A very hot planet has been discovered 650 light years away. The planet has an atmosphere of iron and titanium. The surface temperature is nearly as hot as that of the sun. A team of researchers from Europe noted that the planet is part of a category of ultra-hot Jupiters. These planets tend to straddle the simple transition between stars and gas giant exoplanets.
The planet has an equilibrium temperature of 3,770 degrees Celsius. This is the first time that vaporized heavy metals have been discovered on its atmosphere. However, the planet was first spotted last year. Researchers from Europe and other parts of the world have been trying in the recent months to learn more about it.
The temperatures there are so high that the scientists were only able to notice iron and titanium atoms in the atmosphere and not the full metals. One of the researchers noted in a blog that due to the heat, the vaporized metals don’t converge together to form a cloud as normal. They are simply single atoms floating around the atmosphere without any attachment to other molecules.
Most theories that explain the formation of planets have always mentioned metals as part of the materials needed for the process. Iron and titanium, in particular, have been mentioned. But scientists have never been able to observe them in distant planets until now. The researchers believe that this development will offer more insight on the formation of planets. In addition to this, the findings will help develop explanations as to why some planets develop into gas giants rather than normal stars.
Although some scientists are trying to find out if there are any signs of life there, it’s very likely that there’s nothing. The heat, for instance, could be a defining factor. The planet is very close to its star which could explain the heat. The scientists also observed that the star is about twice as hot as the sun. There are also other strange attributes about the planet. For example, due to its closeness to its star, the planet takes a day and a half to fully revolve around it. It takes Earth about a year to fully revolve around its star.
The scientists have also noted that the planet orbits perpendicularly to its star. In other words, unlike Earth which travels around the sun’s equator, this planet travels around the poles. The heat from the planet would appear as blue and white rays for the human eye if we were able to see it. The planet would also be bathed in orange and would only have red light.
The planet is quite huge. The scientists from Europe estimate that its size could be twice that of Jupiter, one of the largest planets in the solar system. There’s a lot of information that we still don’t know about the ultra-hot planet though. The scientist working on it are hoping that over the coming few months they will be able to gather more knowledge to better explain some of the strange features associated with it.