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Do Exoplanets Transform Between Classes?

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Do Exoplanets Transform Between Classes?

A new analysis suggests that hot super-Earths might be the skeletal remnants of hot Jupiters stripped of their atmospheres.

Most alien planets are unlike any planet in our solar system. Hot Jupiters, for example, are broiling gas giants circling closer to their stars than Mercury orbits the Sun. Astronomers suspect that the star-planet tidal interaction will ultimately drag a hot Jupiter inward toward its doom.

More recently, astronomers have discovered a second class of star-hugging planets in the wealth of data from NASA’s crippled Kepler space telescope. These so-called hot super-Earths are rocky or icy planets that can be up to 10 times Earth’s mass and also orbit extremely close to their host stars.

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