Infrared Space Telescope NASA - Spitzer, defined light from alien planet 55 Cancri e, which revolves around its star at a distance of 40 light years from Earth. This year extrasolar planets lasts only 18 hours. Planet 55 Cancri e was originally discovered in 2004 and was not considered habitable world. Instead, she was known as super-Earths because of its large size: the planet twice as wide as Earth and has a mass about eight of our planet. But, until now, researchers have never been able to detect infrared light reflected from superzemnogo world.
«Spitzer strikes us again and again" - said the lead scientist Bill Spitzer program Dench, of NASA headquarters in Washington, in a statement on 8 May. "Space is an unmanned ship study distant planets atmospheres and paves the way to the next in space telescope James Webb Space Telescope, which will have to apply more sophisticated research methods are potentially habitable planets».
Worth $ 770 million, NASA space telescope Spitzer, was launched in 2003 and currently is in the long-term mission to study the universe in infrared light. During that long telescope mission engineers changed a few settings in the space observatory to optimize its vision of extrasolar planets suitable for life, NASA scientists say.
Next, no less important, an infrared space observatory, NASA - James Webb Space Telescope, scheduled for launch in 2018. On assurances of scientists, it is potentially able to show much more detail on the planet 55 Cancri e and other similar superzemnyh planets.
"When we conceived Spitzer - more than 40 years ago - exoplanets had not even been discovered," said Michael Werner, Spitzer project coordinator of the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California. "Because Spitzer was designed very well, he was able to adapt to this new field of research and to make historical discoveries such as this."