Scientists at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics have discovered a rare type of planet that is similar to Jupiter, but does not have clouds and haze in the atmosphere. This is reported in an article published in The Astrophysical Journal. The research is summarized in a press release on Phys.org.
The gas giant WASP-62b was found in 2012 during the Wide Angle Search for Planets (WASP) Southern Astronomical Survey. It is located at a distance of 575 light-years from Earth and belongs to the class of hot Jupiters, which are characterized by close proximity to the parent star, orbiting the local sun in 4.5 days. Its mass reaches half that of Jupiter.
Astronomers observed the passage of the exoplanet against the background of the star's disk using a spectroscope, which made it possible to record the features of electromagnetic radiation associated with the presence of certain chemical elements. Full sodium absorption lines were found in the spectrum, indicating the absence of haze and clouds blocking the signal from this element.
Previously, the first and so far the only known exoplanet with a clean atmosphere was discovered in 2018. Dubbed WASP-96b, it is classified as hot Saturn.