Vaporized metal in the air of an exoplanet — ScienceDaily

WASP-121b is an exoplanet located 850 light years from Earth, orbiting its star in less than two days — a process that takes Earth a year to complete. WASP-121b is very close to its star — about 40 times closer than Earth to the Sun. This close proximity is also the main reason for its immensely high temperature of around 2,500 to 3,000 degrees Celsius. This makes it an ideal object of study to learn more about ultra-hot worlds.

Researchers led by Jens Hoeijmakers, first author of the study and postdoctoral research fellow at the National Centre of Competence in Research PlanetS at the Universities of Bern and Geneva, examined data that had been collected by the high-resolution HARPS spectrograph. They were able to show that a total of at least seven gaseous metals occur in the atmosphere of WASP-121b. The results were recently published in the journal Astronomy &

Read More

New gas giant exoplanet discovered by NGTS survey

New gas giant exoplanet discovered by NGTS survey
Full NGTS and TESS light curves for NGTS-12. The red vertical lines give the positions of the observed transits of NGTS-12b. Credit: Bryant et al., 2020.

An international team of astronomers has discovered a new gas giant alien world as part of the Next Generation Transit Survey (NGTS). The newly found exoplanet, designated NGTS-12b, is about the size of Jupiter, but more than four times less massive than the solar system’s biggest planet. The finding is reported in a paper published September 22 on arXiv.org.


NGTS is a wide-field photometric survey focused mainly on the search for Neptune-sized and smaller exoplanets transiting bright stars. The project uses an array of small, fully-robotic telescopes at the Paranal Observatory in Chile, operating at red-optical wavelengths. It uses the transit photometry method to find new exoworlds, which precisely measures the dimming of a star to detect the presence of a planet crossing in

Read More

Water on exoplanet cloud tops could be found with hi-tech instrumentation

exoplanet
This artist’s concept depicts a planetary system. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

University of Warwick astronomers have shown that water vapor can potentially be detected in the atmospheres of exoplanets by peering literally over the tops of their impenetrable clouds.


By applying the technique to models based upon known exoplanets with clouds the team has demonstrated in principle that high resolution spectroscopy can be used to examine the atmospheres of exoplanets that were previously too difficult to characterize due to clouds that are too dense for sufficient light to pass through.

Their technique is described in a paper for the Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society and provides another method for detecting the presence of water vapor in an exoplanet’s atmosphere—as well as other chemical species that could be used in future to assess potential signs of life. The research received funding from the Science and Technologies Facilities Council (STFC), part of

Read More

Water on exoplanet cloud tops could be found with hi-tech instrumentation — ScienceDaily

University of Warwick astronomers have shown that water vapour can potentially be detected in the atmospheres of exoplanets by peering literally over the tops of their impenetrable clouds.

By applying the technique to models based upon known exoplanets with clouds the team has demonstrated in principle that high resolution spectroscopy can be used to examine the atmospheres of exoplanets that were previously too difficult to characterise due to clouds that are too dense for sufficient light to pass through.

Their technique is described in a paper for the Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society and provides another method for detecting the presence of water vapour in an exoplanet’s atmosphere — as well as other chemical species that could be used in future to assess potential signs of life. The research received funding from the Science and Technologies Facilities Council (STFC), part of UK Research and Innovation (UKRI).

Astronomers use

Read More