A warm Neptune's methane reveals core mass and vigorous atmospheric mixing. (https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/38768633/)

These scientists wanted to learn more about a faraway planet called WASP-107 b. They used a special telescope called JWST NIRSpec to look at the planet's atmosphere. They found some interesting gases in the atmosphere of the planet, like methane, sulfur dioxide, water vapor, carbon dioxide, and carbon monoxide.

The scientists were surprised to find that the amount of methane on WASP-107 b was much lower than what they expected based on how much methane should be there. This low amount of methane suggests that there are some processes happening on the planet that are removing methane from the atmosphere.

By studying the gases in the atmosphere of WASP-107 b, the scientists were able to learn more about the planet's interior and how it is different from what they previously thought. They found that the planet has a very hot interior and a lot of vertical mixing happening, which is causing the methane to be depleted.

Overall, this study helped the scientists understand more about the composition and processes happening on this distant planet, giving them new insights into how planets like WASP-107 b form and evolve.

Sing DK., Rustamkulov Z., Thorngren DP., Barstow JK., Tremblin P., de Oliveira CA., Beck TL., Birkmann SM., Challener RC., Crouzet N., Espinoza N., Ferruit P., Giardino G., Gressier A., Lee EKH., Lewis NK., Maiolino R., Manjavacas E., Rauscher BJ., Sirianni M., Valenti JA. A warm Neptune's methane reveals core mass and vigorous atmospheric mixing. Nature. 2024 May 20. doi: 10.1038/s41586-024-07395-z.

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