Credit: Greg Bacon (STScI/AVL)Explanation: By directly detecting the atmosphere of a planet outside our Solar System, humanity has taken another small step toward finding extraterrestrial life. The unexpected detection by David Charbonneau (Caltech) and associates came from Hubble Space Telescope observations of Sun-like star HD 209458. As an orbiting planet crossed between that star and the Earth, sodium in the planet's atmosphere absorbed starlight at very specific colors. The planet, originally discovered two years ago, has about 70 percent the mass of Jupiter but orbits very close in. A long-term goal of this type of research is the detection of planetary biomarkers that would indicate life, such as oxygen, water, or methane.
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Based on Astronomy Picture Of the Day
Publications with keywords: extrasolar planet
Publications with words: extrasolar planet
- APOD: 2023 February 1 Á The Seventh World of Trappist 1
- APOD: 2023 January 24 Á LHS 475 b: Earth Sized Exoplanet
- 50 Light years to 51 Pegasi
- PDS 70: Disk, Planets, and Moons
- APOD: 2020 August 18 Á TYC 8998 760 1: Multiple Planets around a Sun Like Star
- The Kepler 90 Planetary System
- NGST 10b: Discovery of a Doomed Planet