What Is The Exoplanet? Is Earth Not The Only Planet To Have Water?
While there is a problem of scarcity all over the world, scientists have always been interested in fetching water on other planets too. Lately, scientists have been elated to find evidence on exoplanets like Mars and others. However, it is unclear whether humans will be able to settle down on such exoplanets.
Lately, scientists have discovered exoplanets, planets that orbit around a star outside the solar system, that may have large amounts of water. The discovery of this novel class of exoplanets has sown a seed for further investigation that may prove to be essentially crucial for mankind.
The newly discovered exoplanet is half made of water and half made of rock. The new study claiming the existence of large amounts of water on planets other than the earth states that this water would not be found in oceans and rivers as they are found on Earth. Rather, water on such planets may be found embedded in rocks.
The recently discovered exoplanets are a group of planets that are found around the M-dwarf star and may have water in large amounts. The M-dwarfs are
"It was a surprise to see evidence for so many water worlds orbiting the most common type of star in the galaxy. It has enormous consequences for the search for habitable planets", expressed Rafael Luque, a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Chicago.
How Have Such Discoveries Been Possible?
Discovering such exoplanets would not have been possible without the use of more powerful telescopes. Such superpower telescopes capture a greater sample size. This greater sample size thus comes to great use by scientists to identify demographic patterns.
With the help of these “eyes in the skies”, analysis has been done for individual planets, and a picture of 43 planets emerged.
The Revelations Of The Research
The densities of most of these exoplanets point towards an important indication. It has been suggested that these planets were way too light for their bodies to be formed entirely of rocks. Thus, it is assumed that these planets may be formed of half rock and half water or any other lighter molecule.
However, it is important to note that such planets are very close to their suns. This means that any water on the surface of such planets would be present in a supercritical gaseous state, thereby enlarging their radius. However, Luque argues that the scientists cannot see such an indication in the samples. This would mean that water is not present on such planets in the form of surface ocean.
Instead, it is suggested that water could be present mixed into the pockets below the surface or the rocks.
"I was shocked when I saw this analysis - I and a lot of people in the field assumed these were all dry, rocky planets," said a University of Chicago exoplanet scientist Jacob Bean.