Sample Astronomy Paper on Space News
Space News 1
Article title: NASA’s Hubble Captures Blistering Pitch-Black Planet
This article is about an exoplanet, WASP-12b that has been captured by the Hubble telescope. This planet is of note because it has some properties that make it unique compared to other planets in space. The darkness exhibited by this planet is one of the noticeable features that it possesses. This planet is also very close to its host star. The planet appears pitch black because of two reasons. One, it has a very hot atmosphere because of its closeness to the host star. This ensures that no clouds can form to make reflections as is often the case for the other planets. The second reason why the planet appears dark is its ability to absorb the light from the host star as opposed to reflecting it back or into space. This light is absorbed into its gaseous atmosphere and used by the hydrogen atoms to form heat energy.
This exoplanet is among the planets that are classified as hot Jupiters. Most of the planets in this category tend to reflect up to 40% of the light that falls on them from a host star. The fact that it reflects no light whatsoever makes it a strange and special planet at the same time. The closeness that the planet has with its star makes it have a fixed day side and a fixed night side in its orbit. The day side is extremely hot at 4600 degrees Fahrenheit. The night side, however, is cooler than the day side by more than 2000 degrees Fahrenheit. This makes it possible for the night side to form water vapor and consequently, clouds. The planet is 1400 light years away from the earth and found in the constellation Auriga. As the planet absorbs the light from its star, it was also revealed that materials from the superheated atmosphere on the dayside are spilling onto the star.
Space News 2
Article title: Hubble Detects Exoplanet with Glowing Water Atmosphere
The Hubble telescope has made a discovery that most planets are similar in terms of possessing the stratosphere. The earths stratosphere is a cloudless layer at about 33,000 feet from the ground that protects the earth from the harmful ultraviolet rays. It was exciting for the scientists to discover that there is evidence of a stratosphere on planer that is orbiting another star. The stratosphere has the characteristic of the temperature increasing with higher altitudes. This planet, WASP-121b, which has been found to have a stratosphere, is not like the earth in terms of size. It is the size of Jupiter and is so close to its host star that is it heated to extremes of 4600 degrees Fahrenheit. This temperature is hot enough to melt iron on the surface of this planet, possibly causing a rain of molten iron. The discovery of the existence of stratospheres in other planets that are so unlike earth makes it possible to compare the processes that take place in them with the more familiar ones that occur on earth, though under different sets of conditions. I feel this could reveal that despite these planets having such extreme conditions, they are only extreme from earth’s perspective. This begs the question where there is a likelihood of forms of life that we may not perceive existing and adapting to such conditions.