The new research indicates that many of the known planets can hold up to 50 percent water, much more than that on earth.
Water is probably an important part of those exoplanets that are between two and four times the size of the Earth, suggests new research that may have implications for the search for life in our galaxy. Water has previously been implicated in individual exoplanets, but this work, presented at the Goldschmidt conference in Boston, Massachusetts, concludes that watery planets outside our solar system are general.
The new research, based on data from the exoplanet yacht Kepler Space Telescope and the Gaia mission, indicates that many of the known planets can contain up to 50 percent water, which is much more than the 0.02 percent (by weight) from the earth. ) water content.
"It was a huge surprise to realize that there must be so many water worlds," said lead researcher Li Zeng of the University of Harvard.
Scientists have discovered that many of the 4,000 confirmed or candidate exoplanets that have been discovered so far fall into two size categories – those with a planetary radius that is about 1.5 times as large as those of the Earth, and those with an average of 2.5 times the radius of the earth.
For this study, the scientists developed a model for internal structures of the exoplanets after analysis of the exoplanets with mass measurements and recent radius measurements of the Gaia satellite.
"We looked at how mass relates to radius and developed a model that could explain the relationship," said Li Zeng. "The model indicates that those exoplanets with a radius of around x 1.5 earth jets have a tendency to be rocky planets (of mostly x5 the mass of the earth), while those with a radius of x 2.5 earth jets (with a mass around x10 that of the earth) are probably water worlds, "he added.
"Our data indicate that about 35 percent of all known exoplanets that are larger than the earth should be water rich," he said, adding that the surface of these exoplanets can be enveloped in a water vapor-dominated atmosphere, with a liquid water layer. underneath.
The researchers believe that these water worlds are probably formed in the same way as the giant planetary nuclei (Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune) that we find in our own solar system.
| Edited by: Sarthak Dogra