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The Milky Way is teeming with billions of planets, including many that are similar to our own. But how many of these alien worlds have water, and do any host extraterrestrial life?

No answers to those questions just yet. But astronomers using a new infrared technique say they've discovered water vapor in the atmosphere of a nearby gas giant planet called "tau Boötis b."

The finding suggests that the technique may play an important role in identifying which exoplanets might be hospitable for life.
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The NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope has discovered water vapour erupting from the frigid surface of Jupiter's moon Europa, in one or more localised plumes near its south pole. Europa is already thought to harbour a liquid ocean beneath its icy crust, making the moon one of the main targets in the search for habitable worlds away from Earth. This new finding is the first observational evidence of water vapour being ejected off the moon's surface.
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