NASA announced for the first time, the Hubble Space Telescope had discovered an exoplanet with steam in the habitable zone of its star. The Exoplanet is named K2-18b.
Quoting Engadget, Friday (9/13/2019), K2-18b exoplanet is located outside the solar system. Because the planet’s atmosphere contains steam and is located in the habitable zone, there may be liquid water bodies located on the surface.
Exoplanet with steam
Exoplanet K2-18b is known as super-Earth. That is, greater than Earth and also has a greater surface density. For now, the K2-18b exoplanet is the only exoplanet that is known to contain water and the temperature is in the range needed to support life.
Thanks to this supportive water and temperature, exoplanet K2-18b can be a key discovery for potential future missions. This exoplanet is located about 110 light-years from a red dwarf star.
Despite being in a habitable zone with the atmosphere, NASA noted that exoplanets are likely to experience much higher energy radiation than Earth. That is, the planet can eventually be hostile to life.
The discovery of steam in the planet’s atmosphere was recently detailed in a study published in Nature Astronomy. NASA shows K2-18b is one of the hundreds of super-Earth exoplanets previously found.
The exoplanet was identified by Kepler Space Telescope in 2015. Then the exoplanet was observed by the Hubble Space Telescope.
According to NASA, scientists used Hubble data on exoplanets from 2016 to 2017 with an open-source algorithm to study the super-Earth atmosphere. In addition to helium and hydrogen, there is a possibility that the K2-18b atmosphere contains methane and nitrogen.