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Giant Planet Outside The Solar System Shows Stratospheric Evidence

Aug 07, 2017 04:42 AM EDT
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NASA's ICON satellite to study ionosphere, space weather

In a study of the NASA based Ames Research Center in Silicon Valley, California, co author Mark Marley said that they had discovered atmospheric similarities among the planets in the solar system. The team of astronomers detected the presence of a warm stratosphere in the recent exoplanet caught by the Hubble Space Telescope Observatory.

A planet with boiling temperature

Publishing the team's report in the Journal Nature, the scientists used the data from the NASA Hubble Space Telescope to study an exoplanet they call WASP 121b. The planet found outside the solar system is comparable to "hot Jupiter" due to detected atmospheric temperature of about 4,600 degrees Fahrenheit (2,600 degrees Celsius).

Jupiter revolves around the sun once in every 12 years while the WASP 121b only takes 1.3 days to fully orbit its star. Other observations from the Hubble Space Telescope caught other exoplanets similar to the stratospheric conditions of the most recent discovery. The exoplanet is 900 light years away, so far yet nearer than others by galactic standards, reports NASA.

Lead author Tom Evans, a research fellow at the University of Exeter, United Kingdom says that their studies and observations support the scenario in suggesting hot stratospheres of ultra high temperatures with noteworthy implications for their atmospheric physics and chemistry.

An exoplanet hostile to humans

From the Hubble Space Observatory, scientists observed how molecules behave differently with specific wavelengths of light during its investigation and measuring of the interaction between matter and electromagnetic radiation. An example of this is the predictable reaction of water vapor to particular wavelengths of light with respect to changes of water temperature, reports Astronomy Now.

The giant gas planet is about twice the size of Jupiter and 1.2 times more massive. It hangs close to its parent star that further nearing the distance could rip this exoplanet apart; being that near to its host, light from its mother planet heats up the Wasp 121b as it enters the atmosphere. The reaction radiates to outer space via infrared light.

Study partner Tiffany Kataria of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California explains why light emission from water indicates temperature increases with height. The difference with solar system stratospheres is the rise of temperature. Most of the planets in the solar system have a stratospheric rise of about a 100 degrees Fahrenheit while the WASP 121b indicates a stratospheric rise of 1,000 degrees Fahrenheit, reports The Space Reporter.

Scientists and Astronomers are still in a frantic search for a duplicate living environment of earth. The discovery of alien planets are indications that we are getting there.

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