There are planets more suitable for life than Earth

Earth is an amazing planet! However, scientists believe there are better places in the universe. Researchers have found two dozen planets outside our solar system that may have conditions more suitable for life than Earth.

If you think that the Earth is the best planet in the Universe, then most likely you are wrong. At least scientists from Washington State University would argue with you, who believe that there are super-life planets in the universe.

A study by Dirk Schulze-Makuch of Washington State University, published in the journal Astrobiology, describes the characteristics of potential “super-life” planets. These places are older, slightly larger, warmer and possibly wetter than Earth.

The author of the work has selected 24 applicants for the title of super-life planet. Unfortunately, they are all over a hundred light years away. “With the advent of new space telescopes, we will get more information, so now it is important to choose the right targets. We must focus on certain planets that have the most promising conditions for complex life. We must try not to get stuck looking for a second Earth, because there may be planets that might be more habitable than ours, ”says Schulze-Makuch.

For this study, geobiologist Schulze-Makuch teamed up with other scientists to determine the criteria for super-life and find good candidates among 4,500 known exoplanets. Habitability does not mean that there is already life on these planets, they are simply favorable for it.

The first parameter by which scientists weeded out the planets was the star next to which they revolved. The Sun’s life span is relatively short (less than 10 billion years). It took nearly 4 billion years for any form of complex life to appear on Earth, many stars like our Sun, called G stars, may run out of fuel before complex life can develop.

Therefore, in their work, the authors considered systems with stars of the K spectrum, which are somewhat colder, less massive and less bright than our Sun. However, their lifespan ranges from 20 billion to 70 billion years. This would allow the orbiting planets to be older and also give life more time to develop. However, to be habitable, planets do not have to be very old so that they do not exhaust their geothermal heat and have no protective geomagnetic fields. The earth is about 4.5 billion years old, but researchers argue that the ideal place to live is a planet that is between 5 and 8 billion years old.

Size and weight also matter. A planet that is 10% larger than earth should have more habitable area. A mass about 1.5 times that of Earth is expected to help the planet maintain its internal heating through radioactive decay for longer, and will also have stronger gravity to keep the atmosphere in place for a longer period of time.

Of course, scientists have not forgotten about water either. They believe that more of it will help in the faster development of life, especially if it is presented in the form of clouds and precipitation.

A warmer temperature, about 5 ° C warmer than on Earth, along with the extra moisture, would also be better for life. Proof of this can be seen on Earth in tropical rainforests. The high temperature and humidity there “spawned” more biodiversity than in the colder and drier regions.

Unfortunately, after examining all 24 applicants, scientists have concluded that none of the candidate planets meets all the criteria for super-life planets, however, one has four critical characteristics, which makes it, perhaps, much more promising for life than ours. home planet.

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