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Courtesy of STScI
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).
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