Unique exoplanet discovered an abundance of metals

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2018-06-03 17:45:05

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Unique exoplanet discovered an abundance of metals

An international group of scientists have discovered signatures of a variety of metals for one of the least dense exoplanets of all that have ever found. Scientists from the University of Cambridge and the Canary Institute of astrophysics used the Great Canary telescope to observe WASP-127b, a giant gas planet with a particularly clear sky and strong signatures of metals in the atmosphere. The results were accepted for publication in the journal Astronomy &Astrophysics.

The Radius of WASP-127b 1.4 times larger than Jupiter, but the mass is 5 times less. This planet has no analogues in our Solar system, and rare even among the thousands discovered to date of exoplanets. It takes about four days for it orbited its parent star in an orbit, and the temperature at its surface is about 1127 degrees Celsius.

Observations of WASP-127b revealed the presence of large concentrations of alkali metals in the atmosphere, which allowed to find the sodium, potassium and lithium at the same time on exoplanet for the first time in history. Absorption of sodium and potassium is very wide, which is typical for relatively clean atmospheres. According to the study, the skies over WASP-127b pure 50%.

"the Special properties of this planet allowed us to carry out a detailed study of its rich atmospheric composition," says Dr. Guo Chen, a researcher from the Canary Institute of astrophysics and first author of the work. "The presence of lithium is important for understanding the evolutionary history of planetary systems and can shed light on the mechanisms of formation of planets."

The Star, the planet WASP-127 is also rich in lithium, which may indicate a type AGB star is the bright red giant thousands of times brighter than the sun or supernovae that enriched the cloud of material from which appeared this system.

Scientists have also discovered possible signs of the presence of water. Although this discovery is not statistically significant, perhaps in the future, additional observations will allow him to confirm.

Detection of trace elements such as Li, of the planetary atomsphere is a big break for motivating new research and detailed theoretical modeling. We are only beginning to feel the atmosphere of exoplanets using ground-based telescopes, but the authors believe that this exoplanet will be a model for future research and the search for forces of telescopes kind of telescope James Webb.

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