Even though Earth is the only known planet that has sentient life, astronomers found that there are two dozens exoplanets that could host better conditions for life compared to our homeworld.
A team that’s led by the Washington State University found 24 superhabitable planets – these are out of more than 4,500 known exoplanets that could be viable candidates for life.
The Daily Mail notes that they are older, larger, wetter, and a bit warmer than the Earth – all these factors, when taken together with a cooler and longer-living star, create better conditions for complex life, according to the team’s explanations.
It’s also important to mention the fact that there is no single planet that meets all the criteria for superhabitability, but overall they all score higher compared to our home planet.
The worlds are more than 100 light-years away
These worlds are all more than 100 light-years away – this means that they are obviously too far away for us to visit then.
Researchers said that this discovery could help in the search for life in the Universe.
“Lead author Dirk Schulze-Makuch says it is important to focus space telescope time on likely candidates, and these have the most promising conditions for complex life,” the Daily Mail notes.
The online publication also made sure to note the fact that just because the team says the planets are meeting the conditions for ‘superhabitability,’ this does not necessarily mean that they are actually habitable. Experts did not get a chance to check out these planets’ atmospheres – this will only be available in the upcoming years.
With the next space telescopes coming up, we will get more information, so it is important to select some targets,’ said Schulze-Makuch.
He continued and said: ‘We have to focus on certain planets that have the most promising conditions for complex life. However, we have to be careful not to get stuck looking for a second Earth because there could be planets that might be more suitable for life than ours.’