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Scientists detect water in atmospheres of several exoplanets
Posted: Fri, Dec 6, 2013, 7:16 AM ET (1216 GMT)
Exoplanet with watery atmopshere transits star (STScI) Astronomers announced this week they had detected evidence of water in the atmospheres of several "hot Jupiter" exoplanets. Two groups of astronomers used observations of the planets using the Hubble Space Telescope as they transited the stars, measuring what wavelengths of light from the star were absorbed by the planet's atmosphere as the exoplanet passed between the star and Earth. Astronomers said they detected relatively strong signals of water in the atmospheres of exoplanets WASP-17b and HD209458b, and other data consistent with the presence of water for exoplanets WASP-12b, WASP-19b, and XO-1b. All five exoplanets are gas giants that orbit very close to their stars.
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