Greece
Calamos Supports GreeceCalamos Supports Greece
GreekReporter.comEuropeGreek Scientist Discovers Water Vapor on "Habitable" Exoplanet

Greek Scientist Discovers Water Vapor on “Habitable” Exoplanet

A Greek astronomer based in the UK announced on Wednesday that his team has discovered an exoplanet capable of supporting Earth-like life.

Angelos Tsiaras of University College London’s Centre for Space Exochemistry Data  announced the exciting new find, which involves “K2-18 b,” a planet about 110 light-years from Earth that NASA’s Kepler Space Telescope discovered in 2015.

K2-18 b lies in its parent star’s “habitable zone,” the range of distance which could support the existence of liquid water on a planet’s surface.

“This is the only planet right now with the correct temperature [for Earth-like life] and water outside the solar system,” Tsiaras told reporters in a teleconference.

Greek Astronomer Angelos Tsiaras

Tsiaras and his colleagues have just published their results in the peer-reviewed journal Nature Astronomy.

The Greek astronomer stressed, however, that K2-18 b is far from a twin of Earth. The exoplanet is eight times more massive than our planet, making it a “super-Earth,” a type of heavenly body that is common throughout the Milky Way galaxy but is not represented in our own solar system.

Then there is the matter of K2-18 b’s star, a red dwarf, which is much smaller and cooler than our sun. Because red dwarf stars are so dim, their habitable zones are much closer to them; the planet K2-18 b completes one orbit around it every 33 Earth days.

The 28-year-old astronomer graduated from the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki in 2014 and earned his Ph.D in September of 2017 at University College London.

See all the latest news from Greece and the world at Greekreporter.com. Contact our newsroom to report an update or send your story, photos and videos. Follow GR on Google News and subscribe here to our daily email!




Related Posts