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Super-Earth K2-18b sits within the habitable zone as water vapor detected by scientists

Sep 11, 2019, 7:01 pm

Scientists for the first time have detected water vapor in the atmosphere of Super-Earth K2-18b habitable planet which is beyond our solar system. Such a discovery has raised hopes that the planet might be within the habitable zone, thus supporting the possibility that it could support alien life.

It is suspected that the temperature is neither too hot nor too cold for liquid water to exist that can be suited to life, but in some cases may host living organisms as well.

This is the first potentially habitable planet where the temperature is right and where we now know there is water – Angelos Tsiaras, an astronomer at University College London.

The Super-Earth K2-18b is an exoplanet that is roughly twice as big as Earth and eight times as massive, it orbits a cool red dwarf less than half the size of the sun, 110 light-years away. It was spotted in 2015 by NASA’s Kepler space telescope that orbits a cool dwarf star once every 33 days.

According to research yet to be published, it might receive about the same amount of radiation as Earth does from the sun. While previous research has hinted water may be present on the planet, substantial evidence to support this has been lacking.

Water is the most indispensable element that all living things on Earth need to survive; hence, when searching for other planets that may also host life; water is seen as a good potential indicator. On Earth, there is no life without the substance, and the same is expected on other planets, at least for life.

It’s a good sign for all scientists to detect the presence of water in its atmosphere which certainly improves the prospect of Super-Earth K2-18b being a potentially habitable planet. However, further observations will be required to confirm anything for sure.

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