In Case You Missed It: Hubble Finds Water on an Exoplanet

Image (Credit): Recent JWST analysis of exoplanet WASP-96 b. (NASA, ESA, CSA, and STScI)

The recent James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) images included hot gas giant exoplanet WASP-96 b, with NASA noting that the space telescope “…has captured the distinct signature of water, along with evidence for clouds and haze, in the atmosphere surrounding a hot, puffy gas giant planet orbiting a distant Sun-like star.”

The same NASA article also noted that the Hubble Space Telescope had found the first evidence of water on a exoplanet back in 2013. So I thought I would dig out that earlier from the European Space Agency, titled “Hubble Finds Water Vapour on Habitable-Zone Exoplanet for the First Time“:

With data from the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope, water vapour has been detected in the atmosphere of a super-Earth within the habitable zone by University College London (UCL) researchers in a world first. K2-18b, which is eight times the mass of Earth, is now the only planet orbiting a star outside the Solar System, or exoplanet, known to have both water and temperatures that could support life.

The parent star, K2-18, is 110 light years from Earth in the constellation of Leo. Maybe we can convince the ESA and others to take another look with the JWST, assuming it is not already on the list of many upcoming projects.