Thu Mar 14, 2013, 02:34 PM
Turborama (19,386 posts)
Astronomers find water vapour in atmosphere of distant planet
Source: The Guardian
Astronomers have detected water vapour and carbon monoxide in the atmosphere of a planet 130 light years away from Earth. However, the planet, known only as HR8799c, is devoid of methane, a gas that can indicate life, the researchers said.
Their analysis was performed using the most precise atmospheric measurements ever made of a planet outside our solar system. The levels of gases shed light on how the planet formed, from a cluster of ice crystals tens of millions of years ago.
Since the 1990s, astronomers have detected more than 1,000 planets beyond our solar system. HR8799c is colossal: about seven times the mass of Jupiter, the largest planet in our solar system. It circles a star with at least three other planets.
To take their readings, scientists peered at the planet through a telescope at the Keck Observatory in Hawaii, and used an instrument called Osiris to record incoming infrared light. At only 30m years old, the planet is young, extraordinarily hot, and easy to see in the infrared range.
Read more: http://www.guardian.co.uk/science/2013/mar/14/astronomers-planet-water-vapour
6 replies, 835 views
Always highlight: 10 newest replies | Replies posted after I mark a forum
Replies to this discussion thread
Astronomers find water vapour in atmosphere of distant planet (Original post)
|Blue Owl||Mar 14||#2|
|Nye Bevan||Mar 15||#5|