The exoplanet HAT-P-7b, located over 1,040 light-years from Earth, has been known to scientists since 2008, but over the years, researchers have learned more and more about it. Now “signs of strong winds” have been detected there, but they are completely different than those on Earth.
An unusual exoplanet near Earth. Ruby and sapphire clouds
HAT-P-7b is a gas giant belonging to the class of hot Jupiters with a mass as much as 16 times that of the Earth, which orbits its star at a very small distance. In addition, the exoplanet always faces the same side towards the star. As a result, its dayside is heated to an incredible temperature of 2,586 degrees Celsius.
However, researchers from the University of Warwick in England have shown that enormous differences in lighting and temperatures on both sides of the exoplanet lead to the formation of violent storms and strong winds. However, these are not clouds of water vapor like on Earth. According to researchers, the clouds on HAT-P-7b are composed of corundum, a mineral whose noble varieties are ruby and sapphire. Therefore, “winds of rubies and sapphires” blow there, NASA wrote on its website.
Signs of strong winds have been detected on a planet 16 times larger than Earth, more than 1,000 light-years away. And what blows there can be spectacular – the clouds are made of corundum, a mineral that forms rubies and sapphires!
– wrote the NASA team dealing with exoplanet research.
Researchers believe that unusual corundum clouds form on the night side of the planet and then – driven by very strong winds – move to the daytime, hot side of HAT-P-7b, where they quickly disappear.
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