A new study suggests that Venus-like planet, about 39 light years away from Earth, might have a thin atmosphere, indicating the presence of oxygen.
Water vapor could act as a powerful greenhouse gas, trapping the intense heat of the host star inside GJ113b. Due to this, the surface of the planet could stay molten for millions of years. New research suggests that its atmosphere is likely to be thin and wispy.
Researchers need to observe the planet using next-generation telescope like the Giant Magellan Telescope and James Webb Space Telescope to detect if GJ1132b has some oxygen lingering in its atmosphere. Orbiting so close to its star, at a distance of just 1.4 million miles, the planet is flooded with ultraviolet or UV light.
UV light breaks apart water molecules into hydrogen and oxygen, both of which then can be lost into space. However, since hydrogen is lighter it escapes more readily, while oxygen lingers behind.
A “magma ocean” would interact with the atmosphere, absorbing about one-tenth of the oxygen, according to the model created by Schaefer and her colleagues.