Earth, as you know it, is not necessarily the greatest planet in the Universe. Scientists have spotted two dozen planets outside our Solar System that might have better conditions to hold life. And some of these orbits stars that might be better than the Sun.
A recent research details the features of potential “superhabitable” worlds. That includes ancient planets that are a bit larger, slightly warmer, and possibly wetter than our planet. Here is what you need to know.
Could Other Planets Be More Suitable Than Earth?
The recent research, led by Dirk Schulze-Makuch, a Washington State University scientist, unveils 24 contenders for superhabitable worlds, more than 100 light-years away.
For the research, Schulze-Makuch teamed up with astronomers Edward Guinan of Villanova University and Rene Heller of the Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research. Their goal was to find superhabitability criteria and search over the 4,500 known exoplanets beyond our Solar System for the greatest candidates.
Furthermore, they chose planet-star systems with likely terrestrial planets orbiting within the host star’s liquid water habitable area from the Kepler Object of Interest Exoplanet Archive of transiting exoplanets. The team also examined systems with K dwarf stars, which are a bit cooler, less massive, and less bright than the Sun.
Research’s Findings and Results
Unfortunately, among the 24 top planet candidates, none meet all the criteria for superhabitable worlds. Only one has four of the critical traits, making it possibly much more suitable for life than our planet.
Schulze-Makuch released a statement saying: “We have a great number of complex and diverse lifeforms, and many that can survive in extreme environments.”
Water is essential to life, and the researchers argue that a little more of it would help, especially in the forms of clouds, humidity, and moisture. Warmer temperatures and additional moisture would also be better for life. The team and other scientists still need time and work to explore more planets capable of holding life, as we know it.
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