Scientists recently discovered an exoplanet, located around 390 light-years away, which rains iron. The planet is scorching, and the surface temperature touches 2,400 Celsius during the day. The temperature is so high that it can evaporate metals. In the night, these metal vapor cools down and forms drops of iron owing to the effects of strong winds.
The ESPRESSO, which was installed in the VLT located in Chile, played an important role in the recent discovery. Using this equipment, scientists get to know about the chemical variations between night and day on that exoplanet. This marks the first instance when scientists detect the chemical variations on such a big hot planet.
More about the Development
Scientists further reveal that surprisingly, they did not notice such phenomena during the morning period. It might be possible that the planet rains on the dark side, where the temperature is extreme. María Rosa Zapatero Osorio, the coordinator of the ESPRESSO team, tried to understand the whole concept. She revealed that in the daytime, scientists observed a massive amount of iron in the atmosphere. Due to the atmospheric wind, these iron transport to the dark side of the planet. As the dark side is cooler in comparison to the other side, the vaporized iron condenses and forms precipitation.
Similar to the moon and Earth, the exoplanet always shows one face towards the star. Therefore, the difference in temperature between the two sides is quite significant. The exoplanet, WASP-76b, receives a massive amount of radiation from its Sun, which is way higher than that of Earth.
In the day, the molecules dived into atoms, thanks to the extreme heat on the planet. And, metals like iron start to evaporate. This might be the first instance when scientists able to get a clear picture of the weather of an extreme exoplanet.