Special Report News Journal,Stocks News Scientists Found One Planet That Rains Iron

  • Special Report News Journal,Stocks News Scientists Found One Planet That Rains Iron

Special Report News Journal,Stocks News Scientists Found One Planet That Rains Iron

Dr David Ehrenreich from the University of Geneva, who led the study, told the BBC: "Imagine instead of a drizzle of water droplets, you have iron droplets splashing down". The extreme heat causes intense winds which bring the iron vapor from side to side, where the temperature cools to around 1,500 degrees Celsius.

The researchers said on Wednesday they used the planet-hunting ESPRESSO instrument on the European Southern Observatory's Very Large Telescope in Chile to observe a planet called WASP-76b located about 640 light years from Earth.

This odd phenomenon happens because the "iron rain" planet only ever shows one face, its day side, to its parent star, its cooler night side remaining in perpetual darkness.

The staggering difference between the two portions of the planet mean winds can reach upwards of 11,184 miles per hour. For this reason, when strong winds push the vaporized iron towards the night, it condenses into droplets, creating an iron rain storm. Like the Moon on its orbit around the Earth, WASP-76b is "tidally locked": it takes as long to rotate around its axis as it does to go around the star.

On the day side, the planet receives thousands of times more radiation from its parent star than the Earth from the sun. WASP-76b orbits at only three times the radius of that star, much closer than our solar system's innermost planet Mercury orbits the sun. Temperatures at these extreme levels can vaporize metals. It is a gas giant, like Jupiter and Saturn in our solar system. To the left of the image, we can see the evening border of the exoplanet, where it spends from day to night. Lovis said, "It's like in the heavy steel industry on Earth where they melt iron, and so you see this melting, flowing metal".

The momentous conditions on WASP-76b were found utilizing the Echelle Spectrograph for Rocky Exoplanets and Stable Spectroscopic Observations (ESPRESSO). "What we have now is a whole new way of tracking the climate of the most extreme exoplanets", said Ehrenreich. "We soon realised that the remarkable collecting power of the VLT and the extreme stability of ESPRESSO made it a prime machine to study exoplanet atmospheres", says Pedro Figueira, ESPRESSO instrument scientist at ESO in Chile.

The insane weather on the planet is due to the way it rotates around its parent star. "A fraction of this iron is injected into the night side owing to the planet's rotation and atmospheric winds".

Astrophysicist Maria Rosa Zapatero Osorio of the Center for Astrobiology in Madrid, Spain, was also part of the research team. The only feasible explanation is that the iron in the atmosphere is condensing and falling back down to the surface in the form of rain.

Planets with an extremely hot day side and colder night side would have a enormous condensation front in the form of a cloud cascade at its evening border.