March 13, 2020

There is a planet where it rains iron

The Gist

Researchers have observed an exoplanet WASP-76b where it rains iron. It is the first time when astronomers are able to identify chemical reactions on an ultra-hot gas planet. 

The List

  • WASP-76b is a planet with an ultra-hot atmosphere where the temperatures reach 2400 degrees Celcius and is 390 light-years away.
  • Such high temperatures are sufficient to melt or vaporize metals such as iron.
  • At nighttime, the atmosphere cools down and condenses the iron clouds which turn into iron rain.
  • A new instrument called "Very Large Telescope" was used in the European Southern Observatory to study the exoplanet.
  • It is the first time condensed iron could be seen on a planet.

Additional information

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