4 Jupiter mass planets, among the most exotic ones to be known, have been seen in more detail than ever before. Project 1640 picked out these planets using the Hale telescope.
These planets orbit a star called HR 8799 which is 128 ly away. Light from planets is hard to make out as the stars they orbit around are millions to billions of times brighter than the light from the planets.
Scientists have been able to take the spectra from the planets and make a spectrum out of the different wavelengths. The Hale telescope blocks out the Starlight and therefore the faint specks that are planets can be observed
The planets are at about the same distance from the star as are our gas giants from the sun. They are abnormal in that they have a chemical imbalance. Normally ammonia and methane should naturally coexist in a planets atmosphere. These planets only have methane or ammonia and the other chemical doesn’t exist in their atmospheres.
The planets are also redder which means that they exhibit longer wavelengths of light. This could mean that the planets have significant but patchy cloud cover. Unfortunately the spectra shows that all four worlds are too hot and toxic to maintain life. But these techniques of observing planets should one day give us an observation of life around another planet eventually.