A massive sandstorm has been detected for the first time on the exoplanet VHS 1256b, which is about 40 light-years from Earth. the James Webb Telescope (JWST)/

The dust particles are made up of silicates, i.e. small grains of silicon and oxygen, which form the basis of most minerals.

The extraterrestrial storm detected by James Webb is nothing like the sandstorms that occur in arid, desert regions of Earth.

It’s more like a “rocky” fog.

“They resemble grains of sand, but much finer. Silica grains the size of smoke particles,” explained Professor Beth Biller from the University of Edinburgh and the Royal Observatory, Edinburgh, UK.

“The planet VHS 1256b is a hot, young celestial object. “The temperature at the top of the clouds is probably similar to the temperature of a candle flame,” he told BBC News.

The exoplanet VHS 1256b was first detected by the UK-based Vista telescope in Chile in 2015.

Previous observations of VHS 1256b have shown that it has a red appearance, suggesting that dust is likely suspended in its atmosphere.

“It’s exciting because it shows how different clouds on another planet can be to water vapor clouds on Earth,” Professor Biller said.

Source: BBC