Water found on exoplanet HR 8799c

Water, from the point of view of modern planetology, is almost a synonym for life or, in any case, its necessary condition. At least, if we are talking about the life of the earth type – with a sign to us metabolism, DNA and other details.

In the solar system, water in appreciable quantities has not yet been found anywhere else except Earth. Mars is dry, the water was clearly there, but that was a long time ago. Venus is hot. The satellites of Jupiter, on which liquid water is likely to exist, are within the powerful radiation belts of the giant planet, making landing there an unlikely matter. At least during the life of the next generations of earthlings. It is all the more interesting when clear signs of water are found on the planets of other star systems.

In this case, we are talking about a planet known as HR 8799c – a gas giant weighing about seven to ten times the size of Jupiter. One year there lasts 200 years, and the star around which the planets (there are four of them there) is in 129 of sv. years from us.

Star system HR 8799 through the eyes of the artist. The location of the planets is shown against the background of a star and a gas-dust disk.
The relatively small distance to this system has made it possible in recent years to record the spectra of the planets several times.

This time, the team used modern equipment at an observatory in Maunaka, Hawaii, to confirm the existence of water in the atmosphere of the planet, as well as the absence of methane. For the study, adaptive optics were used, eliminating the blur effect generated by the Earth’s atmosphere.

The discovery made does not mean the indispensable availability of oceans with fish and other shrimps on HR 8799c. The temperature of the upper layers of its atmosphere is about 800 degrees, which makes life a little difficult. While we are talking about water vapor. Nevertheless, the fact of detecting water is remarkable, and even more impressive is the very possibility of such a discovery.