The Hunt for Exoplanets: How Scientists studied K2-18b

An unusual extraterrestrial world was discovered to feature water vapor and maybe even rain clouds.

Did Scientists actually discover a Water Planet?
Image by NASA

In a study that came out Wednesday, scientists said that a strange world with a shiny atmosphere could have a lot of water vapor. It is said to be a water planet.

Researchers claimed that the issue with this water planet is that it is located outside our solar system at a distance of forty light years and is completely enveloped in a dense haze that has made it impossible to investigate since it was originally found in late 2009. They estimated that the distance between the two was forty light years.

Eliza Kempton, who is the primary author of the study, stated that she has spent more than a decade attempting to get a better understanding of the planet.

Kempton, who is also an associate professor of Astronomy at the University of Maryland, made the following observation: “Whatever is making up the hazes or clouds is not what we anticipated.” It is dazzling to look at, and its reflecting quality is both perplexing and unexpected.

This exoplanet may be habitable because of the presence of liquid water and hydrogen in its atmosphere and its location within the habitable zone. Previous research has revealed that certain planets’ hydrogen-rich atmospheres also contain other gases necessary for life as we know it.

According to Benneke, such research has shown that planets with hydrogen-rich atmospheres may be able to support life. But the massive atmosphere of K2-18b is incredibly thick and causes high-pressure conditions, which “likely prevents life as we know it from existing on the planet’s surface,” according to a press statement.

Written by Shaheer Ahmed


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