Cloud-free planets are exceedingly rare; astronomers estimate that less than 7 percent of exoplanets have clear atmospheres, according to recent research. For example, the first and only other known exoplanet with a clear atmosphere was discovered in 2018. Named WASP-96b, it is classified as a “hot Saturn.”

Astronomers believe studying exoplanets with cloudless atmospheres can lead to a better understanding of how they were formed. Their rarity “suggests something else is going on or they formed in a different way than most planets,” Alam says. Clear atmospheres also make it easier to study the chemical composition of planets, which can help identify what a planet is made of.

With the launch of the James Webb Space Telescope later this year, the team hopes to have new opportunities to study and better understand WASP-62b. The telescope’s improved technologies, like higher resolution and better precision, should help them probe the atmosphere even closer to search for the presence of more elements, such as silicon.