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Astronomers Discover Fascinating Details About Exoplanets

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Astronomers Discover Fascinating Details About Exoplanets

Astronomy is a fascinating field of study that has revealed many mysteries about our universe. In recent times, researchers have been able to gather a lot of data on exoplanets, which are planets that orbit stars outside of our solar system. In this article, we will delve into two recent studies that have shed more light on the nature of these exoplanets.

The first study, published in the journal Nature, focuses on a bizarre exoplanet called 131b. This exoplanet is located about 117 light-years away from Earth and has an incredibly short orbital period of just 2.1 Earth days. The researchers were able to analyze the exoplanet's atmosphere and discovered that it is composed mostly of hydrogen and helium, which are the two most abundant elements in the universe.

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The researchers also found that the exoplanet's atmosphere was highly reflective, which suggests that it has a thick layer of clouds. This is unusual because most exoplanets that have been studied so far have shown very little evidence of clouds. The team believes that the clouds on exoplanet 131b are made up of tiny, highly reflective particles, which are responsible for scattering the light and making the planet appear brighter than it actually is.

In another recent study, published in the journal Science, astronomers were able to capture a rare glimpse of the birth of an exoplanet. The researchers used the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) in Chile to observe a young star system called AB Aurigae. They found that there was a large, spiral-shaped structure of gas and dust surrounding the star, which they believe is a protoplanetary disk.

What is particularly interesting about this discovery is that the researchers were able to detect a "kink" in the spiral structure, which they believe is caused by the gravitational pull of a newly forming exoplanet. This is the first time that astronomers have been able to directly observe a planet-forming disk with such detail.

The researchers believe that the exoplanet is still in its early stages of formation and has a mass of about 2 to 3 times that of Jupiter. They also found that the exoplanet is located about 30 astronomical units (AU) away from the star, which is roughly the same distance as Neptune is from the Sun in our solar system.

So, these recent studies have provided fascinating insights into the nature of exoplanets and how they form. It is clear that there is still much to be learned about these distant worlds, and astronomers around the world are working hard to uncover their secrets.

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That's it for this article.

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