February 1, 2023

Taylor Daily Press

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Astronomers discover two planets with oceans 500 times deeper than Earth’s

In December 2022, astronomers made a favour They discovered two exoplanets with oceans 500 times the depth of Earth.

In the news: Astronomers can find out by measuring the planets’ densities.

  • The planets in question orbit a red dwarf, Kepler-138, a small star about 218 light-years from Earth. They were discovered through data from both space telescopes Hubble To comb like a spitzer.
  • The researchers published their findings on December 15, 2022 in the journal natural astronomy. A free pre-print version is available on the online database arXiv.
  • In the study, they describe two planets, Kepler-138 c and Kepler-138 d, that appear to have oceans more than 1,000 miles deep, 500 times deeper than the average on the blue marble.
  • This is unheard of in our solar system. Only a handful of moons, including Europa, may have deep oceans under their icy mantles, but the planets in question do not.

How were they discovered?

the background: From data from space telescopes, scientists have been able to determine that the planets have unusual properties.

  • Both celestial bodies are larger than Earth, but much less massive. However, its density was not low enough to talk about gas giants.
  • This means that a large part of its mass is made up of water. The amount of water on Earth, for example, is actually not that great compared to the amount of other substances.
  • Just 0.05 percent of the Earth is made up of water. However, most of this water is on the surface, covering about 70 percent of it.
  • The oceans on the two planets may be very different from those on Earth. It is likely to be very hot and under a lot of pressure. It is even possible that there is no real advantage between the ocean and the atmosphere. The two will face each other.
  • The upper part of the atmosphere probably consists of vapor. Deeper pressure can be high enough for liquid water.
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