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Hubble spots Earth-like planet with clouds

Delila James | Science Recorder | January 01, 2014

Hubble spots Earth-like planet with clouds

Hubble spots a stunning planet.

Two teams of researchers using NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope report finding thick layers of high-altitude clouds in the atmospheres of two nearby exoplanets: a “warm” Neptune and a super-Earth.

The two planets are among the closest to our solar system found so far. The warm Neptune, classified as GJ 436b, is a relatively close 36 light years from Earth in the constellation Leo. The planet is slightly larger than our own Neptune and orbits much closer to its host star. And unlike the icy gas giant in our solar system, GJ 436b’s surface temperature is a blazing hot 980 degrees Fahrenheit.

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