As curious as it is when we were kids, we always tend to look up in the sky then wonder if there’s a life other than us? Aliens as we call them and we’ve only braced our imagination through the movies, still, questions never answered.
The National Aeronautics and Space Administration or NASA keeps on looking at every angle in the universe in search for life.
Then year 2015, came a great discovery… They are calling it The Exoplanets.
NASA's Kepler space telescope celebrated its 1,000th exoplanet discovery earlier this month, an impressive milestone in the search for life on other worlds.
Just for a quick glance on what Exoplanet is, according to Wiki, an exoplanet or extrasolar planet is a planet that orbits a star other than the Sun, a stellar remnant, or a brown dwarf. Nearly 2000 exoplanets have been discovered (1931 planets in 1221 planetary systems including 484 multiple planetary systems as of 6 July 2015). There are also rogue planets, which do not orbit any star and which tend to be considered separately, especially if they are gas giants, in which case they are often counted, like WISE 0855−0714, as sub-brown dwarfs.
The discovery of exoplanets has intensified interest in the search for extraterrestrial life, particularly for those that orbit in the host star's habitable zone where it is possible for liquid water (and therefore life) to exist on the surface. The study of planetary habitability also considers a wide range of other factors in determining the suitability of a planet for hosting life.
Any being can’t live without water. It’s essential for life. Now astronomers are homing in on those exoplanets that may have liquid water, which is thought to be essential for supporting life. And according to new research, so-called "super-Earths" may host vast oceans that last for billions of years.
A super-Earth is an extrasolar planet whose mass is greater than Earth's but smaller than that of gas giants like Neptune and Uranus.
Earth's mantle holds vast amounts of water, which returns to the surface through volcanism. Since this "recycling" process is crucial for maintaining our planet's oceans, researchers from the Harvard-Smithsonian Center For Astronomy (CfA) wondered if a similar process might occur on super-Earths.
To find out how long it would take oceans to form on various super-Earths, the researchers used computer simulations on them, and whether the oceans could be sustained.
Did they find anything? Super-Earths between two and four times Earth's mass seem to be even better than Earth at establishing and maintaining oceans. In fact, the research suggested that the water on these planets could last for at least 10 billion years. Imagine that!
According to Laura Schaefer, the finding may give astronomers one more thing to consider when figuring out which exoplanets are likeliest to harbor extraterrestrial life. Laura Schaefer is a CfA graduate student and the leader of the research effort.
"When people consider whether a planet is in the habitable zone, they think about its distance from the star and its temperature," Schaefer said at a press conference. "However, they should also think about oceans, and look at super-Earths to find a good sailing or surfing destination."
The findings were presented in Seattle Jan. 8 at the annual meeting of the American Astronomical Society.
Yes we have discovered that there’s water on Exoplanets, we even discovered water on some moons.
The question remains though, is there really life out there? Or we simply can live there sometime…