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2008-03-20
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Hubble Detects Organic Material

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Tagged As: Astronomy, Hubble, and Space

Almost a year ago, the Hubble Space Telescope detected methane molecules on the extra-solar planet HD 189733b. It has taken months of studying the data to confirm the finding was irrefutable. Despite the research and the organic chemistry, astronomers believe HD 189733b, located a mere 63 light-years away in the constellation Vulpecula, is unlikely to harbor life. The planet's approximate distance to its neighbor star would render surface temperatures at an uninhabitable and sweltering temperature of 900+ degrees. However, astronomers are excited that Hubble's ability to detect organic compounds like methane at this new distance will open more doors in the search of hospitable worlds.



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