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Home / Science / Water is common in many exoplanets, study says

Water is common in many exoplanets, study says



Researchers estimate that there are many water worlds in our galaxy. These worlds probably contain large amounts of water. If that is the case, perhaps in a few decades we might discover signs of life in some of these exoplanets.

Planets orbiting a star other than the Sun are called exoplanets and the first of these planets was discovered in 1992. Since then, around 4,000 confirmed or candidate exoplanets have been discovered, ranging from gas giants larger than Jupiter to small, rocky planets such as Mars and Earth. Scientists have tried to understand whether some of these planets around other stars are similar to our own solar system, and a re-evaluation of the NASA's exoplanet-hunted Kepler space telescope and the Gaia mission shows that many of the known planets can contain as much as they do 50% water. By comparison, the earth has only 0.02 percent water.

"It was a big surprise to see that there are so many water worlds," said lead researcher Dr. Li Zeng from Harvard University% of all known exoplanets larger than Earth should be water rich. These water worlds were probably similar to the giant planetary cores (Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune) found in our own solar system. "[1

9659003] One of the critical factors in determining whether a planet could be habitable is the presence of liquid water on its surface, which is a key ingredient in life as we know it. Because we can not currently visit exoplanets, Scientists have searched for telescopes that essential ingredient and found some with signs of water .However, a water world is an extreme case that is an exoplanet completely covered with ocean.

All exoplanets or candidates discovered so far fall into two size categories : those with the aircraft tary radius averaging about 1.5% of the earth and about 2.5 times the radius of the Earth By combining the mass measurements and recent radiometric measurements of these exoplanets, the researchers developed a model of their internal structure.

We investigated how mass refers to the radius and developed a model that could explain the relationship. The model indicates that those exoplanets that have a radius of x1.5 tend to be rocky planets (typically x5 of Earth's mass), while those with a radius of x2.5 Earth's radius (with a mass around x10, the from the Earth) are probably water worlds, "Li Zeng said.

" This is water, but not as it is here on Earth. Their surface temperature is expected to be in the range of 200 to 500 degrees Celsius. Wrapped in a steam-vapor-dominated atmosphere, with a liquid layer of water underneath, and as you go deeper, you would expect this water to turn into high-pressure ice before we reach the solid rocky core whose beauty that explains how the composition relates to the known facts about these planets. "


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