exoplanet atmosphere

Cooking up Alien Atmospheres on Earth

Cooking up Alien Atmospheres on Earth

Researchers at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, are cooking up an alien atmosphere right here on Earth. In a new study, JPL scientists used a high-temperature "oven" to heat a mixture of hydrogen and carbon monoxide to more than 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit (1,100 Celsius), about the temperature of molten lava. The aim was to simulate conditions that might be found in the atmospheres of a special class of exoplanets (planets outside our solar system) called "hot Jupiters."

Exoplanets: how we used chemistry to identify the worlds most likely to host life

Exoplanets: how we used chemistry to identify the worlds most likely to host life

Are we alone in the universe? This question has been with us for thousands of years, but it is only now that science is on the cusp of providing a real answer. We now know of dozens of rocky planets orbiting stars other than our sun where, for all we know, life might exist. And soon, with the launch of the James Webb Space Telescope, we will have the first chance to peer into the atmospheres of some of these worlds. 

Hubble observes exoplanet atmosphere in more detail than ever before!

Hubble observes exoplanet atmosphere in more detail than ever before!

An international team of scientists has used the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope to study the atmosphere of the hot exoplanet WASP-39b. By combining this new data with older data they created the most complete study yet of an exoplanet atmosphere. The atmospheric composition of WASP-39b hints that the formation processes of exoplanets can be very different from those of our own Solar System giants.

It’s all in the atmosphere: exploring planets orbiting distant star

It’s all in the atmosphere: exploring planets orbiting distant star

When the Moon passes through the Earth’s shadow during a total lunar eclipse, it isn’t plunged into darkness, but instead takes on a ruddy hue. This is caused by the sunlight passing through our planet’s atmosphere, and being refracted into Earth’s shadow.

‘Electric Wind’ Can Strip Earth-like Planets of Oceans, Atmospheres

‘Electric Wind’ Can Strip Earth-like Planets of Oceans, Atmospheres

Venus has an “electric wind” strong enough to remove the components of water from its upper atmosphere, which may have played a significant role in stripping Earth’s twin planet of its oceans, according to new results from ESA’s (European Space Agency) Venus Express mission by NASA-funded researchers.

First Detection of Super-Earth Atmosphere

First Detection of Super-Earth Atmosphere

For the first time astronomers were able to analyse the atmosphere of an exoplanet in the class known as super-Earths. Using data gathered with the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope and new analysis techniques, the exoplanet 55 Cancri e is revealed to have a dry atmosphere without any indications of water vapour. The results, to be published in the Astrophysical Journal, indicate that the atmosphere consists mainly of hydrogen and helium.