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Water detected in exoplanet's atmosphere

Posted on Friday, 15 March, 2013 | Comment icon 17 comments | News tip by: Waspie_Dwarf


Image credit: NASA

 
Astronomers have conducted the most detailed examination yet of a Jupiter-sized planet's atmosphere.

Located 130 light years away, planet HR 8799c can be directly observed because it is large and located at a significant distance from its parent star. Using the Keck Observatory telescopes and instrumentation astronomers have been able to analyze the composition of the planet's atmosphere, revealing the presence of water vapor and carbon monoxide.

"We have been able to observe this planet in unprecedented detail because of Keck Observatory’s advanced instrumentation, our ground-breaking observing and data processing techniques, and because of the nature of the planetary system," said lead author Quinn Konopack. It is hoped that the information will help scientists understand the processes behind the planet's formation.

"A team of international scientists using the W. M."

  View: Full article

 Source: Keck Observatory


  Discuss: View comments (17)

   


 
Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #8 Posted by Waspie_Dwarf on 15 March, 2013, 21:11
If I did that right it'd take 236,513 years for an orbiter to reach HR 8799. The Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter was launched in '05. So, maybe 8 years later we could shave a short amount of time off that. Until we have some totally new kind of propulsion technology we are not going to be able to shave a significant amount off that flight time. Exoplanets lie tens or hundreds of thousands of years away from us in terms of travel time (and that is just for those that are close). Science currently tells us that faster than light travel is not possible and so, unless a way is found around Relativity ... [More]
Comment icon #9 Posted by Troublehalf on 16 March, 2013, 8:55
Even reaching 99% of Light Speed would be a huge step. 99.1% is massively faster than 99%. Point being, even reaching 99% of light-speed would be great. If that documentuary that guy is doing is to believed, the world governments already have such technology. http://www.sirius.neverendinglight.com/ That's got the trailers on. I'm sure it would be interesting to watch, but when money is involved I always take everything with a pinch of salt. Donations are supposed to be for making the documentuary as no broadcaster will take it on. The reasoning, I believe, for the 'government' not releasing th... [More]
Comment icon #10 Posted by tritchey24 on 18 March, 2013, 16:23
I think the math above may be a little off. Mars will never be 2.2 billion miles from earth. This year pluto will be 3.1 billion miles away. Mars doesn't come close to that. At its furthest distance from earth, it'll be around 249,000,000 milions miles. You take the Speed of light which = 186,282 miles per second x 60 x 60 x 24 x 365 to find out what the speed of light does in a year which = 5,874,589,152,000 (5.8 Trillion). Then you take 5.8 Trillion X 130 which = 763,696,589,760,000. HR8799 is 763,696,589,760,000 (763 Trillion miles away from us) I'm gonna use the speed of Voyager 1 Space pr... [More]
Comment icon #11 Posted by tritchey24 on 18 March, 2013, 16:49
Fun Fact - The FASTEST man made object EVER in history is the Helious 2 Space probe! It reached speeds up to 150,000 Miles per hour! Nothing man made has ever gone faster! Even if we could use this type of propulsion on our journey to HR 8799c, it would still take us 581,199 years to get there!! Fun Fact - The FASTEST man made object EVER in history is the Helious 2 Space probe! It reached speeds up to 150,000 Miles per hour! Nothing man made has ever gone faster! Even if we could use this type of propulsion on our journey to HR 8799c, it would still take us 581,199 years to get there!!
Comment icon #12 Posted by MJNYC on 18 March, 2013, 18:11
Hi Troublehalf, that's an interesting site. I had never seen it before. Not sure why aliens care about us though. After reading a horror story this morning about Russian's slaughtering their race horses (well, read the first line and couldn't even go on) I don't have much faith in the human race. At all.
Comment icon #13 Posted by Finity on 18 March, 2013, 22:33
Going to other planets other than Mars is not an option until we find a new type of propulsion and the energy to achieve it. Even if you managed to travel at near light speed and avoided getting fried by rays of light that would be lethal at that speed (the light spectrum would be blue shifted, so visible light would become x-rays), it would still take more than a life time to get there.
Comment icon #14 Posted by Waspie_Dwarf on 18 March, 2013, 23:20
it would still take more than a life time to get there. Not necessarily true. One of the weirder effects of Relativity is time dilation. Time passes at different rates for objects travelling at different velocities. The upshot of this is that if you are on a spacecraft travelling at near light speed you could travel between stars in a single life time, however although you will have hardly aged, when you returned to Earth you will find that many years (potentially thousands) will have passed and everyone you knew will be long dead and buried.
Comment icon #15 Posted by Zeta Reticulum on 19 March, 2013, 7:26
And people say that it's rare. We've discovered so few planets and already we've found water lol Yep, and its even on the moon...... we worked that out... took a while tho.... 1969 - 2013.Funny how we are now finding water on distant planets at the drop at a hat.
Comment icon #16 Posted by Abramelin on 19 March, 2013, 7:43
Yep, and its even on the moon...... we worked that out... took a while tho.... 1969 - 2013. Funny how we are now finding water on distant planets at the drop at a hat. Which people would that be? Not scientists that's for sure, they will tell you that water is one of the most common molecules in the universe. What they will tell you is rare is the conditions for liquid water. As the planet HR 8799 c is a gas giant what we are seeing here is most definitely NOT evidence of liquid water on a planetary surface, we are seeing water vapour in a planetary atmosphere.
Comment icon #17 Posted by Frank Merton on 19 March, 2013, 8:02
Water should be found everywhere, the only exceptions being where there are processes that remove it. Consequently, finding water somewhere doesn't strike me as noteworthy.


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