The skies of the WASP-79b gas exoplanet flaunt a yellowish hue, according to a recent study. The world is approximately 780 light years from Earth, turns extremely close to its host star and completes an orbit every 3.7 Earth days. The planet’s temperature is around 1,650 ° C and is larger than Jupiter.
The scientists behind the new research studied the atmosphere of WASP-79b using NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope and the Magellan Consortium’s Magellan II Telescope in Chile. These observations showed no signs of “Rayleigh scattering”, a phenomenon in which small particles of dust at high altitudes cause the differentiated dispersion of the wavelengths of the light of the stars.
Rayleigh scattering explains why the Earth’s sky is blue; this color of light has a very short wavelength and therefore bounces far more than other colors. It is unclear why this phenomenon may not occur on the WASP-79b. “This is a strong indication of an unknown atmospheric process that we are not simply taking into account in our physical models“says the author of the study Kristin Showalter Sotzen.
Through the skies of WASP-79b most likely it rains iron, a characteristic already identified also in other similar planets. In addition, in the atmosphere of this planet, Hubble has also identified signs of water vapor (it is not the only world), a discovery that has brought WASP-79b to the list of first targets for NASA’s James Webb space telescope.