For the first time in the history of research: scientists have discovered water on a planet where life is possible

Scientists have discovered water on a potentially habitable planet but a full analysis scientists need another 10 years. About it writes BBC.

Впервые в истории исследований: ученые обнаружили воду на планете, где возможна жизнь

Photo: Depositphotos

Astronomers first discovered water in the atmosphere of the planet K2-18b, orbiting its star in the so-called habitable zone. And water on the planet, apparently, very much.

Found on K2-18b water in combination with a favorable temperature means that the planet can be life.

New space telescopes in the next 10 years, as scientists assure, will be able to determine whether contained in the atmosphere K2-18b gases living organisms.

“Astounding discovery”

Engaged in the study of Professor Giovanna Tinetti from University College London called the discovery “mind-blowing”.

“The first time we found water on the planet located in the habitable zone, where temperatures allow the presence of life,” she says.

Computer modeling suggests that up to 50% of the atmosphere of this planet consists of water.

This planet is only twice the size of Earth, the temperature it is between 0 and 40 degrees Celsius — allows water to remain in liquid state.

“This discovery brings us closer to answering the fundamental question: whether the Earth is unique?” says participated in the study, Dr. Angelos Tsiaras.

The conditions on K2-18b may be suitable for life, but now probably confirm this hypothesis.

111 light-years from Earth

The planet is at a distance of 111 light years from Earth, it’s too far to run to probe.

The only thing that remains to appear in the 2020-ies of the new generation of space telescopes that will be able to analyze the composition of gases in the atmosphere K2-18b and to establish whether any of those produced by living organisms, said study participant Dr. Ingo Waldmann.

“This is one of the main questions in science. We always wanted to know, are we alone in the Universe. Over the next 10 years will tell us whether the planet’s atmosphere chemical elements produced by living beings,” he says.


This approach, however, is fraught with difficulties. First of all, astronomers no consensus about the presence of what gases may indicate the presence of life on the planet.

Planet K2-18b opened in 2015. She is the super-earths, that is, has a mass range between Earth and Neptune, and are suitable for spectroscopic studies.

The planet is in the system of a red dwarf located in the constellation Leo.

Water found on other planets, but there, the temperature was either too low or too high to sustain life.