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James Webb discovers a new planet outside the solar system that defies expectations


Friday, March 31, 2023 06:00 PM

is found James Webb Space Telescope The atmosphere of the gas giant planets across the Milky Way could be very different from those in our solar system.

According to the “RT” website, observations of the distant exoplanet HD149026b, also known as “Smertrios”, revealed that the planet’s atmosphere is rich in what scientists call heavy elements, anything other than hydrogen and helium.

Also, in the atmosphere of “Smirtrius”, the James Webb telescope detected high concentrations of carbon and oxygen.

These results surprised astronomers. In the giant gas planets in our solar systemScientists, such as Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune, see a clear correlation between the mass of the planet and the amount of heavy elements in the atmosphere, and the greater the size of the planet, the lower the concentrations of these elements in its atmosphere.

“The giant planets in our solar system show an almost perfect correlation between overall composition, atmosphere composition, and mass,” explained Jacob Bean, professor of astronomy and astrophysics at the University of Chicago and lead author of the new paper.

Astronomers have seen more varied atmosphere compositions in gas giant exoplanets previously, but the composition of HD149026b’s atmosphere is off the charts.

“The planet’s mass is equivalent to that of Saturn, but its atmosphere appears to contain up to 27 times the amount of heavy elements relative to the hydrogen and helium that we find,” study co-author Jonathan Lunin, a professor in the Department of Physical Sciences at Cornell University, said in the statement. in Saturn.”

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HD149026b, or “Smertrios”, belongs to the class of planets known as “hot Jupiters”, a Jupiter-like planet orbiting close to its parent star.

In the case of Smirtrius, this distance is so short that the planet’s year lasts only three Earth days. As a result of this close proximity to the star, temperatures in Smirtrius’ atmosphere reach 2,700 degrees Fahrenheit (1,425 degrees Celsius), which is three times higher than the surface temperature of Venus, the hottest planet in the solar system. However, this does not explain the unusual composition of the planet’s atmosphere.

“It seems that every giant planet is different, and we are starting to see these differences thanks to the James Webb telescope,” Lunin said. “In this paper, we determined the number of molecules there are in relation to the basic component of gas, which is hydrogen, the most common element in the universe. This tells us a lot about how it formed.” this planet.”

And by measuring the composition of a planet’s atmosphere, scientists can gain insight into the chemistry of its parent star and the materials from which it was formed millions or billions of years ago.

The study found that the planetary disk that gave rise to “Semitrius” must have contained much more carbon compared to oxygen than the disk that gave birth to our solar system. The researchers plan to study more hot Jupiters next year, hoping to find “statistical trends” behind the diversity of their chemical compositions.

“The origin of this diversity is a fundamental puzzle in our understanding of planetary formation,” Bean said. “Our hope is that further atmospheric observations of exoplanets using the James Webb telescope will better define this diversity and lead to constraints on the more complex trends that may be present. We have shown that It is clear that the compositions of the atmospheres of the planets outside the giant solar system do not follow the same trend, which is also evident in the planets of the solar system.

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