Recently, researchers from the University of Kansas discovered water vapour discovered in the atmosphere of another planet that lies 150 light-years away from our planet. This new planet is like a gas giant that lies very close to its star. Though the planet may not hold any life on it, studying its chemical components can help scientists to understand the evolution of other planets in our solar system.
The new planet, called the exoplanet TOI-674, has been found to be of similar size to Neptune (about 1.3 times its size) and can help us understand the development of Neptune in our solar system. However, the orbit around its star allows the new planet to complete its revolution in just two Earth days, as opposed to 165 years taken by Neptune to complete a circle around the sun.
What is surprising is the short distance between the exoplanet and its star, still possessing water vapour in its atmosphere. According to the researchers, it means that the planet must have been initially very far from the star only to move closer over time. The study was carried out using Hubble Space Telescope equipment. However, according to NBC News, the study has not been published yet.
This is not the first time water vapour has been detected on another planet outside our solar system. Similar observations were made in 2019, too, when Hubble Space Telescope detected water vapour on another planet, the K2-18b. However, this planet was concluded to hold habitable conditions, meaning the planet could harbour liquid water sometime in the future.