Astronomers Have Made an Unprecedented Detection of Clouds on a Far-Off Exoplanet - ScienceAlert
Sep 24, 2021 51 secs
Using data from multiple telescopes, scientists have detected clouds on a gas giant exoplanet some 520 light-years from Earth.

So detailed were the observations, they even discerned the altitude of the clouds and the structure of the upper atmosphere, with the greatest precision yet.

This means that its atmosphere is somewhat thin and tenuous – perfect for trying to analyze its contents based on the light that streams through it from the exoplanet's host star.

To do this, a team of researchers led by astronomer Romain Allart of the Université de Montréal in Canada combined infrared data from the space-based Hubble Space Telescope, and optical data from the ESPRESSO instrument on the ground-based Very Large Telescope, to peer into different altitudes of WASP-127b's atmosphere.

That's what Allart and his team did, using high-resolution absorption data to narrow down the altitude of the clouds to a surprisingly low cloud layer with atmospheric pressure between 0.3 and 0.5 millibars.

The team's analysis also found some peculiar things about how WASP-127b orbits its host star.


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