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Water detected in atmosphere of habitable exoplanet for the first time

Discussion in 'Physical & Life Sciences' started by essentialsaltes, Sep 11, 2019 at 1:34 PM.

  1. essentialsaltes

    essentialsaltes Stranger in a Strange Land

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    For the first time, astronomers have peered into the atmosphere of an exoplanet -- a planet outside our solar system -- and discovered both water vapor and temperatures that could potentially support life, according to a new study.

    The exoplanet, known as K2-18b, is eight times the mass of Earth and known as a super-Earth, or exoplanets between the mass of Earth and Neptune. It orbits a red dwarf star 110 light-years away from Earth in the Leo constellation. The planet was first discovered in 2015 by NASA's Kepler spacecraft.

    The detection of water vapor in the atmosphere of this exoplanet is particularly exciting to the researchers because the exoplanet also lies within the habitable zone of its star, which includes the right temperatures for liquid water to exist on the surface of the planet and potentially support life as we understand it.
     
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  2. durangodawood

    durangodawood Dis Member

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    Cool. Sometimes it easy to forget that there's anything going on beyond our own planet, or even our own country.
     
  3. Resha Caner

    Resha Caner Expert Fool

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    This is good news. I'll be able to take a shower when I visit my relatives there.
     
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  4. Nithavela

    Nithavela confused

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    I hope they develop suitable defenses against us before we fly over.
     
  5. Resha Caner

    Resha Caner Expert Fool

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    Lawyers?
     
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  6. Nithavela

    Nithavela confused

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    Either diseases compatible with our biology or defense laser grids.

    Preferably both.
     
  7. Resha Caner

    Resha Caner Expert Fool

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    Yeah, some consider philosophical questions against the rules in this forum. At the very least most consider it bad form. Regardless, that's where my mind goes. I get that physics is cool. I love physics. I get the curiosity of wanting to know how things work as well as the practical benefits of such knowledge. It's part of why I'm an engineer. But I do wonder: what is it that drives people to search for life "out there"?

    I suppose one practical benefit is a new source of slaves until they manage to push civil rights laws through our court system. FYI, District 9 is an awesome film.
     
  8. Noxot

    Noxot tohu and bohu Supporter

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    Some say that aliens will be so alien that they won't be compatible with our diseases. Good to know that it will only take a few hundred years to make it there, if that. 110 light years is nothing compared to the size of our galaxy. It's a miracle that a planet like that is so close to home!
     
  9. chevyontheriver

    chevyontheriver Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Sounds like the gravity would be a bit much for us. Otherwise I'd say 'lets go'.
     
  10. St_Worm2

    St_Worm2 Senior Member Supporter

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    110 light years is NOTHING if they fire up their blink drives :eek: We must begin to prepare immediately.

    [​IMG]
     
  11. Speedwell

    Speedwell Well-Known Member

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    I predict the inhabitants won't be very tall.
     
  12. redleghunter

    redleghunter Thank You Jesus! Supporter

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    It would be interesting what life would survive such gravity.
     
  13. Noxot

    Noxot tohu and bohu Supporter

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    I wonder if that cold Planet 6 light-years from its Sun can get pulled in closer. I wonder if it was pulled away from another system. How the heck can a planet be that far away from its Sun?
     
  14. St_Worm2

    St_Worm2 Senior Member Supporter

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    Here are a couple of thoughts.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    ...................................................This guy was 14 feet tall at birth.
    .
     
  15. chevyontheriver

    chevyontheriver Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Lichens.
     
  16. redleghunter

    redleghunter Thank You Jesus! Supporter

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    I will start some recipes now. :)
     
  17. redleghunter

    redleghunter Thank You Jesus! Supporter

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    Maybe Rock man from Ragnarok can visit the planet to confirm there is water.
     
  18. redleghunter

    redleghunter Thank You Jesus! Supporter

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    Is this conclusive evidence? Or is more research required?


    A research team used archival data collected by the Hubble Space Telescope between 2016 and 2017 that captured starlight as it passed through the atmosphere of the exoplanet. The researchers said they clearly saw the signature for water vapor in the atmosphere when they put the data through algorithms. They also observed the signatures of hydrogen and helium in the atmosphere, two of the most abundant elements in the universe.​
     
  19. essentialsaltes

    essentialsaltes Stranger in a Strange Land

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    When is more research totally unnecessary?

    That said, the research is published in the Nature family of journals. The evidence is pretty solid.
     
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  20. Subduction Zone

    Subduction Zone Regular Member

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    Not really all that much greater. The planet is 8 times the mass of the Earth but its diameter is about 2.5 times the Earth's. To convert gravity you would take 8/(2.5)^2 times Earth's gravity. You would only be about thirty percent heavier there.
     
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