Science/Tech

Alien Life Search 2019: Are There Habitable Planets Aside From Earth?

Believe it or not, we are surrounded by alien worlds. Of course, it’s not the type you see in science fiction films where these “alien” worlds are teeming with advanced extraterrestrial life (we’re still holding out for that one) that uses space travel to go around.

But the jury is still out. There are indeed alien worlds surrounding us in nearby star systems. They’re abound, Earth-like ones with unusual names like Ross-128b, Proxima b and LHS-1140b.

Of course, when you say Earth-like planet, the first question that immediately follows is: “Is it habitable?” Well, unless you can survive intense solar radiation (the cosmic equivalent of hellfire), then yes, they’re pretty much your average goldilocks zone planet, because that’s the one thing they all have in common.

That’s because these nearby planets orbit M-dwarf stars, which subject them to brutal solar flare activity, causing scientists to believe that their biospheres are already extinguished.

However, astronomers from Cornell University are not so quick to give up. They even made a new study that says there’s still hope for life in these UV radiation-bathed alien lands.

And to find that hope, we need to turn to the one habitable planet we have: ours.

That’s because Earth, for all of its win against other planets in habitability contests, wasn’t always very, well, habitable.

“The history of life on Earth provides us with a wealth of information about how biology can overcome the challenges of environments we would think of as hostile,” astronomer and researcher Jack O’Malley-James said.

Together with Lisa Kaltenegger, his fellow researcher, O’Malley-James compared the amount of UV flux these current ones have to that of the Earth from 3.9 billion years ago. The researchers then found out that ancient Earth actually has more UV flux than these ones today, meaning that they’re more habitable than our Earth from a very long time ago.

This pushes scientists to think that maybe, just maybe, these exoplanets are fast getting on with it, and that one day, not soon but one day, they may become just as habitable as ours.

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