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Some stars could host seven habitable planets

Posted on Sunday, 2 August, 2020 | Comment icon 5 comments

Some solar systems could have multiple Earth-like worlds. Image Credit: CC BY-SA 3.0 Luciano Mendez
Other stars may be able to host more than our own solar system's solitary habitable world, a new study suggests.
As things stand, the Earth is the only known example of a habitable world in the entire universe - even the other planets in our solar system, as far as we know, do not (or no longer) harbor life.

This begs the question - do solar systems with more than one habitable world actually exist ?

As it happens, the answer is very much 'yes' - the relatively nearby planetary system Trappist-1, for instance, is known to be home to at least three habitable worlds and now scientists believe that it is possible for a star to support even more under the right circumstances.
By creating a model to simulate planets of different sizes in orbit around a star, a team lead by astrobiologist Stephen Kane from UC Riverside was able to calculate that a star like the Sun could potentially support up to six habitable worlds, while larger stars could support seven.

The researchers also determined that the reason our solar system only has one habitable world is because the planets' orbits aren't circular enough and Jupiter is hogging up a lot of the space.

"It has a big effect on the habitability of our solar system because it's massive and disturbs other orbits," said Kane.

It is hoped that the team's findings will help astronomers to target stars with a greater chance of supporting multiple habitable worlds, thus increasing the chances of finding extraterrestrial life.

Source: Independent | Comments (5)

Tags: Extrasolar, Planet

Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #1 Posted by Hazzard on 2 August, 2020, 16:15
Imagine if our system had at least one or two more habitable worlds. 
Comment icon #2 Posted by Piney on 2 August, 2020, 16:52
We would of if Venus had a big moon. 
Comment icon #3 Posted by jethrofloyd on 2 August, 2020, 17:07
And still no aliens nowhere in sight?
Comment icon #4 Posted by Essan on 2 August, 2020, 19:31
I think moons of gas giants are far more likely to have life on them. Double planetary systems, within the goldilock's zone, necessary to create the stable conditions for life to not only evolve but thrive, appear to be rare.  We know of only one ....   Whether less stable, single, planets within the zone could be habitable for a short period of time - a few millions years - for humans, should we reach them, is a separate matter.  Maybe so.
Comment icon #5 Posted by Hazzard on 2 August, 2020, 19:38
Im pretty sure they are out there somewhere, even intelligent ones, but space is so unimaginable vast so we may never know of them, or them of us.

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