An exoplanet, similar to Jupiter, WASP-76B could have the ultimate bad weather in form of iron rain.
The planet is 390 light years away from the solar system. It is a gas giant similar to Jupiter, but with a much shorter orbit around its stars. It always faces its star on the same side. The day side is about 1000℃ hotter than the night side, reaching temperature of about 2400℃. This creates the side facing away too dark to be seen by telescope.
“These are likely the most extreme climates we could ever find on a planet,“ said the study lead author David Ehrenreich, an associate professor of astronomy at the University of Geneva in Switzerland, while giving an interview to Space.com.
“We have to stretch our understanding of what is a climate, what is a planetary atmosphere, to understand this object.”
The rain on the exoplanet probably is not sprinkling down in a gentle mist because the temperature disparity between WASP-76B’s two halves generates winds of starling ferocity. The iron in the planet’s dayside, for instance, is hurtling toward the night side at about 11,000 mph, Ehrenreich claimed, while talking to space.com.
WASP-76B was discovered in 2013. The new information about this exoplanet would help scientists refine and test climate and global circulation models, leading to a better understanding of exoplanetary atmosphere in general, Ehrenreich said. WASP-76B also serves as a compelling reminder for researchers, space.com claimed.