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Superheroes of Science

Apr 26, 2021

What might clouds on other planets, even planets outside our own solar system, look like?  Alexandria Johnson, Assistant Professor of Practice and Research in the Department of Earth, Atmospheric and Planetary Sciences at Purdue University discusses the process of analyzing a few pixels of light, detected by telescopes, in order to study cloud formation on exoplanets. With a focus on sub-Neptune planets that could reach temperatures near 500K in their upper atmosphere, scientists believe there are clouds formed both from potassium chloride and zinc sulfide. On planets described as Hot Jupiters, which are thousands of degrees Kelvin in their upper atmospheres, there could be titanium oxide clouds and it may even rain rubies!