Dec 9, 2023

Astronomers calculate which exoplanets are most likely to have water

Posted by in categories: energy, space

Astronomers know of about 60 rocky exoplanets orbiting in the habitable zones of their stars. When they try to determine how habitable these planets might be, detecting water in their atmospheres plays a huge role. But what if there was another way of measuring the water content in these worlds?

Researchers are developing a way of modeling these worlds to determine how much water they have.

Habitability likely requires , as far as we can tell. But detecting water is next to impossible. The next best thing is to use the tools we have—like the James Webb Space Telescope—to detect and characterize exoplanet atmospheres. But despite the JWST’s power, it can’t examine every exoplanet atmosphere. Some are beyond its reach. But one team of researchers is using what we do know about exoplanets, tidal heating, and radiogenic heating to try to determine which exoplanets might have oceans, either on the surface or under the surface.

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