Saturday, July 14, 2007

NASA's Spitzer Finds Water Vapor on Hot, Alien Planet

This artist's impression shows a gas-giant
exoplanet transiting across the face of its star.
Image credit: ESA - C.Carreau
+ Full image and caption

This is interesting considering all the debate going on here lately at Stardust Musings about possible life on other planets. While a certain visitor states that it is absolutely unlikely for life to exist on other planets, these recent findings of water on a scorching-hot gas planet far beyond gives us just another bit of evidence that life is possible elsewhere in the universe. While life as we know it is improbable on HD 189733b because of the extreme heat, this new finding proves that the possibility exists that water could be found on other planets where conditions are suitable for life to emerge. It's fantastic how far humans are now able to see into space.

July 11, 2007 NASA Spitzer Mission News

The planet, called HD 189733b, swelters as it zips closely around its star every two days or so. Astronomers had predicted that planets of this class, termed "hot Jupiters," would contain water vapor in their atmospheres. Yet finding solid evidence for this has been slippery. These latest data are the most convincing yet that hot Jupiters are "wet."

"We're thrilled to have identified clear signs of water on a planet that is trillions of miles away," said Giovanna Tinetti, a European Space Agency fellow at the Institute d’Astrophysique de Paris in France." Tinetti is lead author of a paper on HD 189733b appearing today in Nature.

Although water is an essential ingredient to life as we know it, wet hot Jupiters are not likely to harbor any creatures. Previous measurements from Spitzer indicate that HD 189733b is a fiery 1,000 Kelvin (1,340 degrees Fahrenheit) on average. Ultimately, astronomers hope to use instruments like those on Spitzer to find water on rocky, habitable planets like Earth.

"Finding water on this planet implies that other planets in the universe, possibly even rocky ones, could also have water," said co-author Sean Carey of NASA's Spitzer Science Center at the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena. "I'm excited to tell my nephews and niece about the discovery."

The new findings are part of a brand new field of science investigating the climate on exoplanets, or planets outside our solar system. Such faraway planets cannot be seen directly; however, in the past few years, astronomers have begun to glean information about their atmospheres by observing a subset of hot Jupiters that transit, or pass in front of, their stars as seen from Earth.



Stardust said... are going to keep being deleted...

If you actually read the NASA article you would not make such fucking ridiculous statements.

Like I said before, go find another place to play.

CyberKitten said...

Finding water on an alien world - even one so inhospitable as this one - is a great boost to the possiblity of finding another life sustaining planet.

Agreed that it is amazing what we can examine many light years away. Here's hoping that we find a colder planet with water vapour in its atmosphere. Shame that it will probably be too far away to 'visit' in our lifetimes.

Stardust said...

infinite, It is not being mean to demand that you stop trolling and to go someplace else if you will not interact with others and if you only wish to push your agenda without reading one bit of anything else. You stated your "beliefs" repeatedly so there is simply nothing else to discuss with you. Not allowing you to spam my message boards with redundancy is not being mean. I simply asked you to supply the exact link to sources of where you are getting your perspective about the facts you have supplied. You refuse to do so which can lead me to believe you do not have a credible supporting evidence which proves your "definite answer assumptions".

Stardust said...

cyberkitten, too bad that most likely they won't find such a planet in my lifetime. It is possible, but slim but I think if humans don't blow up the planet first, or if Earth isn't devastated by an asteroid collision, that scientists will eventually find a planet that supports life. The problem would be getting there. We would have to develop space travel like we see in Star Trek and travel at warp speed.

Tommy said...

If there is life (or the remains of life) on either Mars or Europa, it is possible we might find it out in the next 20 to 30 years.

Stardust said...

Well tommy, in 20 years I will be nearly 73, and in 30 years if I make it that long I hope my mind is still there to be able to receive such great findings! LOL!

CyberKitten said...

Europa does look promising.

It'd be totally amazing if they found life there. It would certainly make lots of people think twice before they dismiss life in this galaxy (never mind the universe) if we can find two places in this system that independently developed life!

If that turns out to be the case it would probably mean that our galaxy is teeming with life. Here's hoping.

Stardust said...

infinite troll...

your troll comments will keep being deleted. You still have not provided sources asked of you and you choose to ignore those who have debunked your argument.

If you actually read this article it says that where there is water there is a POSSIBILITY for life to exist. And of course we are aware that there are many other factors that bring about the right conditions for life to form. This is why you end up being banned wherever you go.

You are nothing more than a troll.

Tommy said...

Goodbye Gloryhole! And don't let the door hit you on the way out.

gordo said...

We might be able to find extra-terrestrial life, and perhaps even in our lifetimes. But intelligent life is another matter.

As Carl Sagan used to say, given the number of stars, intelligent life almost certainly exists elsewhere. The problem is, there are relatively few possible sites for intelligent life within 1,000 light years, and even that's too far to travel.

Even if you could go at many times the speed of light, which is theoretically impossible, it would take you hundreds of years to safely accelerate to such speeds. So while it would be exciting to find simple forms of life, and it's wonderful to know that other intelligent life probably exists, it's also most likely that we'll never have meaningful contact with those other intelligences.

CyberKitten said...

gordo said: We might be able to find extra-terrestrial life, and perhaps even in our lifetimes. But intelligent life is another matter.

You never can tell. They, or a message from them, could arrive at any moment. They might even be on their way right now.

With FTL almost any distance is possible.