Scientists Examines Neptune-sized Exoplanet To Understand How The New Worlds Evolve

By Menahem, Zen | May 16, 2017 01:53 AM EDT

An international team of scientists examines a Neptune-sized exoplanet in order to learn how the new worlds evolve. Recently, the planet is found to have water and clouds on its surface.

The planet is situated 430 light years away and the astronomers have published their extensive research in the Neptune-sized exoplanet in volume 356 of Science magazine. The scientists used the data obtained from two giant telescopes, Hubble and Spitzer Space Telescopes, to analyze the atmosphere in the Neptune-sized exoplanet.

From the finding, the Neptune-sized exoplanet is detected to have prominent H2O absorption bands. These absorption bands reach the maximum base-to-peak amplitude at 525 parts per million in the transmission spectrum. The scientists also measured the heavy element content using the water abundance as the proxy for metalicity.

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The Neptune-sized exoplanet, named HAT-P-26b, is a very warm planet with boiling hot temperatures at 1300 F and a very high pressure. According to Popular Science, is not a habitable planet as its high pressure will crush human being before even land on its surface. However, the scientists look into the planet to learn more about the planet and how it forms.

This is the first time we’ve gotten such a strong signature of water vapor,” lead author of the research, Hannah Wakeford, a scientist at the NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center said about the Neptune-sized exoplanet HAT-P-26b. "This kind of unexpected result is why I really love exploring the atmospheres of alien planets."

Wakeford explained that in the extra orbital galaxy, planets at the size of Neptune are the most common planets to find. The Neptune-sized exoplanet which she focused on for study is orbiting very close to its star. One year in HAT-P-26b is equal to four days on Earth.

She also expects the new telescope, James Webb Space Telescope, which will be launched in 2018 will provide more data on the HAT-P-26b. She intended to analyze the number of carbon in her further research on the Neptune-sized exoplanet. Watch the footage of their findings of the atmosphere of the planet below:

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