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Newly discovered ‘mini-Neptune’ may have an ocean or an atmosphere – but not for long

A newly discovered distant mini-Neptune planet may possess its own atmosphere, ocean, or a combination of the two, even if they don’t last for long. The extrasolar planet, or exoplanet, designated HD-2047496 b located around 77 light-years from Earth revealed its characteristics to astronomers as 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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