Scientists study a 'hot Jupiter' exoplanet's dark side in detail for the first time | Engadget

Many scientists have used this method to study the bright sides of exoplanets, but the dark side observations required detecting minuscule changes in the spectral line indicating water vapor. An MIT-led study has provided the first detailed look at a "hot Jupiter" exoplanet's dark side by mapping WASP-121b's altitude-based temperatures and water presence levels. Where the daytime side tears water apart with temperatures beyond 4,940F, the nighttime is cool enough ('just' 2,780F at most) to recombine them into water. Astronomers have mapped the atmospheres of exoplanets for a while, but a good look at their night sides has proven elusive until today. The result flings water atoms around the planet at over 11,000MPH. That comprehensive look should help explain where hot Jupiters like WASP-121b can form.
Astronomers have mapped the atmospheres of exoplanets for a while, but a good look at their night sides has proven elusive until today. An MIT-led study has provided the first detailed look at a "hot… [+1560 chars]