About the Object

Exoplanet K2-18 b (illustration)

This artist’s concept shows what exoplanet K2-18 b could look like based on science data. K2-18 b, an exoplanet 8.6 times as massive as Earth, orbits the cool dwarf star K2-18 in the habitable zone and lies 120 light-years from Earth. A new investigation with the NASA/ESA/CSA James Webb Space Telescope into K2-18 b has revealed the presence of carbon-bearing molecules including methane and carbon dioxide. The abundance of methane and carbon dioxide, and shortage of ammonia, support the hypothesis that there may be an ocean underneath a hydrogen-rich atmosphere in K2-18 b.

[Image description: Illustration of an exoplanet planet and its red cool dwarf star on a black background that is speckled with some small stars. The planet is large, in the foreground on the right and the star is smaller, in the background at the lower left. The planet is various shades of blue, with wisps of white scattered throughout. The left edge of the planet (the side facing the star) is lit, while the rest is in shadow. The star has a bright red glow.]


NASA, CSA, ESA, J. Olmstead (STScI), N. Madhusudhan (Cambridge University)

About the Image

Id: weic2321a
Type: Artwork
Release date: 11 September 2023, 16:00
Related releases: weic2321
Size: 3840 x 2160 px

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