Scientists have discovered an Earth-like planet that holds water, has an atmosphere, and boasts of the temperature suitable for life.
The planet, which was dubbed ‘super-Earth,’ is some 110 light-years away from our planet and far out of our solar system.
According to the analysis of the data obtained, K2-18b is a habitable planet that might or could be home to living beings.
In addition, the data shows that the planet orbits its sun in 33 days, unlike planet Earth that needs 365 days to make it around the Sun. It also has eight times the mass of Earth and is twice its size.
While the promising planet was first spotted by NASA’s Kepler back in 2015, it wasn’t until now that the scientists at University College London were able to make use of data provided by the Hubble Space Telescope to determine that water vapor is present on the planet.
Unfortunately, super-Earth is currently out of our reach and can’t be spotted by the astronomers. Nevertheless, they were able to determine some of its basic properties by looking at how the starlight was filtered through the atmosphere of the planet.
“It’s the only planet outside our solar system that we know has the correct temperature, an atmosphere and water,” Dr. Angelos Tsiaras, lead of the study, said.
“Of course, K2-18b is not a second Earth, because it is a planet that is much bigger and has a different atmospheric composition. It’s orbiting a completely different star, so it doesn’t look like Earth.
“The search for habitable planets, it’s very exciting, but it’s here to always remind us that this is our only home and it’s probably out of the question if we will be able to travel to other planets.”
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