Gas in our Solar System
Thanks to ALMA, we now know that gas around exo-Kuiper belts is common (it is the rule rather than the exception to have gas in bright planetesimal belts). The question we are trying to answer in this new paper is whether gas should be present in our Kuiper belt as well and in which quantity?
We use the knowledge from all gas observations in exoplanetary systems and the models that were developed to explain them in the last decade to assess the quantity of gas that should be present in our Solar System. We also develop a new model more focused on the physics of the gas release than exoplanetary models, which is promising as it may also explain the origin of the gas release in exo-Kuiper belts (which is a hot topic).
We find that our Solar System should have had a lot of gas orbiting together with the planets in the past and that gas should still be released today in the Kuiper belt. The gas should quickly be blown out of the system because of interactions with the Solar wind, hence creating a diffuse wind of CO, C, and O. This gas may have affected the primordial atmospheres of planets in our Solar System and is therefore fundamental to characterize our Solar System in depth. Observing the gas that is released today could be done with future telescopes but traces of gas accretion onto planets may already be present in the planet's atmospheres.
This new paper touches a large community as it could be of interest to researchers working on the Solar System, Heliosphere, exoplanets, atmospheres, comets, young planet-forming discs, and planetesimal belts.