Tuesday, August 21, 2018
Contact us    |    Advertise    |   Help    |   Cookie Policy    |   Privacy Policy    RSS icon Twitter icon Facebook icon
    Home  ·  News  ·  Forum  ·  Stories  ·  Image Gallery  ·  Columns  ·  Encyclopedia  ·  Videos
Find: in

Helium detected on 'super-Neptune' exoplanet


Posted on Thursday, 3 May, 2018 | Comment icon 0 comments

WASP-107b is around the size of Jupiter. Image Credit: ESA/Hubble, NASA, M. Kornmesser
For the first time ever, scientists have detected helium in the atmosphere of a planet in orbit around a distant star.
The discovery, which was made by exoplanet hunter Jessica Spake and colleagues, involved using the Hubble Space Telescope to observe a relatively nearby exoplanet named WASP-107b.

The planet is particularly hostile to life with a sweltering atmospheric temperature of 500C.

Detecting the helium involved waiting for the planet to pass in front of its parent star and then analyzing the light passing through its atmosphere.

Unlike in previous studies however, the team studied it in infrared rather than ultraviolet wavelengths.

"This is a new method to probe the upper parts of an exoplanet atmosphere, where high-energy radiation is observed," said Spake. "Hopefully, we'll be able to study many more upper planetary atmospheres this way."

While new telescopes such as the James Webb will make it possible to study exoplanet atmospheres in more detail, the fact that this can be achieved at all using existing telescopes is quite significant.

"The helium we detected extends far out to space as a tenuous cloud surrounding the planet," said study co-author Tom Evans from the University of Exeter.

"If smaller, Earth-sized planets have similar helium clouds, this new technique offers an exciting means to study their upper atmospheres in the very near future."

Source: Space.com | Comments (0)

Tags: Extrasolar Planet

Recent comments on this story




Please Login or Register to post a comment.




  On the forums
Water ice detected on the surface of the Moon
8-21-2018
The ice deposits could prove to be an important resource for astronauts setting up a manned outpost in the future.
Woman wants to marry, have baby with a ghost
8-21-2018
Spiritual guidance counsellor Amethyst Realm claims that she is in a rather unorthodox relationship.
'Miracle house' has oil oozing from its walls
8-21-2018
Situated in Sydney, Australia, the house has gained a reputation for helping couples conceive children.
World's oldest known alligator is in his 80s
8-20-2018
An alligator named Muja, who lives in Belgrade Zoo, is considered to be the oldest alligator in captivity.
Featured Videos
Gallery icon 
Otter swimming lessons
Posted 8-10-2018 | 3 comments
The parents of these six baby giant otters attempt to teach their offspring how to swim.
 
Giant millipedes
Posted 8-3-2018 | 11 comments
Coyote Peterson goes in search of some creatures with a rather large number of legs.
 
Slow-motion dragonfly
Posted 7-27-2018 | 3 comments
A look at how a dragonfly moves using a camera that takes 2,000 pictures every second.
 
 View: More videos
 
Top   |  Home   |   Forum   |   News   |   Image Gallery   |  Columns   |   Encyclopedia   |   Videos   |   Polls
UM-X 10.712 Unexplained-Mysteries.com © 2001-2018
Terms   |   Privacy Policy   |   Cookies   |   Advertise   |   Contact   |   Help/FAQ