Artist’s Impression of GJ 1132 b

This image is an artist’s impression of the exoplanet GJ 1132 b.

For the first time, scientists using the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope have found evidence of volcanic activity reforming the atmosphere on this rocky planet, which has a similar density, size, and age to that of Earth.

To the surprise of astronomers, new observations from Hubble have uncovered a second atmosphere that has replaced the planet’s first atmosphere. It is rich in hydrogen, hydrogen cyanide, methane and ammonia, and also has a hydrocarbon haze. Astronomers theorise that hydrogen from the original atmosphere was absorbed into the planet’s molten magma mantle and is now being slowly released by volcanism to form a new atmosphere. This second atmosphere, which continues to leak away into space, is continually being replenished from the reservoir of hydrogen in the mantle’s magma.

Credit:

NASA, ESA, and R. Hurt (IPAC/Caltech)

About the Image

Id:heic2104a
Type:Artwork
Release date:11 March 2021, 15:00
Related releases:heic2104
Size:5120 x 2880 px

About the Object

Name:GJ 1132 b
Category:Exoplanets

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