Hubble Finds Water in 5 Exoplanets' Air

NASA scientists found faint signatures of water in the atmospheres of five distant planets. All five planets appear to be hazy.
Credit: NASA Goddard Space Flight Center.

 

NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope has detected water in the atmospheres of five planets beyond our solar system, two recent studies reveal.

The five exoplanets with hints of water are all scorching-hot, Jupiter-size worlds that are unlikely to host life as we know it. But finding water in their atmospheres still marks a step forward in the search for distant planets that may be capable of supporting alien life, researchers said.

“We’re very confident that we see a water signature for multiple planets,” Avi Mandell, of NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md., lead author of one of the studies, said in a statement. “This work really opens the door for comparing how much water is present in atmospheres on different kinds of exoplanets — for example, hotter versus cooler ones.”

via Signs of Water Found on 5 Alien Planets by Hubble Telescope | Space.com.