Water Has Been Found On One Of The First Exoplanets We Ever Discovered

Astronomers found the first exoplanet orbiting a star like our Sun Back in 1995. Now, we’ve detected water in its atmosphere.

It is 51 light-years away,
called 51 Pegasi b, and is a gaseous planet that orbits very close to its star.  It’s unlikely the water is liquid, but rather a vapor in the planet’s atmosphere. Even so, the detection is important  because it highlights a new way that we can look at exoplanets.

Using the Very Large Telescope (VLT) in Chile, the team were able to observe the orbit of the planet for 4 hours. They could see the shift in its light as the planet moved away and towards Earth. They found a clear detection of water, described as “pretty rock solid” by team member Matteo Brogi at the University of Colorado, Boulder.