InfinityCosmos

The ‘super-puff’ planet was discovered by NASA’s Kepler space telescope in 2012-2014, the existence of three new planets in this ‘super-puff’ class was confirmed, the class of these three stars was named ‘super-puff’,The names have been given because all these three are planets with very low mass and volume ratio. The discovery of these super-puffs was first highlighted by scientists at the University of Colorado Boulder in a research paper titled “The Featureless Transmission Spectra of Two Super-Puff Planets”, and later published in ‘The Astronomical Journal’ The researchers named the three super-puff planets Kepler-51b, Kepler-51c and Kepler-51d.


New data from Hubble have provided the first clues to the chemistry of two of these three super-puffy planets in the Kepler 51 system Astronomers say, the density of the ‘super-puff’ planets is less than 0.1 gram per cubic centimeter  Their mass is not many times that of the Earth, but they are so bloated in the hydrogen/helium atmosphere that they are almost the size of Jupiter. Jessica Libby-Roberts, a graduate student in the Department of Astrophysical and Planetary Sciences (APS) at the University of Colorado Boulder, says that ‘super-puff’ are low-density planets, but despite their low density, they appear like a high layer of opaque  contain, and there is no sign of water molecules in them.


Kepler-51b and 51d are unlike other low-mass, gas-rich planets outside our Solar System, as the researchers were able to detect that their cloud/haze formation, compared to the flat spectra of other planetary super-puffs it happens. It is linked to temperature, and the cooler a planet is, the more clouds it forms. The gravitational pull between planets causes slight changes in their orbital periods, and from these effects a planet’s mass can be determined, adding changes to that time to better understand the planet’s mass and the system’s dynamics.


New models suggest that these planets formed outside the “snow line” of the star, where icy material can survive, and later migrated inward, that is, the closer the planet is to the star, the less of that planet’s mass, The dense atmosphere will evaporate into space in the next few billion years. Using models of planetary evolution, astronomers were able to show that Kepler-51b, the closest planet to the star, will look like a smaller and hotter version of Neptune a billion years from now.


Kepler-51d is so far from its star that it will shrink over time and lose some amount of atmosphere, but it will remain a low-density oddball planet. Zach Berta-Thompson of the University of Colorado, Boulder, says that this system provides a good laboratory for testing theories of early planetary evolution, and yet these two planets have not lost everything, so that their atmospheric composition could not be determined. The James Webb Space Telescope, with its sensitivity to long infrared wavelengths of light, is able to see cloud layers, and future Webb observations may provide insight into what these cotton candy planets may actually be made of.







Published by Surendra Uikey

My name is Surendra Uikey, I am a science blogger, I have been blogging for the past three years, because I love to write, especially on astronomy, and I believe, if you want to learn something, then start learning others, By this it will be, that you learn things in a better way. In 2019, I started infinitycosmos.in, the aim of making infinitycosmos.in was to connect astronomy in simple words to common people.

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Appears as a swirling wall of smoke in NGC 6530.
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