A new study argues that icy planets, which were once deemed to be too cold to sustain life, could feature habitable zones which could support alien life in some cases, a theory which has already sparked a large number of debates in the scientific community.
For a long, while it was thought that snowball planets, which are similar to Earth but have oceans which are frozen up to the equator, have a climate which is to harsh to sustain life as the intense cold would vanquish it.
The team of researchers which elaborated the study notes that the snowball planets could have areas of lands in the proximity of the equator which could offer reasonable temperatures. A planet which can sustain life should be located in the habitable zone of its star, a golden space which increases the chances for the formation of liquid water and an adequate climate, in the vein of the conditions found on Earth.
Icy Planets Could Sustain Alien Life, A New Study Concluded
In some cases, these planets tend to become frozen, a trait which grants them the status of snowball planets. It is thought that Earth has passed through snowball stages in the past, and marine creatures managed to endure, even in extreme cold. Earth was habitable during the snowball periods since life surfaced on the planet before the events took place and managed to persevere after them. At that point, life could be found in oceans, and there were no living beings on the land.
During the study, the scientists used an advanced computer program to run a variety of climate simulations, each with its specific conditions. By exploring the effects of several variables in the case of reference snowball planets, they managed to learn new data about them, a feat which could play an essential role in the future.
While the snowball phase tends to be temporary, some icy planets would remain stuck in some cases. The paper on icy planets that could sustain alien life was published in a scientific journal.