Hubble telescope spots signs of water on five planets

Water worlds? A distant star lights up the atmosphere of an alien planet in this NASA illustration.

(Credit: NASA Goddard Space Flight Center)

If you dream of colonizing distant worlds, here’s welcome news: NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope has spotted signs of water on five faraway planets, according to two studies.

You may not want to move in, though. At least one of the planets, WASP-19b, is an extremely hot, Jupiter-style world with a poisonous atmosphere featuring hydrogen cyanide.

All five worlds have hazy atmospheres that yielded faint signatures of water, adding to previous findings of water outside our solar system and possibly environments that support alien life.

The planets — WASP-17b, HD209458b, WASP-12b, WASP-19b, and XO-1b — are circling nearby stars.

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