Monday, December 15, 2008

CO2, water and methane detected on exoplanet

Sixty-three light years away, on a gas giant (the size of Jupiter and named HD 189733b), scientists have detected carbon dioxide, water and methane, reports the NY Times.

The presence of CO2 is notable since carbon would "prefer" to naturally form carbon monoxide (CO) or methane (CH4).

Could there be life? Probably not. The planet's temperature is 1,700 degrees Fahrenheit.

The gasses were detected by comparing the spectrums of HD 189733b and its parent star. It's a pretty routine procedure, but Pond360 remains amazed that A) we are able to detect planets outside of our solar system and B) we can tell what's in their atmospheres. Let's put it this way, the universe was a much smaller, less complicated place when we were going through school.

No comments:

Pound360 Archive

About Me

My photo
I started pound360 to channel my obsession with vitamins, running and the five senses. Eventually, I got bored focusing on all that stuff, so I came back from a one month hiatus in May of 2007 (one year after launching Pound360) and broadened my mumblings here to include all science.