Numerous alkali metals found in unique exoplanet

In a recent discovery, the scientists have found out a rare gaseous planet, having more of clear skies and strong indications of alkali metals within its atmosphere. 

Scientists have discovered WASP-127b extrasolar planet which is considered to be one of the least dense exoplanets that have been ever identified. It has a radius which is 1.4 times bigger than that of the planet Jupiter, but the mass of such exoplanet is just 20 per cent of that of Jupiter. Such a planet has no trace whatsoever within the solar system, and it is a rare one even within the exoplanet groups. Such an exoplanet is so fast in its movements that it takes only over days to complete orbit around its parent star. Its surface temperature is estimated to be about 1400 k (1127 degree Celsius).

Close observation of this newly found exoplanet show signs of having alkali metals in its atmosphere. This has further lead to the detection of Sodium, Potassium, and Lithium for the very first time in the atmosphere of an exoplanet. The Sodium and Potassium absorptions are very high which result in clear atmospheres, and as per observation, it is seen that this exoplanet has 50 per cent clear sky. 

Guo Chen who is a postdoctoral researcher at the IAC and also at the same time the first author of the article explained that the unique characteristics of this exoplanet had enabled them to lay down a detailed study in respect of its rich atmospheric composition. He further added that this research work would further open the avenues for a better understanding of the evolution of the planetary system and could also highlight the different facts of the mechanism of the planet formation. S a matter of fact the host star of this planet, WASP-127, is also Li-rich, which could identify an AGB star or even supernovae which might have enriched the cloud of material from which this particular system came out.

Enric Palle who is a researcher at the IAC and also a co-author of this particular study mentioned that they have even found traces of water on this exoplanet. However, he said the data gathered regarding the presence of water is pretty weak as of now, and they are working to find out strong proof to decide whether water is indeed present or not.

Scientists are putting up a hard effort to analyse the atmospheres of these exoplanets with the help of ground-based telescopes. They feel that such continuous study will exhibit the true nature of such low-density exoplanet shortly.