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Carbon Dioxide and Water Found On Exoplanet

timothy posted more than 5 years ago | from the don't-drink-the-water-and-don't-breathe-the-air dept.

Space 151

Off the Rails writes "The BBC reports that evidence has been found for both water vapour and carbon dioxide on a planet 63 light years away. The planet is a 'hot Jupiter' with a surface temperature of 1173K and an orbital period of just 53 hours. The gases were found spectroscopically once its orbit had been deduced from observation. NASA hailed the news as proof that Kepler will be able to do its job of finding planets capable of supporting life." Wikipedia also has an entry on the planet, dubbed HD 189733b.

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first (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26066059)

first

Well.... (4, Funny)

Fluffeh (1273756) | more than 5 years ago | (#26066069)

I for one welcome our new 1173 Kelvin alien overlords!

Re:Well.... (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26066117)

There must have been a lot of SUV's to make the planet so hot!

Enough SUV bashing (0, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26067515)

Commercial activity accounts for waaaay more emissions than SUVs. Consider the fact that the price of a barrel of oil collapsed along with the global economy, meaning the demand for oil has severely fallen off. What happened? Did everyone all of a sudden stop driving? I doubt it. The roads and the shops seem as crowded as ever. What happened was that global commercial activity, like manufacturing, has severely dropped off.

Re:Well.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26067417)

"I for one welcome our new 1173 Kelvin alien overlords!"

{In_A_Homer_Simpson_Voice} "Mmmm.... Deep fried overlords!." {/In_A_Homer_Simpson_Voice}

Much like (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26066081)

Goatse

Doxide? (2, Funny)

dafrazzman (1246706) | more than 5 years ago | (#26066083)

Seriously?

Re:Doxide? (0, Flamebait)

geekoid (135745) | more than 5 years ago | (#26066161)

Did you bother to look up that word before complaining?

Re:Doxide? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26066213)

Did you bother to look up that word before complaining?

Did you bother to read the summary before bothering to ask him if he bothered to look up the word?

The BBC reports that evidence has been found for both water vapour and carbon dioxide on a planet 63 light years away. The planet is a 'hot Jupiter' with a surface temperature of 1173K and an orbital period of just 53 hours. The gases were found spectroscopically once its orbit had been deduced from observation. NASA hailed the news as proof that Kepler will be able to do its job of finding planets capable of supporting life."

Oh, I forgot. This is slashdot, one cannot be arsed to read the summary before they flame (even if it's flame over a trivial typo which will be fixed in the article title by the time 99% of the people read this message).

Re:Doxide? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26066257)

Did you bother to remember this is /.?

Re:Doxide? (2, Informative)

dafrazzman (1246706) | more than 5 years ago | (#26066271)

No, I guess I foolishly assumed it was a spelling error. Then I googled it. Slashdot has the 3rd result (as of now). There's no wikipedia entry. Googling "doxide definition" gives no relevant results. Please, enlighten me on this definition. It appears you are in the know on this obscure term.

Re:Doxide? (0, Offtopic)

geekoid (135745) | more than 5 years ago | (#26066801)

oh, I didn't look it up either, I was just yanking his chain. Apparently a level of humor too subtle for /.~

Re:Doxide? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26066985)

After a negative response to a completely unfunny "joke": blame the audience. Yeah, okay. Andy Kaufman you ain't.

Re:Doxide? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26067443)

Please, English is not my first language. Can you explain the humor in your joke?

Re:Doxide? (3, Funny)

iluvcapra (782887) | more than 5 years ago | (#26067407)

Yeah, Doxide. It's what you get when you use inline markup in your IronPython source code to generate HTML documentation ;)

1173K! (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 5 years ago | (#26066099)

Wow, that's really.um hot? oh wait, kelvin measure cold. no. wait.

Re:1173K! (3, Informative)

d3ac0n (715594) | more than 5 years ago | (#26066241)

1175 K = 902 C = 1655.6 F

Really damn hot.

"That's LORD Kelvin to you!" - Adam Savage

Re:1173K! (2, Funny)

gyrogeerloose (849181) | more than 5 years ago | (#26066349)

1175 K = 902 C = 1655.6 F Really damn hot.

Yeah, it is. Almost as hot as Bakersfield in August, even.

Re:1173K! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26066431)

1175 K = 902 C = 1655.6 F Really damn hot.

Yeah, it is. Almost as hot as Bakersfield in August, even.

Baaaaazing!

Re:1173K! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26066595)

1175 K = 902 C = 1655.6 F

Really damn hot.

"That's LORD Kelvin to you!" - Adam Savage

It's nippy.

Re:1173K! (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 5 years ago | (#26066819)

Yeah, I know.
It's just funny that in the public US media, Kelvin is usually only used when talking about temperatures close to absolute Zero.
I was just being goofy given the usually media reference.

Re:1173K! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26066337)

All you need is good suntan lotion.

Re:1173K! (4, Funny)

thedonger (1317951) | more than 5 years ago | (#26066815)

Suntan lotion won't stop you from getting baked; it will just leave your corpse without that nice, crispy skin. I say don't fight it and lather up with butter, salt, and pepper.

Re:1173K! (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26068441)

Suntan lotion won't stop you from getting baked

Nothing stops me from getting baked.

Re:1173K! (5, Funny)

Threni (635302) | more than 5 years ago | (#26066647)

640k ought to be enough for anyone.

All we need now is some sodastream flavouring and we're sorted!

They also observed (0)

ChienAndalu (1293930) | more than 5 years ago | (#26066101)

space aliens flying around in SUVs.

Doxide (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26066115)

It's an article from the BBC so I can only imagine that's how they spell Dioxide; just like vapour, colour, and staupping.

Really? (3, Insightful)

Tubal-Cain (1289912) | more than 5 years ago | (#26066139)

NASA hailed the news as proof that Kepler will be able to do its job of finding planets capable of supporting life.

So the announcement about the discovery of a planet not capable of supporting life... is proof that Hubble's replacement will be able to find planets that will support life?

Re:Really? (1)

MozeeToby (1163751) | more than 5 years ago | (#26066411)

Yeah, I'm not sure how they can extrapolate from a hot jupiter situation to a terrestrial world in the liquid water zone. We can only just barely detect terestrial planets as it is, and even when we can detect them it's only because of special circumstances.

Is Hubble's replacement really that much better that we can safely say it is sensitive enough to do what Hubble can do, except a few orders of magnitude better?

As a side note, the wikipedia article also mentions that methane was detected. Wasn't finding water and methane in the same place once the litmus test for life on exoplanets? Apparently that needs to be re-examined, or we need to imagine a way that life is possible in the 1000k temperature range.

Re:Really? (1)

TapeCutter (624760) | more than 5 years ago | (#26067857)

"Wasn't finding water and methane in the same place once the litmus test for life on exoplanets?"

Methane & Oxygen.

Re:Really? (1, Insightful)

Entropy98 (1340659) | more than 5 years ago | (#26066429)

How do you know this planet isn't teaming with life?
--
  IP net address Finding [ipfinding.com]

Re:Really? (1)

moteyalpha (1228680) | more than 5 years ago | (#26067107)

The fact that the temperature curve is high is just a side effect of the huge rocket they launched at us at almost the speed of light. But they are 63 light years away and so I'm not scared of no stinking aliens, oh wait, if they are at near light and the image is 63 years old, they could be here any minute. Instead, I want to welcome .... On a serious note the correlation of three points of data is hardly enough to form any real conclusions, but it does allow the possibility boundaries to include the possibility that the gases are associated with life. I would think that enough carbon dioxide to register at 63LY must be massive.

Kepler is not Hubble's replacement (4, Informative)

StupendousMan (69768) | more than 5 years ago | (#26066559)

So the announcement about the discovery of a planet not capable of supporting life... is proof that Hubble's replacement will be able to find planets that will support life?

Kepler will be a small telescope (about 1 meter) in orbit, with the sole mission of looking at a few fixed areas on the sky and searching for planets by the transit method: take thousands of pictures and look for stars which become dimmer for a few hours due to a planet crossing their disks. This small mission will launch in spring 2009 and is NOT a replacement for HST.

The James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) is Hubble's replacement. It will be much larger (with a mirror around 6.5 meters in diameter) and carry out many, many different types of observations. This mission will launch, uh, some time around 2013, if all goes well.

Re:Kepler is not Hubble's replacement (3, Funny)

Kratisto (1080113) | more than 5 years ago | (#26067033)

Which it won't, because we're all going to die in 2012 when the Ancient Mayans, resurrected by the Antichrist, Barack Obama go to the LHC and use it to create black holes and stranglets.

... Right?

Re:Kepler is not Hubble's replacement (1)

excesspwr (218183) | more than 5 years ago | (#26067317)

Kepler will be a small telescope (about 1 meter) in orbit

Only a 1 meter orbit?

*ducks*

Awesome! (0, Redundant)

chrelad (1428399) | more than 5 years ago | (#26066177)

Cool, good find! Will definitely be keeping an eye on this one. Thanks again for the great article. Chrelad

In a related story... (1, Funny)

kaizendojo (956951) | more than 5 years ago | (#26066195)

.. Bush has ordered troops to liberate the planet and then declare "Mission Accomplished" in a desperate attempt to secure a 'legacy' *somewhere* in this galaxy.

Re:In a related story... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26066379)

wow, flamebait much?

Capable of supporting life? (3, Informative)

blitzkrieg3 (995849) | more than 5 years ago | (#26066287)

1173 kelvin = 1 651.73 degrees Fahrenheit

NASA hailed the news as proof that Kepler will be able to do its job of finding planets capable of supporting life.

I guess all you need to support life these days is water vapor and carbon dioxide. Never mind that the planet is hotter than the surface of some stars.

Re:Capable of supporting life? (3, Insightful)

King_TJ (85913) | more than 5 years ago | (#26066335)

Yeah.... that was my thought too. If you start throwing ideas out there about "new life forms that would thrive in that temperature range" -- why not postulate about ones that don't require an atmosphere or "breathing" at all? Seems just as possible to me.

Re:Capable of supporting life? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26067719)

And what is so wrong about life surviving in space?

Isn't it possible that a life form could someday evolve the ability to survive in space, clean up cell-damage efficiently and live off radiation and eat up space rocks?
It isn't out of the realm of impossibility, just unlikely.
Something large enough can survive pretty much anything thrown at it, if it can repair the damage quickly enough.

Think about it, this lifeform would barely require anything to move around.
If, in emergency, it could release "something" just in case it needed to move out of the way from a planet or whatever else.
Solar winds would be like an "all you eat" for them.

It would probably be more likely to be developed by another life form artificially, though.
The hurdles to go from a planet into space are extremely unlikely to be passed by a life form naturally, mainly on planets with large gravity. (such as Earth)

Re:Capable of supporting life? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26066345)

Turn in your card.

You are confusing life with human life.

Re:Capable of supporting life? (3, Insightful)

Explodicle (818405) | more than 5 years ago | (#26066543)

Considering the top limit for hyperthermophiles here on Earth is 250 degrees F [astrobiology.com], it's not just human life that couldn't survive there. If we're going to assume it's life unlike anything we've ever seen before, then why do you think the presence of water or CO2 will help?

Re:Capable of supporting life? (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26066409)

NASA hailed the news as proof that Kepler will be able to do its job of finding planets capable of supporting life.

So he isn't dead?

Re:Capable of supporting life? (4, Informative)

vlm (69642) | more than 5 years ago | (#26066509)

The temperature of a gas giant has little meaning since it increases with depth.
Since there is little to no "surface" there are just different temperatures at different altitudes.

For example, there is perfectly comfortable weather on Venus at a certain altitude, around 50 km... just not at the surface.

Re:Capable of supporting life? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26066643)

What NASA meant was that this shows that Keppler can successfully detect carbon dioxide and water on exoplanets, not that this planet in particular would be capable of supporting life.

In some time they might find one that's a little cooler (though earth-size planets are still a lot harder to find than jupiter-size ones).

Re:Capable of supporting life? (2, Informative)

Fluffeh (1273756) | more than 5 years ago | (#26066661)

Well, we found stuff living at the boiling point of water [sciencedaily.com] here. Why is it so hard to keep an open mind for the chance that something more exotic than we have found so far on this hunk of dirt exists out there?

As for hotter than the surface of some stars? That's a bit misleading. There are thermal vents on our planet hotter than the surface of some stars if you count the same stars you are referring to - and that's not exactly mind-blowing.

In other news. Temperatures hotter than the surface of stars [recipesource.com] used in everyday dessert cooking!

Re:Capable of supporting life? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26067655)

we found stuff living at the boiling point of water here. Why is it so hard to keep an open mind for the chance that something more exotic than we have found so far on this hunk of dirt exists out there?

Because the boiling point of water and 1173K are kinda far apart.
At that temp, quite a few metals [wikipedia.org] have trouble too.

If we're going to lower the bar that far on what's needed to support life, then why not just assume life is everywhere? Even empty space and the surface of the sun should be infested.

 

Re:Capable of supporting life? (1)

Fluffeh (1273756) | more than 5 years ago | (#26067741)

I am not saying that life HAS to be there. My point is that I am not going to rule it out based on things I don't understand that well.

As for life in empty space? Give me a reason of why microbes could not exist on an asteroid floating in space?

I kind of doubt that there would be enough of anything other than gasses on the surface of a sun, no matter how cool, which would lead me to think that there weren't enough elements present to form even the most basic of organisms, but hey, maybe one day in the future we will, yet again, make a new discover that will show us we were wrong in the past. I mean, we seem to do that a lot with new discoveries. Backtracking on previous "understandings" that is.

Lets just not rule things out with too thick a marker eh?

Re:Capable of supporting life? (1)

Fluffeh (1273756) | more than 5 years ago | (#26067771)

At that temp, quite a few metals [wikipedia.org] have trouble too.

There are five metals on that list that have a melting point lower than the boiling point of water. What's your point? Yes, it's really, really hot at 1173K. I get that, but I don't get why that HAS to rule out ANY form of life that we haven't discovered, imagined or conceptualized.

Re:Capable of supporting life? (1)

physicsphairy (720718) | more than 5 years ago | (#26066719)

PV=nRT

Yes, water at 1600ÂF is just vapor here on earth, but it could be liquid (or ice!) on a gas giant.

Or there could be large currents of cooler fluid at the poles, maybe.

It probably isn't anything life could be sustained in, but there is more potential than has been ruled out.

Re:Capable of supporting life? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26067381)

At every tech workplace I've been to, the Chinese people all bring their lunches in Pyrex glass containers. No Tupperware or other plastics in sight. The Pyrex containers do have a plastic lid... BUT, when they microwave their food, they take the plastic lid off and put a paper towel over the dish. Is this something that the Chinese people are taught to do when coming to America? It seems like such a weird thing to have in common as a people.

Re:Capable of supporting life? (4, Informative)

ceoyoyo (59147) | more than 5 years ago | (#26067727)

Kepler is a space telescope designed to look for planets that transit their stars from our point of view.

It's been well established by ground telescopes that you can detect planets, including fairly small planets and ones in quite distant orbits using this method.

It's now been established that you can get reasonable spectra of transiting planets through this subtraction method.

Thus, Kepler, which detects planets that transit their stars, should be able to detect planets that are the right size and in the right orbit for life, and should ALSO be able to obtain spectra so their composition can be determined.

Thus, Kepler should be able to detect planets where life is possible, or even likely.

Re:Capable of supporting life? (1)

RodgerDodger (575834) | more than 5 years ago | (#26068169)

They're not saying that the planet in question will support life. They're saying that Kepler is able to determine, at inter-stellar distances, the components of the atmosphere. So if, for example, they point Kepler at a planet that happens to have a large amount of free oxygen (which would be a strong indicator of the presence of life), then Kepler would probably be able to say "Yes, there's oxygen there".

Um No. (2, Insightful)

DarthVain (724186) | more than 5 years ago | (#26066399)

"NASA hailed the news as proof that Kepler will be able to do its job of finding planets capable of supporting life."

Seeing as it can only seem to spot super massive planets the size of Jupiter or larger, this will likely not help one whit.

Is it a good first step? Sure.

So there is water vapor and CO2? Big deal. It is also over 1000 degrees K, a bit hot no? It is also not solid, sometimes a problem. It is also frickin huge, so unless you want to transform yourself into a diamond due to being crushed by unbelievable pressures, you may want to look else where.

To my understanding (which may be limited) this stuff is figured out by observing the "wobble" of light from a star. This is apparently caused by small gravitational effects caused by planetary bodies. How they get composition I am not entirely sure. However it seems that unless your planetary body is of a significant mass, the "wobble" isn't as easily seen. Which is why we are getting news about a super massive hot Jupiter being proof that a technology will fulfill its roll in finding planets suitable for life.

Perhaps they mean to do it by subtraction. Simply identify all those that are unsuitable, subtract that from the total, and what you are left are bountiful earth like paradises with green amazon women.

Re:Um No. (4, Informative)

CannonballHead (842625) | more than 5 years ago | (#26066499)

I'm of the opinion that spending billions of dollars on searching for ET life is silly, but in this article's [or the summary thereof] defense, it didn't say THIS planet was habitable. My reading was that they simply proved (presumably) that they were able to find out if water and CO2 exists on a planet.

Re:Um No. (1)

enharmonix (988983) | more than 5 years ago | (#26066539)

How they get composition I am not entirely sure.

If I had to take a shot in the dark, I'd guess spectrum analysis [wikipedia.org]. This is /. though so I naturally have not read the article before replying. :)

Re:Um No. (1)

Fluffeh (1273756) | more than 5 years ago | (#26066767)

Okay, to give you a little more info (in a hurried fashion, as I am at work and should be peeking into a database right now)...

Yes, they do discover most planets through the wobble method, however, when they have this information, they can actually start to look at the planets themselves. Once you know it's there, and you know the orbit, you can stop looking at the wobble and focus on where the planet is you see.

As for working out composition, it's called gas chromatography. Here is a brief history [sciencedirect.com] of it :)

Re:Um No. (4, Informative)

ceoyoyo (59147) | more than 5 years ago | (#26067779)

Your understanding is incorrect.

Kepler is designed to detect planets that transit their parent stars. That is, the planet passes directly in front of the star from our point of view. That causes the perceived brightness of the start to decrease a little when the planet passes in front.

Kepler is expected to be able to detect Earth-sized planets. Since the planet passes directly in front of the star, you can measure changes in the spectra from the system as the planet passes in front. By subtracting the star - planet and the star + planet measurements, you can get an idea of the composition of the planet's atmosphere.

The article says differently... (4, Insightful)

Suisho (1423259) | more than 5 years ago | (#26066437)

"Although they are keen to stress the planet is far too hot to support life, they say the finding represents an important proof of concept, showing that it is possible to detect CO2 in the atmospheres of distant planets orbiting other stars, and that the same method could be used to look at planets which might support life."

Your Point Is? +1, Interesting (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26066457)

Carbon Dioxide and Water + 100 tons per square inch atmospheric pressure = NO LIFE.

Now return to another News For Nerd: Stuff That DOESNT Matter Story.

Sincerely,
Kilgore Trout
P.S. Get some Cyrillic Fonts

Error bars? (1, Interesting)

RiotingPacifist (1228016) | more than 5 years ago | (#26066479)

whats the point in putting error bars on spectrum if your just going to ignore them?
spectrum of HD 189733b [wikimedia.org]
Surely the line has to go through those points, so either thier detector is broken and there should be huge error bars OR there is a major peaks at ~10, ~12, in fact the only place where the spectrum seams to be a reasonable fit is in the useless tail end where the error bars are huge.

Creative naming (5, Funny)

Just Some Guy (3352) | more than 5 years ago | (#26066603)

Wikipedia also has an entry on the planet, dubbed HD 189733b.

Notice that astronomers are not typically confused with the lives of the party.

Proof? (0)

crossmr (957846) | more than 5 years ago | (#26066623)

Proof would be when someone goes there and verifies the findings..

Re:Proof? (1)

wcrowe (94389) | more than 5 years ago | (#26066955)

In this case, I think the word "proof" is being applied to the ability of the Kepler photometer to detect life-supporting compounds on exoplanets, not that the planets themselves can support life.

Re:Proof? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26067785)

Proof would be when someone goes there and verifies the findings..

Volunteering?

C02 and H20... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26066671)

That exoplanet's got what plants crave!

Are you sure? (2, Funny)

TheNecromancer (179644) | more than 5 years ago | (#26066713)

Are they sure that someone didn't spill soda pop on the lens, when they took the measurements? Hmm, this spectroscopic analysis seems remarkably like the spectrum of Pepsi.

Unless, of course, our new alien overlords also drink Pepsi!

Re:Are you sure? (1)

hansraj (458504) | more than 5 years ago | (#26066789)

Unless, of course, our new alien overlords also drink Pepsi!

At that temperature I doubt they would be "drinking" it.

Water vapor and carbon dioxide? Call Al Gore! (1)

PrimeWaveZ (513534) | more than 5 years ago | (#26066825)

Maybe they fucked up their planet big time and bailed. Wonder where they went? Maybe we can get someone to educate them on the problems of abusing the environment and temper the fever their old planet has so they don't mess up another one.

Or, maybe they just bought too many carbon credits from the Kang and Kodos Intergalactic Planting Company.

And this is important why? (1)

No2Gates (239823) | more than 5 years ago | (#26066927)

So we can find a water molecule on a planet a quadrillion miles away, but can't find Osama Bin Laden here on Earth? Yeah, THAT makes sense.

So, when are they going to find something ... (1)

Ihlosi (895663) | more than 5 years ago | (#26067029)

... really interesting?

Water and CO2 are substances that pretty much form all by themselves, from very common elements. Wake me up when they find stuff that wouldn't occur on a "dead" world (oxygen/fluorine/chlorine, for example).

now we can keep wrecking this planet without fear (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26067031)

that's terrific, what a break for us. hopefully, our new planet will have all the conveniences pre-installed before we have to move there.

Quick! Look busy, Obama is coming (4, Insightful)

lateralus_1024 (583730) | more than 5 years ago | (#26067093)

" NASA hailed the news as proof that Kepler will be able to do its job of finding planets capable of supporting life."

 
Somebody's trying to avoid funding cuts from the new administration ;) I'm looking at you NASA.

Re:Quick! Look busy, Obama is coming (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26067183)

Well with all of the spending that's going to be done, they know they're vulnerable, as Obama's going to suck up every penny he can grab!

Re:Quick! Look busy, Obama is coming (1)

east coast (590680) | more than 5 years ago | (#26067441)

Well, one of the first things most people do when they get a new boss is try to justify their position in the company. This is especially true if there are blank pink slips in his hand. so this is a pretty typical response.

Unfortunately I haven't seen anything where Obama is going to ditch crap government programs that don't have half the scientific return of NASA. And with the winking that the public did in the face of earmarks I don't expect anything to change as far as government waste.

CO2, if present, is the real news (2, Informative)

swimsaturn (1239646) | more than 5 years ago | (#26067207)

The presence of water vapor in an object like HD 189733b is not remarkable: water has been detected in the spectra of brown dwarfs, in the giant planets of our own solar system, and the transiting exoplanet HD209458b.

Carbon dioxide, on the other hand, is a surprise: at the temperatures and pressures encountered in an exoplanet atmosphere of this type, all carbon should be present as methane (if cool enough) or carbon monoxide. Giant planet atmospheres are generally far too hydrogen-rich for CO2 to form in any appreciable quantity. So its detection requires an extra-ordinary explanation for its origin.

Here [arxiv.org] is a Nature preprint from the same research group, describing H2O, CH4, and CO detection. I was hoping to find a research article (and not just a news story or press release) describing CO2 detection, but haven't found any yet...

Happened a while ago. (1)

Zelda Death (1228000) | more than 5 years ago | (#26067279)

The story should probably mention that this is just confirmation of findings from back in Summer of '07 (July 11, 2007 according to Wikipedia). Before I realized that I was staring at the article for a long time going "what? That happened years ago!"

What I'd like to see is... (1)

PPH (736903) | more than 5 years ago | (#26067357)

... molecular oxygen. Hereabouts, most of it is created by life. And since it is consumed by oxidization, its presence would be a good indicator of an ongoing process to replenish it.

Great; let's go there! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26067731)

How do we travel 63 light years? Really slowly, that's how. If we're looking for life that far away, we should also be focusing on interstellar travel. It doesn't need to be FTL, but we could certainly get a lot closer to c than we are now...

OLD (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26067799)

Note the date of JULY 2007.

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