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Scientists have discovered a hot Saturn double

Ученые обнаружили "горячего" двойника СатурнаUnusual exoplanet has come to the attention of researchers.

Constantly found among scientists and astronomers exoplanets are quite common so exotic that their very existence is a surprise to ordinary people. For example, the skies of planet HAT-P-7b “decorated” with the clouds of rubies and sapphires, and the surface of the planet KELT-9b is hotter than the surface of most stars. And recently, scientists noticed something odd in the “interior” of the exoplanet WASP-19b. In the upper atmosphere of this “hot Jupiter” float thin clouds of titanium dioxide, which has a huge impact on the temperature regime of the entire planet.

The planet WASP-19b has a mass close to the mass of our Jupiter, but it is much closer to the Central star of the system, one rotation around which the planet rotates in just 19 hours. Such proximity to the star makes the planet WASP-19b is very hot, the temperature on its surface fluctuates near the mark of 2000 degrees Celsius.

Astronomers from the European southern Observatory observed the planet WASP-19b more than one year, producing an analysis of the composition of its atmosphere at the time when it passes through the atmosphere the light from a star. The molecules and atoms of various substances and gases in the planet’s atmosphere leave its spectral fingerprint in the transmitted light, giving astronomers the opportunity to produce their identification. And based on the analysis of spectral data, scientists have determined that misty atmosphere of the planet contains small amounts of titanium oxide TiO, water, sodium and some other substances.

The most interesting in the case of the exoplanet WASP-19b was the fact that the conditions on this planet do not correspond to any known climatic and atmospheric models of gas giants. It turned out that the layer of oxide of titanium in the atmosphere of the planet WASP-19b plays a role similar to the role of the ozone layer of Earth’s atmosphere. Both layers absorb light from the star, but unlike the ozone layer, a layer of titanium oxide releases the light energy as heat directly in the stratosphere of the planet. This, in turn, means that the upper atmosphere of a planet WASP-19b is heated much more than its surface. And from this point of view, the planet WASP-19b is the complete opposite of the Earth.

“Oxide of titanium in the upper atmosphere dramatically affects the climate of the planet WASP-19b,” says Ryan MacDonald (Ryan MacDonald), one of the scientists-astronomers – “a Strong gradient between the temperature of the upper layers of the atmosphere and surface temperature leads to the strongest winds, and we can already say that we know almost all peculiarities of this climate “extreme” planet”.

In conclusion, it should be noted that astronomers already for a minimum of decade, it was assumed that in the atmospheres of some gas giants may be fine particles of titanium oxide. Recent observations of the planet WASP-19b has provided the first empirical confirmation of this assumption. And further observations of the planet WASP-19b and other similar planets, when they are found, should give into the hands of scientists a wealth of new information about the phenomena and the nature of the processes taking place in such exotic planets.

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