Reconstructing the story of the migratory planet that moved from its orbit to closer to its star. To tell him, the chemical signatures left six molecules in the atmosphere. The characteristics of this alien scientist, the hot gas giant HD 209458b, have been published in Nature by the National Institute for Astrophysics (Inaf) group coordinated by Paolo Giacobbe.
The study is based on observations of the National Galileo Telescope (Tng), located at the top of San Miguel de la Palma (Canary Islands). The migratory planet was observed for the first time 20 years ago and orbits its star in about three and a half days, at a distance of a little more than 7 million kilometers, which is about one twentieth of that separating the earth from the sun, so its temperature rises, equal to about 1200 degrees Celsius. .
Six molecules were first found simultaneously on an alien planet: water, carbon monoxide, hydrogen cyanide, methane, ammonia and acetylene. INAF researchers identified it by studying four different transits of the planet in front of its star using Tng’s Giano-B tool. In fact, experts explain that during the transit, the star’s light is filtered out by the planet’s atmosphere, accentuating the particles’ footprints. According to INAF researchers, “The presence of these particles indicates that the planet’s atmosphere is richer in carbon than in oxygen. A sign – they concluded – that they formed at great distances from its parent star, higher than those between Mars and the Sun, and then migrated in the direction of the star until the distance we observe Today, about one-tenth of what separates Mercury from the sun. “
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