An observation result from NASA’s Hubble space telescope and Spitzer space telescopes discovered that a Neptune like distant planet has watery atmosphere . The distant planet HAT-P-26b (also called Warm Neptune) has a primitive atmosphere composed mostly hydrogen and helium .Hydrogen is the essential element for water . From the observation this planet have earth like atmosphere and probability of water .This planet is located at 437 light years far from earth . The HAT-P-26b orbits a star roughly twice as old as the sun.
A postdoctoral researcher at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center Hannan Wakeford said “Astronomers have just begun to investigate the atmospheres of these distant Neptune-mass planets, and almost right away, we found an example that goes against the trend in our solar system,This kind of unexpected result is why I really love exploring the atmospheres of alien planets.”
This is not the first time scientist have discovered earth like planet , there are already thousand of earth like planet which may have water . Scientists are now searching new method of finding habitable planets . In order to study atmosphere around exoplanet they need to meet certain criteria like
- The planet must pass between its sun and US
- The planet’s star or sun must be bright enough so that it is easy for us to study atomophere of that planet
Hannan Wakeford said ” “We really need to learn how other solar systems can form in order to put our own solar system in context,What we’re trying to learn ultimately is how easy it is to form a solar system like our own.”
By observing HAT-P-26b through Hubble Space Telescope Hannan Wakeford and her colleagues discovered amazing result . As this planet passed in front of its sun, they saw distinct signatures of water in its atmosphere. “Seeing this beautiful signature of water in the atmosphere was perfect for us,” says Wakeford. “It’s a great planet.”
Read detail at NASA website