Scientists Discover Atmosphere for the First Time on Exoplanet

By Cresswell McCoy | Apr 06, 2017 07:01 PM EDT

Scientists have made a new discovery of an atmosphere around a planet for the first time in history. The atmosphere was detected beyond the solar system on an Exoplanet little larger than Earth, this incredible discovery could possibly answer the question on the existence of another Earth.

The Exoplanet GJ 1132b orbits the dwarf star and is located around 39 light years away from Earth. The radius on the Exoplanet is 1.4 times that of Earth and it is 1.6 times the Earth's mass. Researchers called the planet a potential Venus when it was first discovered. It has a rocky world and very high surface temperature, a recent study suggests that the planet and Venus might have a thick atmosphere in common.

According to Space, it is a first evidence of atmosphere around an Exoplanet that is a little larger than Earth. Researchers will use planet's atmospheres and try to determine if these worlds are suitable for life. They might also be able to identify potential traces of life recorded on the planet.

Astronomers have captured images of the planet's star using a telescope at the European Southern Observatory in Chile. They measured the star's system with different wavelengths, and were able to clarify the planet's radius. They also found something strange as some of the wavelengths showed a larger dip in the star's brightness.

The Earth's atmosphere is mostly nitrogen with a large oxygen component. Venus on the other hand has a thick shroud of carbon dioxide. Based on the measurements researchers stated that the GJ 1132b's atmosphere is likely rich in water vapor or methane. It might also be a water world with a atmosphere of hot steam.

With the latest discovery scientists have made the planet's atmosphere a high priority target study. The Hubble Space Telescope will be monitoring and helping researcher to get deeper into the subject. This discover has certainly been marked in history for astronomers and the world. 

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