This Gas Exoplanet Is Evaporating To Reveal A Rocky Core

Inside of gas giant planets — such as our solar system’s very own Neptune and Uranus — lie secret, miniature worlds.

We’ve never been able to catch a glimpse of a gas planet’s core because of the opaque clouds of gas that tend to hide them. That is, until now.

The Hubble Space Telescope has been monitoring a Neptune-sized planet outside of our solar system, called GJ 436b, as its immense cloud of mostly hydrogen gas evaporates away to reveal its core. While scientists say that seeing the core is a ways off because only a small percentage of surface gas has evaporated, they’re excited about the research opportunity that the alien planet offers.

Watch the video above, released by NASA in September, to learn how cores left behind by evaporating gas giants could be a source of Earth-like exoplanets in our universe.

Previously on HuffPost Science: Strange Comet-Like Planet Is The Only Such Alien World Yet Discovered, Scientists Say

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