Bern/Geneva: Vaporized Metal in the Air of an Exoplanet

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Bern/Geneva: Vaporized Metal in the Air of an Exoplanet

Post by bystander » Tue Oct 13, 2020 5:19 pm

Vaporized Metal in the Air of an Exoplanet
University of Bern | University of Geneva | 2020 Oct 08
An international team of researchers led by the National Centre of Competence in Research PlanetS of the University of Bern and the University of Geneva studied the atmosphere of the ultra-hot exoplanet WASP-121b. In it, they found a number of gaseous metals. The results are a next step in the search for potentially habitable worlds.

WASP-121b is an exoplanet located 850 light years from Earth, orbiting its star in less than two days - a process that takes Earth a year to complete. WASP-121b is very close to its star - about 40 times closer than Earth to the Sun. This close proximity is also the main reason for its immensely high temperature of around 2,500 to 3,000 degrees Celsius. This makes it an ideal object of study to learn more about ultra-hot worlds.

Researchers led by Jens Hoeijmakers ... examined data that had been collected by the high-resolution HARPS spectrograph. They were able to show that a total of at least seven gaseous metals occur in the atmosphere of WASP-121b. ...

Hot Exoplanet Atmospheres Resolved with Transit Spectroscopy (HEARTS) -- IV. A Spectral Inventory
of Atoms and Molecules in the High-Resolution Transmission Spectrum of WASP-121 b
~ H. J. Hoeijmakers et al
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