Well, you might wonder what precisely a Hycean world is? Well, it’s nothing out of the blue, but in fact, something fascinating in the world of astronomy.
So let’s conjure down to some of the basics to know about the Hycean world. These exoplanets are known to be found between rocky super-earth and larger mini Neptunes.
These bodies are said to have water-rich interiors, comprising a massive ocean underlying the hydrogen-rich atmosphere.
These planets can be deemed valid to explore the habitability which might inhabit the exoplanet population.
A dive through Hycean World
To date, astronomers have come across thousands of exoplanets. The majority of planets came to be known low mass planets, with their size varying around 1-4 earth masses.
These exoplanets are present in our solar system in between terrestrial planets and ice giants.
There are no analogues in the solar system; these planets are illustrated as super-earth and mini Neptunes, corresponding to their bulk compositions in reaction to their densities.
The previous reports and studies on these planets signify that the pressure and temperature underneath the hydrogen-rich atmosphere will be too extra to support life.
One of the astronomers Dr Nikku Madhusudhan, present at the Institute of Astronomy at the University of Cambridge and some of his coordinates, found out that some of these planets can, after all, support life.
This resulted in deep study and analysis of the full range of planetary and stellar properties which hold these plausible conditions to be valid—leading up to close observation of the validated conditions and the highlighted biosignatures.
This results in the researchers discovering Hycean planets with massive ocean planet-wide along with hydrogen-rich layer beneath it.
According to official reports, these planets range upto 2.6 bigger than each other, with atmospheric temperature elevation to 200 degrees Celsius.
Their oceanic conditions are estimated to be those suitable for microbial life in the earth’s oceans.
As per scientific evaluation, Hycean is pretty standard. On further study, it was found that ‘dark’ Hycean worlds might imply permanent night side while ‘cold’ Hycean planets shall perceive little radiation from the stars.
They might seem hidden, but they can be present on the plain side.
The scientist also proclaims that numerous amount of terrestrial biomarkers are present in the Hycean atmosphere, which helps us trace the spectroscopic observations.
Also, sizeable planets in the Hyclean world can help us detect their variability and provide provision for detailed study through the next-generation telescope.
Knowing that the planet is Hycean is not enough for one; more detailed information like mass, temperature, and atmospheric properties is also deemed essential.