Space is one never-ending source of mysteries and unbelievable stories. Humans have so far assimilated only a minuscule percentage of the laws and galaxies that shape this universe. A discovery of an exoplanet points out to the eccentricity of the world outside our planet. According to the European Southern Observatory, there is snow made of titanium dioxide on this planet.
The Newly Discovered Exoplanet Features a Tidally Locked Atmosphere
Kepler-13Ab shares similarities with Jupiter and it is located 1730 light years away from us. It is a bright gas giant six times the size of Jupiter that was close to turning into a star. Instead, the body of gas chose to orbit around its star. Unlike our Earth, the planet finishes a complete cycle of its orbit in around 1.8 Earth days.
As a result, this planet reaches temperatures of 5000 degrees Fahrenheit. This makes it one of the hottest cosmic bodies ever known to us. Therefore, it is capable of supporting gaseous layers of titanium oxide within its own atmosphere.
Another conspicuous feature of this exoplanet is that it has two clearly delimited sides. The world is revolving around its star as tidally locked. This means that the dayside is always facing the star while the nightside is always kept in darkness.
While Kepler-13Ab is abundant in such metal oxides, Earth is running short of it. In fact, this chemical compound is extremely valuable to the human civilization. People use it to create sunscreen. Without it, the sensible skin wouldn’t find support against the scorching heat of the sun unless people star living exclusively in shadows.
The Snow of Titanium Dioxide Keeps the Upper Layer Cool Unlike Jupiter
Hubble observations indicate that temperatures are cooler in the upper layers of Kepler-13Ab’s atmosphere than those below. This came as a strange circumstance of a Jupiter-like exoplanet. On Jupiter, the gaseous dioxide can absorb heat from starlight which is warming the upper side.
However, things are different with Kepler-13Ab. Scientists believe that the planet hosts strong winds which transport the metal dioxide to the nightside. Here, the matter becomes clouds due to condensing. These clouds start snowing the sunscreen element in its turn. The metal remains on this side of the planet due to the powerful force of gravity.
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