Astrobiologists at Washington State University have discovered several dozen planets with better living conditions than on Earth. The research results are presented in an article published in the journal Astrobiology.
Scientists have detailed the characteristics of super-habitable planets that are older, slightly larger, warmer, and more humid than Earth. They revolve around stars that are not very active and have a longer lifespan than the Sun. All candidate planets that satisfy at least one condition are more than a hundred light-years away, but future observations with the James Webb Space Telescope, which will be launched in the fall of 2021, will help confirm their status.
To search for suitable exoplanets, the researchers limited their search to systems with Earth-like planets located within the habitable zone of their stars, where liquid water could exist. The stars themselves belonged to cold G and K stars, which are not as hot as the Sun, less massive and less bright. The lifespan of K stars reaches 20-70 billion years. At the same time, the planets cannot be too old, otherwise, they will not be able to maintain conditions for living organisms due to the lack of geological activity and protective geomagnetic fields. According to researchers, the optimal age is 5-8 billion years.
Those planets that are 10 percent larger than Earth should be more habitable. In their bowels, radioactive decay takes longer, so they retain internal heat for a longer time. They also have stronger gravity, which means they hold the atmosphere longer.
Among 24 candidates, scientists have identified a planet that has four of the criteria specified by astrobiologists, which, perhaps, makes it more comfortable for the existence of life than Earth.