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Scientists used NASA’s Hubble and Spitzer space telescopes to find a large amount of water in the atmosphere of WASP-39b, a hot, bloated, Saturn-mass exoplanet that resides about 700 light-years from Earth. This “hot Saturn” actually has three times as much water as Saturn does. WASP-39b whips around a quiet, Sun-like star, called WASP-39, once every four days. The exoplanet is currently positioned more than 20 times closer to its star than Earth is to the Sun. It is tidally locked, meaning it always shows the same face to its star.

Artwork, Exoplanets


Artist's Concept: NASA, ESA, and G. Bacon (STScI)