Components of atmosphere have been examined by several massive Jupiter-size giants. However, till now, atmospheres of smaller planets prove to be more elusive. In a new study, it was discovered by scientists that there are traces of water on alien planet HAT-P-11b, that orbits a star 124 light years from Earth in constellation Cygnus.
Jonathan Fraine, a lead author of the study said in an email interview that “Water is the most cosmically abundant molecule that we can directly observe in exoplanets, and we expect it to be prevalent in the upper atmospheres of planets at these temperatures,”
Once it was detected, it confirms the theory and reveals the bulk of spectrum that can be observed. As a planet transits or passes between Earth and the sun, light from the star is blocked. The dip in light is the number of exoplanets that are first found. However, with these transmits, atmosphere can be studied by the astronomers. When the spectrum of light passing through the atmosphere of the exoplanet is observed, scientists can determine what it is made up of.
For HAT-P-11b, a planet having roughly 4 times the radius of the Earth, the makeup is 90% of hydrogen along with some traces of water. The sun is orbited by this Neptune size planet every 5 days, at a distance of one-twentieth of the Earth-Sun distance. Due to this, the temperature on HAT-P-11b climbs higher than it does on gas giants in solar system. It reaches a sizzling 1,120 degrees Fahrenheit.
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