Astronomers using the Hubble telescope discovered hot Jupiter WASP-121b, which is so hot that its surface evaporate even heavy metals. According to NASA, the planet is at a distance of 900 light years from Earth.
The researchers emphasize that for the first time in the entire history of observations, one could see the evaporation of elements heavier than hydrogen and helium. Typically, hot Jupiters are still cold enough inside to condense elements such as magnesium and iron, into the clouds.
But WASP-121b is so close to the parent star, the temperature of the outer layers of its atmosphere in excess of 2,500 degrees Celsius, that is, 10 times higher than the temperature of the atmosphere of any other known planet.
“Heavy metals were seen in other hot Jupiters, but in the lower atmosphere, so it was impossible to tell, they evaporate or not. But WASP-121b we noticed magnesium and iron so far from the planet that they do not relate the gravity,” said one of the scientists David sing.
Researchers believe that the observation of WASP-121b will allow us to trace the process of her loss of the planet’s original atmosphere.
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