NASA Telescopes Detect Two Extraterrestrial Planets: In the sci-fi action movie “Waterworld,” which was released in 1995, the ice caps at both poles of the Earth have entirely melted, causing the water level to rise to a height of more than 5 miles and submerging almost all of the land. Two new planets have been spotted by astronomers that are distinct from any other planets that have been found in our solar system because they are actual “water worlds.”
Two Extraterrestrial Planets With Liquid Water Have Been Discovered by Nasa Telescopes
A group of astronomers searching for extrasolar planets has once again made a discovery, and this time they found planets that have water on them. According to new research that was published on Thursday in the journal Nature Astronomy, two planets that are 218 light years away from Earth have water on their surfaces.
Researchers from the University of Montreal, who were leading the investigation, discovered evidence that two of the exoplanets that orbit a red dwarf star are what are known as “water worlds,” meaning that water makes up a significant portion of the entire planet. These worlds are unlike any planets that can be found in our solar system because they are part of a planetary system that is located 218 light-years away in the constellation Lyra.
Today, a group of researchers at the University of Montreal’s Institute for Research on Exoplanets (iREx), led by Caroline Piaulet, published a comprehensive study of the planetary system known as Kepler-138 in the journal Nature Astronomy.
The exoplanets Kepler-138c and Kepler-138d were observed by Piaulet and colleagues using NASA’s Hubble and the Spitzer space telescope, both of which have since been retired, and it was found that the planets may be composed of water to a significant degree. The Kepler Space Telescope, which is operated by NASA, was the one responsible for the discovery of these two planets as well as a third, smaller planet that is located closer to the star. The most recent research discovered evidence for a fourth planet as well.
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Water wasn’t directly detected at Kepler-138c and d; however, by comparing the sizes and masses of the planets to models, astronomers have concluded that a significant fraction of their volume – up to half of it – should be made of materials that are lighter than rock but heavier than hydrogen or helium.
This suggests that water makes up a significant portion of the planets’ interiors (which constitute the bulk of gas giant planets like Jupiter). Water is the candidate material that is most frequently encountered. According to Bjorn Benneke, a study co-author and professor of astrophysics at the University of Montreal, “We previously thought that planets that were a bit larger than Earth were big balls of metal and rock, like scaled-up versions of Earth, and that’s why we called them super-Earths.”
“However, we have now shown that these two planets, Kepler-138c, and d, are quite different in nature and that a large proportion of their entire volume is most likely composed of water,” The two planets Kepler-138c and d, both of which may have liquid water on their surfaces, are not located in the habitable zone, which is the region surrounding a star in which temperatures are high enough for a rocky planet to have liquid water on its surface.
However, using data from Hubble and Spitzer, researchers found additional evidence for a new planet in the system known as Kepler-138e, which was located within the habitable zone.
This newly discovered planet is the smallest of the four, and it is located the farthest away from its star of any of the three others. Its orbit around the star takes 38 days to complete. However, the nature of this additional planet is still unknown, possibly due to the fact that it does not appear to transit the star that is its host.