In their search for potential habitable alien worlds, the scientists from the Center for Space Exochemistry Data at the University College London in the UK used the data from NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope to find such planets. In their latest study, they came up with surprising outcomes. The astronomers spotted atmospheric water vapor in a habitable-zone exoplanet known as K2-18b.
K2-18b is a Super-Earth exoplanet that orbits a red dwarf. Even though this alien planet receives a lot of radiation from its host star, so it might not sustain life at this moment, it is the best-known candidate for alien life, as reported by Dual Dove. Even more, this habitable-zone exoplanet presented a surface gravity much higher than on Earth.
However, K2-18b is the only planet outside our Solar System to present water vapor in its atmosphere, and it is also within the habitable zone, meaning that it might also house liquid water on its surface.
Hubble Space Telescope data revealed a habitable-zone exoplanet with atmospheric water vapor
The newly-spotted habitable-zone exoplanet with water vapor in its atmosphere resides at 110 light-years away, somewhere in the constellation Leo. The scientists estimated that the alien world’s temperature could sustain liquid water on the planet’s surface. If future studies confirm that, K2-18b would be the first known exoplanet to possess both liquid water and atmospheric water vapor.
NASA’s Kepler Telescope was the first to spot K2-18b. However, the recent study was conducted using the data from NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope. The scientists used Hubble’s observation on this exoplanet to find water vapor in its atmosphere and gather more data on this alien world.
According to NASA and the scientists from the University College London, the astronomers need to conduct further studies on K2-18b to confirm that the habitable-zone exoplanet presents other molecules, such as nitrogen and methane, in its atmosphere, besides water vapor. James Webb Space Telescope could reveal that in the future.
Vadim is a passionate writer on various topics but especially on stuff related to health, technology, and science. Therefore, for Great Lakes Ledger, Vadim will cover health and Sci&Tech news.