Artist's Illustration of Temperature Inversion in Exoplanet's Atmosphere

Artist's Illustration of Temperature Inversion in Exoplanet's Atmosphere

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News release ID: STScI-2015-25
Release Date: Jun 11, 2015
Image Use: Copyright
About this image

Using NASA's Hubble Space Telescope, scientists detected a stratosphere on the planet WASP-33b. A stratosphere occurs when molecules in the atmosphere absorb ultraviolet and visible light from the star. This absorption warms the stratosphere and acts as a kind of sunscreen layer for the planet below.

WASP-33b's stratosphere was detected by measuring the drop in light as the planet passed behind its star (top). Temperatures in the low stratosphere rise because of molecules absorbing radiation from the star (right). Without a stratosphere, temperatures would cool down at higher altitudes (left).

For additional information, contact:
Felicia Chou
NASA Headquarters, Washington, D.C.
202-358-0257
felicia.chou@nasa.gov

Nancy Neal-Jones / Elizabeth Zubritsky
Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Md.
301-286-0039 / 301-614-5438
nancy.n.jones@nasa.gov / elizabeth.a.zubritsky@nasa.gov


Tags
Extrasolar Planets, Hubble Telescope, Illustrations, Planets, Stars

Credits

Credit: NASA, ESA, and K. Haynes and A. Mandell (Goddard Space Flight Center)