In the atmosphere of a distant exoplanet found a “cocktail” of metals

(ORDO NEWS) — Iron, nickel, chromium and titanium dioxide have been found in the atmosphere of the ultra-hot gas giant WASP-189b, which further increase its temperature.

The young star WASP-189 is 2.3 times larger than the Sun and nearly 18 times brighter. It lies over 320 light-years away, in the constellation Libra, and rotates so fast that it is noticeably flattened at the poles. In 2018, a planet was found near WASP-189, an ultra-hot Jupiter 1.6 times the size of our Jupiter.

WASP-189b is extremely close to its star, making a complete orbit in just 2.7 Earth days. As a result, the temperature on it reaches 3200 ° C – this is one of the hottest among the known planets.

The extreme gas giant WASP-189b is also the subject of a new work by astronomers from the Swedish Lund University.

A whole “cocktail” of metals was found in its atmosphere, including titanium oxide, as well as iron, chromium, vanadium, sodium, nickel, calcium, magnesium and manganese. In an article published in the journal Nature Astronomy , Bibiana Prinoth and her co-authors write that it is these particles that can heat the upper atmosphere of such exoplanets.

Scientists examined the composition of the atmosphere of WASP-189b using the HARPS spectrograph installed on the 3.6-meter telescope of the European La Silla Observatory in Chile. Judging by the set of detected metals and their spectra, the atmosphere has a complex structure: at different heights or at different latitudes of the planet, there are conditions that contribute to the condensation of different metals.

The most interesting finding was titanium oxide, which absorbs short-wave ultraviolet radiation. Scientists suggest that in the atmosphere of WASP-189b it forms a layer similar to the ozone layer in the Earth’s atmosphere.


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