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NASA finds a large amount of water in an exoplanet's atmosphere

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posted on Mar, 2 2018 @ 07:06 AM
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I was waiting for someone with more knowledge to share this to heard some pro opinions, but haven't found anything about it yet so I'll try to filter the most interesting parts so we can have a discussion about it.







Much like detectives study fingerprints to identify the culprit, scientists used NASA's Hubble and Spitzer space telescopes to find the "fingerprints" of water in the atmosphere of a hot, bloated, Saturn-mass exoplanet some 700 light-years away. And, they found a lot of water. In fact, the planet, known as WASP-39b, has three times as much water as Saturn does.



Though no planet like this resides in our solar system, WASP-39b can provide new insights into how and where planets form around a star, say researchers. This exoplanet is so unique, it underscores the fact that the more astronomers learn about the complexity of other worlds, the more there is to learn about their origins. This latest observation is a significant step toward characterizing these worlds.

Although the researchers predicted they'd see water, they were surprised by how much water they found in this "hot Saturn." Because WASP-39b has so much more water than our famously ringed neighbor, it must have formed differently. The amount of water suggests that the planet actually developed far away from the star, where it was bombarded by a lot of icy material. WASP-39b likely had an interesting evolutionary history as it migrated in, taking an epic journey across its planetary system and perhaps obliterating planetary objects in its path.



Wakeford and her team were able to analyze the atmospheric components of this exoplanet, which is similar in mass to Saturn but profoundly different in many other ways. By dissecting starlight filtering through the planet's atmosphere into its component colors, the team found clear evidence for water. This water is detected as vapor in the atmosphere.

Using Hubble and Spitzer, the team has captured the most complete spectrum of an exoplanet's atmosphere possible with present-day technology. "This spectrum is thus far the most beautiful example we have of what a clear exoplanet atmosphere looks like," said Wakeford.



"WASP-39b shows exoplanets can have much different compositions than those of our solar system," said co-author David Sing of the University of Exeter in Devon, United Kingdom. "Hopefully this diversity we see in exoplanets will give us clues in figuring out all the different ways a planet can form and evolve."

Located in the constellation Virgo, WASP-39b whips around a quiet, Sun-like star, called WASP-39, once every four days. The exoplanet is currently positioned more than 20 times closer to its star than Earth is to the Sun. It is tidally locked, meaning it always shows the same face to its star.

Its day-side temperature is a scorching 1,430 degrees Fahrenheit (776.7 degrees Celsius). Powerful winds transport heat from the day-side around the planet, keeping the permanent night-side almost as hot. Although it is called a "hot Saturn," WASP-39b is not known to have rings. Instead, is has a puffy atmosphere that is free of high-altitude clouds, allowing Wakeford and her team to peer down into its depths.

Looking ahead, Wakeford hopes to use the James Webb Space Telescope - scheduled to launch in 2019 - to get an even more complete spectrum of the exoplanet. Webb will be able to give information about the planet's atmospheric carbon, which absorbs light at longer, infrared wavelengths than Hubble can see. By understanding the amount of carbon and oxygen in the atmosphere, scientists can learn even more about where and how this planet formed.



It's no breaking news, but interesting nonetheless to see that we are starting to study exoplanets' atmosphere in a more detailed way than ever.

Exciting times are coming with TJWT in 2019!

Any thoughts, ATS?

Phys.org







posted on Mar, 2 2018 @ 07:25 AM
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Most planets have water if they are bit warm. Infact ther is lot and lots of water floating around in space.!
Mean time. NASA should stop hiding and altering photos and information. Sick of fake news and black outs.



posted on Mar, 2 2018 @ 07:31 AM
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originally posted by: Pandaram
Most planets have water if they are bit warm. Infact ther is lot and lots of water floating around in space.!
Mean time. NASA should stop hiding and altering photos and information. Sick of fake news and black outs.

After so many years, I can't believe people are still using these tired, clichéd lines. Like a script.

Oh boy.



posted on Mar, 2 2018 @ 07:43 AM
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Amazing. I can't find clean water in my back yard.



posted on Mar, 2 2018 @ 07:45 AM
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So, we have a solar system with it's own sauna...that's interesting.



posted on Mar, 2 2018 @ 08:07 AM
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NASA cant decide if there is water on Mars or not
Yet they can say yes for a planet 700 light years away ?



posted on Mar, 2 2018 @ 08:12 AM
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originally posted by: Gothmog
NASA cant decide if there is water on Mars or not
Yet they can say yes for a planet 700 light years away ?

There is no question of water on Mars from NASA.
Not sure where you are getting that idea from..



posted on Mar, 2 2018 @ 08:25 AM
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a reply to: Gothmog

We already know there's water on the Moon, Mars, Saturn - and its moons - and possibly other planets too. But I think most of it is frozen beneath the soil.

In this case, they've found vapor in the atmosphere.



posted on Mar, 2 2018 @ 01:36 PM
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Big deal. As long as I'm not sick, I pee out a fair amount of sterile water every day. Unlike "where there's smoke there's fire," the presence of water doesn't mean there is any life.



posted on Mar, 2 2018 @ 01:56 PM
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a reply to: Blue Shift

There's no claim or reference about life on the article. And yes, water is very common in the universe



posted on Mar, 2 2018 @ 02:00 PM
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originally posted by: vinifalou
There's no claim or reference about life on the article. And yes, water is very common in the universe

Yeah, but people looking for alien life are always way too excited about the presence of water. I'm sure it's one of the reasons it's part of headlines, rather than "NASA finds large amounts of sodium on distant planet!"



posted on Mar, 2 2018 @ 02:03 PM
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originally posted by: Blue Shift
Big deal. As long as I'm not sick, I pee out a fair amount of sterile water every day. Unlike "where there's smoke there's fire," the presence of water doesn't mean there is any life.

Hate to burst your bubble, but urine is in fact not sterile. This had been known for many years, it's got bacteria (life) in it.

Edit: just in case someone feels like arguing about it:
www.sciencenews.org...


It appears that the urban legend about urine being sterile has its roots in the 1950s, Hilt says, when epidemiologist Edward Kass was looking for a way to screen patients for urinary tract infections before surgery. Kass developed the midstream urine test (still used when you pee in a cup) and set a numerical cutoff for the number of bacteria in normal urine: not more than 100,000 colony-forming units (cell clusters on a culture dish) per milliliter of urine. A person tests “negative” for bacteria in their urine as long as the number of bacteria that grow in a lab dish containing the urine falls below this threshold. “It appears that the dogma that urine is sterile was an unintended consequence,” Hilt says.

edit on 3/2/2018 by Nyiah because: (no reason given)



posted on Mar, 2 2018 @ 02:31 PM
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a reply to: vinifalou

Wow. It sounds beautiful. I hope I reincarnate onto a trip to one of these planets we are seeing now.

Thanks for sharing.




posted on Mar, 2 2018 @ 02:39 PM
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a reply to: Blue Shift

It's because every single place on Earth where there is water, there is some form of life....even in the Arctic and Antarctica, and in 0 oxygen environments.

We don't know if that's true elsewhere, but because it's true here, people hope it will be true elsewhere.

I think what I find MORE amazing is people like you that come into threads like this.



posted on Mar, 2 2018 @ 02:42 PM
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originally posted by: eriktheawful
I think what I find MORE amazing is people like you that come into threads like this.

Thanks for the unnecessary shade, Mr. Pot!



posted on Mar, 2 2018 @ 04:13 PM
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Water is the universal solvent in the universe. Because of the partial ionic nature of the oxygen and hydrogen atoms, it will dissolve a wide variety of other solids as well as absorb gases like oxygen and CO2, as well as form acid and alkaline solutions. Given the preferred angle that the hydrogen bonds have, each water molecule can absorb a vast amount of heat energy and store it in the atomic bonds. So it is perfect for regulating temperature and absorbing heat. The range of temperatures that water willl remain between a frozen state and as a gas is known as the Goldilocks zone.

This planet might be boiling hot on one side and ice cold on the other, but that's no different from our planet.



posted on Mar, 2 2018 @ 04:15 PM
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a reply to: vinifalou

Great find. I just wish they would give the planets names without the numbers.



posted on Mar, 2 2018 @ 04:28 PM
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How bizzare would it be....if scientists work out that Stars....all Stars, are actually made up of a Water H2O core, ignited due to the great gravity pressure of the attracted, dust etc over Millenia.

That Water is the answer to the Universe, and perpetuates with the explosion of Stars....etc.

Indeed, as a Organic life form, we are composed of 80% water.....the Universal building block.

Water is the Key, "Be water, my friend".


edit on 2-3-2018 by gort51 because: (no reason given)




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