Scientists Discover Planet with Metal Clouds ‘Like a Mirror’

Web DeskJuly 12, 2023
Scientists Discover Planet with Metal Clouds 'Like a Mirror'

Researchers discovered an exoplanet with metallic clouds that rain titanium. The odd world, dubbed LTT9779b, is the brightest planet discovered outside of our solar system.

Scientists reported the finding of a scorching world with temperatures reaching 2,000 degrees Celsius (nearly 3,600 degrees Fahrenheit) and where glass-like silicate and metals boil into clouds on Monday.

The European Space Agency (ESA) made the statement.

Read more : Staying Safe and Cool During Heatwaves: Essential Tips for Beating the Heat Copy

LTT9779b, the brightest planet identified beyond our solar system to date, has been described by scientists as “a planet that shouldn’t exist.”

What we currently know about the planet

The planet, which is roughly the size of Neptune, orbits its star every 19 hours. The temperature on the planet’s star-facing side is around 2,000 degrees Celsius.

LTT9779b was identified by NASA in 2020, but the most recent discoveries were made in a follow-up investigation by the European satellite Agency’s exoplanet-spotting Cheops satellite telescope. Researchers discovered the planet was a puzzle from the start due to its high reflectiveness, commonly known as albedo in scientific terms.

Because they absorb rather than reflect light, most planets and moons have a low albedo. Ice worlds like Jupiter’s satellite Europa and hazy worlds like Venus are exceptions.

Despite the fact that it reflects “like a mirror,” the researchers concluded that LTT9779b was too hot for clouds, even if they were constructed of metal or glass. However, it was discovered that the atmosphere of LTT9779b is so densely packed with metals and silicate vapours that droplets do form, including titanium showers.

“To steam up a bathroom, you can either cool the air until water vapour condenses, or keep the hot water running until clouds form because the air is so saturated with vapour that it simply can’t hold anymore,” Vivien Parmentier explained.

“Similarly, despite being so hot, LTT9779 b can form metallic clouds because the atmosphere is oversaturated with silicate and metal vapours.”

Neptune’s hot puzzle

Another oddity was that planets the size of LTT9779b with atmospheres shouldn’t survive that close to their sun – the outer layer would ordinarily burn away.

“It’s a planet that shouldn’t exist,” Parmentier explained. “We expect planets like this to have their atmosphere blown away by their star, leaving behind bare rock.”

The explanation was explained in part by the high reflectivity, which allowed LTT9779b to exist in what scientists call a “hot Neptune desert.”

“Clouds reflect light, preventing the planet from becoming too hot and evaporating,” stated article co-author Sergio Hoyer. “Meanwhile, being highly metallic makes the planet and its atmosphere heavy, making it harder to blow away.”

Scientists used light differences to assess the planet’s attributes when it was officially “visible” and when it was shadowed by its own star. Only the precision of the Cheops telescope, which is dedicated to detecting new planetary systems, allowed the scientists to measure the data they required this time.

The scientists want to supplement their findings with data from the Hubble and James Webb space telescopes, which they believe will provide a more complete picture.

Share This Post

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

News Guru

WEb logo-04 (1)

We strive to bring you the most comprehensive and up-to-date news from reliable sources. Our team of experienced journalists and writers are committed to delivering unbiased and factual news, with the highest levels of professionalism and integrity.

News Guru, 2024 © All Rights Reserved