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Is There Life In The Universe Outside Of Earth?

  • Sunday, 18 Sep, 2022
  • 5942
Do Aliens Exist

Exoplanets that orbit red dwarf stars, the most common and long-lived stars in the galaxy, have been discovered to have a third kind of exoplanet, one that is rich in water. This is a monumental breakthrough, since it finally allows the habitability of other planets to be confirmed scientifically, as reported in Popular Science.

What are exoplanets?

A planet that orbits a star beyond our solar system is called an exoplanet, according to the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).

With the help of the Kepler Space Telescope, NASA was able to determine that there are more planets than stars in the Milky Way. Some of these planets have the same chemical makeup as the planets in our solar system, but they don't all circle the same stars. Some exoplanets are free-floating, and instead orbit the galactic core.

NASA believes that some of these worlds may also contain an abundance of water or ice in addition to iron or carbon.

What are the two category of planets?

Since ancient times, astronomers have used planetary radii to classify planets as either stony (with a smaller radius) or gaseous (with a greater diameter).

The Earth has water, but since it barely makes up 0.02 percent of its mass, it is classified as a rocky planet.

The radiation from the star the planets orbit is thought to have a different impact on each planet's atmosphere, leading to different rates of erosion.

Planets with a stony surface have very little atmosphere, leaving them mostly bare. The thick, puffy atmospheres that gaseous stars could maintain led to their enormous sizes.

What is the new finding?

In contrast, a recent study published in Science on September 8 classifies planets not by their radii but by their densities, creating a third group of "water-rich" worlds. 

According to the paper, we can't relate to these exoplanets in any way since our solar system lacks anything like them. The discovery has scientists excited about the possibility of life beyond our planet. Having access to water is necessary for survival but not sufficient for supporting human settlement.

According to the research, there is water on the planet, but it does not exist in the same form that we are used to on Earth. Based on the sample, it seems that the water is either bound up with magma or trapped under the surface.

Using the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST), the optimistic researchers hope to learn more about these exoplanets and the potential of life elsewhere in the universe.

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