In a recent and jaw-dropping discovery, scientists have discovered the presence of water vapour, helium and hydrogen on an exoplanet, which is a planet that’s outside our solar system. The planet, named K2-18b, was discovered in 2015 and is also more colloquially known as the super-earth owing to its large size and mass. Discovered by the Kepler spacecraft, this planet has been a source of interest for NASA scientists.
In a recent survey of the light particles by the Hubble telescope, scientists discovered the presence of water vapour and favourable temperatures that may potentially support the existence of actual water. The intriguing question that is now being portrayed to the scientists is if these conditions can deem useful for the existence of life on the planet i.e., make it habitable.
“Our discovery makes K2-18 b one of the most interesting targets for future study. Over 4,000 exoplanets have been detected but we don't know much about their composition and nature. By observing a large sample of planets, we hope to reveal secrets about their chemistry, formation and evolution." said a principal investigator from ARIEL, Giovanna Tinetti, in a recent statement after this discovery.
It is believed that other useful elements like nitrogen may also exist on this super planet but the lack of advanced equipment makes it hard to come to a decisive decision.