Astronomers have discovered an exoplanet devoid of clouds for the second time ever. It is the first Jupiter-like planet that does not contain clouds or haze in the visible atmosphere. The plan is called WASP-62b; A gas giant was first discovered in 2012 using the Wide Angle Search Planet Survey (WASP). The latest study represents the first time the atmosphere has been examined.
Universe It is known as hot Jupiter and is 575 light years away. It is about half the mass of Jupiter but orbits its host star much faster than Jupiter. WASP-62b completes orbit around its host star in just 4.5 days. The proximity to the host star makes it very hot. The planet’s atmosphere data were recorded using spectroscopy as it moved in front of the host star on three separate occasions.
The researchers made visible optical observations that can detect the presence of sodium and potassium in the atmosphere. There was no evidence of potassium in the atmosphere, but there was clear evidence of sodium. Since clouds or fog may obscure the full signature of sodium, the researchers concluded that the planet has no clouds or haze in its atmosphere.
Usually, the presence of sodium is only detected in small amounts due to clouds or haze in most exoplanets preventing its full signature. Cloudless planets are extremely rare, and astronomers estimate that less than seven percent of exoplanets have a clear atmosphere. In addition to WASP-62b, the only known exoplanet with a clear atmosphere is WASP-96b, classified as hot Saturn.
Astronomers are keen to study exoplanets that have no atmospheric clouds because they believe it will lead to a better understanding of how planets form. Astronomers and researchers are looking forward to launching the James Webb Space Telescope later this year as it will provide new opportunities to study and better understand WASP-62b.