Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Oxygen And Carbon Found In Atmosphere Of An Extrasolar Planet

Date:
February 3, 2004
Source:
Space Telescope Science Institute
Summary:
NASA's Hubble Space Telescope has detected, for the first time ever, the presence of oxygen and carbon in the atmosphere of a planet outside our solar system.

This artist’s impression shows an extended ellipsoidal envelope - the shape of a rugby-ball – of oxygen and carbon discovered around the well-known extrasolar planet HD 209458b. Credit: European Space Agency and Alfred Vidal-Madjar (Institut d’Astrophysique de Paris, CNRS, France)

NASA's Hubble Space Telescope has detected, for the first time ever, the presence of oxygen and carbon in the atmosphere of a planet outside our solar system.

The oxygen naturally exists and is not produced by any sort of life on the gaseous hot world, astronomers caution. Nevertheless, it is a promising demonstration that the chemical composition of atmospheres on planets many light-years away can be measured. This could someday lead to finding the atmospheric biomarkers of life on extrasolar planets.

The oxygen and carbon are bleeding off the gas-giant extrasolar planet HD 209458b, orbiting a star lying 150 light-years from Earth. HD 209458b is only 4.3 million miles from its Sun-like star, completing an orbit in less than 4 days. It belongs to a class of planets called "hot Jupiters." Astronomers previously discovered that the upper atmosphere is so hot it boils hydrogen off into space.

Astronomers used the Hubble Space Telescope Imaging Spectrograph to discover a rugby-ball shaped evaporating envelope of oxygen and carbon. Analysis of the starlight passing through the envelope shows it is being ripped off by the extreme "hydrodynamic drag" created by its evaporating hydrogen atmosphere.

The planet has been dubbed "Osiris" after the Egyptian god that lost part of his body — like HD 209458b — after having been killed and cut into pieces by his brother to prevent his return to life.

The planet HD 209458b is the first transiting planet discovered, the first extrasolar planet known to have an atmosphere, the first extrasolar planet observed to have an evaporating hydrogen atmosphere, and now the first extrasolar planet found to have an atmosphere containing oxygen and carbon.

The Hubble team led by Alfred Vidal-Madjar (Institut d'Astrophysique de Paris, CNRS, France) is reporting this discovery in a forthcoming issue of Astrophysical Journal Letters.

###

Note: More details can be found on the Hubble European Space Agency Information Center press release:http://spacetelescope.org/bin/news.pl?string=heic0403


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Space Telescope Science Institute. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Space Telescope Science Institute. "Oxygen And Carbon Found In Atmosphere Of An Extrasolar Planet." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 3 February 2004. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2004/02/040203074708.htm>.
Space Telescope Science Institute. (2004, February 3). Oxygen And Carbon Found In Atmosphere Of An Extrasolar Planet. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 27, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2004/02/040203074708.htm
Space Telescope Science Institute. "Oxygen And Carbon Found In Atmosphere Of An Extrasolar Planet." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2004/02/040203074708.htm (accessed August 27, 2014).

Share This




More Space & Time News

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

SpaceX’s Falcon 9 Rocket Explodes After Liftoff

SpaceX’s Falcon 9 Rocket Explodes After Liftoff

Newsy (Aug. 23, 2014) The private spaceflight company says it is preparing a thorough investigation into Friday's mishap. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Did Russia Really Find Plankton On The ISS? NASA Not So Sure

Did Russia Really Find Plankton On The ISS? NASA Not So Sure

Newsy (Aug. 21, 2014) Russian cosmonauts say they've found evidence of sea plankton on the International Space Station's windows. NASA is a little more skeptical. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Space to Ground: Hello Georges

Space to Ground: Hello Georges

NASA (Aug. 18, 2014) Europe's ATV-5 delivers new science and the crew tests smart SPHERES. Questions or comments? Use #spacetoground to talk to us. Video provided by NASA
Powered by NewsLook.com
Tiny Satellites, Like The One Tossed From ISS, On The Rise

Tiny Satellites, Like The One Tossed From ISS, On The Rise

Newsy (Aug. 18, 2014) The Chasqui I, hand-delivered into orbit by a Russian cosmonaut, is one of hundreds of small satellites set to go up in the next few years. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins