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Hubble, Swift Detect First-Ever Changes in an Exoplanet Atmosphere

28 Jun 2012, 13:00 UTC
Hubble, Swift Detect First-Ever Changes in an Exoplanet Atmosphere

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An international team of astronomers using data from the NASA's Hubble
Space Telescope has made an unparalleled observation, detecting significant
changes in the atmosphere of a planet located beyond the solar system. The
scientists conclude that the atmospheric variations occurred in response to
a powerful eruption on the planet's host star, an event observed by NASA's
Swift satellite. This artist's rendering illustrates the evaporation of
exoplanet HD 189733b's atmosphere in response to the powerful eruption from
its host star on Sept. 7, 2011. Hubble detected the escaping gases, and
Swift caught the stellar flare.

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