Scientists found Titanium and Iron for the First Time on an Ultrahot Jupiter

Scientists found Titanium and Iron for the First Time on an Ultrahot Jupiter

KELT-9b reveals some shocking facts about ultra-hot exoplanets as researchers used spectrography to analyze its atmosphere.

All the stars, planets, meteors, and asteroids offer all the exceptional characteristics of our solar system. These features help define the individuality of each astronomical object. The continuous upsurge of the resources ensures persistent development in the field of interplanetary science. Even after decades of research of the cosmic system, the information about innumerable celestial bodies is beyond us. All the planets, including Earth, orbiting the Sun represent their individuality through their diverse features. They differ in terms of their size, diameter, temperature, atmosphere and other countless variables.

Over the course of the time, researchers have studied many capricious features about our neighboring planets but they hardly had any knowledge about the Exoplanets. The planets that orbit any star other than our Sun are categorized as Exoplanets. Scientists have been working for decades to explore such planets but failed to find any till 1992 when the first Exoplanet was detected. Neil deGrasse Tyson, a popular Astrophysicist referred to this topic and said,

“That is a big question we all have: are we alone in the universe? And exoplanets confirm the suspicion that planets are not rare.”

According to records, about two thousand exoplanets have been discovered until now by Kepler Space Telescope each telling a story of their own. Just like planets in our solar system, each of these foreigner planets offers a dissimilar set of features. One of these exoplanets caught the attention of our researchers that was classified as KELT-9b. This specific astronomical wonder orbited around a host star that has an extreme temperature far beyond our sun. As the time went by, the exoplanet became as hot as the star it orbited, thus earning its title as the ultra-hot Jupiter. The term Jupiter was added to its title, as it was twice as enormous in size as Jupiter and trice its mass.

This star is located about 650 light years away from the Earth in the constellation Cygnus. Its recorded temperature is over 10,000 degrees, almost twice as scorching as the sun. Knowing pintsize about this alien planet, NCCR Planets researchers joined forces with the University of Bern in order to investigate this unfamiliar entity. Upon study, it became clear that the molecules found in its atmosphere existed in atomic form. This came into discovery as the bonds that held them together were broken by an impact between the particles transpiring in this high temperature.

This exoplanet was carefully observed as it orbited around its host star. This led to an observation where a minute portion of the light emitted from the star filtered through the planet’s atmosphere. This light helped the scientists to figure out the chemical configuration of the atmosphere and a mystery was solved. The advanced equipment and tools allowed an even deeper study. By making use of a spectrograph, white light was separated into its module spectrum leaving a recognizable fingerprint in the spectrum of the planet in case any iron vapor exists. The refractive property of Iron makes it extremely hard to detect. Researchers used the HARPS-North spectrograph and found a robust signal confirming the existence of iron vapors in the planet’s environment. This left the astronomers astonished and pushed them to look even further, primarily out of their curiosity.

This hunger paid off brilliantly as traces of titanium were also found in form of vapors. Once this research was complete, the scientists turned their attention to finding similar exoplanets to gather as much information about its qualities as possible. According to their findings, the planets having similar traits evaporated into the surrounding environments due to their extreme temperatures. The humungous size of the KELT-9b behaved a bit differently. Although it has not vanished, the high temperature of this exoplanet forces most of its molecules to break apart even the ones comprising of Iron and Titanium.

Having said that, this ultra-hot giant Jupiter could possibly vanish given its incredibly hot temperatures. Quite obviously, the chances of this incident are quite minimal in case of cooler giant exoplanets as they have a protective layer of gaseous oxides and dust particles. However, the detection of such exoplanets is quite difficult than the hotter counterparts. Nevertheless, as far as this vicious KELT-9b is concerned, its atmosphere can progress under forceful stellar radiation.

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