Mini-Neptune exoplanet could have an ocean or an atmosphere – or both

A newly discovered distant mini-Neptune planet may have its own atmosphere, ocean, or a combination of the two, even if it doesn’t last long. The extrasolar planet, or exoplanet, called HD-2047496 b, located about 77 light-years from Earth, revealed its features to astronomers when it crossed the face of its parent star.

The discovery could help scientists better understand how planetary systems evolve and why there is an absence of Neptune-sized worlds close to their parent stars in the Milky Way.

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