APOD: 2023 September 20 Á Methane Discovered on Distant ExoplanetLion (Leo). The exoplanet is significantly larger and more massive than our Earth, but orbits in the habitable zone of its home star. K2-18, although more red than our Sun, shines in K2-18b's sky with a brightness similar to the Sun in Earth's sky. The 2019 discovery of atmospheric water was made in data from three space telescopes: Hubble, Spitzer, and Kepler, by noting the absorption of water-vapor colors when the planet moved in front of the star. Now in 2023, further observations by the Webb Space Telescope in infrared light have uncovered evidence of other life-indicating molecules -- including methane. The featured illustration imagines exoplanet K2-18b on the far right orbited by a moon (center), which together orbit a red dwarf star depicted on the lower left.
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Based on Astronomy Picture Of the Day
Publications with keywords: extrasolar planet
Publications with words: extrasolar planet
- APOD: 2023 October 17 Á PDS 70: Disk, Planets, and Moons
- APOD: 2023 June 6 Á Star Eats Planet
- APOD: 2023 February 1 Á The Seventh World of Trappist 1
- APOD: 2023 January 24 Á LHS 475 b: Earth Sized Exoplanet
- 50 Light years to 51 Pegasi
- PDS 70: Disk, Planets, and Moons
- APOD: 2020 August 18 Á TYC 8998 760 1: Multiple Planets around a Sun Like Star