The search for water on other planets is closely tied to the quest to locate life elsewhere. NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope recently discovered a new planet like Earth, which represents a significant advancement in our knowledge of the cosmos.
Discovery Of GJ 9827d – New Planet Like Earth
The new planet like Earth is GJ 9827d, a small exoplanet located 97 light-years from Earth. It exists as a red dwarf star in the constellation Pisces, with a temperature comparable to that of Venus. Further, GJ 9827d completes one orbit every 6.2 days. Double the size of Earth, the planet is possibly more than five billion years old. The findings are published as a report published in The Astrophysical Journal Letters on Thursday.
The Hubble Space Telescope has shed light on the possibility of a water-rich atmosphere surrounding GJ 9827d. Ian Crossfield of Kansas University led the Hubble observations. It focused on looking for water vapor in addition to detecting atmospheric components.
The Trottier Institute for Research on Exoplanets proved the presence of water in other worlds. Björn Benneke, a member of the Trottier Institute, emphasizes the significance of this study on the atmospheres of rocky planets.
GJ 9827d -Theories
There are two major theories regarding the atmosphere of GJ 9827d. It may be a bigger counterpart of Jupiter’s moon, Europa, which has enormous water reserves beneath its crust. Or, it might be like Neptune with a hydrogen-rich atmosphere dotted with water particles. GJ 9827d may be half rock and half water, with a lot of water vapor on top of some small rocky bodies. The planet most likely originated farther from its star, where ice was abundant, before moving to its current, warmer location.
Over three years, the Hubble investigation entailed watching the planet during eleven transits. The planet’s clouds are just low enough to avoid obstructing Hubble’s vision. Thus allowing water vapor to be seen above them. Astrophysicist Thomas Greene of NASA’s Ames Research Center believes that observing water is a gateway to finding other things available.
New Planet Like Earth – GJ 9827d And Hubble Space Telescope
The James Webb Space Telescope will now be able to investigate these kinds of planets in the future due to this Hubble finding. With more infrared observations, JWST will be able to see more chemical molecules, such as methane, carbon dioxide, and carbon monoxide.
Laura Kreidberg is a co-principal in the HST observation program and head of the Max Planck Institute for Astronomy (APEx) section. She said the finding is “historic”. Pierre-Alexis Roy of Université de Montréal in Canada stated that he was interested in any result, regardless of whether water vapor is the main species or a minor component in an environment where hydrogen predominates.
The atmosphere of the GJ 9827d, a new planet like Earth, is still mostly unknown to astronomers. It is unclear to the researchers whether the planet has a filled water atmosphere or whether Hubble found signs of water vapor inside an inflated hydrogen-rich atmosphere. According to astronomers, it is still too early to use spectroscopy to identify the planet’s atmosphere.
The Hubble telescope’s finding of water vapor on a new planet like Earth offers new avenues for research into exoplanetary atmospheres. Its goal is to provide a closer description of Earth-like planets than previously possible.