Tuesday, March 28

WASP-189b: the exoplanet with an atmosphere similar to Earth’s | Digital Trends Spanish

Scientists discovered the first evidence of an exoplanet with a layered atmosphere similar to Earth’s.

It is WASP-189b, discovered some time ago and located about 322 light years from Earth.

According to the researchers, it is a gas giant that orbits its star 20 times closer than the Earth to the Sun. According to scientists, this makes it a true suffocating world.


Now, in new research on the exoplanet, experts have found the first indication that WASP-189b has an atmosphere as complex as Earth’s.

“In the past, astronomers used to assume that exoplanet atmospheres existed as a uniform layer,” explains Jens Hoeijmakers, an astrophysicist at Sweden’s Lund Observatory and one of the study’s authors.

“But our results show that even the atmospheres of intensely irradiated gas giant planets have complex three-dimensional structures.”

For this finding, the astronomers used the observations collected in 2019 by the High Accuracy Radial Velocity Planet Searcher (HARPS) instrument, located at the La Silla Observatory in Chile, during three passes that the exoplanet made in front of its star.

In their analysis, the scientists found slightly different Doppler shifts between the different chemicals, which could indicate that they move differently through the atmosphere and therefore have a complex structure.

“We believe that strong winds and other processes could generate these alterations”, explains Bibiana Prinoth, other authors of the study.

“And since the fingerprints of the different gases were altered differently, we think this indicates that they exist in different layers in a similar way to how the fingerprints of water vapor and ozone on Earth would appear altered differently from the Earth. distance, because they occur mainly in different atmospheric layers”.

One of the chemicals the team identified was the presence of titanium oxide, which the researchers say could absorb short-wavelength light just as the Earth’s ozone layer does.

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