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Space & Astronomy

Universe may be teeming with water-worlds

August 18, 2018 | Comment icon 7 comments



Many planets may be home to large amounts of water. Image Credit: CC BY-SA 3.0 Luciano Mendez
Scientists have determined that a significant percentage of planets in our galaxy may be covered in water.
The discovery is important because is increases the likelihood of finding a world that supports life.

Out of the 4,000 or so planets discovered in recent years, most are either around 1.5 times the size of the Earth or 2.5 times the size, with the larger of the two being the most likely to have water.

The amount of water on these worlds was also surprising, with scientists discovering that many of them could be as much as 50% water by weight. (Earth by contrast is only 0.02% water.)
"It was a huge surprise to realise that there must be so many water-worlds," said study lead researcher and planetary scientist Dr Li Zeng from Harvard University.

The conditions on these worlds however may be quite unlike anything we see here on Earth.

"This is water, but not as commonly found here on Earth," said Zeng. "Their surface temperature is expected to be in the 200 to 500 degree Celsius range. Their surface may be shrouded in a water-vapor-dominated atmosphere, with a liquid water layer underneath."

With the launch of NASA's TESS mission, as well as the upcoming James Webb Space Telescope, it should be possible to take a much closer look at these worlds within the not-too-distant future.

Source: Independent | Comments (7)



Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #1 Posted by Gecks 3 years ago
At least Kevin Costner has options for a new home planet!
Comment icon #2 Posted by third_eye 3 years ago
Well ? What are we waiting for ? This is the news we've all been waiting for ... Let's GO !!! ~
Comment icon #3 Posted by McNessy 3 years ago
Yup so long and thanks for all the fish
Comment icon #4 Posted by Luis Marco 3 years ago
The URANTIA Book epochal divine revelation (1955) revealed to us before 1955 that there so very many inhabited planets!!!: https://www.urantia.org/urantia-book-standardized/paper-49-inhabited-worlds
Comment icon #5 Posted by Vox 3 years ago
Subnautica!
Comment icon #6 Posted by paperdyer 3 years ago
All theory.  That's like saying there are hoards of "rocks" with no water, or 50% lava, or 50% liquid nitrogen.
Comment icon #7 Posted by RoofGardener 3 years ago
Yeah... umm.. inhabited by fish ?  


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