Danielle Futselaar/Franck Marchis/SETI Institute
Astrophysicists have proposed a new class of exoplanets — super hot Jupiters. According to observations, these planets exhibit unusual spectral properties, and the atmosphere on the day side is more like the atmosphere of stars, not planets. The results are presented in the journal Astronomy and Astrophysics.
Now astronomy opened more than a thousand planets around other stars. Many of them discovered by the transit method, that is a sign of their existence was the reduction of the magnitude of the star at the moment when a planet is “overshadowed” her observer. This event allows not only to find the planet, but also to study the composition of its atmosphere as it passed through the star’s light is distorted. Thanks to this, astronomers can estimate the temperature of the atmosphere and the concentration of various substances, and in some cases even to find indications of the presence of clouds and wind. Most spectra of hot planets put scientists in a deadlock — there was completely absent from lines that correspond to water vapor, although they are clearly visible from a little less than hot bodies.
In the new work, astrophysicists come to the conclusion that the conditions on these celestial bodies is so extreme that the molecules of water apart into hydrogen and oxygen. They proposed a model in which strong winds carry the disintegrated components of water on the night side of the planets, where they can re-connect due to a much lower temperature and condense into clouds. “Day by these worlds much like the atmosphere of stars, not planets, says lead author Vivien Parmentier of the University of AIX-Marseille (France). In a sense, sverhdorogie Jupiters expand the notion of what a body can be considered a planet.”
The absence of traces of water in super hot Jupiters concerned scientists. They have offered various explanations, including those that involve exotic chemical composition of such bodies. In the new work, astrophysics has adapted ideas from the description of the atmospheres of brown dwarfs — intermediate type objects between planets and stars. “Such research we bring long-acquired knowledge of the astrophysics of stars in a new field of study atmospheres of exoplanets,” says Parmentier.
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