Hycean Worlds: Exoplanets
- Posted By
7th Sep, 2021
Recently, some astronomers have identified a new class of exoplanets – Hycean worlds.
What is hycean planets?
- The word Hycean comes from the words hydrogen and ocean.
- These planets get formed due to the presence of substantial hydrogen in the atmosphere and large oceans (hydrogen and ocean = Hycean) on their surfaces.
Key- Points about the hycean planet
- Hycean planets can be up to 2.6 times larger than Earth.
- Hycean planets have atmospheric temperatures up to nearly 200 degrees Celsius, depending on their host stars.
- This places them somewhere between Earth and giant planets like Neptune or Uranus.
- Hycean planets “straddle the boundary between super-Earths and mini-Neptunes.
- These planets may well be tidally locked meaning that
- One side is always in daylight from the star it orbits.
- The other side is perpetually in the dark, like our moon.
- Tidal locking is the name given to the situation when an object’s orbital period matches its rotational period.
Characteristics of Hycean planets