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NASA's Hubble telescope finds exoplanet with evidence of glowing water atmosphere

NASA's Hubble Telescope Has Discovered An Exoplanet Which Provides The Strongest Evidence About The Existence Of A Stratosphere On A Planet Along With Glowing Water Molecules Around It. A Stratosphere Is A Layer In Which The Temperature Rises With Higher Altitudes.

News Nation Bureau | Edited By : Prakhar Sharma | Updated on: 03 Aug 2017, 07:54:06 PM
NASA's Hubble telescope finds exoplanet (Representational Image)

New Delhi:

NASA's Hubble telescope has discovered an exoplanet which provides the strongest evidence about the existence of a stratosphere on a planet along with glowing water molecules around it. A stratosphere is a layer in which the temperature rises with higher altitudes.

Mark Marley, study co-author based at NASA's Ames Research Center in California's Silicon Valley said "This result is exciting because it shows that a common trait of most of the atmospheres in our solar system -- a warm stratosphere -- also can be found in exoplanet atmospheres," 

"We can now compare processes in exoplanet atmospheres with the same processes that happen under different sets of conditions in our own solar system," Marley added.

An exoplanet which is classified as hot Jupiter, WASP-121b was studied with the analysis of data from NASA's space telescope Hubble.

The WASP-121 system is located at an estimated distance of 900 light years from Earth, which is considered to be close by galactic standards.

The mass of WASP-121b is around 1.2 times that Jupiter. The orbit period of Jupiter around the Sun is 12 years, while WASP-121b completes its orbital period in just 1.3 days.

The exoplanet is very close to its parent star and if it gets any closer, it could get ripped apart because of the star's gravity, a NASA statement said.

The atmosphere of this exoplanet is heated to a high temperature of 2,500 Celsius, which is scorching enough to boil some metals.

According to the previously conducted research, the possible signs of a stratosphere were detected on WASP-33b as well as some other hot Jupiters. The latest study by astronomers is believed to be the best evidence so far, as it is an important proof about the signature of hot water molecules which the researchers observed.

The Hubble Space Telescope is a project of international cooperation between NASA and ESA (European Space Agency). NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, manages the telescope. Hubble science operations is conducted by The Space Telescope Science Institute (STScI) in Baltimore, Maryland.  STScI is operated for NASA by the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy, Inc., in Washington. Caltech manages JPL for NASA.

Earlier on February 23, NASA scientists successfully discovered seven Earth- size planets around a single star which may be capable of holding life. 

According to the NASA scientist, it has been found that this cluster of planets is less than 40 light-years away in the constellation Aquarius.

Out of the seven new planets discovered three of these planets are firmly located in the habitable zone, the area around the parent star where a rocky planet is most likely to have liquid water.

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First Published : 03 Aug 2017, 07:35:53 PM

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