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Planet "K2-18b": are we not alone?

Discovered water on a celestial body at 110 light years

The presence of water and hydrogen was discovered on the planet "K2-18b", 110 light years away, with a mass 8 times larger than the Earth, and this condition could favor the birth of new life forms. The nearby star is a red dwarf smaller and cooler than the Sun, but the authors, a group of scholars from the University College of London coordinated by Angelos Tsirias and also by the Italian Giovanna Tinetti, affirm that this is the first step to answer some of the questions that human has always asked: "Is the Earth unique? Are we alone in the Universe?".

Currently more than 4,000 planets have been classified, but little is known about their composition and for the first time, thanks to the data acquired by ESA-European Space Agency- (see AVIONEWS), it was possible to study the atmosphere on a planet that is located in the "circumstellar habitable zone".

According to the study, published by "Nature Astronomy", the atmosphere could also contain methane and nitrogen, but this information has not been confirmed yet. What could make life difficult on "K2-18b" is the intense activity of the nearby star, which on one hand could offer a qualitative situation similar to our Sun, on the other one on the ground planetary there may be too many radiations. Let us not forget, however, that life can develop even in more hostile environments for example "extremophile" organisms adapted to survive extreme temperatures such as volcanic areas, polar environments and ocean depths.

RC3 - 1224281

AVIONEWS - World Aeronautical Press Agency