Three newly found Earth-sized planets located beyond our solar system are very likely to support alien life, experts claim.
Scientists believe that the three exoplanets, which were discovered 40 light-years away around an ultra-cold dwarf star, could expand the search for extraterrestrial life since dwarf stars with habitable areas are much more frequent in our galaxy than their sun-like counterparts.
Yet, experts caution that we should not get too enthusiastic about the new finding since the newfound Earth-like rocky worlds exist in very different conditions than the Earth. Plus, scientists need to conduct more research on the new worlds before drawing final conclusions.
Researchers have detected the small planetary system with help from the Chile-based Transiting Planets and Planetesimals Small Telescope (TRAPPIST). This tool is currently analyzing about five dozen dwarf stars and their nearby planets in search for other habitable worlds.
The three stars orbit a cold dwarf star dubbed TRAPPIST-1 that is slightly larger than Jupiter, but it is so cool that the light it emits is mostly in the infrared spectrum. Scientists explained that any alien civilizations on the three planets would live in a very different environment than our own.
Researchers said that on our home planet planets appear green to the human eye due to the pigments they contain which absorb blue and red light from the sun. But on the newly found exoplanets, the vegetation would look black to our eyes since there is no visible light. So, don’t expect a lush green world, experts noted.
Belgian astronomer Michaël Gillon of University of Liège noted that for animals with infrared vision the alien plants would have some colors, and “look nicer.”
As a follow-up, the team of astronomers that made the discovery plans to further study the Earth-like planets to discover the specific characteristics of each world.
Scientists recently learned that two of the alien worlds, TRAPPIST-1b and TRAPPIST-1c, may be too close to their host star to harbor life. Astronomers know that a habitable planet should not be too close to its star so its surface water doesn’t evaporate.
In the meantime, the team learned that TRAPPIST-1b needs just 1.5 days to complete a journey around its host star while TRAPPIST-1c needs 2.4 days. Because they are so close to the star, they probably have one side eternally facing the star. This means that those sides may be too hot to hold liquid water on their surfaces while the sides perpetually left in the dark may be too cold for that purpose.
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