Study suggests that our galaxy has millions of planets that might support life: Study | Business Upturn

Study suggests that our galaxy has millions of planets that might support life: Study

Planets circling “M dwarf stars” would have to get quite near to their stars to absorb enough heat to be habitable due to the stars’ tiny size, low luminosity, and extreme cold.

In the region of the Milky Way in which it resides, the sun, which is quite known to us, is an extremely rare occurrence. The vast majority of the stars in the galaxy have a mass that is little more than half that of the Sun at most, and they are also much less massive. These dwarf stars in our galaxy each have a billion planets circling around them, and as it turns out, roughly one-third of those planets might be in a zone where it is conceivable for there to be life on them.

Because “M dwarf stars” are much smaller, considerably dimmer, and significantly colder than other types of stars, the planets that orbit around them would have to be quite close to one another in order to absorb enough heat to be habitable. This would imply that they are more prone to being damaged by very strong tidal pressures.

In a recent research that was published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, which is subject to peer review, astronomers revealed that two-thirds of the planets that orbit those tiny stars had the potential to be “roasted” by tidal extremes, which would basically sterilize them.

However, what this indicates is that one-third of the planets may be located at a distance from their stars that is low enough and their gravitational pull is weak enough to for the existence of liquid water, which is necessary for life as we know it.

“I believe that this discovery is going to be incredibly significant for the next decade of study into exoplanets since attention is starting to move towards this group of stars. In a press release, the author Sheila Sagear described these stars as “excellent targets to look for small planets in an orbit where it’s conceivable that water might be liquid and, therefore, the planet might be habitable.”

According to the findings of the researchers, stars that are made up of several planets are more likely to have the type of circular orbit that would enable them to keep liquid water on their surfaces. Additionally, the planets that were the sole ones circling the star were the most likely to suffer tidal extremes that would sterilize the surface of the planet.

The researchers believe that the Milky Way likely contains hundreds of millions of planets that could be promising targets to search for signs of life outside of our solar system. This is due to the fact that one-third of the planets in the sample selected by the researchers had orbits that were gentle enough to potentially host liquid water.