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Planetary scientists have discovered more about the atmosphere of exoplanet K2-141b



The alien planets, the mysterious worlds in the Milky Way orbiting stars outside of our solar system, come in all sizes and flavors, from diamond-capable planets to planets with toxic iron rain. So far, NASA has identified more than 4,000 of these distant exotic destinations through a variety of methods, some of which are extremely Earth-like and potentially life-supporting.

On the opposite side of the scale with the temperate, habitable planets in the moderately “Goldilocks” zone, we present you with the hostile lava world of K2-141b and the frenetic atmosphere. of volatile rocks, barbarians, supersonic winds and giant glacial rocks.

Scientists have now created detailed weather simulations for this extreme planet in a new research paper from McGill University, York University and the Indian Institute of Scientific Education published in the journal. Online Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society.

First discovered in 201

7, K2-141b is about 50% larger than our Big Blue Marble but orbits its star KT-141 much closer and orbits it several times per day Earth with a the face is constantly facing the fiery Sun host.

According to the investigation, the team believes that this fixed positioning resulted in 2/3 K2-141b being submerged in bright sunlight, causing the ocean of lava to boil and evaporate rocks to escape into the atmosphere.

Professor Nicolas Cowan, planetary scientist at McGill University in Canada and co-author of the new study, said: “All rocky planets, including Earth, started out as molten worlds but then quickly cools and solidifies ”. “The lava planets give us a rare glimpse of this planetary evolutionary phase.”

In an attempt to discern what particular type of atmosphere this roasting planet might exhibit, scientists targeted K2-141b because it had previously been scrutinized by K2’s mission. NASA’s Kepler Space Telescope and Spitzer Space Telescope. With a degree of sunlight penetration, the world’s most magma-like Mustafar ocean could theoretically be dozens of miles deep.

By carefully modeling the nature of the K2-141b atmosphere using the properties of the same rocky planets in their formula, scientists estimate that the kite wind blast-ripping it Can exceed the speed of 3,900 miles per hour!

Just like the Earth’s water cycle, where H2O evaporates rise, condense and return as rain, the sodium, silicon monoxide and silicon dioxide of K2-141b will fall onto the surface lava oceans as measurable rainfall.

“This study is the first to predict weather conditions on K2-141b that can be detected hundreds of light years away using next-generation telescopes like the James Webb Space Telescope. , ”Lead author Giang Nguyen, a graduate student at York University working under the supervision of Professor Cowan.

While awaiting next year’s launch of the new James Webb Space Telescope, whose devices could provide more details on the K2-141b, scientists involved in the project recently collected The numerous Spitzer Space Telescope observations contain more accurate data to help calculate the temperature for the planet’s day and night faces.


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