Water vapor detected on potentially habitable Super-Earth

This artist’s impression shows the planet K2-18b its host star and an accompanying planet in this

There are other ingredients that are necessary too, and there are promising signs that K2-18b might harbor more than just water vapor. This is the first time water has been found in the atmosphere of a planet within this zone, making it the most habitable exoplanet we know of so far. Getting to know K2-18b a bit better, she said, "will be important for understanding the potential habitability of smaller "Earth-sized" planets".

That's very cool! Mind you, the presence of water vapor has been seen in other exoplanets (like say this one), but this is the first time it's been seen in an exoplanet in its star's habitable zone.

Future telescopes on Earth and in space should help uncover more Super Earths orbiting red dwarf stars - believed to be the most common planets and stars in our Milky Way galaxy.

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.

An interesting characteristic of super-Earths is that majority are likely to be water worlds-terrestrial planets covered entirely by a deep global ocean.

More than 4000 exoplanets of all types and sizes have been detected overall. It's rocky and Earth-like, measuring 2.25 times wider and eight times more massive than our home planet.

"Finding water in a potentially habitable world other than Earth is incredibly exciting", said lead-author Angelos Tsiaras, also from UCL.

Both teams found that water vapor is nearly certainly present in the atmosphere of this super-Earth. It orbits a red dwarf star 110 light-years away from Earth in the Leo constellation. The team's analysis of eight of these transits, as well as transits observed by the Kepler and Spitzer space telescopes, will appear in the Astronomical Journal.

More news: Supreme Court Enforces New Trump Rule Denying Immigrants Asylum In US

Recorded with the help of the Hubble Space Telescope, the observations additionally hint at the presence of hydrogen in the atmosphere by using specific algorithms.

By comparison, the percentage of water vapour in Earth's atmosphere varies between 0.2 percent above the poles and up to four percent in the tropics.

However, the discovery brings astronomers closer to answering the fundamental question of how unique Earth is in the universe, the scientists said.

The finding makes the world - which is called K2-18b - a plausible candidate in the search for alien life.

The researchers noted that given the high level of activity of its red dwarf star, K2-18b may be more hostile than Earth and is likely to be exposed to more radiation.

"It is likely that this is the first of many discoveries of potentially habitable planets", said UCL astronomer Ingo Waldmann, also a co-author. The results revealed the molecular signature of water vapor, and also suggest the presence of hydrogen and helium in the planet's atmosphere.

That's largely because the researchers are taking a transmission spectrum of the planet as it passes in front of its host star - that is, they're looking at the star's light as it passes through a thin sliver of the planet's atmosphere. The next generation of space telescopes, including the James Webb Space Telescope, will be able to characterize exoplanet atmospheres in more detail.

Yet Giovanna Tinetti, a colleague of Tsiaras's at University College London and a co-author of the Nature study, suggested it's still possible that there is liquid water somewhere below the atmosphere.

Related News:

  • China urges United States  to ensure North Korea talks resume

    China urges United States to ensure North Korea talks resume

    North Korea often ratchets up military tensions ahead of negotiations meant to end its nuclear ambitions. President Donald Trump has played down this year's tests.
    OPEC cuts 2020 oil demand forecast, urges effort to avert new glut

    OPEC cuts 2020 oil demand forecast, urges effort to avert new glut

    Saudi Arabia and Russian Federation on Thursday called on OPEC members and its allies to better comply with oil production cuts. Iraq's and Nigeria's oil ministers pledged on Thursday to reduce oil output to comply with their OPEC output targets.
    No Talks With US While Sanctions In Place: Rouhani

    No Talks With US While Sanctions In Place: Rouhani

    Significantly, the latest moves towards diplomacy with Tehran come as Trump fired hawkish National Security Advisor John Bolton. Trump's top aides suggested Tuesday that the U.S. president could meet Iranian President Hassan Rouhani without preconditions.
  • Asian American comic Bowen Yang among 3 new ‘SNL’ cast members

    Asian American comic Bowen Yang among 3 new ‘SNL’ cast members

    Previously announced hosts for the season also include Phoebe Waller-Bridge, David Harbour, Kristen Stewart, and Eddie Murphy. Fineman and Gillis were both named New Faces at the Just Laughs Festival in Montreal in 2018 and 2019, respectively.
    The New iPhone 11 Pro Has People Feeling Unnerved

    The New iPhone 11 Pro Has People Feeling Unnerved

    The launch of Apple's new iPhone 11 Pro was without a doubt meant to gain traction but with a little bit of backlash this time. It doesn't have all the high-end features of the iPhone 11 Pro models, but it has quite a few , and it costs nearly 30% less.
    China exempts 16 types of USA  goods from additional tariffs

    China exempts 16 types of USA goods from additional tariffs

    Earlier, China released a list of 16 U.S. imports that will be exempted from tariffs including anti-cancer drugs and animal feed. Deputy trade negotiators are due to meet in Washington in mid-September, with minister-level talks to follow in October.
  • GM recalls more than 3.4M pickups, SUVs to fix brake issues

    GM recalls more than 3.4M pickups, SUVs to fix brake issues

    The post GM Recall 2019: 3.4 Million Trucks and SUVs Recalled Over Brake Issues appeared first on InvestorPlace . General Motors has plans for a massive new recall campaign that involves some of its most popular vehicles.
    Meghan Markle Wears Princess Diana’s Earrings at Launch of Her Capsule Collection

    Meghan Markle Wears Princess Diana’s Earrings at Launch of Her Capsule Collection

    Last month, The Duchess of Sussex surprised Smart Works clients during the capsule collection shoot in west London ... For each merchandise purchased, one can be donated to the charity which Meghan turned the patron of earlier this yr.
    Xenophobic attacks: Hundreds of Nigerians leave South Africa

    Xenophobic attacks: Hundreds of Nigerians leave South Africa

    The first batch of 320 returnees are scheduled to arrive Nigeria tomorrow with additional flights expected to follow immediately. Logistics for the evacuation will be provided by Air Peace , a Nigerian airline which has offered to airlift Nigerians .
  • Kim Clijsters: Tennis legend announces 2020 comeback

    Kim Clijsters: Tennis legend announces 2020 comeback

    To get her comeback going, Clijsters will need to play three tournaments or earn 10 ranking points to re-establish a ranking. She backed that up at the 2011 Australian Open before apparently calling it quits for good the next year.
    US Supreme Court Allows Broad Enforcement of Asylum Limits

    US Supreme Court Allows Broad Enforcement of Asylum Limits

    The administration's new policy says that those truly seeking asylum could ask for it in Mexico, which is deemed a safe country . That remaining the administration totally free to enforce the plan on asylum seekers arriving in New Mexico and Texas.
    Brexit In Chaos After Court Rules PM's Suspension Of Parliament Was Unlawful

    Brexit In Chaos After Court Rules PM's Suspension Of Parliament Was Unlawful

    The court might say that Parliament was never prorogued at all in the eyes of the law and so is actually still sitting after all. She added: "We feel utterly vindicated and I would be confident that the UK Supreme Court will uphold this decision".

Most liked

Texas GOP lawmaker's tweet escalates tension over guns
O'Rourke's birth name is Robert Francis O'Rourke, and he has been mocked by Republican lawmakers for using his nickname, Beto. O'Rourke's staff reported they were seeing record online fund-raising numbers in the wake of his comments .

Kevin Hart Is in 'Great Spirits' After Hospital Release Following Car Crash
A 1970 Plymouth Barracuda met the accident which was driven by Jared black and the owner, Kevin Hart was at the passenger seat. Sources close to the comedian say he has a positive attitude, saying, " I'm grateful to be alive ". "Thank God.

Misha Nonoo Defends Meghan Markle Against Backlash: ‘It’s Unjust’
The Duchess of Sussex Meghan Markle had a fitting tribute to Princess Diana as she returned to work this week. She may be back to work, but she's also a working mom!

Donald Trump plans ban on flavoured e-cigarettes
The announcement comes after parents, health officials and politicians have called for federal action to stem a surge in vaping. Preliminary federal health data for 2019 shows a quarter of high school students had used e-cigarettes in the past 30 days.

In Goodwill Gesture, Trump Delays Higher Chinese Tariffs for Two Weeks
Trade Representative's Office has announced six rounds of exclusions for the punitive tariffs on $34 billion in Chinese goods since December.

Google Pixel 4 hands-on videos and camera samples leak online
More recently, the tech giant revealed its newest device will come with new facial unlocking technologies housed in its top bezel. This allows users to hover their hand over the Pixel 4 to view the lock screen, which indicates the time and notifications.

Patriots QB Tom Brady reacts to Antonio Brown sexual assault allegations
Brown and Taylor met through a Fellowship of Christian Athletes group at Central Michigan University, according to the lawsuit . Despite being the subject of controversy, Brown was a participant in Wednesday's practice donning a temporary No. 1 jersey.

Ring Fit Adventure is the Nintendo Switch’s new fitness experience
Nintendo chose two of the most overly enthusiastic people to talk about just how awesome the game and the Ring-Con are. The game will take up 2.8 GB of space on your Switch, which isn't much at all by today's standards.

Google Earth search uncovered body of missing Florida man in retention pond
PBSO said the current resident used his personal drone to fly over the pond and spotted the vehicle underwater. He had called his girlfriend from the club saying he would soon return to their Lantana home.

Murder suspects who escaped custody in Utah recaptured in Arizona
The Marshals Service was offering rewards of $25,000 for information leading to the arrest of Blane and $10,000 for Susan. While on the run , they might have been getting help from white supremacists, Gonzales said at a news conference Monday.

Mugabe’s burial: Zimbabwean govt didn’t consult us -Family
Some family members are still bitter over his ouster , and the role his former ally Mnangagwa played. There was a discord between Mugabe's family and the government on where he should be buried.

Trump says progress being made on gun legislation
We've got some bumps, but I think we're getting there into a space where we can expand background checks for more commercial transactions".

Donald Trump says Afghan peace talks with Taliban are 'dead'
There have already been nine rounds of peace talks between the USA and Taliban representatives, held in the Gulf state of Qatar. Three days later, three explosions rocked Kabul, killing dozens of people, including a U.S. soldier.

Robert Mugabe's body arrives in Harare
Mugabe died on Friday at the age of 95 in Singapore, where he was receiving medical treatment. Asked whether Mugabe had been bitter about being ousted, he said: "Everybody is human".

Justin Trudeau fires starting gun for Canada's general election
The Conservatives also lost Maxime Bernier, who was elected under their banner but quit to start the People's Party of Canada . At the dissolution of Parliament, the Liberals hold 177 seats, the Conservatives 95, the NDP 39, the Bloc 10 and the Greens 2.