Artist's impression of extrasolar planet HD 189733b
Artist's impression of the extrasolar planet HD 189733b, now known to have methane and water in its atmosphere. Astronomers used the Hubble Space Telescope to detect methane - the first organic molecule found on an extrasolar planet. Hubble also confirmed the presence of water vapour in the Jupiter-size planet's atmosphere, a discovery made in 2007 with the help of the Spitzer Space Telescope. Hubble's discovery comes from a spectroscopic study of light from the parent star that had passed through the planet's atmosphere.