Author: Mukul Vyas
Earth is considered the best planet in terms of life, but astronomers say there are many planets in the universe where conditions are more favorable for life than Earth. They have identified approximately 24 such planets outside of our solar system. Some of these planets orbit these stars which are better than our sun. These planets were studied under the direction of Washington State University scientist Duck Schulz-Mecht, details of which have been published in the journal “Astro Biology”. It describes the characteristics of planets favorable to life. These planets are older and larger than Earth. They are slightly warmer than Earth and there is a lot of water here.
Scientists say that life is more likely to occur on those planets orbiting those stars which have a longer lifespan than our sun and which change slowly. The 24 habitable planets that astronomers have identified as the best on Earth are about 100 light years away. Schulze-Mecht said his study would help him focus on future missions to observe the outer planets. These include NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope and the European Space Agency’s Plato Space Telescope. Schultz-Mecht said that after the deployment of new space telescopes, we will get new information. Therefore, we need to focus on the planets where the circumstances seem more favorable for complex life forms.
Schulze-Mecht and his colleagues studied data from 4,500 outer planets to identify characteristics of planets with perfect habitat. Habitability does not mean the presence of life. It signifies the favorable circumstances for life. They chose planets from the records of outer planets located at habitable distances from their stars. Although the Sun is the main center of our solar system, it has a lifespan of around ten billion years, which is relatively short. It took four billion years for complex life forms to appear on our earth. The fuel of many stars, such as the sun in the universe, can be depleted before complex life appears on their planets. These stars are of type G. Researchers have looked at wired solar systems of type G as well as systems with cabling of type K. Type K stars are relatively cooler than our sun, their mass is less. They are less bright. Apart from that, their lifespan is between 20 and 70 billion years. This can leave enough time for complex life to develop on their planets. However, being habitable, planets do not get so old that their geothermal energy is depleted and they are deprived of protective geomagnetic fields. Our Earth is 4.5 billion years old, but researchers say the best time for life to develop on a planet is 5 to 8 billion years.
Size and mass also make a big difference. Planets 10% larger than Earth will also have more habitable land. Whose mass is 1.5 times greater than the Earth, the internal heat will remain for a long time by radioactive decay. It will have a stronger gravity. Due to the powerful gravity, it can maintain its atmosphere for a long time. Water is essential for life, and the authors of the new study argue that more water will be more beneficial in the form of moisture and clouds. If the surface temperature of the planet is 5 degrees Celsius higher than that of the Earth, it also has a big advantage. This increased temperature will be better for life with additional humidity.
Disclaimer: The opinions expressed above are those of the author