Alien Life Could Exist Beneath the Frozen Surfaces of Planets

Alien Life Could Exist Beneath the Frozen Surfaces of Planets
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No living organism from Earth would be able to survive without liquid water. This makes it safe to assume that if alien life exists somewhere else out there in space, it must rely on the same basic principle. 

Planets covered by ice don’t represent something completely unusual. There are two even in our own Solar System: Uranus and Neptune. But what if that ice of some frozen planets harbors an entire ocean of liquid water? There you have one huge indication that alien life could also be dwelling in such vast amounts of water.

Aliens could exist on planets that are not in the “Goldilocks Zone”

When astronomers search for planets that have the potential to harbor life, they usually check if those cosmic objects are located in the “Goldilocks Zone” of their solar systems – where it’s neither too hot nor too cold for liquid water to form. But new research comes to inform us that it’s not mandatory for life-supporting planets to exist in what is considered the right area of their solar systems.

The new study in question claims that water can still exist for a long time, even on planets that are too far away from their host stars. That water might form due to some level of heat, and it could exist beneath the icy surface or even be trapped between layers of ice. 

The new research was published in Nature, and one statement writes:

The primary goal of this paper is to demonstrate the relative ease by which basal melting may be attainable on M-dwarf orbiting exo-Earths,

… if even a handful of potentially habitable exo-Earths discovered so far (or in the future) were to contain thick (>few km) hydrospheres, then liquid water via basal melting may be present on those bodies with relatively modest heat flow.

There are roughly 5,000 exoplanets discovered so far, and there are most probably trillions more out there in space. Therefore, astronomers will always have where to look for water or traces of extraterrestrial life.

 


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Cristian Antonescu

Even since he was a child, Cristian was staring curiously at the stars, wondering about the Universe and our place in it. Today he's seeing his dream come true by writing about the latest news in astronomy. Cristian is also glad to be covering health and other science topics, having significant experience in writing about such fields.

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