For years, all kinds of research and many expeditions have been carried out in search of Earth-like planets. These have paid off and finally you can find water in an exoplanet. in a habitable zone of the solar system. The planet that was named as K2-18b has a capacity that far exceeds the globe, specifically doubles its size. In addition, this discovery has occurred in the layer of its atmosphere.
Once again the research carried out in universities has surpassed all the space agencies of the planet. Specifically, this great discovery has happened thanks to University College London UCL. The researchers involved in this project discovered these aspects of the planet 2K-18b. In addition, this is the only one that has these characteristics that orbits around a star outside the solar system, hence the term exoplanet.
Among its characteristics and similarities to planet Earth is its average temperature, which could be key to propitiate life on its surface. It should be noted that this discovery is found in the article ‘Water vapor in the atmosphere of the habitable-zone eight-Earth-mass planet K2-18b’. In addition, this was published in the journal Nature Astronomy which specializes in this type of astronomical discoveries.
It all started in 2015, when NASA sent its Kepler ship to sample an unknown exoplanet. After their real discovery, the researchers went to work to investigate everything about this colossus. It should be noted that this is about 111 light years, that is, more than 1,000 billion kilometers. In addition, after its discovery, it began to inquire about its proximity to what is currently known as the ‘habitable zone’ of the solar system.
The first symptom of habitability
Water has been the first factor that can indicate that this planet is habitable. Specifically, thanks to sample collections and hundreds of observations made by telescopes, water vapor was found in the atmosphere of 2K-18b. It should be noted that this gives scientists a great advantage in the almost certain bet that it has liquid water on its surface. In addition, this is placed in the ranking of the list of possibly habitable planets.
The only drawback that alarms the astronomical community is that 2K-18b orbits around a red star. This means that it is near a stellar body more unstable than our well-known Sun. In addition, this star has the incessant and unexpected escape of flares that can perfectly end the closest atmospheres.
Complete lack of knowledge
Another aspect that has a point against it is the remoteness of this planet from the globe. This factor makes it almost impossible to send space probes that collect more information. The community of researchers and scientists is confident that more powerful telescopes will be developed over the next few years to reveal more information about 2k-18b. In addition, it is expected that these can certify the presence of gases such as oxygen that demonstrate that we are facing a habitable planet.