In a first of its kind, a team of international scientists has found an exoplanet with no clouds. The team is led by Nikolay Nikolov who is an astronomer at the University of Exeter which is located in the United Kingdom. He is the person who has identified this hot gas giant which is known as WASP-96B. He defined such a giant object from Chile with the help of European Southern Observatory’s Very Large Telescope. The team analyzed the atmospheric condition the exoplanet as it was passing through the hot star. The team also measured how the meteorological situation changed and what was the impact on the exoplanet when it received the light from the star.

This atmospheric change that takes place when the exoplanets pass by the host star helps the scientists to understand a lot of issues. It is like a spectrum which is in the form of a unique fingerprint. Generally, clouds conceal the light that re-released by the planets and thereby affect the spectrum that the researchers tend to study from the earth. This advice was given from the University of Exeter.

But in case of WASP-96b, a cloudless atmosphere was detected by the scientists. The sodium element was not present in the atmosphere. It is the first time that such a cloudless exoplanet has been found out by the scientists. Being the first of its kind, the exoplanet is now being considered as a benchmark for planet characterization. The spectrum appears to be in the shape of a camping tent. This unusual shape was straightforward to identify. Such a form was never seen before. Nikolov further added that for most of the planets clouds come n between making it that much difficult for the scientists to identify the shape.

Scientists have further discovered that the planet apart from having no clouds is extremely hot at 1300 kelvins which is equivalent to 1900 degree Fahrenheit and t the same time it is enormous. Again the mass of the Saturn is comparable to that of our Saturn. So the Scientists have started classifying this planet as “hot Saturn.”

In addition to these features, scientists have also discovered that the sodium level found on this planet is pretty similar to what we experience throughout the solar system. Sodium is considered to be the 7th most abundant element which is located in the universe. According to previous experiences, scientists believe that such gas giants will have sodium-rich atmospheres.

Sources:

https://www.nature.com/articles/s41586-018-0101-7

https://www.exeter.ac.uk/news/featurednews/title_656897_en.html