Somewhere in the universe, another orbiting object can be placed in a better position to support life, and it may not look like our own.
“We have to focus on some of the planets that have the most promising conditions for complex life,” says astronomer Dirk Schulze-Makuch of Washington State University.
“However, we have to be careful not to look for another Earth because there may be planets that may be more suitable for life than ours.”
If we are also focused on finding another planet like Earth, then we can thwart a notice that is not only older, larger, hotter and wetter, but also one that has a longer life span than our Sun. They also revolve around the stars.
Astronomers have been discussing the idea of a “superhabitable” planet for years, and now, we may have some candidates for the first time.
In thousands of exoplanets beyond our solar system, Schulz-Makuch and his colleagues have identified two dozen who appear to be more hospitable than the Earth in at least one respect.
While none of these planets meet the full criteria for a superhabitable home, one of them ticks four major boxes, suggesting that it can provide a better and longer position for life on Earth.
Nevertheless, the point of study is not to identify a planet B. Many of these planets are thousands of light-years away and have not yet been statistically valid, which means they can become astronomically incorrect positives.
Even the planets that are confirmed are far from being viable destinations for further research. Especially when we recently found potentially habitable exoplanets similar to the size of the Earth, which are only 124 light-years away.
The authors wrote, “Our point here is not to identify potential targets for follow-up comments, but rather to suggest that the superhabitable world may already be.”
For example, a planet larger than Earth may allow for more habitable land and greater diversity. The size of a planet also affects its gravitational pull, and a larger one than Earth can sustain its atmosphere for a longer period of time.
Water is certainly an important component of life as we know it, and even in our own history of the Earth, we know that when there is more humidity, life stops.
The Carboniferous period, which was hotter and wetter than today, produced so much biomass that we are extracting coal, oil and natural gas from it even today.
Shulze-mach says, “It is sometimes difficult to express this theory of superhit planets because we think we have the best planets.”
“We have a large number of complex and varied life-philosophies, and many that can survive in extreme environments. It is good to have a favorable life, but that does not mean that we have the best of everything.”
One thing our planet does not have the best of times.
It took about 3.5 billion years for macroscopic life on Earth and in the next 5 billion years our sun will burn.
Other stars with a mass similar to ours could run out of energy long before complex life evolved, whereas low-mass stars, such as orange dwarf stars, may live longer.
Orange dwarf stars are somewhat cool like our sun, but they can sometimes burn up to 70 billion years.
This astonishing amount of time may allow for higher biodiversity and the creation of more complex ecosystems than our own planet, which has only existed for 4.5 billion years.
Of course, all of this is assuming that the life we are looking for is what we know here on earth. And it might not happen. Nevertheless, we have to work with something, and in this case, the Earth is the only example we have.
Of the 24 superfastable candidates, astronomers say they orbited 9 around K stars, envisaging 16 planets between 5 and 8 billion years old – thought to be the sweet spot for complex life – and for a superhitable planet. 5 planets in optimal temperature range, about 19 ° C.
All these exoplanets were located in habitable areas around their stars, areas in which water may be present.
Only one candidate fits all four criteria – an exoplanet called CoOI 5715.01 is about 1.8 times larger than Earth and is located approximately 3,000 light years away.
This may not sound like much, but looking for life outside of our solar system, the author thinks that a superhabitable planet might even be in better circumstances than our own “than most Earth-like planets for follow-up comments May be high priority. ”
“With the coming of the next space telescopes, we will get more information, so it is important to select some targets,” says Schulz-Makuch.
Not all of them should resemble our own planet.
The study was published in Astro.