An unusual spectacle: Exoplanet could be the iron in the rain


In the evening, the rain of iron: astronomers have observed an exoplanet with a particular type of extreme weather conditions. On the Dayside of the 390 light-years away from the gas giant in the constellation of Pisces, it’s so hot that the metals fuse together. The team of observers led by David Ehrenreich, University of Geneva, and has been shown to significant amounts of iron vapor in the atmosphere of the planet, as the researchers in the British journal “Nature,” he says.

For temperatures up to 2400 degrees Celsius.

But after you see it

“For a small fraction of this iron is listed, due to the Rotation of the earth and the atmosphere, the winds on the night side,” said Co-author Maria Rosa Zapatero Osorio of the centre for astrobiology in Madrid, the communication from the European southern Observatory (Eso, with all their instruments, and the observations have taken place. “Where the iron hits, and in many places the cooler, it condenses and rains down.”

On the Planet, with the catalog number of the Wasp-76b is almost twice the diameter of Jupiter, the largest planet in our System. It moves around its star so closely that it receives a thousand times more radiation than the earth is from the sun. He becomes a star, always on the same side of the earth, the moon always shows the same page. As a result, it is on the Dayside of the gas giant at 2400 degrees Fahrenheit to a temperature in the metal thickness.

In the evening, it rains iron

Into the eternal night of the side, however, is about 1000 degrees cooler, as the scientists report. Astronomers have studied the exotic gas giant with an instrument, especially in the ‘Very Large Telescope’ of the Establishment. “The observations show that the atmosphere of the hot day-side of Wasp-76b steam iron is available in Abundance,” emphasizes Europe in a modern office building.

In the night zone and the day and the night side of the planet, and it separates, and it is much colder, there was a strong iron signature. “You could say that this is the planet on the night of the rain, it’s just that it’s raining iron,” said Ehrenreich. However, it is always in the same general Region of the planet, and in the evening.

The research, by scientists have not yet determined the scientists to large differences in temperature between the two sides of the planet, but it’s also a different day – and night-time, the chemical was not detected, which leads to the iron in the pouring rain. These observations can also be used on other planets in order to run it, as Ehrenreich said. “What we need now is a new way to explore the weather in the most extreme of the solar system this way.”