New Study Reveals Water-world Planets could Sustain Life

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Scientists believed for a long time that water-world exoplanets could not allow the cycle of minerals and gases that maintains the climate on Earth, allowing life to prosper. In a new study published jointly by the University of Chicago and the Pennsylvania State University, it was mentioned that water=worlds could maintain a so-called ‘’sweet spot’’ that long periods of time.

This would mean that a planet doesn’t have to be an exact replica of our Earth in order to sustain life. As telescopes improve over time, more and more planets that are outside our solar system are found. There are hundreds of planets different from Earth, with many completely covered in water that is deep.

Life needs an extended period of time and constant heat and light levels, which require a stable star. Earth is our go-to model how a habitable planet could look like. Along with its history, Earth has cooled down by converting greenhouse gases into minerals.  When the temperature needs to go up, volcanoes released heat into the world. It is obvious that a water-covered planet volcano is deep underwater.

By using a simulation, scientists tried to find out if the planets could warm differently. The evolution of thousands of planets was observed under a billion years, offering surprising results. Around 10% of the planets remained stable as time passed. They were perfectly positioned, and by having enough carbon, they were able to maintain the proper temperatures

The right balance dioxide is crucial to the evolution of habitable planet. This is influenced by the how it spread between the atmosphere, ocean and rocks. It is theorized that a planet could remain viable, even if it lacks the cycling phenomenon we have here on Earth.

The simulations also included planets that were near a red dwarf, thought to be the most promising candidates for the birth of life. The study is available in the peer-reviewed journal Astrophysical Journal.

Patrick Supernaw

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