Astronomers discovered a planet with clouds of iron and rain of liquid rubies
A football-shaped exoplanet known as WASP-121b has been discovered in space. It has an atmosphere, and it is surrounded by metallic clouds consisting of iron, corundum, and titanium, from which ruby rains periodically.
As told Stern, citing a study by scientists at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (USA), WASP-121b orbits the star at a distance of 850 light-years from Earth in the constellation of Korma and it is twice as big as our Jupiter. WASP-121b makes a revolution in just 30 hours, a little more than an Earth day.
The planet has a strange shape, something resembling a soccer ball. Scientists believe this is because of the intense gravitational waves of its home star. One side faces the star all the time, the other side is the constant night.
After getting the first data on the planet, astronomers concluded that due to conditions on its dark side, clouds of iron and corundum, the mineral that serves as the basis for rubies and sapphires, may exist.
"Our data show that the dark side of WASP-121b is cold enough for clouds of iron vapor and corundum, the mineral that forms the base of rubies and sapphires, to condense there. When such a cloud crosses the boundary between hemispheres, it rains liquid gems," said one of the paper's authors, MIT researcher Thomas Mikal-Evans.
Observing the planet, the scientists concluded that sooner or later, it will be torn apart by the tides to which WASP-121b is exposed by its star. But it seems, according to experts, this will happen in millions of years. Meanwhile, the researchers intend to continue to monitor the unusual planet.
As reported by OBOZREVATEL, since the beginning of 2022, the U.S. space agency NASA has discovered 10 new exoplanets.