Wasp-76b

An artist’s impression of iron rain on the planet Wasp-76b, 640 light years away
An artist rendition of iron rain on Wasp-76b via The Guardian

Two weeks ago, scientists observed an iron rain type phenomenon on an exoplanet known as Wasp-76b. Wasp-76b is a gas giant that is located approximately 640 light years away from the constellation Pisces. Wasp-76b orbits a different sun in its own galaxy. The distance between Wasp-76b and the sun it orbits is about 3% of the distance between Earth and our Sun. This leads to surface temperatures of over 2,400 degrees Celsius. 

Recently, scientists detected winds on the planet measuring up to 10,000 miles per hour and a steady iron rain pelting the planet. The picture above is an artist’s rendition of what the phenomenon would look like. Observers have been able to locate over 4,000 exoplanets in recent years and it will be very interesting to see what more new discoveries lie ahead.

3 thoughts on “Wasp-76b

  1. Wow, Jack! That’s incredible, and also very terrifying. How is it possible that a gas giant was able to form so close to its star? From what I remember, gas giants only form beyond the frost line in a solar system, which is generally pretty far away. Do you think Professor Stuart is lying to us? There’s no way to know at the moment, we must investigate this further…

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  2. hi. did your information talk about what causes the iron rain and what implications it can cause for the planet. Do they know if its a new phenomenon or if it something that been an occurrence but only recently discovered?

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  3. Great post Jack. The proximity of the planet to its sun is terrifying. I’d be really interested to know how this affects various things we have evaluated on planets in our solar system: radiation, atmosphere qualities (color, brightness, thickness, etc.), and pressure. I’d also love to know the internal makeup of the planet and how its proximity has affected that as well.

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