October 5, 2009
Exoplanet’s atmosphere ‘rains’ pebbles
U.S. scientists say they have used simulations to determine the atmosphere of an exoplanet discovered in February is hot enough to rain pebbles.
Researchers at Washington University in St. Louis say their models show the exoplanet is close enough to its star that its
day-face maintains a temperature of about 4,220 degrees Fahrenheit -- hot enough to vaporize rocks.
a front moves in,pebbles condense from the air and rain into lakes of molten lava below.
The only atmosphere this object has is produced from vapor arising from hot molten silicates in a lava lake or lava ocean, Professor Bruce Fegley Jr., who led the study, said.
The study that included research assistant Laura Schaefer appears in The Astrophysical Journal.