Exoplanet transformations: Puffy planets lose atmospheres, become super-Earths

  • Illustration of the mini-Neptune TOI 560.01, located 103 light-years away in the Hydra constellation. The planet, which orbits closely to its star, is losing its puffy atmosphere and may ultimately transform into a super-Earth. (W. M. Keck Observatory/Adam Makarenko/Special to West Hawaii Today)

Astronomers have identified two different cases of “mini-Neptune” planets that are losing their puffy atmospheres and likely transforming into super-Earths.