If you’re a big fan of space, aliens, and learning about our universe, you’ll probably be fascinated to learn that using NASA’s James Webb Telescope, astronomers have identified a planet whose data indicates it may have an ocean and biological activity.
The James Webb Telescope is known for searching our universe and seeking out any other potential signs of life.
The James Webb Telescope, which was launched in 2021, uses special instruments to view and collect images of objects in space beyond the capabilities of the famous Hubble Space Telescope.
Recently, astronomers using the telescope found an exoplanet, which is a planet outside our solar system, over 100 lightyears away from us, that stands out for several reasons.
The exoplanet has been identified as K2-18 b and is located in the constellation Leo. It is estimated to be over 8 times the size of Earth’s mass, and astronomers are hypothesizing that it has a water ocean.
This is due to the indication of methane and carbon dioxide in its atmosphere, which is rich in hydrogen.
The discovery gets even more exciting, especially since there is a chance that a molecule called dimethyl sulfide has been detected on K2-18 b, which is a molecule that is only produced by life on Earth.
On Earth, one of the largest producers of dimethyl sulfide, otherwise known as DMS, is phytoplankton found in marine environments.
While all of this news about this exoplanet is exciting and thrilling, researchers need further validation of the findings, as the light and subsequent glare from the planet’s host star has made it difficult to get a detailed view of things.