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Old 12-07-2007, 04:35   #1
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Water World

Astronomers on Wednesday, July 11, announced they had spotted the first planet beyond the Solar System, that has water.

It is made of gas rather than rock and its atmosphere reaches temperatures hot enough to melt steel, which means the water exists only as superheated steam.

The find, named HD 189733b, is about 15 percent bigger than our Jupiter and orbits a star in the constellation of Vulpecula the Fox, according to a paper released by Nature, the weekly British science journal.

It was spotted by a team led by Giovanna Tinetti of the European Space Agency (ESA) and University College London.

"Although HD 189733b is far from being habitable and actually provides a rather hostile environment, our discovery shows that water might be more common out there than previously thought," said Tinetti.

Water vapour detected on alien world - space - 11 July 2007 - New Scientist Space
ESA Portal - Water, water everywhere - on an extrasolar planet
Gord May
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