Astronomers have detected water vapour in the atmosphere of a planet often known as K2-18 b, which is twice the dimensions and eight instances the mass of Earth.
This is the primary time water has been detected in the atmosphere of a smaller-sized planet orbiting in its star’s habitable zone, they report in the journal Nature Astronomy.
Previously, water had solely been found in the atmospheres of large super-hot Jupiter-like gasoline giants.
“Finding water in a probably habitable world apart from Earth is extremely thrilling,” stated the research’s lead creator Angelos Tsiaras of University College London in an announcement.
But it isn’t Earth 2.0. “It is significantly heavier and it has a different atmospheric composition,” Dr Tsiaras stated.
“However, it brings us closer to answering the fundamental question: Is the Earth unique?”
K2-18b, which was found in 2015, lies 110 gentle years away from us in the constellation of Leo.
It might both be a rocky planet with an prolonged atmosphere or an icy planet with a excessive focus of water in its inside.
The planet orbits a pink dwarf star, which is smaller and cooler than our Sun.
Sitting in its photo voltaic system’s habitable area, aka the Goldilocks Zone, K2-18b is believed to have a temperature of between -73 and 46 levels Celsius.