News: data from the Hubble Space Telescope have revealed water vapour in the atmosphere of an exoplanet called K2-18b.
- It is an exoplanet eight times the mass of Earth.
- The planet orbits dwarf star K2-18. K2-18 is located about 110 light years from Earth in the Leo constellation in Milky Way.
- The planet was first discovered in 2015 by NASA’s Kepler space telescope.
Exoplanets: planets outside the solar system are called exoplanets. The first exoplanet was discovered in 1992, orbiting a pulsar (a neutron star that emits electromagnetic radiation)
Dwarf star: A dwarf star is a star of relatively small size and low luminosity.
Hubble Space Telescope:
- It is world’s first space-based optical telescope that was launched into low Earth orbit in 1990. It still remains operational.
- It has been named after astronomer Edwin Hubble.
- It is one of NASA’s Great Observatories. NASA’s series of Great Observatories satellites are four large, powerful space-based astronomical telescopes. The telescopes other than Hubble include the Compton Gamma Ray Observatory, the Chandra X-ray Observatory, and the Spitzer Space Telescope
Kepler Space Telescope: It was an observatory in space launched by NASA to discover Earth-size planets orbiting other stars. It was launched in 2009 and decommissioned in 2018.