Seeing a Light in the Air of a Distant World

The Cosmic Companion
Jul 9 · 4 min read
An artist’s conception of Gliese 3470 b, orbiting close to its cool, red, parent star as it loses gas to space. Image credit: NASA, ESA, D. Player

A diagram of the composition of GJ 3470 b (top), and its orbit as it travels far too close for water to form on a rocky planet. The atmosphere of such a world would greatly alter temperatures near the surface. Image credit: NASA, ESA, and L. Hustak (STScI)

When starlight passes through a planetary atmosphere, it is possible to identify components of the atmosphere from dark “absorption lines” formed in spectrum of the light received. Image credit: University of Washington Dept. of Astronomy/Ana Larson

Björn Benneke of the University of Montreal. Image credit: University of Montreal

The Cosmic Companion

Exploring the wonders of the Cosmos, one mystery at a time

The Cosmic Companion

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James Maynard is the author of two books, and thousands of articles about space and science. E-mail: thecosmiccompanion@gmail.com

The Cosmic Companion

Exploring the wonders of the Cosmos, one mystery at a time