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Science, Evolution, and Creationism, by the National Academies, focuses on teaching evolution in today's classrooms. Check out the other publications in our online store.

Hubble Detects the First Extrasolar Planetary Atmosphere!
News story originally written on November 28, 2001

Did you know that our Sun is a star? You probably know there are 9 planets in our solar system. But did you know that there are planets that orbit stars other than our Sun? We know of 76 planets that are outside our own solar system! Pretty cool, right!?

Planets that orbit other stars are called extrasolar planets. Just yesterday, scientists announced that they had used the Hubble Space Telescope (HST) to look at the first atmosphere of a planet outside our own solar system!

So, not only do we know of 76 extrasolar planets, we know one of them has an atmosphere. The planet that scientists looked at is called HD209458b. What would you name a extrasolar planet if you found one?

There will be future missions that will look at extrasolar planets (examples are SIM, TPF, NGST).

Last modified January 16, 2002 by Jennifer Bergman.

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