A group of researchers have provided data from the Hubble Space Telescope which reveals there is water vapor in the atmosphere of an Earth-size planet outside the solar system.
The findings of the scientists was published in a study published in preprint journal arXiv.org on Sept. 10, making the planet a plausible candidate in the search for alien life.
The exoplanet called K2-18b orbits a star smaller than the sun, but it is in the so-called “habitable zone” where it is warm enough for liquid water to exist on the planet’s surface.
The researchers also said that with its 33-day orbit around a cool 3 dwarf, the planet receives virtually the same amount of radiation from the star as the Earth receives from the sun.
“Thanks to our observations and our climate model of this planet, we have shown that its water vapour can condense into liquid water. This is a first,” said study researcher Björn Benneke, from the Institute for Research on Exoplanets at the Université de Montréal.
The scientists also revealed that the planet which is located about 111 light-years away is nine times more massive than Earth meaning it is either an icy giant like Neptune or a rocky world with a thick and hydrogen-rich atmosphere.