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First Detection of ‘Super-Earth’ Atmosphere

17 Feb 2016, 10:43 am

earth atFor the first time, gas was detected in the atmosphere of a super-Earth. Using the Wide Field Camera (WFC3) technology on the Hubble Space Telescope, astronomers found a significant amount of hydrogen and helium on 55 Cancri e, 40 light years away. However, no water vapor was found, making it a dry exoplanet.

Super-earths are larger than our Earth, but much smaller than other gas giants in the Solar System. Two other super-earths have been studied using WFC3, but no gas was detected.

HubbleESA

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