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Thursday, February 2, 2023

Astronomers Found Two Possible Water Worlds Orbiting a Red Dwarf Star

These worlds are unlike any planets in our solar system and are found in a planetary system 218 light-years away from Earth

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Russell Chattaraj
Russell Chattaraj
Mechanical engineering graduate, writes about science, technology and sports, teaching physics and mathematics, also played cricket professionally and passionate about bodybuilding.

UNITED STATES: Astronomers have discovered two exoplanets that could have a tonne of water at the University of Montreal.

Exoplanets that orbit red dwarf stars are “water worlds,” indicating that a large amount of the planet is made up of water, according to a study utilising NASA’s Hubble and Spitzer observatories. 

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These worlds are unlike any planets in our solar system and are found in a planetary system 218 light-years away from Earth in the constellation Lyra.

The team’s thorough investigation of this Kepler-138 planetary system, headed by Caroline Piaulet of the Institute for Research on Exoplanets (iREx) at the University of Montreal, was published in the journal Nature Astronomy.

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Piaulet and colleagues used NASA’s Hubble and the decommissioned Spitzer satellite telescopes to investigate exoplanets Kepler-138c and Kepler-138d, and they found that the planets may be primarily made of water. 

This was revealed in a press release from NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory.

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“The NASA Kepler Space Telescope made the initial finding of these two planets together with Kepler-138b, a neighbouring minor planet that is located closer to the star. The most recent investigation also discovered proof of a fourth planet.”

Consider making Europa or Enceladus, the water-rich moons that circle Jupiter and Saturn, larger and much closer to their star, Piaulet suggested.

“Instead of an icy surface, they would host gigantic water-vapour envelopes. We anticipate Kepler-138d’s atmosphere, which is most likely above the water’s boiling point, to be thick, dense, and composed of steam. However, beneath that steam atmosphere, high-pressure liquid water or even water in a new phase, known as a supercritical fluid, which can only exist at high pressures, may exist,” Piaulet concluded.

Also Read: NASA Releases New Image of Jupiter’s Moon Io

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  • Russell Chattaraj

    Mechanical engineering graduate, writes about science, technology and sports, teaching physics and mathematics, also played cricket professionally and passionate about bodybuilding.

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