July 27, 2023

A young planet whirling around a petulant red dwarf star is changing in unpredictable ways orbit-by-orbit. It is so close to its parent star that it experiences a consistent, torrential blast of energy, which evaporates its hydrogen atmosphere – causing it to puff off the planet.

But during one orbit observed with the Hubble Space Telescope, the planet looked like it wasn’t losing any material at all, while an orbit observed with Hubble a year and a half later showed clear signs of atmospheric loss.

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Music Credit
“Red Shift” by Arun Ganapathy [BMI], David Naroth [BMI], and Victor Mercader [BMI] via Emperia Beta Publishing [BMI], and and Universal Production Music.

Animation Credit:
Light interacting with atmosphere: ESA/Hubble, M. Kornmesser

Escaping atmosphere of an exoplanet: ESA/Hubble, NASA, M. Kornmesser

Planet orbiting a red dwarf star (artist's impression): ESA/Hubble (M. Kornmesser)

Red Dwarf Flare Star (Artist's Illustration): NASA, ESA, and D. Player (STScI)

Vertical Version

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Please give credit for this item to:
NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center. However, please credit individual items as indicated above.

Release date

This page was originally published on Thursday, July 27, 2023.
This page was last updated on Tuesday, June 20, 2023 at 2:23 PM EDT.


This visualization is related to the following missions: