Astronomers discover a planet that's so hot it rains liquid iron
By Angela Garrity, Guest blogger
Spring rains on planet Earth are generally an expected refreshment that helps life grow, but rain for one planet about 640 of light-years away in the Pisces constellation, is an entirely different element that screams “metal.”
Illustration: A nightside view of the exoplanet WASP-76b. Credit: ESO/M. Kornmesser and SciTechDaily.
CBS News reports that on exoplanet WASP-76b, it rains liquid iron. Scientists recently discovered the bizarre occurrence of the ultra-hot giant, where temperatures can exceed 2,400 degrees Celsius during the day — hot enough to vaporize metals.
Raining iron simply isn’t enough mayhem for this “two-faced” planet, however.
The side of the planet that faces its parent star is permanently roasting – the “dayside” while the “night side” stays cooler and in constant darkness.
On the dayside, the planet receives thousands of times more radiation from its parent star than the Earth does from the sun. The extreme heat causes intense winds that bring iron vapor from one side to the other, where the temperature “cools” to around a balmy 1,500 degrees Celsius.
When strong winds push the vaporized iron to the night side of the planet, it condenses into droplets, creating the iron rainstorm.
WASP-76b is a gas giant, similar to Jupiter and Saturn, but takes all winning votes for being the most metal planet in the universe — so far, that is.
ENTER TO WIN FREE COFFEE: