© Complex Media, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Furthermore, none of the 24 planets described in the study have met all of the criteria identified by the researchers. [1][65] Plantlife would also cover more of the surface of the planet, which would be visible from space. Scientists discover 24 'superhabitable' planets with conditions that are better for life than Earth. [61] Later, in 2012, the Kepler telescope's observations allowed experts to find out that this relationship is much more restrictive in systems with Hot Jupiters, and that terrestrial planets could form in stars of much lower metallicity, to some extent. The planet is nearly twice as large as Earth and sits about 3,000 light-years away. A superhabitable planet is a type of exoplanet or exomoon that may be better suited than Earth for the emergence and evolution of life. [68] It is estimated that about 9% of stars in the Milky Way are K-type stars. [11] However, excessive mass can also slow plate tectonics because of increased pressure and viscosity of the mantle, which hinders the sliding of the lithosphere. "We have to focus on certain planets that have the most promising conditions for complex life. A recent paper is the latest in the dialogue about what makes a planet habitable. [10] It is therefore likely that they have a denser atmosphere that will offer greater concentration of oxygen and greenhouse gases, which in turn raise the average temperature to optimum levels for plant life to about 25 °C (77 °F). [67], In September 2020, astronomers identified 24 superhabitable planet contenders, from among more than 4000 confirmed exoplanets at present, based on astrophysical parameters, as well as the natural history of known life forms on the Earth. Because the tropical regions of Earth are the most teeming with life, the researchers allowed hotter and more humid planets into the discussion. [25][27] More massive exoplanets would tend to have a regular surface gravity, which can mean shallower—and more hospitable—ocean basins. Heller and Armstrong also point out that not all rocky planets in a habitable zone (HZ) may be habitable, and that tidal heating can render terrestrial or icy worlds habitable beyond the stellar HZ, such as in Europa's internal ocean.[4][n. To be able to claim 'super habitable' status a planet has to meet certain criteria: In orbit around a … According to these authors, such superhabitable worlds would likely be larger, warmer, and older than Earth, and orbiting K-type main-sequence stars. The scientists behind the study scoured through a database of possible exoplanets, expanding their search criteria outside of the typical range for Earth-like objects. The term "super-Earth" refers only to the mass of the planet, and so does not imply anything about the surface conditions or habitability. In addition, it would have a greater gravitational attraction that would increase retention of gases during the planet's formation. [25] From a geological perspective, the optimal mass of a planet is about 2 M⊕, so it must have a radius that keeps the density of the Earth among 1.2 and 1.3R⊕. [32], Another feature favorable to life is a planet's potential to develop a strong magnetosphere to protect its surface and atmosphere from cosmic radiation and stellar winds, especially around red dwarf stars. Super-Earths – a class of planets unlike any in our solar system – are more massive than Earth yet lighter than ice giants like Neptune and Uranus, and can be made of gas, rock or a combination of both. [10] for size, it is required to be about 2 Earth masses, and 1.3 Earth radii will provide an optimal size for plate tectonics. They were operating on the idea that certain planets could slip by us if Earth is taken as the gold standard. [69], Another point favoring the predominance of superhabitable planets in regard to Earth analogs is that, unlike the latter, most of the requirements of a superhabitable world can occur spontaneously and jointly simply by having a higher mass. Superhabitable Planets Astronomers have attempted to identify exoplanets likely to support life though their efforts have generated scant results so far. [12], By contrast, Earth-mass planets may have a wider range of conditions. A superhabitable planet is a world more habitable than Earth for humans. [72], Researchers have identified 24 planets that are "superhabitable", i.e. In their new study published in Astrobiology, the team of scientists claims to have discovered 24 "super-habitable" planets. For example, some may sustain active tectonics for a shorter time period and will therefore end up with lower air density than Earth, increasing the probability of developing global ice coverage, or even a permanent Snowball Earth scenario. A super-Earth is an extrasolar planet with a mass higher than Earth's, but substantially below those of the Solar System's ice giants, Uranus and Neptune, which are 14.5 and 17 times Earth's, respectively. "Habitable Zone Distance (HZD): A habitability metric for exoplanets", "Super-Habitable World May Exist Near Earth", "Faraway Planets May Be Far Better for Life", "New Instrument Reveals Recipe for Other Earths", "What Makes an Earth-Like Planet? It is therefore likely that they have a denser atmosphere that will offer greater concentration of oxygen and greenhouse gases, which in turn rai… [35] If the atmosphere contains enough oxygen, the conditions of these planets may be bearable to humans even without the protection of a space suit, provided that the atmosphere does not contain excessive toxic gases, but they would need to develop adaptations to the increased gravity, such as an increase in muscle and bone density. that offer conditions more suitable for life than Earth does. One planet in particular stood out among the 24 super-habitable planets. After updating the database of exoplanets on 23 July 2015, the one that comes closest is Kepler-442b, belonging to an orange dwarf star, with a radius of 1.34R⊕ and a mass of 2.36M⊕, but with an estimated surface temperature of 4 °C (39 °F).[62][63]. The study makes the case that our own Earth-centric view of what planets can foster life has blinkered us to places that could go above and beyond Gaia. ", It Rains Molten Iron on This Faraway Exoplanet, NASA Begins Search for New Exoplanets With Launch of TESS, 50 New Planets Identified by Breakthrough AI That Looked Through Old Nasa Data. Also, the atmospheric density should be higher in more massive planets, which reinforces the hypothesis that super-Earths can provide superhabitable conditions. [12][13] A denser atmosphere may also influence the surface relief, making it more regular and decreasing the size of the ocean basins, which would improve diversity of marine life in shallow waters. The parts of Earth that aren't on fire are sinking into the ocean. Schulze-Makuch said, “It’s sometimes difficult to convey this principle of superhabitable planets because we think we have the best planet. [15][50] K-type stars allow the formation of planets around them, have a long life expectancy, and provide a stable habitable zone free of the effects of excessive proximity to its star. The researchers created a set of criteria for planets to qualify as potentially superhabitable. Temperature: average surface temperature of about 25 °C (77 °F). [15], Experts have not reached a consensus about what the optimal rotation speed for an exoplanet is, but it can't be too fast or slow. [citation needed], An exoplanet with a larger volume than that of Earth, or with a more complex terrain, or with a larger surface covered with liquid water, could be more hospitable for life than Earth. Upload media Wikipedia: Subclass of: extrasolar planet: Different from: super-Earth; Authority control Q20149294. [17] Since the volume of a planet tends to be directly related to its mass, the more massive it is, the greater its gravitational pull, which can result in a denser atmosphere. Latest news Discovery Alert: The Rhythmic Dance of a 5-planet System. That is, planets that might be even more conducive to creating life than our own world. [71] In any case, the multitude of scenarios that can turn an Earth-mass planet located in the habitable zone of a solar analogue into an inhospitable place are less likely on a planet that meets the basic features of a superhabitable world, so that the latter should be more common. Though the study notes that many of the 24 objects might be false positives, and bemoans the lack of methods to test some of their habitability hypothesis reliably, Schulze-Makuch believes the study will be a good reference point when more advanced space telescope become operational. [38][39] Therefore, superhabitable exoplanets must be warmer than Earth, yet orbit further out than Earth does and closer to the center of the system's habitable zone. As the peak wavelength of light differs for K-type stars compared to the Sun, plants may be a different colour than the green vegetation present on Earth. [73][74][75], Hypothetical type of planet that may be better-suited for life than Earth is. This page was last edited on 6 January 2021, at 13:58. [26], The average depth of the oceans also affects the habitability of a planet. [35] The thermoregulatory effect of large oceans on exoplanets located in a habitable zone may maintain a moderate temperature range. 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