Water is essential for us and our planet. So we need to look at molecules in the cosmos, especially on exoplanets. Well, there is new research, which shows that water is common on massive exoplanets, too. However, there is not enough water on exoplanets to support alien life, according to the new study.
A team of specialists has taken a look at the atmospheric composition of about 19 exoplanets of different sizes, from a mini-Neptune-sized one to a Jupiter-like one, which weighs more than 600 times the Earth.
Water vapors were found in 14 of these exoplanets, but this is not what they expected. By making a comparison, the presence of certain elements, like sodium or potassium in 6 planets, was what they expected to find.
There is not enough water on exoplanets to sustain alien life
They found the first signs of chemical patterns in these worlds, and they can see how diverse they can be when it comes to their chemical compositions. This comes from Dr. Nikku Madhusudhan, leader of the project, from the Institute of Astronomy at the University of Cambridge.
Dr. Madhusudhan measured the water vapor in the exoplanets five years ago, and ever since, the researchers have found more about their properties. These findings show that chemical elements cannot be abundant in planetary atmospheres. Clearly, there is something more going on.
These planets, from our Solar System, have a lot more carbon than the Sun. This is probably due to the fact that there are ice, rocks, and other particles, which clearly had an impact on their formation. This can be applied to exoplanets, too, but the study showed that it’s not the case. This thing led to some interesting facts about the planetary formation theories.
Janet Howell is an associate editor for The Trending Times, focused on viral/trending stories. Before joining The Trending Times, she contributed to Vice, NPR the Gauntlet and many others. She has a master of journalism from NYU. She is based in NYC, and can be reached via her email or our contact form.