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Researchers Have found a football shaped exoplanet nine-hundred light-years from Earth. The Planet is called WASP-121b, it is so hot that heavy metals boil through its atmosphere, venting into space (about 10 times hotter than any other known exoplanet, hotter than the sun).
This proximity also gives the planet its unique shape, because gravitational tidal forces in its atmosphere elongate the whole planet.
Astronomers compare the football shaped exoplanet to Jupiter, because it is roughly the same size as the largest planet in the 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.
“Heavy metals have been seen in other hot Jupiters before, but only in the lower atmosphere,” lead researcher David Sing of Johns Hopkins University said in a statement. “So you don’t know if they are escaping or not. With WASP-121b, we see magnesium and iron gas so far away from the planet that they’re not gravitationally bound.”
By studying the exoplanet, researchers also discovered that there is a evidence of iron and magnesium high above the planet’s surface.
[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], indicates LineScience.
Source: Text; www.livescience.com
Image credit; www.livescience.com
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