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ESA Telescope Discovers ‘Glory Effect’ on Alien Planet WASP-76b: New Insights into Exoplanets


The telescope Cheops (Characterizing Exoplanet Satellite) belonging to the European Space Agency (ESA), discovered a glory effect or ‘glory effect’ on a planet outside the solar system. This rainbow-like phenomenon was discovered for the first time by astronomers.

This glorious effect was discovered on WASP-76b, an ultra-hot exoplanet located 637 light years from Earth. Astronomers believe these findings can reveal new insights into alien worlds.

Quoted from CNNthis effect has regular, multi-colored rings of light that can often be seen from Earth and occurs when light is reflected by clouds of uniform composition.

Outside of Earth, this ‘glory effect’ has only been seen on Venus. However, new results from Cheops and other investigations have identified very weak signals.

When identified, the signal indicated that the phenomenon occurred in the extremely hot atmosphere of WASP-76b. Based on the signal found by Cheops, astronomers believe that this atmospheric phenomenon is directly opposite the Earth.

Institute of Astrophysics and Space Science astronomer Olivier Demangeon wrote in his study that there is a reason that the ‘glory effect’ has not been seen before outside our solar system.

“First, we need atmospheric particles that are almost perfectly spherical, perfectly uniform, and stable enough to be observed over long periods of time. The star closest to Earth must shine directly on it with Cheops in the right side,” said Demangeon.

Location of Planet WASP-76b, Where the ‘Glory Effect’ Phenomenon Occurs

Since its discovery in 2013, WASP-76b has surprised astronomers. This exoplanet orbits close to its host star.

Even though this planet receives incredible heat and radiation from stars like the Sun, which is 4,000 times more than the amount of radiation that the Earth receives from the Sun. Thus, WASP-76b has almost doubled in size, rivaling the size of the planet Jupiter.

WASP-76b is completely locked to its star, which causes one side of the planet, known as the dayside, to always face the star. At the same time, the other side is experiencing the conditions of eternal night.

Daytime temperatures on WASP-76b reach 2,400 degrees Celsius. The elements that usually form rocks on Earth melt and evaporate during the day. It then condenses and forms clouds that eventually cause molten iron to rain at nightfall.

Astronomers decided to focus the entire observatory to study the light imbalance that occurs when WASP-76b orbits in front of its host star.

Combined data from the Cheops and TESS missions show that the anomaly is likely caused by an interesting phenomenon occurring in the atmosphere above the planet’s day side.

Why is the ‘Glory Effect’ different from a rainbow?

Unlike a rainbow, the ‘glory effect’ is created when light moves through a narrow gap and bends, creating a ring with a multi-coloured pattern.

Scientifically, if astronomers really see a ‘glory effect’ on WASP-76b, this means that the planet has persistent clouds made of spherical droplets. However, such clouds show that the atmosphere of WASP-76b has a constant temperature.

The exact nature of WASP-76b’s cloud remains a mystery. However, it appears to be iron as the element was previously found in the WASP-76b cloud.

“If astronomers see faint signals from halo-like phenomena from hundreds of light-years away, they could detect the presence of sunlight reflected by waters outside Earth in the future,” the researchers said.

Theresa Lueftinger, project scientist for the Ariel mission at the European Space Agency, admitted that she needed more evidence to be sure that this bright light was a rare effect.

“Maybe the James Webb or Ariel Space Telescopes will help determine the brightening effect on WASP-76b,” Lueftinger said.

“We can even find combinations of colors that are more brilliant than other exoplanets,” he concluded.

Watch videoThe appearance of a ‘Double Layer’ rainbow in the Jakarta sky this morning


2024-05-12 04:00:00
#time #rainbowlike #phenomenon #planet #Earth

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