Scientists manage to study the weather on a planet in different solar systems

Unsurprisingly, forecasts for the “warm Saturn” world WASP-127b predict thick clouds.

Weather channel

Thanks to a combination of observations from terrestrial and orbital telescopes, a team of scientists were able to take a closer look at the distant exoplanet WASP-127b.

Not only were scientists able to determine the chemical composition of the exoplanet’s atmosphere, they even managed to study its clouds at an unprecedented level of detail, According to research presented at the current Europlanet Science 2021 Congress by University of Montreal researcher Romain Allart. It’s impressive in itself, but Allart said in a Europlanet press release that the techniques they developed can now help scientists look better and gather new data on other exoplanets even further away.

Cloudy sky

WASP-127b – the same exoplanet rapper Lil Uzi Vert claimed to have bought – is a so-called “hot Saturn” world, or an exoplanet with roughly the same mass as the gas giant Saturn, but which orbit much closer to its star host than Saturn.

In the new research, which combined data from the Hubble Space Telescope and the ESPRESSO spectrograph from the European Southern Observatory’s Very Large Telescope, the researchers determined that the exoplanet’s atmosphere contains unexpected levels of sodium and vapor. of water, both persistent at unusually low altitudes. under a layer of clouds. They were also able to measure atmospheric pressure and cloud elevation, although clouds still remain a mystery in other ways.

“We don’t yet know what clouds are made up of, except they aren’t made up of water droplets like on Earth,” Allart said in the statement. “We are also puzzled as to why sodium is in an unexpected place on this planet. Future studies will help us better understand not only the atmospheric structure, but also WASP-127b, which turns out to be a fascinating place.

READ MORE: Cloud-spotting on a distant exoplanet [Europlanet]

Learn more about WASP-127b: Rapper says he’s buying an entire planet

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Arline J. Mercier

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