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Detection of Barium in the Exoplanet Atmosphere

Context:

Recently, in a new study, scientists have detected barium in the upper atmosphere of two giant exoplanets for the first time.

Relevance:

GS I: Geography

Dimensions of the Article:

  1. What are Exoplanets?
  2. Findings of the Study

What are Exoplanets?

  • An exoplanet or extrasolar planet is a planet outside the Solar System.
  • The first possible evidence of an exoplanet was noted in 1917, but was not recognized as such.
  • There are many methods of detecting exoplanets: Transit photometry and Doppler spectroscopy have found the most, but these methods suffer from a clear observational bias favoring the detection of planets near the star; thus, 85% of the exoplanets detected are inside the tidal locking zone.

Findings of the Study

  • The exoplanets, WASP-76b and WASP-121b, are two incredibly hot Jupiters that revolve around their respective host stars, WASP 76 and WASP 121.
  • The distance between the former and the latter from Earth is approximately 640 and 900 light-years, respectively. In two days, WASP-76b and WASP-121b both complete one orbit.
  • These creatures’ surfaces can get as hot as 1,000 degrees Celsius. Due of their extreme temperatures, these bodies have distinctive characteristics. Iron rain, for instance, is observed on WASP-76b.
  • In addition to barium, other elements like as hydrogen, lithium, sodium, magnesium, calcium, vanadium, chromium, manganese, and iron have also been identified in the atmosphere of the WASP-76 b.
  • They verified the existence of vanadium, chromium, manganese, iron, nickel, lithium, sodium, magnesium, calcium, magnesium, and chromium in WASP 121b.
  • Additionally, the team found elements such as cobalt and strontium. They also found indications of titanium in the exoplanet.

-Source: Down to Earth


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December 2022
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