Chemical fingerprint of Osiris reveals that it formed far away from its star

Osiris is about two-thirds the size of Jupiter is the first exoplanet that is known to have an atmosphere.


A new study conducted by the researchers at the University of Warwick has uncovered information about the atmospheric composition of Osiris, an exoplanet that was discovered in 1999. The new research reveals the presence of six different chemicals in its atmosphere. Osiris, also known as HD 209458 b, is a part of a star system in the constellation of Pegasus and is situated 159 light-years away from the Solar system. Using the Telescopio Nazionale Galileo in La Palma, Spain, astronomers observed it as it passed in front of its star, similar to a solar eclipse.

Researchers have been able to create a fingerprint of the six chemicals present in the atmosphere of Osiris.

Through the chemical fingerprint, the study has been able to determine that there are as many carbon atoms in the atmosphere of Osiris as the number of oxygen atoms. However, a planet cannot be formed with a carbon-rich atmosphere if it is within the condensation line of water vapour, said co-author of the study Siddharth Gandhi.

The explanation offered by the researchers is that the Osiris was formed away from its star and later moved closer to it. The exoplanet is now just seven million kilometres from the star.

If we compare it to the solar system, when it formed, Osiris was as far in its star system as Saturn or Jupiter is in the solar system.

Speaking about their research which was published in the peer-reviewed journal Nature, co-author Matteo Brogi said that they will be able to tell what classes of the planet are present and determine the location of formation and early evolution.

Osiris is about two-thirds the size of Jupiter but its orbiting distance from its star is equivalent to an eighth of the distance between the sun and Mercury. It is the first exoplanet that is known to have an atmosphere. The temperature can go as high as 1,000°C.


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