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Helium detected in exoplanet atmosphere for the first time

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Helium detected in exoplanet atmosphere for the first time

Post by Dragon on Fri May 04, 2018 1:18 am

Astronomers have detected helium in the atmosphere of a planet that orbits a star far beyond our solar system for the very first time.

An international team of researchers, led by Jessica Spake from the University of Exeter, discovered evidence of the inert gas on 'super-Neptune' exoplanet WASP-107b, found 200 light years from Earth and in the constellation of Virgo.

The pivotal breakthrough, made from observations of the exoplanet using the Hubble Space Telescope, revealed an abundance of helium in the upper atmosphere of the exoplanet, which was only discovered in 2017.

The strength of the helium signal detected was so large that scientists believe the planet's upper atmosphere extends tens of thousands of kilometres into space.

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Re: Helium detected in exoplanet atmosphere for the first time

Post by Dragon on Fri May 04, 2018 1:20 am


Credit: ESA/Hubble, NASA, M. Kornmesser

The exoplanet WASP-107b is a gas giant, orbiting a highly active K-type main sequence star. The star is about 200 light-years from Earth. Using spectroscopy, scientists were able to find helium in the escaping atmosphere of the planet -- the first detection of this element in the atmosphere of an exoplanet.

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Re: Helium detected in exoplanet atmosphere for the first time

Post by Dragon on Fri May 04, 2018 1:21 am



The exoplanet WASP-107b is a gas giant, orbiting a highly active K-type main sequence star. The star is about 200 light-years from Earth. Using spectroscopy, scientists were able to find helium in the escaping atmosphere of the planet — the first detection of this element in the atmosphere of an exoplanet.

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