This 3D map of an exoplanet’s atmosphere expands the possibility of finding another hospitable world

Astronomy is a very interesting branch and it allows us to know more about the universe. So far no other planet than the Earth can harbor life forms. However, astrophysicists wonder what would happen to humans if the Earth ever disappeared. It is for this reason that they focus much more on the study of exoplanets.

Exoplanets are planets that do not orbit the sun, but orbit another star. They are also called extrasolar planets. Their existence was attested indirectly around the 1990s. Two main methods are used to detect exoplanets: the planetary method and the radial velocity method.

Precisely, with the evolution of technology, a great discovery was recently made on an exoplanet.

A 3D map may revolutionize the world

Many extrasolar planets have been discovered but they are all uninhabitable. However, the more we discover, the more astronomers know about their specificities. Moreover, this is how scientists from the University of Lund had the idea to create a 3D map in order to find any evidence of hospital environments on one of these exoplanets.

This 3D map is of the atmosphere of the ultra-hot gas giant WASP-189b. It is quite possible that the map provides information about the skies of other distant planets. For greater efficiency, the researchers used a high-resolution spectrograph. This device allows light from the host star to be studied as it passes through the planet’s atmosphere to look for line positions in features indicative of material present and swirling in three-dimensional layers.

The elements discovered were revealing. This is the first time that scientists have been able to prove the presence of titanium oxide in the atmosphere of an exoplanet like this. They also discovered familiar chemicals from the Jovian world such as iron, chromium, and magnesium.

Despite everything, there are still constraints to the adaptation of all forms of life in the exoplanet WASP-189b. Already, its daytime temperature can rise to almost 3200 degrees Celsius and its orbit lasts 2.7 days. It will be difficult to visit the gas giant. But the scientists remain optimistic because the spectrograph techniques they employ here may lead to further studies of the atmospheres of other exoplanets. Thus, they will have the possibility of comparing the atmosphere of several extrasolar planets and of determining if one of them could shelter a life.


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