Humans originated here on planet Earth and, considering all things, it's a wonderful place, but we can not stay here forever. Eventually, something will take us away from our home, and if that something is the eventual death of our Sun, some kind of natural cataclysm or the damage we have caused to our own environment, we will need to find a new home if we want humanity to live . When we finally decide to move, a planet called K2-18b could be our destination.
K2-18b orbits the star K2-18 (see how that works?), And although it is quite far from our own Solar System, it might be worth the trip. Discovered for the first time in 2015, it is believed that the planet is within the habitable zone of its star, and if in fact it has a rocky core, as scientists believe, it may well have liquid water on its surface. If we are particularly fortunate, it could even be compatible with life.
The renewed interest in K2-18b after its initial discovery is the result of new research that determined that the planet was larger than Earth and probably rocky, which is enough to classify it as a "Super Earth". The data that represented a more vivid image of the planet were compiled by the HARPS planetary search tool at the La Silla Observatory located in Chile.
Currently, researchers have been able to reduce the makeup of K2-18b to only two possibilities. They believe that, due to its mass and size, it is a rocky world like Earth with a gas atmosphere (which would be the most promising) or an aquatic world covered by a thick layer of ice. In the not too distant future, NASA's incredibly powerful James Webb Space Telescope could have a better view of the planet and help answer that question.
In an unexpected surprise, while investigating the behavior of K2-18b, the astronomers noticed something that they thought might have been signal noise, but that eventually determined that it was a completely new planet orbiting K2-18 much closer that K2-18b. Nicknamed K2-18c, the planet is also a Super Earth, although due to its proximity to its star it is not likely that liquid water can exist on its surface, which makes it less attractive to humans.