What Are Exoplanets Made From?

What Are Exoplanets Made From?

Planets main pia17010-946.jpg

It seems finding exoplanets, planets orbiting distant stars, is no longer as challenging as before. With over 800 exoplanets now identified and 2,700 more to be confirmed scientists are now turning to finding out what they are made from. NASA's Jet Propulsion Lab has developed a technique for detecting the faint light from these exoplanets and looking at their light spectrum to find out what the atmosphere of these planets contains. 

The four planets in the above picture are giant red planets and they have been found to have different compositions. There are even hints that they may contain ammonia. Being able to detect the light spectrum from these planets is an amazing feat when you consider that the star they orbit is over 100,000 times brighter than the planets. 

Source: JPL

Image credit: Project 1640

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