Astronomers continue to find super-Earths throughout the universe. A group working on NASA’s Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite recently discovered some exciting planets orbiting the star’s habitable zone. And now they say that many of these habitable planets could be more life-supporting than Earth.
One of the discovered planets is about 30% larger than Earth and orbits its star in three days, according to reports from The conversation. The second planet they discovered is about 70% larger than Earth and they think it could harbor a deep ocean. If these beliefs are true, then both habitable planets could be more habitable than Earth.
The basis of this belief is what astronomers call the habitable zone of a star. The habitable zone is essentially a small space around the star where liquid water can exist. And, since all life on Earth depends on water, habitable planets are closer to the center of their star’s habitable zone.
But the existence of water is not the only important thing. Scientists also examine how habitable planets are by their surface temperatures. An average of 77 degrees Celsius allows life on the seabed to thrive. Thus, super-Earths can and do offer more super-habitable environments than Earth. And scientists say there could be tens of billions of super-Earths like this in the Milky Way alone.
So finding these two habitable planets like this outside the Milky Way is exciting and could mean a lot to astronomers in the future. For starters, if we turn our search to those planets in the Milky Way, we may discover super-Earths that are more life-friendly than Earth. This, of course, does not mean that we will soon be migrating planets.
But it opens up a lot of possibilities for the future, especially with NASA and other space agencies planning manned missions to Mars and other planets in our solar system.