This suggests that the iron vapor is transferred from the super-hot day side of the exoplanet by powerful atmospheric winds to the night side.
"On WASP-76b and similarly hot planets, these clouds could be made out of iron droplets, since liquid iron is the most stable high-temperature iron-bearing condensate".
Dubbed WASP-76b, the exoplanet is located approximately 640 light-years away in the constellation of Pisces. Because the planet's rotation matches the time it takes to complete one orbit, the same side always faces the star. However, ESPRESSO has proven itself much more versatile than originally thought, allowing astronomers to detect a strong signature of iron vapor at the evening border that separates Wasp-76b's two sides. According to the study, the "iron planet" also has distinct day-night chemistry.
"WASP-76b is slightly less massive than Jupiter-the largest planet of the solar system-but nearly a factor of two bigger in size", María Rosa Zapatero Osorio, an author on the latest Nature study from the Centro de Astrobiología, Spain, told Newsweek. Using the European Southern Observatory's Very Large Telescope in Chile, a large global team of astronomers led by the University of Geneva (UNIGE) detected a whiff of iron vapour on one side of the WASP-76b described as the "evening" or "night side".More news: 'Riverdale' Season 4: Coronavirus Causes Production Shutdown, COVID-19
"We can not say with absolute certainty, but with all probability there's no life on WASP-76b, surely not the life we know: the planet is really hot, about 2500° [Celsius] on the day side, and is Jupiter-like, big and gaseous, really inhospitable for conventional life", Stefano Cristiani, one of the authors of the paper, told Salon in an emailed statement.
For the first time they noticed these chemical variations on the ultra-hot gas giant planet.
WASP-76b is tidally-locked to its star.
The researchers from observatories around the world took data on the almost Jupiter-sized exoplanet on 2 September and 30 October 2018, using the Echelle Spectrograph for Rocky Exoplanets and Stable Spectroscopic Observations (ESPRESSO) instrument at the European Southern Observatory's Very Large Telescope.More news: Sailors will move to Seattle for the first time due to coronavirus
On its day side, the planet receives thousands of times more radiation from its parent star than the Earth does from the Sun. "The conclusion is that the iron has condensed during the night".
An worldwide team of researchers has shed new light on an extreme exoplanet located around 640 light-years away from Earth they believe may rain iron, according to a study.
"One could say that this planet gets rainy in the evening, except it rains iron", David Ehrenreich, a professor at the University of Geneva in Switzerland, said in a press statement. And some of this iron vapor is transferred to the night side by strong winds-driven by the huge temperature difference on both sides-where it potentially produces "iron rain". "We know that from WASP-18b and HAT-P-7b, for example-which are ultra-hot Jupiter sibling of WASP-79b", she said. This nightmarish orb plays host to extreme atmospheric conditions that would be just as much at home in an over the top sci-fi flick as in a scientific research paper.
"We soon realised that the remarkable collecting power of the VLT and the extreme stability of ESPRESSO made it a prime machine to study exoplanet atmospheres", says Pedro Figueira, ESPRESSO instrument scientist at ESO in Chile.More news: Vivo NEX 3S 5G Lands with Snapdragon 865