Water found on exoplanet for the first time

Scientists have been looking for the presence of water or a habitable planet for so long now. Observations from various space telescopes were made and analyzed and it was found that planet K2 18b might just be the first planet to have liquid water in it.

K2 18b orbits around a red dwarf star, and is somewhere about 110 light-years away from the earth. It was discovered using a Kepler Space Telescope back in 2015.

While water vapors are abundantly found in the universe, but it requires a certain amount of pressure and temperature to convert it to rain or liquid water. This is a massive finding for scientists who have been looking for a habitable planet besides the earth.

Upon analysis, traces of water vapor along with Helium and Hydrogen were found. When the observations from Hubble, Spitzer, and Kepler were combined, it was found that the clouds are formed at a very particular level in the atmosphere of K2 18b. There are high chances that the planet has liquid rain on it. 

Presence of water doesn’t mean the presence of life

However, it is speculated that the raindrops won’t hit the ground though. The vapors would condense and fall down until the conditions become so that the drops will get evaporated again without even touching the ground. A little water cycle might be found there.

Although a lot of scientists and astronomers are excited, some of them are still dubious and doubtful, The findings may help in speculation but there is nothing definitive though at the moment. While most of the planets found have had a gassy atmosphere, K2 18b showed a different picture.

The presence of liquid water doesn’t ensure that the planet has life on it, not even if it can support life in the future. The planet is almost 8 times the size of the earth and almost 2.5 times as heavy. With all of this, the scientists at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) are actively working on this to find more about this exoplanet.