Illustration for article titled Boiling-Hot Planet Has Building Blocks Of Life

Astronomers have detected organic compounds — but not life — on a planet outside our solar system for the first time. The Jupiter-sized HD189733b, 63 light years away, has methane as well as water vapor, despite its proximity to its sun and atmospheric temperatures of 700 degrees Celsius. There's no way a planet that hot can support life (we think), but then again, you shouldn't be able to find methane at those temperatures either. In any case, the discovery is another step towards being able to analyze the atmospheres of distant planets. Image by Christophe Carreau/ESA. [New Scientist]


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