The Most Habitable (But Probably Not) Exoplanet Yet

Two teams of astronomers independently reported water vapor around K2-18b, an exoplanet 100 light years away. It's the first time water vapor has been detected in the atmosphere of an exoplanet that is not a gas giant:

“The planet, known by the catchy name K2-18b, is 110 light years away and orbits a red dwarf star about half the size of the sun. The planet is twice the size of Earth, eight times as massive, and orbits its host star once every 33 days.

“This is the only planet outside the solar system that has the correct temperature to support water and has an atmosphere that has water in it, making this planet the best candidate for habitability that we know right now,” says Angelos Tsiaras, an astronomer at University College London and the lead author of the study published today in Nature Astronomy.”


Originally posted on Twitter.