NASA's Hubble Space Telescope has detected water vapor in the gas ring of a small exoplanet.
Using NASA's Hubble Space Telescope, astronomers have observed water molecules in the gaseous atmosphere of a small exoplanet 97 light-years from Earth.
Name of the planet GJ 9827D, and is the smallest exoplanet with water vapor detected in its atmosphere. The diameter of the planet is twice the diameter of the Earth.
Although water is essential for life, that doesn't mean life exists on this tiny exoplanet. The planet has the hottest conditions – the average temperature is about 427 degrees. So the planet, for example, is as hot as Venus.
examined Laura Kreidberg The discovery of water on a minor planet is described as a “signature”.
Specifically the plan is to find steam
Professor at the University of Montreal Björn Benneke The discovery is an important step toward determining the diversity of gaseous atmospheres on rocky planets, he said in a statement.
– This is the first time we have directly demonstrated through gas ring observations that planets with watery gas rings can actually exist around other stars, Benneck said.
– Our observatory is designed specifically to look not only at the molecules of the planet's gaseous atmosphere, but also to look specifically at water vapor, the main author of the study. Pierre-Alexis Roy said in a statement.
Currently, the team estimates that there are two different options for this planet. First, the planet still has a hydrogen-rich gaseous atmosphere with water. Later it would be called “mini-Neptune”. Another option is that it could be a hotter version of Jupiter's moon Europa, which has twice as much water under Earth's crust.
– Benneke predicted that the planet in question might be half water and half rock.
The Hubble Space Telescope was launched into Earth orbit in 1990 and orbits the Earth at an altitude of nearly 600 kilometers.