Showing posts from February, 2020

This rainy exoplanet could be ripe for life Source:   By Daniel Clery. Science Magazine. Excerpt: A nearby exoplanet with rainclouds in its atmosphere may have habitable conditions at its surface, researchers report today. The planet, dubbed K2-18b, is 124 light-years away and 2.6 times the radius of Earth. Last year, astronomers detected clouds of liquid water in the planet’s hydrogen-rich atmosphere, a first for such a small planet. [ ] ...Now, a team of researchers in the United Kingdom describe in The Astrophysical Journal Letters how they calculated a range of possible atmospheres for the planet, based on its mass, size, and previously measured spectra of light that passed from K2-18b’s star through its atmosphere. (Molecules in the planet’s atmosphere absorb certain frequencies of light, so if the starlight passes through it on its way to Earth, the light’s spectru