60 Billion Planets May be Capable of Supporting Alien Life
The astonishing conclusion of a new study by University of Chicago and Northwestern University researchers is that there may be as many as 60 billion planets capable of supporting alien life just in the Milky Way galaxy alone! The premise of this new study is that a habitable zone of a planet is in the zone around a star where it can sustain liquid water. If the planet is too far away from the star then the water freezes and vice versa if too far away then the water boils. The gases which make up a planet’s atmosphere are also a significant factor as well though, as these gases trap heat. If quantity of these gases increases it leads to the so-called ‘greenhouse effect’ leading to a planet heating up which most scientists say is happening to Earth. In the past searches for habitable life on other planets did not take into account the effect of cloud cover and atmosphere, but this new study includes simulations on how cloud cover stabilizes the weather on planets circling red-dwarf stars. Through this new methodology it has been discovered that there are many more potentially habitable planets. As a result of this a previous NASA estimate of the number of planets capable of supporting alien life in the Milky Way solar system has been doubled to the 60 billion planet estimate they now have. Are you excited about the prospect of alien life?