For recent years, astronomers had been hunting down exoplanet with powerful telescopes. Not too many decades ago, scientists weren’t completely sure that there are any planets beyond our own solar system. Meanwhile, thousands of such space objects were discovered, and astronomers from the Center for Astrophysics | Harvard & Smithsonian should consider themselves extra lucky.
According to Big Think, the latest discovery when it comes to exoplanets is one that puzzles scientists once more by its unique traits. A so-called ‘Hot Jupiter’ is the star of the show, and it left astronomers speechless because it lacks both clouds and haze.
WASP-62b is the incredible space object in question, and it belongs to a group of planets that form in a different way than usually. Thus, discovering WASP-62b opens the path for new research opportunities.
But we’re not done yet with the incredible features of the newfound exoplanet. WASP-62b is located only 75 light-years away from us, and it completes a rotation around its host star in only 4.5 Earth days. Therefore, you definitely wouldn’t want to spend a weekend on the newfound planet – the weather and the temperatures are not friendly at all, not to mention that the surface is not solid.
The research team behind the discovery was led by Munazza Alam, who is a graduate student from the Center for Astrophysics. She had been using the Hubble Space Telescope for data made via spectroscopy. Alam declared in a press release:
I’ll admit that at first I wasn’t too excited about this planet,
But once I started to take a look at the data, I got excited. Seeing the sodium was the smoking gun evidence that we are seeing a clear atmosphere.
The new planet was first located in 2012 with the help of the Wide Angle Search for Planets (WASP) South survey, but the peculiar traits were only discovered now.