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IRON RAIN ON EXOPLANET

Focus: GS-III Science and Technology

Why in news?

The exoplanet, named WASP-76B, is said to have been witnessing iron rain when the metal vapour condenses into clouds.

Exoplanet

  • 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.

WASP-76 b

  • WASP-76 b is a bizarre “ultrahot Jupiter” type exoplanet that lies about 640 light-years from the sun, in the constellation Pisces.
  • WASP-76 b was discovered in 2013.
  • The planet is about as massive as Jupiter but nearly twice as wide, likely because the massive radiation loads the exoplanet receives from its host star puff up its atmosphere considerably.



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