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View Full Version : Water Vapour Discovered in an Extrasolar Planet



Fraser
2007-Jul-12, 07:16 PM
Scientists have reported the first conclusive evidence of water vapour in the atmosphere of an extrasolar planet. Before we load up the spaceships to search for life, however, consider the fact that this planet, HD 189733b, is larger than Jupiter, and orbits its parent star in just 2.2 days. ...

Read the full blog entry (http://www.universetoday.com/2007/07/12/water-vapour-discovered-in-an-extrasolar-planet/)

thothicabob
2007-Jul-12, 08:55 PM
Just wondering - even though the planet's close, given the size, what could conditions be like on the dark side of the planet?

Wondering further - why does this planet (or at least its atmosphere) still exist at all, being so close to its sun? One would think that over time, given the extreme proximity and the amount of radiation (besides the heat), it (the atmosphere) would have been burned or "blown" off by now?

And a final "wonder", who's to say that, even at high temps, if the atmosphere and other conditions are complex enough, but still also consistently "stable" (similar over long periods of time), that some form of life couldn't form? Or would the dynamic extremes of the atmosphere simply be too great to allow any complex structures to form?

Just wondering...

m1omg
2007-Jul-17, 08:49 PM
That is a gas giant.

thothicabob
2007-Jul-18, 06:49 AM
I realize that. It's also tidally locked, one side perpetually facing the sun. This would imply to me at least very dramatic 'weather', and i wonder also how extreme the difference in conditions would be between the night and day sides. I'd imagine that there'd be a lot of heat transferance from the light to dark side because of the atmosphere, but I wonder how big of a difference there'd be in temps, and whether or not temps on the dark side could be low enough for 'interesting things' to happen.

BigDon
2007-Jul-18, 07:16 AM
All good questions Bob. Then there is the issue of moons.

m1omg
2007-Jul-18, 10:18 AM
Well the Upsilon Andromedae b was proven to have a temperature of over 1500 degress Celsius on the dayside and -78 to 250 deg. Celsius on the nightside, so almost no circulation of heat, if there is water there may be even water clouds on the nightside, I don't know if it is case with another hot Jupiters.
Well hot Jupiters have very small hill radius so the existence of any moons except maybe some caputed asteroids is very improbable.

Link: http://www.centauri-dreams.org/?p=855