A new study revealed a surprising mystery about exoplanets known as "hot Jupiter" – the dark sides of these planets have "surprisingly even" temperatures, suggesting that the clouds could be made up of minerals and rocks.
12 exoplanets were found to have temperatures on the night-sides of these planets all around 800 degrees Celsius, suggesting that some sort of natural energy transfer takes place.
Atmospheric circulation models predicted that nighttime temperatures should vary much more than they do, "Dylan Keating, lead author of the study, said in an explanation," This is really surprising, as the planets we studied are hostile be irradiated differently strong and the daytime temperatures between them by almost 1
Keating and the other researchers used data from the NASA's Spitzer Telescope and the Hubble Space Telescope.
The researchers believe it is possible that "nighttime clouds" are the cause of similar temperatures.
"This result can be explained when most hot Jupiter have night-time clouds that are optically dense for outgoing longwave radiation and therefore radiate at cloud temperature and increasingly dissipate for planets that receive a larger incident flux," it says the abstract of the study. "Phase observations in a broader wavelength range are critical to the extent of cloud cover and cloud composition on hot Jupiter nightsides."
According to NASA, more than 4,000 exoplanets have been discovered so far. There are another 3,000 "candidates" who need further observation to see if they are real.
The study was published in the journal Nature Astronomy.
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