Hot Jupiters & Other Planetary Mysteries. Bob Zimmerman,



(Photo: Artist's conception of a hot Jupiter, previously thought to be lonely planets. Scientists have)

Twitter: @batchelorshow

Hot Jupiters & Other Planetary Mysteries. Bob Zimmerman,

Cool image time! The image on the right, reduced to show here, provides an overall summary of what astronomers know about the atmospheres of many gas giant exoplanets that also orbit very close to their suns and are tidally locked. The view is of the planet hemisphere facing away from the star, which is also where most of the clouds are thought to be. These results come from Kepler data combined with computer modeling, and show what scientists thinks happens with different cloud compositions at different temperatures.

“Hot Jupiters are exoplanets that orbit their stars so tightly that their temperatures are extremely high, reaching over 2,400 degrees Fahrenheit (1600 Kelvin). They are also tidally locked, so one side of the planet always faces the sun and the other is in permanent darkness. Research suggests that the "dayside" is largely free of clouds, while the "nightside" is heavily clouded.

This illustration represents how hot Jupiters of different temperatures and different cloud compositions might appear to a person flying over the dayside of these planets on a spaceship, based on computer modeling.

Cooler planets are entirely cloudy, whereas hotter planets have morning clouds only. Clouds of different composition have different colors, whereas the clear sky is bluer than on Earth. For the hottest planets, the atmosphere is hot enough on the evening side to glow like a charcoal.

Figure 1 shows an approximation of what various hot Jupiters might look like based on a combination of computer modeling and data from NASA's Kepler Space Telescope. From left to right it shows: sodium sulfide clouds (1000 to 1200 Kelvin), manganese sulfide clouds (1200 to 1600 Kelvin), magnesium silicate clouds (1600 to 1800 Kelvin), magnesium silicate and aluminum oxide clouds (1800 Kelvin) and clouds composed of magnesium silicate, aluminum oxide, iron and calcium titanate (1900 to 2200 Kelvin).”

Oct 27, 2016, 03:51 AM
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