Home ScienceSpace Researchers Suggest that Some “Tatooine” Alien Planets May be Able to Sustain Life

Researchers Suggest that Some “Tatooine” Alien Planets May be Able to Sustain Life

Image: NASA

Questions regarding life in other planets have baffled scientists for a long period of time and recently a new study has suggested that life on an alien planet with two suns is indeed possible.

Recently, two scientists have mentioned that life in such planet could exist regardless of complex orbit given that the planet stays within particular range of distances form two host starts. Talking about the phenomena, Max Popp, an associate researcher at Princeton University said, “This means that double-star systems of the type studied here are excellent candidates to host habitable planets, despite the large variations in the amount of starlight hypothetical planets in such a system would receive.”

Given that it is already difficult to pinpoint the habitable zone for single-star planet, it gets more difficult when it comes to a planet that orbits around two stars. However, such planet’s habitable zone depend on the corresponding stars’ center of mass rather than one particular star.

In order to understand how it works, Max Popp and Siegfried Eggl modeled conditions on a hypothetical Earth-size planet with two star system that exists more than 5,000 light years away. Although the planet is more than eight times larger, scientists ignored the possible gravitational differences for the sake of simplicity. Interestingly, the duo found that near the outer edge of such habitable zones (they took Kepler-35), the planet will be cold and dry. Interestingly, the variable atmospheric water also meant that climate will be variable. Talking about this, Eggl noted, “This is analogous to how, on Earth, in arid climates like deserts, we experience huge temperature variations from day to night. The amount of water in the air makes a big difference.”

Despite such differences, such system would still be good enough to sustain life. Interestingly, the planet will have much less cloud than the normal single start planets. If life in such planet does exist, in that case, the folks over there have pretty decent view of two suns.

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