The researchers studied the glow from the turbulent planet WASP-43b, located 260 light-years away, using spectroscopy and by observing its rotation, they succeeded in showing exactly where and how much of water is present in its atmosphere.
The amount of water found in the planet was same as estimated by the scientists based on factors such as the chemical compositions. The study show the exoplanet is a place of extremes, where winds move at the speed of sound and the day is as hot as 3,000F (1,649C) and night temperatures below 1,000F (538C).
However, according to NASA, the water (if any) at the planet should be already vaporized since it’s very close to the dwarf star around which it completes its orbit.
“Water is thought to play an important role in the formation of giant planets, since comet-like bodies bombard young planets, delivering most of the water and other molecules that we can observe,” said Jonathan Fortney, a member of the team from the University of California, Santa Cruz.
“These measurements have opened the door for new kinds of ways to compare the properties of different types of planets,” said team leader Jacob Bean of the University of Chicago.
According to our sources, the planet is the same size as Jupiter but is twice dense as the planet. Interestingly, the planet takes only 19 hours to complete the orbit since it is very close to its star.
Let us know your opinion on “Water found on distant exoplanet” and subscribe to our newsletter to get insightful stories daily in your inbox.