Milky Way Galaxy and signs of life and water: See what this study found


A third of the planets orbiting the most common stars in the Milky Way Galaxy may contain liquid water and possibly harbor life, according to a study based on the latest telescope data. Most of the normal stars in our galaxy are small and relatively cool. They sport at most half the mass of the Sun. Billions of planets orbit these common dwarf stars.

Up to two-thirds of the planets around these ubiquitous small stars could be starved by tidal extremes, rendering them sterile, shows the analysis that was published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

“I think this result is really important for the next decade of exoplanet research, because eyes are turning to this population of stars,” said Sheela Sagir, a doctoral student at the University of Florida (UF) in the US. He added, “These stars are excellent targets for looking for small planets in orbits where it is hypothesized that water could be liquid and therefore the planet could be habitable.”

“It’s only for these small stars that the habitable zone is close enough for these tidal forces to be relevant,” says Sarah Ballard, UF astronomy professor.

The researchers used data from NASA’s Kepler telescope. It receives information about exoplanets as they move in front of their host stars, PTI said.

The research team found that stars with many planets were most likely to have the kind of circular orbits that allow them to harbor liquid water.

According to the researchers, stars with only one planet were most likely to see tidal extremes that would sterilize the surface. He explained, “Since one-third of the planets in this small sample had close enough orbits to potentially host liquid water, this means the Milky Way has hundreds of millions of promising planets to probe for signs of life outside our solar system.” There are goals.”


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