Could Kepler-186f be a habitable, Earth-like world ? Image Credit: NASA
An extrasolar world 500 light years away could be the most promising place yet to look for alien life.
In a recent study, researchers from the Georgia Institute of Technology used computer simulations to analyze the planet's spin-axis dynamics and to determine how much its tilt changes over time.
The findings indicated that Kepler-186f's tilt is actually stable like that of the Earth, meaning that it has seasons and climates, just like our own planet does.
Discovered back in 2014, this intriguing extrasolar world is also situated in its star's habitable zone, meaning that the temperature is 'just right' for liquid water to pool on its surface.
As a possible place to look for alien life, it is certainly a tantalizing target for future observations.
"Our study is among the first to investigate climate stability of exoplanets and adds to the growing understanding of these potentially habitable nearby worlds," said study leader Gongjie Li.
"I don't think we understand enough about the origin of life to rule out the possibility of their presence on planets with irregular seasons," co-author Yutong Shan added. "Even on Earth, life is remarkably diverse and has shown incredible resilience in extraordinarily hostile environments."
"But a climatically stable planet might be a more comfortable place to start."
Source: Russia Today | Comments (8)