Since the first extrasolar planet was discovered in 1995, astronomers have gathered and analyzed telescope data revealing over 1,000 worlds orbiting other stars. Recent studies have measured and compared atmospheric water and even detected cloud activity, bringing scientists closer than ever to discerning dynamic weather patterns in exoplanets—and eventually, whether these distant worlds could support life.
Science Bulletins is a production of the National Center for Science Literacy, Education, and Technology (NCSLET), part of the Department of Education at the American Museum of Natural History.
The Astrophysical Journal: Exoplanet transit spectroscopy using WFC3: WASP-12 b, WASP-17 b, and WASP-19 b
The Astrophysical Journal: Infrared transmission spectroscopy of the exoplanets HD 209458b and XO-1b using the Wide Field Camera-3 on the Hubble Space Telescope
Nature: Clouds in the atmosphere of the super-Earth exoplanet GJ 1214b
NASA: Exoplanet Exploration Program
NASA Exoplanet Science Institute (NExScI)
PlanetQuest: The Search for Another Earth
Hubble’s Instruments: Wide Field Camera 3