Using ESO’s Very Large Telescope (VLT), a team of astronomers have been able to detect the telltale spectral fingerprint of water molecules in the atmosphere of a planet in orbit around another star. The discovery endorses a new technique that will let astronomers efficiently search for water on hundreds of worlds without the need for space-based telescopes. Dr. Jayne Birkby of Leiden University presented the new result on Friday 5 July at the RAS National Astronomy Meeting in St. Andrews, Scotland. Since the early 1990s scientists have found almost 1,000 planets in orbit around other stars. These so-called exoplanets are...
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