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Exoplanets

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simulation of magnetic fields on HAT-P 7b

COLORED LINES  In this simulation of HAT-P 7b’s magnetic field lines, strong lines are shown in blue and magenta. Weaker lines are green and yellow. These magnetic field lines influence winds on the distant world, making them blow both east and west, a new study says. The stronger the lines, the wilder the winds.

HAT-P-26b illsutration

WET AND WILD  The exoplanet HAT-P-26b, illustrated here, has relatively low levels of heavy elements in its atmosphere, compared with those found in Neptune's atmosphere. As a result, the exoplanet may have had a different origin story than ice giants in our solar system.

exoplanet illustration

WARMING UP  Hydrogen-spewing volcanoes may warm worlds chilled by the distance from their star (one illustrated above), enhancing planets’ ability to support life, a new study suggests.

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