Precious showers of sapphires and liquid sapphires can engulf Wasp-121b, a gas giant twice the size of Jupiter and located outside the solar system, 855 light-years away from us: this is evidenced by the study of the strange atmosphere in the side permanently in the shadows, which It was created thanks to the Hubble Space Telescope of NASA and the European Space Agency (ESA). Results published Featured in Nature Astronomy by the international team led by Thomas Michal Evans of the Max Planck Institute for Astronomy in Germany.
The alien world WASP-121b, discovered in 2015, is one of the most well-known and studied exoplanets to date, as well as the first planet where water has been found in the stratosphere. It is extremely hot and inhospitable to life, and always shows the same face to its parent star Wasp-121 (as the Moon does to the Earth). On the bright side, vapors of heavy metals (such as aluminum, nickel, and chromium) have been identified which on the dark side, due to lower temperatures, condense into clouds that tend to sink into the atmosphere. Thus aluminum can combine with oxygen to form the mineral corundum, which on Earth, along with traces of other metals such as chromium, iron or titanium, generates sapphire and sapphire.
“To better understand this planet – notes Michael Evans – we will be observing it with the James Webb Space Telescope in its first year of activity.”
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