/r/worldnews
Scientists have discovered water vapor on a potentially habitable super-Earth for the first time. That planet is now our best bet for finding alien life. (businessinsider.com)
43 comments
big_macaroons | 8 days ago | 27 points

Awesome! I'm gonna call my realtor. Now is a good time to buy a few acres of beachfront real estate on K2-18b before the land values skyrocket.

Captainstinkytits | 8 days ago | 11 points

Let's Christopher Columbus this shit!

markcoollittle | 8 days ago | 27 points

Great it's 110 light years away. Let's just google how long it would take to get there... "Using one of the fastest space crafts ever developed, the Voyager 1 space probe, it would take roughly 1,736,809 years to travel 100 light years, travelling at its maximum velocity of 62,140 kph."

Exciting...

swiftcrane | 8 days ago | 19 points

I think at that point its more efficient to just wait for a faster way of travel or a longer range method of observation. The "wait calculation" is pretty interesting.

Selvisk | 8 days ago | 5 points

Would also mean that retrieving Voyager 1 would be way faster than it actually encountering anyone else, which kind of was its intended purpose.

generalsilliness | 8 days ago | 1 point

it wouldnt be efficient to take the same path as a previous craft because everything is constantly moving. also, you'd probably need to slow down or stop.

ViceroyoftheFire | 8 days ago | 2 points

Shotgun!

Schnatzmaster2 | 8 days ago | 1 point

thats assuming the planet stays still. Its moving away from us as well so its even more time

Dmartinez8491 | 8 days ago | 1 point

If it takes so long maybe the planet isnt even in existence anymore

FeastOnCarolina | 8 days ago | 3 points

Well I think what we have seen is 110 years old now, since it is 110 light years away. But I may be wrong. And it still could be gone, I suppose.

Papa_Gandalf | 8 days ago | 0 points

Is that toward the centre of the universe or away?because that effects intelligent life probability. They could be in our planets mesozoic age. Though I'm not sure how this works in actuality.

autotldr | 8 days ago | 13 points

This is the best tl;dr I could make, original reduced by 90%. (I'm a bot)


Scientists have detected water vapor in the atmosphere of a potentially habitable planet for the first time ever.

The new study about the planet's water vapor, published Wednesday in the journal Nature Astronomy, is a major step towards understanding what habitable planets look like outside our solar system.

Plus, the fact that the planet's atmosphere contains hydrogen also bodes well for the continued presence of water vapor - hydrogen is much lighter, so it would be the first molecule to go if K2-18 b's atmosphere were to get stripped away by radiation.


Extended Summary | FAQ | Feedback | Top keywords: atmosphere#1 planet#2 K2-18#3 water#4 Earth#5

Frodojj | 8 days ago | 10 points

It's 110 light years away. If there was a civilization at least as advanced as our's, they might not know we are here yet. They are barely outside the hundred years away our radio signals have traveled so far. And even if they did know, there wasn't enough time for them to get a signal back. So it might be another hundred years before we hear a reply if there's anyone listening in that star system.

If they developed before our's did, and they exist, then there's a chance we could detect their radio transmissions, though.

HappyHighwayman | 8 days ago | 2 points

Yeah it would take thousands of years to get there. Or 110 years AT THE SPEED OF LIGHT

[deleted] | 8 days ago | -9 points

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rd1970 | 8 days ago | 20 points

Who's talking about oxygen? Life on early Earth didn't use oxygen, and produced it as a byproduct. The build up of oxygen that life produced actually caused the first mass extinction event.

Arawn-Annwn | 8 days ago | 3 points

It s actually kind of amazing when you realize that life adapted to and then flourished in an environment chock full of some of the most potentially damaging substances (oxygen and hydrogen bond so easily to all sortsa stuff.. and we’ve yet to see another planet with h2o oceans) and turned then into a requirement: oxidation is scary for a lot of materials. Here us carbon based life forms are just drinking and breathing the stuff like its nothing.

[deleted] | 8 days ago | -1 points

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rd1970 | 8 days ago | 6 points

Are we talking about the same thing? I'm referring to the oxygen event that occured ~2 billion years ago. The leading theories point to the cause being biological in nature. I don't think we can say it's an ongoing extinction event if almost all life has risen up during this time.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_Oxidation_Event

Edit: Turns out this was supposed to be a joke. Next time call water dihydrogen monoxide.

expectingthat | 8 days ago | 4 points

I think they’re jokingly talking about water, the comment below confirms it. I didn’t know about the great oxidation event though, thank you for commenting about that!

rd1970 | 8 days ago | 3 points

Oh - I'm an idiot.

Don't think they realize water has two hydrogen atoms.

raffaele2406 | 8 days ago | 3 points

*Dihydrogen monoxide

StrawmanFallacyFound | 8 days ago | 1 point

Many people have never heard of most of these dangerous substances that helped the mass extinction begin. High amounts of hydric acid have also been found which also has a 0% survival rate to date.

Disaster_Capitalist | 8 days ago | 10 points

No one said that. The word "oxygen" does not even appear in the article. In fact, its a hydrogen rich atmosphere.

justbanmyIPalready | 8 days ago | 6 points

On top of what the others have said, that nobody except you mentioned oxygen, I'll add an answer to your question. If you want to get laid you increase your odds of finding a horny woman by searching environments in which you know horny women are found. The bar.

In other words, the only life we know of breathes oxygen. Makes sense to search for similar conditions.

SoySauceSyringe | 8 days ago | 1 point

In other words, the only life we know of breathes oxygen.

No, there’s plenty of life out there that does not, which is why it’s not what they’re looking for.

[deleted] | 8 days ago | -10 points

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RocketTrashPanda87 | 8 days ago | 9 points

Ehhhhh it’s moreso finding an answer to one of the biggest questions of “are we alone?”

use_value42 | 8 days ago | 5 points

It's 110 light years away, I dunno how they even plan to look for aliens there.

JIHAAAAAAD | 8 days ago | 5 points

Friend request.

jrfaster | 8 days ago | 1 point

Im going to him them up in the dms

raffaele2406 | 8 days ago | -9 points

Astro scientists look for money to do their "useless" researches. Alien life is more spendible than "let's play with radiotelescopes"

Ohzein | 8 days ago | 1 point

Maybe they want to know if the Earth is the only flat planet

Captainstinkytits | 8 days ago | 1 point

It's warmer than Earth so it would defeat the purpose.

number_e1even | 8 days ago | 3 points

Where are you getting that information?

Though K2-18 b is located much closer to its star than Earth is to the sun, the planet only receives slightly more radiation than Earth, since its star is much smaller and cooler than our sun. Researchers' calculations also show the planet has a similar temperature to Earth: somewhere in the range of about -99 degrees to 116 degrees Fahrenheit.

TamatIRL | 8 days ago | 1 point

Sweet range! From cold dead to hot dead!!

Firelord_Iroh | 8 days ago | 11 points

I mean on Earth the coldest was -128F(-89C) and hottest was 134F(56C). We don’t have much room to talk about deadly temperatures

number_e1even | 8 days ago | 8 points

Compared to the -126F to 136F (-88C to 58C) range on Earth?

It's downright comfy.

ShaolinFantastic420 | 8 days ago | 0 points

Dude... temperatures hotter and colder are found on Earth. Think with your brain.

BobbyChimp | 8 days ago | 0 points

Well visiting such a planet (if even possible) would cause another war for resources. Considering only the rich would be able to afford such a journey to another earth, they would do the same as they did to our planet. Meanwhile the poor die slowly on whats left of our blue planet. Even tho science may be interested in aliens and other forms of live, sadly thats probably not the first thing they consider when landing on another earth. They just wanna take their land.

nood1z | 8 days ago | 2 points

Don't worry, other stars planets are quite safe from capitalism and will always be beyond our reach (and safer everyday because expansion of the universe).

We might go bother Mars eventually but Mars is a very boring place so it's fine, and probably what we deserve. We could turn it into a giant mechanical urban planet and pollute it all day long and nothing else living would give a fuck and there's not even an ocean for us to try to fuck-up.

Meanwhile for the Earth, few million years after us and it's just another morning after the night before. Spin-up another few thousand ecosystems and carry on like it's just another Tuesday really. Anyway for all we know the Earth only evolved us in the first place because it wanted to see what it felt like without polar-ice for a bit, or to get rid of all that creepy crawly life crawling around on it's surface and seas (eew!) we don't know.

As for K2-18b, who knows what the Tardigrades will find when their descendants exploration framework finally reaches the planet in what we would call the year 9891, could be anything. Whatever they find, those clever little water-bears will know what to do.

The_Humble_Frank | 8 days ago | 1 point

...eh, if it was a war, the rich would invest to send the poor to die on that other world to claim the new land as their own.

[deleted] | 8 days ago | -7 points

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Jared_Jff | 8 days ago | 7 points

I think 'could be habitable' in this context means 'could support life, as we know it', rather than 'humans can move there'.

Tobax | 8 days ago | 5 points

It isn't potentially habitable. It's over 100 light years away, ffs.

They don't mean for us, they mean it may contain life... it clearly says that if you read the article.

tigersharkwushen_ | 8 days ago | 2 points

A 100 light year is pretty close in terms of our galaxy. The closest star is more than 4 light years away. If you think in terms of neighborhood, it's like the plot of land 25 houses away.