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It would take 2 million years to reach planet K2-18b, scientist says

YIANNIS ELAFROS

TAGS: Science

It will take two million years to reach K2-18b, a rocky planet orbiting in the habitable zone of red dwarf K2-18, according to Angelos Tsiaras of the University College London’s Center for Space Exochemistry Data (CSED) and the leader of one of the research teams that last week detected water vapor in its atmosphere.

“Even though we should best avoid using the term ‘impossible,’ a journey like that is near impossible,” he told Kathimerini.

“K2-18b is 110 light-years away from Earth. That means it would take Voyager space probe two million years to get there,” he added about the planet, which astronomers consider the best candidate for habitability at the moment.

“Even though there is a small possibility that K2-18b can support life, we cannot exclude the existence of a planet that can do this,” he said. “It’s important to realize how unique Earth actually is,” he added, stressing that the planet is not Earth’s twin as it is twice its size.

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