Hubble uncovers football-shaped 'heavy metal' exoplanet

Hubble uncovers football-shaped 'heavy metal' exoplanet”

Sing and his colleagues made the observations using the Imaging Spectrograph instrument on the Hubble Space Telescope.

The study was published in The Astronomical Journal. In addition, the escaping magnesium and iron gas may contribute to the temperature spike, Sing said.

The Planet due to its mass and temperature to the class of Hot Jupiter. Making the planet even less hospitable is the fact that the planet is so close to the host star it's on the cusp of being torn apart. "This presents an opportunity to observe and understand some very interesting physics". The answer is when heavy metals are detected escaping from the planet's atmosphere, instead of condensing into clouds. This is the first observation of a hot Jupiter releasing heavy metal gases into space. "With WASP-121b, we see magnesium and iron gas so far away from the planet that they're not gravitationally bound". The heavy metals are escaping partly because the planet is so big and puffy that its gravity is relatively weak.

"This is a planet being actively stripped of its atmosphere", Sing added. Therefore, unlike other hot Jupiters that are still cool enough to condense iron and magnesium into clouds, this sizzling hot world emits the gases from its surface.

Things are heating up in space: The Hubble Space Telescope recently spotted WASP-121b, a "heavy metal" exoplanet that is shaped like a football and is more than 4,000 degrees Fahrenheit. That extreme temperature and the proximity of the planet to its host star has also affected its shape. However, the hydrogen and helium gas on WASP-121b is outflowing, akin to a river, dragging the metals with them, Sing continued. "It's a very efficient mechanism for mass loss". When planets form, they gather an atmosphere made of gas from the disk that gave rise to both the planet and its host star. This gas creates the planet's early atmosphere as it's forming.

Hubble's WASP-121b observations could contribute more information on how planets lose their primordial atmospheres. Yet the hot exoplanet still has an atmosphere.

By their very nature, the so-called "hot Jupiter" exoplanets are very hot, but this particular exoplanet is so close to its star that it's essentially being torn apart by it, pulling the planet into its unusual shape while also blasting material out of its atmosphere. "Ones that are this hot are even rarer still", Deming said. Cape Canaveral space freighter "Dragon" launches to the ISS North Dakota biology Student finds a 65 million year old Triceratops skull Study of the University of Bern climate change has always existed - why this is different than all previously tips and Tricks What do dogs, Cats and rabbits against heat helps search game this is a picture of 16 animals hide - recognize them all? "We look forward to learning even more about this unusual planet".

The Hubble Space Telescope is a project of global cooperation between NASA and ESA (European Space Agency).

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