The Universe continues to surprise us with its mysteries and unexpected discoveries. Recently, an international team of astronomers discovered a hot planet that reflects up to 80 percent of its parent star’s light. This incredible albedo value makes this exoplanet one of the most brilliant objects in the night sky. But this is not the only thing that makes LTT9779b special and interesting to the scientific community.
Size and composition of the planet
LTT9779b is a planet the size of Neptune and five times larger than Earth. It is 260 light years away from our solar system. But the most amazing thing about this planet is its orbital velocity around its parent star. LTT9779b goes completely around its star in just 19 hours. This proximity to its star causes temperatures on the illuminated side of the planet to reach 2,000 degrees Celsius.
Metal and glass clouds
Interestingly, on such a hot planet, where the temperature is too high for the formation of clouds from water vapor, there are still clouds present. But they do not consist of water, but of silicates and metals, including titanium. These clouds serve as a kind of protective mirror, reflecting back into space up to 80 percent of the light of the parent star.
Unique location and significance for science
LTT9779b is classified as a gas giant, but it is much smaller than other giants found so close to stars. This raises questions among scientists about its origin and the possibility of an atmosphere on such a planet. According to experts, LTT9779b’s atmosphere should have long ago vaporized, leaving only a rocky core. However, shiny clouds composed of refractory and heavy elements may be the reason why the gas envelope did not disappear. This discovery opens up new possibilities for studying gas giants close to stars.
The importance of albedo for the habitability of planets
Albedo plays an important role in the habitability of a planet. For example, if Venus had a gas envelope similar to Earth and still maintained a high albedo, it could be a habitable planet despite its proximity to the Sun and the large amount of energy it receives. This opens new perspectives in the search for habitable worlds, especially in areas previously considered uninhabitable.
An important milestone in the history of exoplanet studies
The discovery of LTT9779b is an important milestone in the history of exoplanet studies. It was previously thought that the near regions around stars could not contain small-sized gas giants. However, this discovery disproves this theory and shows that such planets can still exist and shine in outer space.
The discovery of the high albedo hot planet LTT9779b was a real breakthrough in the study of exoplanets. Its unique properties and location arouse the interest of scientists who hope for new discoveries and understanding of the processes occurring on such planets. And the significant value of albedo for the habitability of the planet opens new perspectives in the search for life in the Universe.