Recently, in Chile, a team of a few experts has made use of a ground-based Gemini Observatory telescope to rightly calculate the quantity of both water and carbon monoxide present in the atmosphere of a planet that is also about 340 light-years away.
The research is being carried out under the supervision of Michal Line, the Assistant Professor of Arizona State University’s School of Earth and Space Exploration, and finally, its consequences have been published in the journal named “Nature.”
Notably, the team has also explored the thousands of well-known planets in the outer regions of the solar- system, and are called Exoplanets. In fact, the researchers have utilized both ground-based and space telescopes to study the way these exoplanets got formed and what makes them unique from the other planets within the solar system.
Professor Michal Line and his team mainly observed on the ‘WASP-77Ab’ planet, which is also a type of exoplanet and is also known as ‘hot Jupiter.’ Evidently, exoplanet, WASP-77Ab is similar to that of our planet Jove, but it has 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit and above temperature.
Further, the experts have been attentive in calculating the framework of the planet’s atmosphere to find out the elements are available, with its comparison with the star it orbits. Later, expert Michael said, “Since the due of their temperatures and dimensions, hot Joves are magnificent laboratories for calculating the atmospheric gases and examining the planet-formation hypothesis.”
Although during the analysis, the team could not afford to send a spacecraft to the planet behind the solar system, it is possible that the light from the exoplanets can be observed. Notably, the telescopes used by the researchers helped in the observation of this light that can be either in from the ground, like the Gemini Observatory telescopes, or in space such as the Hubble Space Telescope.
Significantly, the team has been substantially involved in finding the structure of the atmosphere of these exoplanets with the use of the Hubble telescope, but acquiring the compositions was highly challenging.
Thus, there is sheer competition for the telescope time, as the Hubble’s instruments can just quantify water or maybe oxygen sometimes. But, the team was also required to collect the estimations of carbon monoxide or other carbon-related contents present within it.
Line noted, “There is a requirement to mark a little bit varying approach that would help in addressing the questions. Hence, the examination of the proficiencies of Gemini South hinted it would help in obtaining the ultra-accurate atmospheric measurements.”
The Gemini South telescope has a diameter of 8.1-meter and is spotted on Cerro Pachón, a mountain in the Chilean Andes, where very dry air and negligible cloud cover make it a prime telescope location. Significantly, the Gemini South telescope is managed by the National Science Foundation’s National Optical-Infrared Astronomy Research Laboratory or NOIRLab.
With the use of the Gemini South telescope, with an instrument called the Immersion GRating INfrared Spectrometer (IGRINS), the experts have noticed the thermal radiance of the exoplanet as it orbits the host star. With these instruments, the team collected information on the existence and respective quantities of many gases in its atmosphere.