Astronomers working with the space telescope "Hubble" and "Spitzer", reported the discovery of a very interesting planet, located about 700 light-years from Earth. Discovered object, dubbed WASP-39b, supposedly has huge stocks of water in the atmosphere. About his discovery, scientists shared in an article published in the journal of the Astronomical Journal.
"the Discovery of WASP-39b shows that exoplanets can be quite unlike the celestial bodies of the Solar system in terms of chemical composition and history. We believe that the discovery of other exotic objects this sort will help us to unlock the mysteries of how to form and evolyutsioniruet planet," said David Singh, an astronomer at the University of Exeter (UK).
Recent years have been very generous in terms of open planets claiming if not inevitable, then at least the "sisters" of our home planet. The first such object was a planet, open the nearest stellar neighbor, Proxima Centauri, the other three are in an open system, TRAPPIST-1, located in the constellation of Aquarius. There, recall, there are seven earth-like planets.
All of these cosmic body combines small size, location in the so-called habitable zone home star (where water on the surface of planets can exist in liquid form), and orbit around stars class red dwarf. In recent studies conducted, again using the space telescope "Hubble", scientists have found that on some planets TRAPPIST-1 can indeed be water. According to astronomers, this increases the chances of the presence of life on their surface.
The Research team Synge, in turn, found that water may be present, and be present in large quantities not only on samplemodeling planets, but also in the atmospheres of these giants in size and weight is closer to Saturn and Jupiter.
To Make such a conclusion allowed observing the planet WASP-39b – planet belonging to the class of so-called "hot Saturns" and located in the constellation Virgo, located 700 light years from us. In fact, the planet was discovered seven years ago. To discover its managed by South African telescope SuperWASP – it is periodically obscured the light of its star.
The interest of the planet adds to the fact that this gas giant is very close to its star, causing the year on WASP-39b lasts only four days. Such close proximity with his home star led to the fact that the planet's atmosphere heated to 750 degrees Celsius, and greatly swollen. Due to this, WASP-39b is comparable in size to Jupiter, with the mass approximately three times less.
The following features of the planet make it extremely interesting to study the chemical composition of its atmosphere, the researchers note. Due to the rarefied atmosphere of WASP-39b rays of light the stars will be much easier to penetrate, in contrast to the dense and narrow cold atmospheres of gas giants and analogues of the Earth.
With the help of space telescopes "Hubble" and "Spitzer" scientists obtained spectral data of the planet, which ultimately helped to determine what molecules are present in its atmosphere, and to measure their ratio.
Scientists have been very surprised by the fact that the atmosphere of WASP-39b contains not only large quantities of hydrogen, ammonia, methane and other hydrocarbons, and water. Its share, as noted planetary scientists, was approximately three times higher than in the depths of Saturn, and ten times more than the atmosphere of other planets class "hot Saturns" and "hot Jupiters".
The Presence of such a large amount of water in the atmosphere of WASP-39b to explain is extremely difficult, says Singh. Especially if she was born exactly where it is now. Scientists suspect that the object appeared closer to the external boundaries of its system, and then migrated closer to the star. How exactly was this "relocation" — exactly, scientists can not answer. However, further observation of the planet will allow you to discover this mystery, the researchers said.
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