We show that, for a low-mass planet that orbits its host star within a few tenths of an AU (like the majority of the Kepler planets), the atmosphere it was able to accumulate while embedded in the protoplanetary disk may not survive unscathed after the disk disperses. This gas envelope, if more massive than a few percent of the core (with a mass below 10M⊕), has a cooling time that is much longer than the timescale on which the planet exits the disk. As such, it could not have contracted significantly from its original size, of the order of the Bondi radius. So a newly exposed protoplanet would be losing mass via a Parker wind that is catalyzed by the stellar continuum radiation. This represents an intermediate stage of mass-loss, occurring soon after the disk has dispersed, but before the EUV/X-ray driven photoevaporation becomes relevant. The surface mass-loss induces a mass movement within the envelope that advects internal heat outward. As a result, the planet atmosphere rapidly cools down and contracts, until it has reached a radius of the order of 0.1 Bondi radius, at which time the mass-loss effectively shuts down. Within a million years after the disk disperses, we find a planet that has only about 10% of its original envelope, and a Kelvin-Helmholtz time that is much longer than its actual age. We suggest that this ''boil-off'' process may be partially responsible for the lack of planets above a radius of 2.5R⊕ in the Kepler data, provided planet formation results in initial envelope masses of tens of percent.
planet-disk interactions - planets and satellites: composition - planets and satellites: formation - protoplanetary disks