Astrophysics (Index)About

Fulton gap

(radius valley)
(planets with radius 1.5 to 2 Earth radii are rare)

The Fulton gap (or radius valley) is an interval of planet radii (1.5 to 2 Earth radii) within which extra-solar planets are apparently rare, which became evident during follow-up study of Kepler Telescope discoveries. Among theories to explain it are proposed physical mechanisms but also possible selection biases. The term evaporation valley is also used, referring to the notion that the gap is due to atmospheric escape by photoevaporation, presumed to be so rapid for a planet close to its host star that a large atmosphere either remains essentially intact or is essentially gone.

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