Water Vapor on a Small World

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Produced by the Space Telescope Science Institute’s Office of Public Outreach in collaboration with NASA’s Universe of Learning partners: Caltech/IPAC, Center for Astrophysics | Harvard & Smithsonian, and NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory.
Video imagery:
·       Animation of planetary system: NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center
·       Illustration of planetary system GJ 9827: NASA, ESA, Leah Hustak (STScI), Ralf Crawford (STScI)

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Color photos of nebulae, galaxies, stars, and planets in outer space. 
Text, News From the Universe. 
Water Vapor on a Small World. February 5, 2024. Animation. A blue planet spins in space with wispy gray and white clouds in the atmosphere. Text, NASA's Hubble Space Telescope has detected water vapor in the atmosphere of exoplanet GJ 9827d. It's the smallest exoplanet in which water has been found so far. 
Illustration. The blue planet hangs in the top right. Beyond is a small rocky planet, then a star. Text, The planet is about twice the size of Earth, orbiting a red dwarf star 97 light-years away. 
It's too soon to tell, though, how much of the atmosphere is water vapor. 
The exoplanet could be water-rich, like a warmer version of Jupiter's icy moon Europa, or more like a mini-Neptune, with water laced through a hydrogen atmosphere. 
Though follow-up is needed, the ability to detect water vapor on such a small planet is a breakthrough for exoplanet science. 
This news was brought to you in part by the Space Telescope Science Institute in Baltimore, MD.