Habitable planets more abundant than stars: studyApril 30th, 2012 - 12:55 pm ICT by IANS
Sydney, April 30 (IANS) Determining the habitability of rocky, earth-like planets will be crucial for us as a species, but the good news is that they are probably more abundant than stars, says a new study.
“Determining whether these planets are habitable has become the new holy grail of astronomy,” said planetary scientist Charley Lineweaver, from the Planetary Science Institute, Australian National University, who led the study.
“The new-found abundance of planets, combined with the much larger range of inhabited terrestrial environments suggests that habitable planets are common. This increases the probability of finding some kind of extraterrestrial life,” said Lineweaver, the Annual Reviews of Earth and Planetary Sciences reports.
Fellow researcher and doctoral student Aditya Chopra said our best estimates of habitability come from the planet we know best: Earth, according to a statement of Planetary Science Institute.
“By comparing the inhabited and uninhabited regions of Earth, we can identify the most important factors that determine habitability. For terrestrial life, those factors are liquid water, a narrow range of temperature, and an energy source,” he said.
Lineweaver added: “Planetary habitability is a complex and confusing concept that we are only beginning to get our heads around, but as a species that wants to survive, it is in our interest to get our heads around it soon.”
- Water in Mars regions may have rudimentary life - Dec 13, 2011
- Erratic orbits of neighbouring planets may make life sustenance difficult - May 25, 2010
- Chances of life on newly discovered Earth-like planet '100pc' - Sep 30, 2010
- Most habitable Earth-like planet discovered - Sep 30, 2010
- NASA to launch moon mission in September - Aug 26, 2011
- NASA discovery suggests aliens exist - even on Earth - Dec 02, 2010
- Universe heading towards "heat death", say scientists - Jan 25, 2010
- Astronomer finds planetary system larger than our own - Apr 13, 2012
- Report enlists top priority research activities for astronomy and astrophysics - Aug 14, 2010
- Nasa space telescope spots odd new solar system - Feb 03, 2011
- 'Watery, rocky planets are commonplace in the Milky Way' - Apr 13, 2010
- Scientists to spot alien oceans with next generation of telescopes - Sep 10, 2010
- Scientists discover first Earth-Size planets outside the Milky Way - Dec 21, 2011
- Web users locate two new potential planets - Sep 22, 2011
- Earth-size planets 'prevalent' in our Milky Way galaxy - Oct 29, 2010
Tags: abundance, astronomy, charley lineweaver, doctoral student, energy source, estimates, extraterrestrial life, fellow researcher, habitability, habitable planets, holy grail, important factors, liquid water, planetary science institute, planetary sciences, planetary scientist, probability, terrestrial environments, terrestrial life, uninhabited regions