Scientists from Yale University discovered metal vapor in the atmosphere of MASCARA-2 b, located approximately 45 billion kilometers from Earth. The atmosphere of this giant fireball is estimated at 1,726 degrees Celsius.
In space, there are billions of planets, large and small. Some of these planets are ice giants, while others resemble a fireball. So much so that these fireballs are so hot that even metal can evaporate. MASCARA-2b, discovered by astronomers, is one of these fireballs where even metal evaporates.
Recently, scientists from Yale University used the spectrometer called EXPRES (Extreme Precision Spectrometer) to examine the giant gas cannon. In this planet, which contains iron, chromium and magnesium vapors in its atmosphere, it has been revealed that metals cannot remain solid or liquid at this temperature.
Fireballs similar to Jupiter:
The orbital periods of such gas giants, which resemble Jupiter in view, are estimated to be less than 10 days. This interval can be considered quite short compared to Jupiter’s 12-year orbital period, since MASCARA-2 b is 100 times closer to its star than Jupiter. How the planet is so close to its star is a mystery that cannot be solved.
The atmosphere of MASCARA-2 b, which is located approximately 45 billion kilometers from the world, is literally boiling with a temperature of about 1,726 degrees Celsius. If we need to give an example to better understand this temperature, we can say that a normal form of iron needs 2,862 degrees Celsius to evaporate.
With this research, what Yale Professor Dabe Fischer and his team actually found were Fe I, Fe II iron ions and Na I sodium ions, which they believed to be formed in the atmosphere. The researchers also detected the magnesium ions Mg I and Cr II chromium ions.
Ions are formed by neutral atoms gaining or losing the outermost electrons. As the ions grow, the boiling point drops because they remain separate from smaller ions and require less thermal energy to separate.
How did EXPRES learn that there is metal vapor in the air?
So how did EXPRES learn that metal is in the air? Scientists developed this spectrometer to find Earth-like planets and find what’s rotating in the atmosphere of distant worlds. Mounted on the Lowell Discovery Telescope near Flagstaff, Arizona, this instrument was able to absorb MASCARA-2b chemicals after crossing the direct line of sight between our planet and its star.
Sam Cabot, one of the co-authors of the research, who says that atmospheric signatures are very weak and difficult to recognize, says EXPRES offers this opportunity by chance. Scientists are considering running EXPRES with other high precision spectrometers in future research. In this way, researchers will have the opportunity to explore more in the depths of space.