Astronomers were surprised when they found an unusual element in the atmospheres of two exoplanets

Scientists were very surprised to find traces of barium at high altitudes in the atmospheres of superhot gasses.

giants WASP-76 b and WASP-121 b.These are two exoplanets that orbit stars outside the solar system. The unexpected discovery raises questions about what these exotic atmospheres might be like.

As the authors of the study noted, the presence of such a heavy element in the upper atmosphere is "mysterious and illogical."

WASP-76 b and WASP-121 b are unusual exoplanets.Both are known as superhot Jupiters because they are comparable in size to the solar system's gas giants but have extremely high surface temperatures (over 1,000°C). This is due to their close proximity to their parent stars. Exoplanets orbit their parent stars in just one to two days. This makes the objects so exotic that, for example, WASP-76 b is raining iron.

But even considering this, astronomers were surprisedfound barium on WASP-76 b and WASP-121 b, which is 2.5 times heavier than iron. Given the high gravity of the planets, scientists expect that heavy elements such as barium will quickly fall into the lower atmosphere.

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