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Subtle Signals of Water on Hazy Worlds

exoplanets atmosphere water hubble

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#1    Waspie_Dwarf

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Posted 03 December 2013 - 06:37 PM

Hubble Traces Subtle Signals of Water on Hazy Worlds


www.nasa.gov said:

Using the powerful­ eye of NASA's Hubble Space Telescope, two teams of scientists have found faint signatures of water in the atmospheres of five distant planets.

The presence of atmospheric water was reported previously on a few exoplanets orbiting stars beyond our solar system, but this is the first study to conclusively measure and compare the profiles and intensities of these signatures on multiple worlds.  

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#2    Waspie_Dwarf

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Posted 03 December 2013 - 06:40 PM


NASA | Alien Atmospheres

Since the early 1990's, astronomers have known that extrasolar planets, or "exoplanets," orbit stars light-years beyond our own solar system. Although most exoplanets are too distant to be directly imaged, detailed studies have been made of their size, composition, and even atmospheric makeup - but how? By observing periodic variations in the parent star's brightness and color, astronomers can indirectly determine an exoplanet's distance from its star, its size, and its mass. But to truly understand an exoplanet astronomers must study its atmosphere, and they do so by splitting apart the parent star's light during a planetary transit.

Credit: NASA

Source: NASA - Multimedia

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#3    margiel

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Posted 05 December 2013 - 04:37 PM

Too hot for life, but not so hot that the water has been boiled away?


#4    Hazzard

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Posted 05 December 2013 - 05:31 PM

View Postmargiel, on 05 December 2013 - 04:37 PM, said:

Too hot for life, but not so hot that the water has been boiled away?

They havent found liquid water (how could they?) ,... the H2O they detected is high up in the atmosphere of the planet.

Edited by Hazzard, 05 December 2013 - 05:32 PM.

I still await the compelling Exhibit A.

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#5    FLOMBIE

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Posted 05 December 2013 - 05:38 PM

View PostHazzard, on 05 December 2013 - 05:31 PM, said:

They havent found liquid water (how could they?) ,... the H2O they detected is high up in the atmosphere of the planet.
Shouldn't they better call it water vapor then? I know, H2O refers to this as well, but simply saying water always refers to the liquid state. It is misleading, if you ask me.


#6    Waspie_Dwarf

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Posted 05 December 2013 - 06:50 PM

View PostFLOMBIE, on 05 December 2013 - 05:38 PM, said:


Shouldn't they better call it water vapor then? I know, H2O refers to this as well, but simply saying water always refers to the liquid state. It is misleading, if you ask me.
Why do people always blame the article as misleading when they have leaped to the wrong conclusion?

The article states that water was found in the atmosphere, which means it MUST be in the form of vapour.

Nothing misleading if you take the time to read what was actually said.

"Space is big. Really big. You just won't believe how vastly, hugely, mind-boggingly big it is. I mean, you may think it's a long way down the street to the chemist, but that's just peanuts to space." - The Hitch-Hikers Guide to the Galaxy - Douglas Adams 1952 - 2001

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#7    Lava_Lady

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Posted 05 December 2013 - 07:08 PM

I'm always amazed when I read about findings like this... sometimes I can't even find my car keys while I'm driving and the Hubble telescope has found water in the atmosphere in distances I can't even comprehend!

Amazing.


#8    moonshadow60

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Posted 05 December 2013 - 07:12 PM

I agree with Lava Lady.  It's all so fascinating to me.  Perhaps there is the possibility that someday when they are examining a planet someone will kind of wave into the camera to let us know they exist.  At least, I would like to think so.


#9    highdesert50

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Posted 06 December 2013 - 02:16 AM

Remarkable how a telescope with flawed mirrors, multiple mission repairs, and continued mechanical degradation from long use, has made such amazing discoveries and brought renewed public interest in the space program. Let us hope there will be no delays nor funding loss for the upcoming replacement, James Webb telescope.


#10    coolguy

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Posted 06 December 2013 - 05:11 AM

Where there is water there is life


#11    WelshRed

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Posted 06 December 2013 - 11:31 AM

It's only a matter of time now.

We are NOT alone.






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