Good news for those hoping to escape a vaping ban or a no-deal Brexit; an atmosphere containing water vapor has been discovered on an alien planet in a liveable zone of the galaxy.
As ABC reports, although the planet isn’t liveable like earth (at least earth for the next decade or so) scientists hope that nearby planets in the so-called habitable Goldilocks zone will potentially be habitable.
The planet K2-18b, not to be confused with R2-D2’s planet sized cousin, is located around 110 light years away. It is also about twice as big as earth and eight times the mass, so optimistically it might take longer to be enveloped in global conflict and sucked dry of resources if it were.
More powerful telescopes are hoped to be able to find planets like earth in the same Goldilocks zone, assuming earth still exists by then. It is the first time water has been found in a small orbiting planet’s atmosphere. Previously, water had only been found in the atmospheres of massive super-hot Jupiter-like gas giants.
The temperature of K2-18b ranges between -73 and 46 degrees Celsius and scientists think it may also have helium, nitrogen and hydrogen. If that sounds measly, think of all the other gasses mankind could add to that!
This planet could be the first step of finding a Plan B planet, although by the time we get there it may already be time for a Plan C.