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Recently, the astronomers found the signs of clear skies and water vapors on the Neptune Sized Exo-Planet called as HAT-P-11b. It’s believed to be the tinniest planet thus far identified to horde water in its atmosphere.
The study has been published in the Journal Nature, symbols a target for scientists seeking out whether such tinniest planets in distant solar systems also have the same atmospheres like Earth.
Astronomers believe that, finding Exo-planets is complicated, but, on the other hand, the examining the molecular contents of their atmospheres is even more harder. The researchers stay for planets to go by in front of their stars to monitor the starlight, which riddles through the transparent gassy shell around the planet’s outline. If they observe any water in that slim atmospheric lining, it would eventually soak up definite wavelengths of the clean light by sending off a chemical fingerprint that astronomers can recognize.
The astronomers claimed that this process is named as ‘Transmission Spectroscopy’, which is not an easy task to handle. So far, researchers have only been proficient in exploring the contents of air surrounding huge planets such as Jupiter, which are quite easier to locate with more wide and extensive atmospheres.
An astronomer Eliza M.R Kempton at Grinnell Collage of Iowa says that, in Exo-planet, we are searching for water vapor amalgamation in atmosphere in front of star which is just like tiny insect passing in front of bright coastal lighthouse lamp.
Astronomers have used their hand for testing the atmosphere of different planets which are smaller than Jupiter while using NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope. With this, we have examined four Neptune sized planets, but their broadcast range was flat, missing informer fingerprints, which means that clouds were in the way.
The team of researchers led by Jonathan Fraine of the University of Maryland checked HAT-P-11b, planet 120 light years away, in the collection of Cygnus, hit disburse dirt that circles its stars every 5th day. The researchers reported that the transmission signal showed a clear signal of water vapors along with the abundance of water. moreover, they cross checked the results too with the findings of NASA’s Spitzer & Kepler space telescopes in order to make sure that water was not coming sunspot backlighting the atmosphere.
Furthermore, the findings got detained. And they look to correspond with what planetary scientists expect the researchers’ states.
Uthor of the study wrote, the spectrum made is actually the indication of a planetary atmosphere in which the profusion of heavy elements is not more than 700 times the solar value.
This seems to be a good contract with the core-accretion theory of planet formation. In this theory, a gas massive planet obtains its atmosphere by accreting hydrogen-rich gas straight from the proto-planetary nebula onto a big stony or icy core.”
In fact, this Neptune-sized planet has showed the clear signals of skies. The researchers further told that still there is a possibility that even smaller planets will also have relatively cloud-free atmospheres.
With the help of NASA James Webb Space Telescope, which would probably launch in 2018, help the researchers to better explore the smaller planets, Kempton said. Though, this giant telescope has some of the instruments similar to Hubble’s but it has a much larger mirror which has the capability to catch even faded signals.