On the first extrasolar planets discovered signs of life


20/03/2008

The Hubble Space Telescope first detected the organic molecule in the atmosphere of a planet orbiting a star outside the solar system. This is a significant discovery is a very important step in the search for signs of life on exoplanets.

Hubble discovered signs of methane in the atmosphere of the planet HD 189733b, commensurate with the size of Jupiter. Under favorable conditions, methane can play a key role in prebiotic chemical process - a process necessary for the emergence of any form of life. Although methane is present on many of the planets in our solar system, this is the first detection of methane on a planet orbiting another sun.

This discovery demonstrates that other subsequent Hubble Space Mission (such as NASA / ESA / CSA James Webb Space Telescope) can detect organic molecules on other planets solar system using spectroscopy, which splits the light into its components in order to determine the characteristic features various chemical elements.

We now know that the planet HD 189733b is methane and water vapor. It is located at a distance of 63 light-years away in the constellation Vulpecula (Vulpecula). HD 189733b - hot Jupiter-like extrasolar planet, located so close to its sun that the orbital period of only two days. The temperature of the atmosphere of the planet - about 900 degrees Celsius - nearly at which begins to melt silver. Just tell us interesting news in detail.

Original: Physorg.com


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