Water Detected on Exoplanet

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Water Detection

A group of scientists and astronomers majorly from Penn State University and other institutions have discovered an exoplanet that harbours water in its atmosphere.

Astronomers detected water in the atmosphere of a planet that is as big as Jupiter. The planet is much hotter than Jupiter and helps to understand how these exotic hot-jupiter planets form and evolve. The discovery used a new technique which detects the infrared radiation present in the atmospheres of these planets. The infrared images helped establish whether the planet holds water or not.

Previous methods include looking for water vapour using a technique that works only if a planet has an orbit that passes in front of its star when viewed from earth. However, most planets which are out of our solar system do not fit in this criterion.

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