"And the stars are projectors, yeah, projecting our lives down to this planet Earth." - Modest Mouse
The Space Telescope Science Institute reports that NASA's Hubble telescope has identified the presence of oxygen and carbon in the atmosphere of a distant planet, orbiting a star 150 light years from Earth. While the finding seems quite astonishing scientists caution that the oxygen was not produced by life. The planet, dubbed Osiris, is one of a class of planets referred to as "hot Jupiter's" - large gaseous planets orbiting very closley to their stars. In the case of Osiris it's orbit is about 4 days. Nevertheless the find remains quite evocative and at the very least shows evidence that carbon and oxygen are not unique to Earth.
The planet HD 209458b is the first transiting planet discovered, the first extrasolar planet known to have an atmosphere, the first extrasolar planet observed to have an evaporating hydrogen atmosphere, and now the first extrasolar planet found to have an atmosphere containing oxygen and carbon.
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