Atmosphere discovered planet-supergiant very surprised scientists

Astronomers working with the space telescope "Hubble" and "Spitzer", announce the opening of a very interesting planet located approximately 700 light years from Earth. The discovered object, known as WASP-39b, is believed to have vast reserves of water in the atmosphere. About his discovery, scientists have shared in an article published in the Astronomical Journal magazine.

Atmosphere discovered planet-supergiant very surprised scientists

"The discovery of WASP-39b shows that exoplanets may be quite unlike the celestial body of the solar system in its chemical composition and history. We believe that the opening of other unusual objects of this kind will help us to unravel the mysteries of how the planet formed and evolved, "- said David Singh, an astronomer at the University of Exeter (UK).

The last few years have been very generous in terms of opening the planets, claiming the role if not "twins", then at least the "sisters" of our home planet. The first such object was the planet discovered in the nearest stellar neighbor, Proxima Centauri, the other three - in the open TRAPPIST-1 system, located in the constellation Aquarius. There, we recall, are just seven Earth-like planets.

All these celestial bodies combines small size, the location in the so-called habitable zone of the star home (where the water is on the surface of planets could exist in liquid form), and orbit around a red dwarf star class. As part of the latest research, again conducted with the help of space telescope "Hubble", scientists have found that on some planets TRAPPIST-1 can indeed be water. According to astronomers, this increases the chances of the presence of life on its surface. Singh's research group, in turn, found that water may be present, and present in large numbers not only zemplepodobnyh planets, but also in the atmospheres of these giants, the size and weight is closer to Saturn and Jupiter.

To make such a conclusion have allowed the observation of the planet WASP-39b - a planet belonging to the class of so-called "hot Saturn" and is located in the constellation Virgo, which is 700 light years from us. In fact, the planet was discovered seven years ago. I managed to find her with the help of the South African telescope SuperWASP - she occasionally obscured the light of its star.

Interest adds another planet and the fact that this gas giant is very close to its star, which is why a year on WASP-39b only lasts for four days. This close proximity to their home star has led to the fact that the planet's atmosphere warmed up to 750 degrees Celsius and still heavily swollen. Thanks to this WASP-39b is comparable in size to Jupiter, at a weight of about three times less.

These features of the planet make it very interesting for the study of the chemical composition of the atmosphere, the researchers note. Due to the rarefied atmosphere of WASP-39b rays of the star's light will be much easier to penetrate through it, in contrast to the dense and "narrow" the cold atmospheres of gas giants, and analogs of the Earth.

With the help of space telescopes "Hubble" and "Spitzer" the scientists obtained the spectral data of the planet, which eventually allowed to find out exactly which molecules are present in the atmosphere, as well as measure their ratio. Scientists were very surprised by the fact that the atmosphere is WASP-39b contains not only large quantities of hydrogen, ammonia, methane and other hydrocarbons, but also water. Its share as planetary scientists say, was about three times higher than in the depths of Saturn, and ten times more than in the atmosphere of other planets class "hot Saturn" and "hot Jupiters".

The presence of such a large amount of water in the atmosphere of WASP-39b is extremely difficult to explain, said Singh. Especially if she was born exactly where it is now. Scientists suspect that the object was born still closer to the outer limits of its system and then migrated closer to the star. How it happened is a "relocation" - scientists can not answer precisely. However, further observation of the planet will allow to guess the mystery, the researchers said.