HomeLatest ThreadsGreatest ThreadsForums & GroupsMy SubscriptionsMy Posts
DU Home » Latest Threads » Forums & Groups » Topics » Science » Science (Group) » Scientists Find a Boiling...

Sun Aug 4, 2019, 04:31 AM

Scientists Find a Boiling, Toxic Wasteland of an Exoplanet, and It's Shaped Like a Football


By Rafi Letzter, Staff Writer | August 2, 2019 04:54pm ET



Scientists have discovered a football-shaped planet, known as WASP121-b. The planet circles a star brighter and hotter than the sun, at such close distances that the planet is almost torn apart by gravitational tidal forces.
Credit: NASA, ESA, and J. Olmsted (STScI)

Nine-hundred light-years from Earth, there's a football-shaped planet so hot that heavy metals boil through its atmosphere, venting into space.

The planet, called WASP-121b, is about 10 times hotter than any other known exoplanet, due to its proximity to its host star, which is hotter than the sun. This proximity also gives the planet its unique shape, because gravitational tidal forces in its atmosphere elongate the whole planet.

WASP121-b falls into a category astronomers call "hot Jupiters," because it is roughly the same size as the largest planet in our solar system. The exoplanet is 12% to 24% heavier than Jupiter, but the heat that WASP121-b absorbs from its sun puffs up the planet to a radius of about 70% wider than Jupiter's.

When researchers analyzed the light filtering through the exoplanet's atmosphere as the planet passed between its host star and Earth, they saw evidence of iron and magnesium high above the planet's surface so high that those heavy molecules would escape the planet's gravity and drift off into space. That puts WASP-121b in a class all its own. There are other planets hot enough to boil iron and magnesium at the planetary surface, but once in the atmosphere, gravity and cooler environs conspire to condense those elements into clouds. This first-of-its-kind discovery reveals a new category of ultrahot exoplanet, one so thoroughly cooked that your cast-iron skillet would bubble, turn to gas and boil out of the atmosphere.

More:
https://www.livescience.com/66090-heavy-metal-hot-football-exoplanet-jupiter.html?utm_source=notification

4 replies, 605 views

Reply to this thread

Back to top Alert abuse

Always highlight: 10 newest replies | Replies posted after I mark a forum
Replies to this discussion thread
Arrow 4 replies Author Time Post
Reply Scientists Find a Boiling, Toxic Wasteland of an Exoplanet, and It's Shaped Like a Football (Original post)
Judi Lynn Aug 4 OP
SCantiGOP Aug 4 #1
eppur_se_muova Aug 5 #2
SCantiGOP Aug 6 #4
Javaman Aug 5 #3

Response to Judi Lynn (Original post)

Sun Aug 4, 2019, 11:06 AM

1. Does its look like Stewie's head?

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to SCantiGOP (Reply #1)

Mon Aug 5, 2019, 01:09 AM

2. GMTA ! nt

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to eppur_se_muova (Reply #2)

Tue Aug 6, 2019, 02:23 PM

4. Love your signature line

We must be ever vigilant against the intelligent, educated masses. Thankfully we have a Prezdent that is doing everything he can to keep them at bay.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Judi Lynn (Original post)

Mon Aug 5, 2019, 12:00 PM

3. reminded me of this...

"And all the world is football shaped,
It's just for me to kick in space"

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink

Reply to this thread