Astronomers have discovered a planet on which iron rains. The object is located in the constellation Pisces and was named WASP-76b, according to a study by scientists from the University of Geneva, published in the journal Nature.
The new planet belongs to the class of hot Jupiters – exoplanets with a mass of the order of Jupiter. Such objects revolve around their stars at a distance of only 0.05 a. e. and introduce noticeable short-period perturbations into the motion of the star. Due to the proximity to the star, such objects are most often heated in the range from 730°C to 1.23 thousand°C, so the existence of life on them is not possible.
Due to the high temperatures, the atomosphere of such exoplanets consists of rather exotic materials – for example, it contains a large amount of lead, and in the upper layers it rains from rubies and sapphires.
Watching the WASP-76 star, astronomers discovered another hot Jupiter. The exoplanet makes one revolution around the star in just two incomplete days and is located about 33 times closer to it than the Earth to the Sun.
The temperature on one side is more than 1.5 thousand°C, and on the other reaches 2.5 thousand°C. Because of this, a cycle of exchange of metallic iron occurs in the atmosphere and on the surface of the planet, similar to the water cycle on Earth.
“Rains on this planet often occur in the evenings, but at this time, not drops of water fall, but molten iron. In the morning there is no such precipitation, due to the fact that such iron rains occur only on the “cold” night side of this amazing and extremely hot exoplanet”.
David Ehrenreich, lead author of the study