Organic molecules essential for life have been detected on one more hot gas planet outside the solar system.
Scientists at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in California detected water, methane and carbon dioxide -- the basic components of life -- on the planet named HD 209458b, NASA said.
Data from the Hubble Space Telescope and Spitzer Space Telescope was used to detect the planet, which is bigger than Jupiter.
“It’s the second planet outside our solar system on which water, methane and carbon dioxide have been found, which are potentially important for biological processes in habitable planets,” said Mark Swain, a NASA researcher. The finding follows the December 2008 discovery of carbon dioxide around another hot, Jupiter-sized planet, HD 189733b, on which water vapour and methane were earlier detected.