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Water Discovered On Distant Giant Planets

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(Image Credit: NASA)

The Hubble telescope has discovered signs of water on 5 giant Jupiter-like planets trillions of miles away.

The massive exoplanets named WASP-17b, HD209458b, WASP-12b, WASP-19b and XO-1b are all scorching hot, which is a term commonly given to planets orbiting close to their stars. Because of their heat however, scientists believe it is highly unlikely that the planets are currently able to support life.

The finding does still mark an important step in the search for extraterrestrial life, according to researchers.

‘We’re very confident that we see a water signature for multiple planets,’ said Avi Mandell of Nasa’s Goddard Space Flight Center.

‘This work really opens the door for comparing how much water is present in atmospheres on different kinds of exoplanets — for example, hotter versus cooler ones.’

The presence of water in the atmosphere has reported previously on planets orbiting stars, however this is the first time researchers have measured and compared profiles and intensities of these signatures across multiple planets. The strength of these atmospheric water signatures varies, with WASP-17b having ‘an especially puffed up atmosphere’.

Check out the entire article here at The Daily Mail.