We’ve known for some time that there are planets way out there beyond our solar system, and that at least a few of them are in what’s called the habitable zone.
That means they’re believed to be orbiting their stars in a spot that’s would support liquid water, something that’s essential to life as we know it.
These planets have been nicknamed “Goldilocks planets,” as in they’re not too hot, and not too cold. They’re just right.
But some of these planets may be really, really just right.
A new study out of Washington State University looks at two dozen planets that aren’t just habitable, they may be super-habitable – as in, they may be more appropriate for life than Earth is!
These planets appear to have conditions that might be a bit warmer and wetter than what’s on our planet.
Which makes sense. After all, the most biologically diverse places on Earth are places with more heat and humidity, like tropical rain forests.
Slightly larger or more massive planets may also be a little more amenable to living creatures.
And orbiting stars with longer lifespans is also useful: the study finds that some planets that could develop complex life don’t get the chance if they orbit stars similar to the sun, because many of those stars actually run out of fuel first.
If this is making any of my fellow Earthlings insecure about our planet, I’ll just say again that this is all theoretical, and besides, why bang our heads against the wall trying to measure up to some exoplanet anyway?
Our planet is a pretty good planet. Very habitable in so many ways. Best planet I’ve ever lived on for sure.
Our neighbor planets don’t appear to be habitable, but that hasn’t stopped people from trying to make them so.
There has been talk for years about terraforming Mars, finding a way to rework its landscape and make it habitable.
Thanks to Mike in Illinois, who sent us a link to a project by a student in Nepal, Aaditya Raj Bhattarai, who made a map of what the Red Planet would look like with 71 percent of its surface covered with water, like Earth.
It looks like a whole new planet.
But that’s kind of the idea behind terraforming, isn’t it?
Some planets may be better for life than Earth (Washington State University)