NASA's Hubble Finds Water Vapor on Habitable-Zone Exoplanet for 1st Time

Federico Mansilla
Setiembre 13, 2019

"Given the high level of activity of its red dwarf star, K2-18b may be more hostile to life as we know it than Earth, as it is likely to be exposed to more high-energy radiation". While it's thought to be rocky, no one knows if water's flowing on the surface.

Some reasons project that life could be possible on K2-18b due to its close distance with its star and large probability of light of its star to pass through the atmosphere.

In a tantalizing first, scientists have discovered water at a planet outside our solar system that has temperatures suitable for life.

"We found water", UCL astrophysicist Ingo Waldmann told Reuters of the breakthrough, revealed from observations made with the Hubble Space Telescope, which analyzed starlight filtered through K2-18b's atmosphere. It is definitely not a gas giant.

Additional study will have the ability to ascertain the area of cloud coverage and the proportion of water from the air.

While light from the sun takes several minutes to reach Earth, light from K2-18b's star takes a century to reach our planet, "so for us to travel there is impossible", he said.

More than 4,000 exoplanets of all types and sizes have been detected overall.

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"This isn't just because super-Earths such as K2-18b would be the most frequent planets within our galaxy, but also because red dwarfs - stars bigger than our Sun - will be the most typical stars" The newest creation of space-based star gazing tools led from the James Webb Space Telescope and the European Space Agency's ARIEL assignment will have the ability to explain exoplanet atmospheres in much greater detail. This alien world has drawn the attention of astronomers from NASA after the researchers from the Center for Space Exochemistry Data at the University College London in the United Kingdom discovered it.

"In the next five or ten years the James Webb Space Telescope and others are being launched that are created to ... find more details of the atmosphere".

The tenable zone is the locale around a star where temperatures are adequately considerate for water to exist in fluid-structure on the outside of a planet.

Two research groups announced this week that they've found water vapor in the atmosphere of a planet 110 light-years away in the constellation Leo.

The surface, meanwhile, could be wet or dry.

Upon analysis, traces of water vapor along with Helium and Hydrogen were found.

Twice as large as our own planet and eight times as massive, K2-18b possesses powerful gravity that would make it hard to walk upon.

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