Scientific paper entitled Methane in the atmosphere of the warm exoplanet WASP-80b It was recently published by a team led by Taylor Bell, a researcher at the Bay Area Environmental Research Institute. Bell found that WASP-80b is a so-called “warm Jupiter” with a temperature of about 1,025 F. This puts the exoplanet between hot Jupiters like HD 209458 b, the first transiting exoplanet discovered, and cold Jupiters like our own Jupiter, which reaches a temperature of only 235 degrees Fahrenheit.
The exoplanet’s temperature is important because it’s just another piece of the methane puzzle. There is a severe lack of methane in the atmosphere of most exoplanets, which means that any time scientists discover a planet with it, they have to carefully study all aspects of the planet’s composition. Every methane-producing exoplanet discovered by astronomers plays an important role in helping the scientific community develop atmospheric theory.
The temperature of WASP-80b, in particular, places it in “an interesting transition regime where equilibrium chemistry models predict that there should be detectable CH4 and CO/CO2 properties in the planet’s transmission and emission spectra…” according to the researchers who worked on the paper . .
“Devoted student. Bacon advocate. Beer scholar. Troublemaker. Falls down a lot. Typical coffee enthusiast.”