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Unveiling the Dynamic Weather on Exoplanet Tylos

Highlights

  • Dynamic weather observed on exoplanet Tylos.

  • Hubble monitors atmospheric changes over years.

  • Research may suggest possibility of extraterrestrial life.

Astronomers have reported dynamic atmospheric conditions on Tylos, the exoplanet also known as WASP-121 b. Observations of Tylos reveal that it is a “hot Jupiter,” enduring temperatures above 3000 K on the side facing its star, due to its tidally locked orbit. This extreme heating has led to the discovery of complex chemicals within its atmosphere.

Investigating Atmospheric Phenomena on Tylos

Quentin Changeat and his team have been monitoring Tylos using Hubble’s data, emphasizing the importance of understanding weather on exoplanets to identify potentially habitable conditions. They draw parallels with Earth’s climate and weather patterns that have allowed life to thrive.

Hubble’s Exoplanet Atmosphere Advantage

Hubble’s extensive archive of exoplanet observations provides a window into how these distant worlds and their atmospheres evolve. The telescope’s repeated observations of Tylos using Wide Field Camera 3 have yielded a rich dataset, offering insights into the planet’s atmospheric behavior over time.

About Tylos’s Atmosphere

Analyses of the dataset revealed the migration of Tylos’s hotspot and fluctuations in the atmospheric chemistry. The researchers propose that these changes may be driven by quasi-periodic weather patterns, akin to massive cyclones, which are influenced by the stark temperature contrasts within the planet’s atmosphere.

Future Work

The study of exoplanet atmospheres is an ongoing process, with spectral analyses revealing the presence of various chemicals and their changes over time. Tracking these changes aids in the understanding of atmospheric dynamics and could potentially indicate the presence of life.

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