Earth-sized Planet, Venusian Atmosphere

A planet 39 light years away is a bit close to it’s red dwarf parent star.  Not close enough to wipe away it’s atmosphere, however.  This article by explains that the planet is the first Earth-sized planet found to have an atmosphere.  This atmosphere has water vapor and methane, even though it is a little hot (the burn-your-face-off hot) for life.  Other characteristics appear more similar to Venus.  Stars like GJ 1132 flare up very often in their early lives, as do almost every other star.  The discovery of this planet’s atmosphere proves that atmospheres can remain with their planets even after the star’s heavy flare period.

This is very similar to how our Solar System works (or worked).  The atmosphere of Venus itself mostly has phosphoric acids and only has a little water vapor.  It had a much more friendly atmosphere long ago, but the Sun’s solar wind blew away the upper layers and the magnetic field slowly disappeared.  Meanwhile Mercury most likely never had an atmosphere, Mars was too small to retain its magnetic field, and Earth had the right conditions to retain an atmosphere and its magnetic field.  The case for GJ 1132b might be that it moved in towards its star after the flare period of it’s star while our Solar System expanded outward.


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