American and British researchers led by Mark Swain of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory have discovered a planet with a second atmosphere for the first time.
We are talking about GJ 1132, or Gliese 1132, a solitary red dwarf star in the constellation Sails: it is about 40 light-years from the Sun.
In 2015, the planet GJ 1132 b was found on her. It is 1.6 times larger than the Earth, and makes a full annual revolution in just 1.6 of our days. A few years ago, GJ 1132b was found to have an atmosphere. This is interesting, since the planet is extremely close to its star and, according to all calculations, should have lost it long ago.
The authors of the new work offered their explanation for this phenomenon, they believe that the planet really lost its atmosphere 100 million years ago, and then received a second one, which dissipates, but is constantly replenished from a reservoir of hydrogen in mantle magma.
The planet is of volcanic origin, as it contains an abnormally high amount of hydrocyanic acid – up to 0.5 percent. It is rich in hydrogen, hydrogen cyanide, methane and ammonia.
This second atmosphere occurs both from the surface and from within the planet, so it serves as a window into the geology of another world. There is still a lot of work to be done to get a good look at it, but opening this window is very important.Paul Rimmer is a Fellow at the University of Cambridge.