Water is considered an important ingredient for life. Image Credit: CC BY-SA 2.0 Harald Hoyer
A new study has concluded that an exoplanet requires a liquid water ocean in order to sustain life.
While Earth's oceans have long been recognized as a vital ingredient in the development of life on our own planet, scientists have long pondered over whether or not a liquid ocean is a necessity in order to sustain life elsewhere in the universe.
"We know that many planets are completely uninhabitable because they are either too close or too far from their sun," said David Stevens of the University of East Anglia.
"A planetís habitable zone is based on its distance from the sun and temperatures at which it is possible for the planet to have liquid water."
In a recent study Stevens and his team determined that the presence of an ocean not only provides the correct temperatures and environment for life to develop but can also help to regulate a planet's climate for long term stability as well.
"Oceans have an immense capacity to control climate," said Stevens. "They are beneficial because they cause the surface temperature to respond very slowly to seasonal changes in solar heating. And they help ensure that temperature swings across a planet are kept to tolerable levels."
Source: Discovery News | Comments (21)
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