Several planets that have the same chemical conditions that may have led to the appearance of life on Earth have been identified by a group of scientists. The star orbited by the planet releases a number of UV rays that may be just enough to start the same reactions that lead to the existence of life and the presence of liquid water.
The project allows scientists to narrow down to list of potentially habitable planets and only explore those that present the highest chances of being similar to our own and to find out if other life forms exist in our universe.
One stand-out planet which currently resides in the abiogenesis zone is Kepler 452b, also known as Earth’s ‘’cousin’’, discovered among other planets by the Kepler telescope. Current technology is not powerful enough to allow further exploration but new telescopes are in development.
Employing a method that measures the build-up of prebiotic yields, researchers have found out that hotter stars are better for the development of precursor prebiotic chemistry. The most suitable planets would be those were the surface temperature is approximately 20 degrees Celsius or below. The results were cross-analyzed with a catalog of potentially suitable planets and further refine what we know about them. Liquid water is not directly correlated with planets situated in the abiogenesis zone. Liquid water is present on planets that are far enough from the host star to allow for water to form without evaporating or freezing solid. According to some calculations, life blocks are prone to appear in such environments, evolving at some points to more advanced beings.
While life may be sustainable on planets near the habitable zones of ultra-cold dwarfs, there is little chance that life may appear on the planets due to natural chemical processes.
It would take future studies in order to confirm all theories but they seem promising in the long run.
Patrick Supernaw is the lead editor for Great Lakes Ledger. Patrick has written for many publications including The Huffington Post and Vanity Fair. Patrick is based in Ottawa and covers issues affecting his city. In addition to his severe hockey addiction, Pat also enjoys kayaking and can often be found paddling the Rideau Canal. Contact Pat here