Is the earth the most interesting planet
astronomy Better than Earth: 24 life-friendly exoplanets
A planet that is even better than the earth? That is quite possible, believes Dirk Schulze-Makuch, who works at Washington State University in the USA. Together with René Heller from the Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research in Göttingen and Edward Guinan from Villanova University in Pennsylvania, USA, he analyzed data from the more than 4,500 known planets outside the solar system in search of so-called super-habitable worlds. The team identified 24 such planets and presented them in the journal “Astrobiologie”.
Stars: K dwarfs are at least twice that of the Sun
Super habitable does not mean that there is actually life there. But for all that we know about the conditions of life on earth, these worlds meet the necessary criteria for this.
The scientists initially concentrated on planets that orbit their stars in what is known as the habitable zone. This is the distance at which temperatures on the surface of a planet allow water in liquid form. In addition, they should be rock planets such as Earth, Mars, Venus or Mercury.
However, the team believes that the conditions for life could be even better than on earth. For example, its central star could be more stable and exist longer than the sun, which has a comparatively short life span of 10 billion years. Life on earth took four billion years to develop. Many G-stars like the sun could therefore run out of fuel before a planet has produced life. The researchers therefore looked in the data for cooler G stars and so-called K dwarfs, which are slightly cooler, less massive and slightly darker than the sun, but live between 20 and 70 billion years.
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