Personal Liberty Digest™ will be upgraded this weekend to reflect a dynamic new look and mobile-friendly viewing to enhance your experience! Plus, we'll be providing even more of the compelling content you've come to expect, delivered in a whole new way!

  Comments Subscribe to Personal Liberty News Feed Subscribe to Personal Liberty

New Technique Detects Atmospheric Water On Distant Planet

STATE COLLEGE, Pa. (UPI) — Astronomers at Penn State University have reported detecting water in the atmosphere of a planet as massive as Jupiter orbiting the nearby star tau Bootis.

The technique that found atmospheric water on the planet outside our solar system could help find planets like Earth throughout the universe, they said.

“Planets like tau Bootes b, which are as massive as Jupiter but much hotter, do not exist in our solar system,” Penn State research associate Chad Bender said. “Our detection of water in the atmosphere of tau Bootes b is important because it helps us understand how these exotic hot-Jupiter planets form and evolve.”

Water vapor has previously been detected on a handful of other planets, using a technique that works only if a planet has an orbit that transits, or passes it in front of its star, when viewed from Earth.

The researchers said they used a new technique using infrared observation to detect water on planets that had resisted probing using earlier methods.

“We now are applying our effective new infrared technique to several other non-transiting planets orbiting stars near the Sun,” Bender said.

“These planets are much closer to us than the nearest transiting planets, but largely have been ignored by astronomers because directly measuring their atmospheres with previously existing techniques was difficult or impossible,” he said.

The discovery has been published in the Astrophysical Journal Letters.

UPI - United Press International, Inc.

Since 1907, United Press International (UPI) has been a leading provider of critical information to media outlets, businesses, governments and researchers worldwide.

Facebook Conversations

Join the Discussion:
View Comments to “New Technique Detects Atmospheric Water On Distant Planet”

Comment Policy: We encourage an open discussion with a wide range of viewpoints, even extreme ones, but we will not tolerate racism, profanity or slanderous comments toward the author(s) or comment participants. Make your case passionately, but civilly. Please don't stoop to name calling. We use filters for spam protection. If your comment does not appear, it is likely because it violates the above policy or contains links or language typical of spam. We reserve the right to remove comments at our discretion.

Is there news related to personal liberty happening in your area? Contact us at


Sign Up For Personal Liberty Digest™!

PL Badge

Welcome to,
America's #1 Source for Libertarian News!

To join our group of freedom-loving individuals and to get alerts as well as late-breaking conservative news from Personal Liberty Digest™...

Privacy PolicyYou can opt out at any time. We protect your information like a mother hen. We will not sell or rent your email address to anyone for any reason.