Here’s one disturbing fact that we all need to learn to live with: the Universe is so weird that we’ll never get to untangle all of its conundrums. If you need another proof, you should definitely take into account what astronomers have to say regarding the LTT9779 b exoplanet.
Thanks to space.com, we now know that astronomers have discovered the most reflective extrasolar planet outside the solar system, meaning the cosmic object known as LTT9779 b. This ultra-hot exoplanet, located 264 light-years from Earth, reflects 80% of the light from its parent star. It is the first exoplanet found to give the solar system’s shiniest planet, Venus, a run for its money.
LTT9779 b is almost five times as wide as Earth, making it the largest cosmic mirror ever discovered. The exoplanet’s high reflectivity, known as ‘albedo,’ was initially a mystery to scientists.
Most planets, other than ice worlds or reflective cloud layers, have low albedos due to their atmospheres or surfaces absorbing starlight. LTT9779 b’s high temperature makes it too hot for even metal or glass clouds to form.
But how could metal clouds exist on an exoplanet?
Vivien Parmentier, a research co-author who works at the Observatory of Côte d’Azur, explained, as space.com quotes:
It was really a puzzle until we realized we should think about this cloud formation in the same way as condensation forming in a bathroom after a hot shower,
To steam up a bathroom, you can either cool the air until water vapor condenses, or you can keep the hot water running until clouds form because the air is so saturated with vapor that it simply can’t hold anymore.
Astronomers estimate that there are hundreds of millions of stars in our Milky Way galaxy alone. Giving that estimations also claim that most stars should have planets revolving around them, there’s no telling how weird some of those remote worlds can be!
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