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The exoplanets WASP-178b and KELT-20b. The Hubble Space Telescope studied it. Severe weather has been found

The exoplanets WASP-178b and KELT-20b.  The Hubble Space Telescope studied it.  Severe weather has been found

Thanks to the Hubble Space Telescope, scientists have discovered the conditions of two exoplanets in the category of hot Jupiter. As they reported, the atmospheric temperature of both bodies reaches 1600 degrees Celsius. One planet contains rocks, while the other is exposed to intense ultraviolet radiation from the host star.

Astronomers who made their observations using the Hubble Space Telescope studied conditions on two hot Jupiters. Its temperature exceeds 1600 ° C, which is enough for the evaporation of most metals. NASA reports that this is the hottest weather yet.

So-called hot Jupiters are a class of exoplanets that are similar to the great gaseous planets of the solar system, like our familiar Jupiter, but orbit close to their stars. Recently, the results of studies conducted on two hot, severely weathered Jupiters were presented.

With radiation and rain of rocks

Last week, the planet WASP-178b, which is 1,300 light-years away, was published in the scientific journal Nature. One side of this planet is constantly facing its star. This means that strong tornadoes blow at speeds of more than three thousand kilometers per hour when moving between the sides of the day and night.

On the day side of the planet, there are no clouds in the atmosphere and silicon oxide gas is present.

On the night side, on the other hand, silicon oxide can cool enough to freeze and fall as stony rain. In both regions—whether it’s dawn or dusk—the planet is hot enough to evaporate the rocks.

Exoplanet WASP-103b and its host star – Computational visionESA

The second edition of the publication provided by NASA earlier, on January 24, appeared in the “Astrophysical Journal Letters.” It’s about a hot Jupiter called KELT-20b, 400 light-years from the Solar System. In this case, the ultraviolet radiation from the star creates a thermal layer in the atmosphere similar to the stratosphere of the Earth.

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– Until now, we did not know how the host star directly affects the planet’s atmosphere. There have been a lot of hypotheses, but now we have the first observational data, said Guanggui Fu of the University of Maryland in College Park (USA), first author of the publication.

Exoplanet KELT-20b and its host star – visualizationNASA, European Space Agency, El Hostac (STScI)

mother star effect

On Earth, the ozone in the atmosphere absorbs ultraviolet radiation, which raises the temperature at an altitude of 11 to 50 kilometers. In the case of the exoplanet KELT-20b, the star’s ultraviolet radiation heats up metals in the atmosphere, causing a very strong layer of thermal reflection.

Evidence for this comes from the detection of water in near-infrared observations by the Hubble Space Telescope and the discovery of carbon monoxide by the Spitzer Space Telescope. They radiate through the hot, transparent upper part of the atmosphere created by the temperature inversion layer. These signatures differ from the hot atmospheres of Jupiter that orbit around cooler stars like the Sun. This phenomenon shows that host stars can have a strong influence on the exoplanets that orbit them.

“This is evidence that the planets are not isolated but are influenced by their host stars,” Fu said.


Main image source: NASA, European Space Agency, El Hostac (STScI)

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