When we think of the most life-suitable planet in the universe, we naturally think of earth. At present, the Earth is the only planet known to sustain life. A new study has identified 24 planets outside the solar system that may have more life-appropriate conditions than Earth. The study, led by Dek Schultz Markucci, a scientist at Washington State University, found that some exoplanets may orbit life in a better orbit than our own.
The study details so-called “super livable” planets, some of which are older, slightly larger, warmer and possibly wetter than Earth. The researchers say life on these planets may thrive more than life on Earth, thanks to the planet’s slower orbiting of its host star and the fact that it has a longer life span than the sun. The top 24 contenders for “Super Livable Planet” are all more than 100 light-years away.
One of the goals of the study is to help identify the ideal planet for future observations using instruments such as the James Webb Space Telescope. Schultz Markucci says the next generation of space telescopes will provide more information about distant planets, and it’s important to choose a target now.
Scientists choose those who have the ideal conditions to support complex life. Scientists also say we need to be careful not to get caught up in the search for a second Earth, because there may be planets that are better suited to life than our own planets. Among the interesting stars that may support living planets, there are some K dwarfs that have the advantage of having a long life span of 20 to 70 billion years.
The K dwarf is colder, smaller and less bright than the sun. The benefit of this type of star’s long life is that it ages the orbiting planets and gives life more time to develop into the complexity of Earth.