A large exoplanet ‘hot Jupiter’ is drifting like rotten eggs and storms of raging glass

Using the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST), astronomers have discovered that one of the “hot Jupiter” planets closest to Earth is like rotten eggs. The planet is already famous for its deadly rain of glass, extreme temperatures, and 5,000 mph (8,046 kph) winds that blow on the other side, but this discovery makes this world seem even less so.

JWST’s eggy conclusion is the result of the discovery of hydrogen sulfide, a molecule that gives off the stench of rotten eggs, in the atmosphere of the extrasolar planet or “exoplanet.”

This could tell scientists how the atmosphere of the gas giant planet can be influenced by the presence of sulphur, which is considered to be an important element in the formation of the planet.

The exoplanet in question is HD 189733 b, a planet about 1.13 times the size and mass of Jupiter. The planet, which was discovered in 2005, is located about 65 light years from Earth in the constellation Vulpecula.

HD 189733 orbits a star about 3 million miles (4.8 million km), or about 3% of the distance from Earth to the sun. Its warm atmosphere and glass-laced clouds give it the appearance of an alluring, almost transparent, blue-and-white marble.

“Hydrogen sulfide is a big molecule that we didn’t know existed. We predicted it would, and we know it’s in Jupiter, but we haven’t really detected it outside the solar system,” team leader Guangwei Fu, an astrophysicist. at Johns Hopkins, said in a statement. “We’re not looking for life on this planet because it’s too hot, but finding hydrogen sulfide is a step forward to finding this molecule on other planets and to better understanding how different types of planets form .”

Fu and colleagues were not only able to detect hydrogen sulfide in the atmosphere of HD 189733 b, but also measured the total sulfur content of the planet. In addition, the team was able to locate the exoplanet’s sources of oxygen and carbon, finding water, carbon dioxide and carbon monoxide.

“Sulfur is a critical element in building more complex molecules, and – like carbon, nitrogen, oxygen and phosphate – scientists need to study it more to fully understand how planets are made and what they are made of.” they are done,” Fu continued. “Suppose we study 100 other hot Jupiters, and they are all sulfur enhanced.

Related: Scientists find surprise ingredient in exoplanet cake mix – sulfur dioxide

Is HD 189733 b ‘more metallic’ than Jupiter?

Despite its volatile and stinky nature, the star it orbits, HD 189733, is happy to keep this exoplanet close. HD 189733 orbits a star so tightly that its orbit fits the orbit of Mercury, the first planet of the solar system, around the sun 13 times.

Because of this proximity, the “hot Jupiter” planet HD 189733, a world as large as or larger than the largest planet in the solar system, orbits its star much closer than the solar system’s gas giant does to the sun. HD 189733 b is the closest hot Jupiter to Earth that we know crosses, or “transits,” the face of its star.

Not only does this proximity to its star mean that HD 189733 b completes an orbit in just 2.2 Earth days, but it also means that the Jupiter-sized planet has a temperature of around 1,700 degrees Fahrenheit (927 degrees Celcius). That’s more than hot enough to melt lead.

HD 189733 b is “tidal-locked” to its star. This means one face of the planet, a “day,” face permanently HD 189733 and bombarded by radiation, and the other side, A “night side,” always faces out into space. The planet’s daytime heat is enough to vaporize glass, and 5,000 mph (8,046 kph) winds blow this glass vapor to the cooler night side, where it condenses and forms glass rain. However, thanks to the extreme winds of HD 189733 b, this glassy rain doesn’t just fall; it slices sideways at high speeds.

The team discovered that this smelly and scary planet lacks methane. Previously, this molecule was suspected to be abundant in the atmosphere of HD 189733 b, but the JWST investigation ruled this out.

“We thought this planet was too hot to have high concentrations of methane, and now we know it’s not,” Fu said.

This planet is certainly big, but how “metal” is it?

An orange sphere with a dark circle at the top of his left arm

An orange sphere with a dark circle at the top of his left arm

To astronomers, “metal” means any element heavier than hydrogen and helium, the two lightest elements in the universe. One thing this team is very interested in is the levels of metals on the planets, which could help them determine how the “metallicity” of the earth correlates with its mass.

In the solar system, the smaller ice giants Neptune and Uranus are richer in metals than the larger gas giants Jupiter and Saturn. This shows scientists that the ice giants accumulated more ice, rock, and other heavy elements than hydrogen and helium during their formation. Fu and the team are testing whether that relationship between mass and metallicity holds true for planets outside the system.

“This Jupiter mass planet is very close to Earth and has been very well studied. Now we have this new measurement to show that the metal concentrations do indeed provide a very important anchor point for this study of how the composition of a planet varies with its mass and radius,” Fu said. “The results support our understanding of how planets form by creating more solid material after initial core formation and then naturally enhancing it with heavy metals.”

Related Stories:

— NASA space telescope finds an Earth-sized exoplanet that isn’t a ‘bad’ place to hunt for life

— NASA’s massive new exoplanet catalog reveals 126 extreme and exotic worlds

— NASA exoplanet hunter discovers ‘strange’ world living off relentless bombardment of stars – it’s called the Phoenix

The team is now trying to track sulfur as it moves through the atmospheres of other exoplanets. This will help them determine how the concentration of this element varies with distance from the parent star.

“We want to know how these types of planets got there, and understanding their atmospheric composition will help us answer that question,” said Fu.

The team’s research was published on Monday (July 8) in the journal Nature.

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