Exotic Exoplanet Discovered?

Artist's concept of a methane-free planet

An unusual, methane-free world is partially eclipsed by its star in this artist’s concept. NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope has found evidence that a hot, Neptune-sized planet orbiting a star beyond our sun lacks methane — an ingredient common to many planets in our own solar system.

Models of planetary atmospheres indicate that any world with the common mix of hydrogen, carbon and oxygen, and a temperature up to 1,000 Kelvin (1,340 degrees Fahrenheit) should have a large amount of methane and a small amount of carbon monoxide.

The planet illustrated here, called GJ 436b is about 800 Kelvin (or 980 degrees Fahrenheit) – it was expected to have methane but Spitzer’s observations showed it does not.

The finding demonstrates the diversity of exoplanets, and indicates that models of exoplanetary atmospheres need to be revised.

[Image Credit: JPL]

Advertisements

About bruceleeeowe
An engineering student and independent researcher. I'm researching and studying quantum physics(field theories). Also searching for alien life.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: