"Scientists found water on a potentially habitable exoplanet for the first time"

With more than 4,000 exoplanets - planets orbiting stars beyond our Sun - discovered so far, it may seem that we are about to find out if we are alone in the universe. Unfortunately, we don't know much about these planets.

Understanding whether a planet could host life requires a lot more information. At the moment, one extremely important piece of information that is missing is the composition and structure of their atmospheres.

Now we have for the first time managed to detect water vapour in the atmosphere of an exoplanet that is potentially habitable. The results have been published in Nature Astronomy.

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The planet K2-18b was discovered in 2015 and is one of the hundreds of super-Earths – planets with a mass between Earth and Neptune. It is a planet with eight times the mass of the Earth that orbits a so-called red dwarf star, which is much cooler than the sun.

However, K2-18b is located in the habitable zone of its star which means it has the right temperature to support liquid water. Given its mass and diameter, K2-18b is not a gaseous planet but has a high probability of having a rocky surface.

 

Difficult words:

So far (until now)

Ex: So far we've made $32,000.

Find out (to discover a fact or piece of information.)

Ex: We may never find out the truth about what happened.

Host (a place or organization that provides the space and other necessaty)

Ex: Where are we going to host my relatives?

Dwarf (a person who is much smaller than the usual size.)

Ex: Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs

Translation into Portuguese

Cientistas encontraram água em um exoplaneta potencialmente habitável pela primeira vez

Com mais de 4.000 exoplanetas - planetas orbitando estrelas além do nosso Sol - descobertos até agora, pode parecer que estamos prestes a descobrir se estamos sozinhos no universo. Infelizmente, não sabemos muito sobre esses planetas.

 

Entender se um planeta pode hospedar vida requer muito mais informações. No momento, uma informação extremamente importante que falta é a composição e estrutura de seus ambientes.

 

Agora, pela primeira vez, conseguimos detectar o vapor d'água na atmosfera de um exoplaneta potencialmente habitável. Nossos resultados foram publicados na Nature Astronomy.

 

O planeta K2-18b foi descoberto em 2015 e é uma das centenas de super-Terras - planetas com uma massa entre a Terra e Netuno. É um planeta com oito vezes a massa da Terra que orbita uma assim chamada estrela anã vermelha, que é muito mais fria que o sol.

 

No entanto, K2-18b está localizado na zona habitável de sua estrela, o que significa que tem a temperatura certa para suportar água líquida. Dados sua massa e diâmetro, K2-18b não é um planeta gasoso, mas tem uma alta probabilidade de ter uma superfície rochosa.

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