Hubble reveals exoplanet’s atmosphere

Hubble reveals the most detailed exoplanet atmosphere we’ve seen to date

The new data suggests WASP-39b made a fantastic migration across its planetary system.


WASP-39b is classified as a hot-Saturn that orbits a star similar to the Sun, 700 light-years from Earth. The combined data from Hubble, Spitzer, and ground-based telescopes make it the most detailed atmosphere we’ve observed outside our solar system.

NASA, ESA, and G. Bacon (STScI)

Dissecting the atmospheric compositions of exoplanets helps us interpret the vast and complex universe we live in — and our own solar system, closer to home. Our findings continually pump the public and science community alike with curious excitement, and with the most comprehensive set of observations ever conducted, exoplanet WASP-39b’s atmospheric revelations didn’t disappoint.

A team of British and American researchers combined new data from NASA/ESA’s Hubble Space Telescope with previous data from NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope and ESO’s Very Large Telescope to create an amazingly detailed atmospheric analysis of exoplanet WASP-39b. The results are the most in-depth analysis of an exoplanet atmosphere possible with available technology.

“We need to look outward to help us understand our own Solar System,” said lead investigator, Hannah Wakeford of the University of Exeter and of the Space Telescope Science Institute, in a press release.