Image Credit: Engine House VFX, At-Bristol Science Centre, University of Exeter
Astronomers have found an extrasolar world with what has been described as a 'glowing water atmosphere'.
Known as WASP-121b, this intriguing, distant world is referred to as a "hot Jupiter", both due to its large size and because it has an orbital period of just 12 days, making it a very hot place indeed.
What's particularly unique in this case however is the apparent presence of a stratosphere - the layer of atmosphere in which temperature increases with altitude.
"This result is exciting because it shows that a common trait of most of the atmospheres in our solar system - a warm stratosphere - also can be found in exoplanet atmospheres," said Mark Marley, study co-author based at NASA's Ames Research Center in California's Silicon Valley.
"We can now compare processes in exoplanet atmospheres with the same processes that happen under different sets of conditions in our own solar system."