The truth is out there, life on other planets may exist.
NASA’s Hubble Telescope has discovered faint signs of water in the atmosphere of five distant exoplanets. These planets are known as hot Jupiters, massive worlds that orbit close to their home stars.
“We’re very confident that we see a water signature for multiple planets,” Avi Mandell, a planetary scientist at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland said. “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.”
While the presence of water has been detected before, NASA says this is the “first study to conclusively measure and compare the profiles and intensities of these signatures on multiple worlds.”
Unfortunately, these fiery planets are not suitable for known life because they sit too close to their respective suns to maintain water on the surface.
Hubble’s high-performance Wide Field Camera 3 is one of the few capable telescopes that can peer into the atmosphere of exoplanets that are trillions of miles away. Scientists do expect the James Webb Telescope, launching in 2018, to be stronger than Hubble and spot signs of water on smaller planets similar to Earth.