Scientists are struggling to discover a “second Earth.” Now, as observed by NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope, a habitable-zone exoplanet, dubbed as K2-18b, presents water vapor in its atmosphere. 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 UK discovered it.
The British scientists used the data gathered by NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope. They spotted that K2-18b has water vapor in its atmosphere, suggesting that it might be habitable. The K2-18b exoplanet orbits a red dwarf in the Leo constellation, at about 110 light-years away.
More interesting is that this habitable-zone exoplanet has the right temperature to house liquid water on its surface. However, the radiation coming from its host star might be hostile to life, so this alien world might not sustain life right now. But, it might be the best candidate for the “second Earth.”
NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope Observed Water Vapor In The Atmosphere Of A Habitable-Zone Exoplanet
“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. The planet, discovered by NASA’s Kepler Space Telescope in 2015, also has a mass eight times greater than Earth’s. That means the surface gravity on this planet would be significantly higher than on our planet,” reported NASA in a press release.
The study on this habitable-zone exoplanet that presents water vapor in its atmosphere was published in the journal Nature Astronomy. The scientists from University College London think that this alien world, K2-18b, might also have nitrogen and methane in its atmosphere.
However, NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope is unable to make such observations. Accordingly, further research on this habitable-zone exoplanet is needed to measure the alien world’s cloud coverage and the volume of atmospheric water vapor.