Mon. Aug 15th, 2022

The burning exoplanet WASP-76b?  a so-called hot Jupiter, where it rains with iron?  may be hotter than previously thought.  See SWNS history SWNNplanet.  A planet of hell where it rains liquid iron can be even hotter than previously thought, scientists say.  The temperatures reach above 2,400C on the surface - enough to evaporate you in seconds.  The winds are blowing to more than 10,000 km / h. Now scientists have found ionized calcium in the upper atmosphere of exotic exoplanet Wasp-76b.  Identifying the electrically charged element opens a new window into its extraordinary weather.

The burning exoplanet WASP-76b, a so-called hot Jupiter, where it rains with iron, may be hotter than previously thought. (Credits: ESO / M. Kornmesser / SWNS)

A planet of hell where it rains liquid iron can be even hotter than previously thought, scientists say.

The temperatures reach above 2,400C on the surface – enough to evaporate you in seconds. The winds are blowing at more than 10,000 km / h.

Now, researchers have found ionized calcium in the upper atmosphere of the exotic exoplanet Wasp-76b.

Identifying the electrically charged element opens a new window into its extraordinary weather.

Lead author Emily Deibert, a doctoral student at the University of Toronto, said: ‘We see so much calcium – it’s a really strong property. This spectral signature of ionized calcium may indicate that the exoplanet has very strong winds in the upper atmosphere.

‘Or the atmospheric temperature on the exoplanet is much higher than we thought.’

The burning world is 640 light-years from Earth in the constellation Pisces.

It has fascinated astronomers since its discovery five years ago. Clouds continuously rain molten iron.

An international team – including Queen’s University Belfast – conducted the most thorough study to date. They analyzed data from the Gemini North telescope on Hawaii’s Mauna Kea volcano.

The exoplanet has a day side where the temperature rises above 4,350 degrees Fahrenheit (2,400 degrees Celsius) – enough to evaporate metal. Strong winds carry iron pellets to the cooler night side – where they fall like drops.

Wasp-76b is known as a hot Jupiter — a gas giant that orbits very close to its star.

As a result, the iron rain sinks down to the core of the planet, where it quickly evaporates again. Wasp-76b takes less than two Earth days to orbit its star — which is hotter than the sun.

The study has implications for finding less hostile planets that may be habitable.

Co-author Professor Ray Jayawardhana of Cornell University, New York, said: ‘When we remotely measure dozens of exoplanets spanning a range of masses and temperatures, we will develop a more complete picture of the true diversity of alien worlds.

‘From those hot enough to hold iron rain to others with more moderate climates, from those more powerful than Jupiter to others not much larger than Earth.

‘It is remarkable with today’s telescopes and instruments, we can already now learn so much about the atmospheres — their constituents, physical properties, the presence of clouds, and even large wind patterns — of planets orbiting stars hundreds of light-years away. ‘

The researchers discovered a rare trio of spectral lines – chemical ‘fingerprints’ of ionized calcium.

It suggests that fire, inferno-like WASP-76b is even more sizzling than they had realized. Huge amounts of stellar radiation it absorbs have inflated the exoplanet enormously.

It is almost twice as wide as Jupiter, despite having only 85 percent of the mass.

Wasp-76 b is also temporarily locked and always shows the same face to its star just as the moon only ever shows its near side to us on Earth.

The study does not speculate on how much higher Wasp-76 b temperatures can be.

But it is proof that the Milky Way is filled with a wide range of strange worlds.

Over 4,000 exoplanets outside our solar system have been discovered so far.

MORE: New class of ocean-going ‘Hycean’ exoplanets could support aliens’ lives

MORE: From Iron Rain on Exoplanets to Lightning on Jupiter: Four Examples of Foreign Weather

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