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HAT-P-26b: A Neptune-mass exoplanet with a well-constrained heavy element abundance

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Science  12 May 2017:
Vol. 356, Issue 6338, pp. 628-631
DOI: 10.1126/science.aah4668

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How much water is in that exoplanet?

Thousands of exoplanets have been identified, but little is known about their atmospheres, especially for bodies smaller than Jupiter. The extent and composition of an atmosphere can provide evidence for how an exoplanet formed. Wakeford et al. used the Hubble and Spitzer space telescopes to measure the spectrum of the atmosphere around HAT-P-26b, a Neptune-sized exoplanet discovered in 2011. They detected signatures of water and clouds; this allowed them to constrain the atmospheric composition, which appears not to have been altered substantially since it formed.

Science, this issue p. 628