Astronomers have found a planet with «titanium» clouds in the atmosphere

© Illustration RIA Novosti . Alina Planinata the artist has imagined how the star’s rays pass through the atmosphere of a distant planetAstronomers have found a planet with «titanium» clouds in the atmosphere© Illustration RIA Novosti . Alina Polyanina

. European astronomers have discovered an extremely unusual exoplanet whose atmosphere clouds hanging from the titanium oxide – a powerful greenhouse «gas» that can heat up its upper layers to the hellishly high temperatures, and published their observations in the journal Nature.

«The presence of titanium oxide in the atmosphere of WASP-19b may very unusually influence how heated its different layers and how to move the streams of air in it. The fact that we managed so to study it in detail, very pleasing to us and says that we can carry out similar observations for the other planets,» said Ryan MacDonald (Ryan MacDonald) from the University of Cambridge (UK).

«Hot Jupiter» heated astronomers call gas giants that are far from their stars only 2.2-75 million kilometers. In the Solar system, even mercury is coming to the star closer than 46 million kilometers, and therefore, the atmospheres of these planets reign really hellish temperatures in the 1000-1300 degrees Kelvin.

Finding such planets is much easier than other heavenly bodies, and they make up most of the known exoplanets. The discovery of «hot Jupiters» for the first time, scientists put before the fact that the atmosphere on these planets may consist of very exotic materials. For example, in recent years, were discovered on the planet with lead and glass clouds and air, consisting of evaporated metals and rocks in the upper layers which is sometimes the rain of rubies and sapphires.

Relatively recently, says McDonald, scientists have discovered several «hot Jupiters,» whose atmosphere was red-hot to even higher temperatures, in excess of 2.5 thousand degrees Kelvin, and had an unusual structure – they were hot on the outside and colder inside, like the stratosphere of the Earth. The presence of such a layer on them led scientists to assume that these «hot Jupiters» warms up some heavy duty greenhouse effect, which can produce two chemicals – titanium oxide or vanadium oxide.

MacDonald and his colleagues proved that that was indeed the case by studying the spectrum of a planet WASP-19b, the open four years ago in the constellation Sails from lights that are similar in size and mass to the Sun. This planet completes one revolution around its star in just 18 hours, which allows scientists to observe how the rays light pass through the atmosphere and interacts with its molecules, carrying the information about its chemical composition.

Following a few dozen times how light star «pierces» the atmosphere of WASP-19b, planetary scientists were able to separate real signals from noise and to reveal its chemical composition. It turned out that this «hot Jupiter» was very exotic and hot planet.

Its atmosphere, as shown by the measurements of scientists, composed of hot water vapor, sodium, helium and hydrogen, and its upper layers cover the layers of hydrocarbon haze and the «titanium» clouds. Thanks to this «stratosphere» WASP-19b heat up to two thousand degrees Kelvin, making it one of the hottest «hot Jupiters» known to astronomers.

This discovery, as emphasized by MacDonald and his colleagues is important from the point of view that it demonstrates that scientists can discover the exact chemical composition of distant planets using ground-based telescopes. In turn, the launch of the space telescope «James Webb» will allow similar monitoring of smaller and hot planets more interesting from the point of view of a potential homeland searches for extraterrestrial life, the scientists conclude.

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