How we detected water on a potentially habitable exoplanet for the first time

How we detected water on a potentially habitable exoplanet for the first time

by Angelos Tsiaras,  The Conversation

With more than 4,000 exoplanets – planets orbiting stars other than our sun – discovered so far, it may seem like we are on the cusp of finding out whether we are alone in the universe. Sadly though, we don’t know much about these planets – in most cases just their mass and their radius.

Understanding whether a planet could host life requires a lot more information. At the moment, one extremely important piece of information that is missing is the presence, composition and structure of their atmospheres. Signs of atmospheric water, oxygen and methane would all be signs that a planet may support life.

Now we have for the first time managed to detect water vapor in the atmosphere of an exoplanet that is potentially habitable. Our results have been published in Nature Astronomy.

Read the full article here…

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