Titanium And Iron Found In The Atmosphere Of An Exoplanet

Astronomers, in the previous year, made a fascinating discovery: a blazing planet, scorching than any other recognized to human, where dayside temperatures may go beyond 4,000 K (6,740°F). That would turn it hotter than several stars.

Now, more interesting information of this bizarre exoplanet, named KELT-9b, has surfaced. As per a study issued in Nature journal, the atmosphere of the planet encloses heavy metals, like titanium and iron, which take the vaporized gas form owing to the intense heat.

Iron is the most plentiful transition metal—it is tricky to identify them in cooler environments as the atoms are generally ensnared in other molecules. And, it has never been recognized directly in the exoplanet’s atmosphere as it is extremely refractory, implying it has a high melting point and, thus, needs extremely high temperatures to be converted into a gas.

Titanium has been speckled earlier in the atmosphere of an exoplanet—however, not in its atomic form. Astronomers, in September 2017, utilizing the Hubble Space Telescope declared that they had discovered titanium dioxide (molecules comprising 2 oxygen atoms and 1 titanium atom) in the exoplanet’s atmosphere dubbed Kepler-13A.

KELT-9b—that is situated about 650 light years away—fits in a group of planets called “ultrahot Jupiters”—exoplanets that are Jupiter-sizes and orbit very near to their host stars—in the Cygnus constellation. With a temperature of more than 10,000 degrees, it’s roughly twofold as hot as the Sun.

KELT-9b, a giant gas planet orbits, this star, which is 30x nearer than the distance of Earth from the Sun. Owing to this closeness, the planet encircles its star in 36 H and is heated to a temperature of more than 4,000 degrees. It isn’t as hot as the Sun, however, hotter than several stars. Presently, we don’t yet recognize what an atmosphere appears like and how it can change under such circumstances.

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