The Milky Way May Be Swarming With Planets That Have Continents and Oceans Like Earth

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Milky Way Earth-Like Planets

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“All planets in the Milky Way may be formed by the same building blocks, meaning that planets with the same amount of water and carbon as Earth,” states Professor Anders Johansen. Credit: NASA, ESA and G. Bacon (STScI)

According to a brand-new research study from the University of Copenhagen, Earth, Venus, and Mars were developed from little dust particles including ice and carbon. The discovery opens the possibility that the Milky Way might be filled with water worlds.

Astronomers have actually long been checking out the huge universe in hopes of finding alien civilizations. But for a world to have life, liquid water should exist. The possibilities of that finding situation have actually appeared difficult to compute since it has actually been the presumption that worlds like Earth get their water by possibility if a big, ice asteroid strikes the world.

Now, scientists from the WORLD Institute at the University of Copenhagen have actually released a mind-blowing research study, suggesting that water might exist throughout the really development of a world. According to the research study’s computations, this holds true for both Earth, Venus and Mars.

“All our data suggest that water was part of Earth’s building blocks, right from the beginning. And because the water molecule is frequently occurring, there is a reasonable probability that it applies to all planets in the Milky Way. The decisive point for whether liquid water is present is the distance of the planet from its star,” states Professor Anders Johansen from the Centre for Star and Planet Formation who has actually led the research study that is released in the journal Science Advances.

Are all worlds formed by ice?

Using a computer system design, Anders Johansen and his group have actually determined how rapidly worlds are formed, and from which foundation. The research study shows that it was millimetre-sized dust particles of ice and carbon – which are understood to orbit around all young stars in the Milky Way – that 4.5 billion years ago accreted in the development of what would later on end up being Earth.

“Up to the point where Earth had grown to one percent of its current mass, our planet grew by capturing masses of pebbles filled with ice and carbon. Earth then grew faster and faster until, after five million years, it became as large as we know it today. Along the way, the temperature on the surface rose sharply, causing the ice in the pebbles to evaporate on the way down to the surface so that, today, only 0.1 percent of the planet is made up of water, even though 70 percent of Earth’s surface is covered by water,” states Anders Johansen, who together with his research study group in Lund 10 years earlier advanced the theory that the brand-new research study now verifies.

The theory, called “pebble accretion,” is that worlds are formed by pebbles that are clumping together, which the worlds then grow bigger and bigger.

Anders Johansen discusses that the water particle WATER is discovered all over in our galaxy, which the theory for that reason opens the possibility that other worlds might have been formed in the very same method as Earth, Mars, and Venus.

“All planets in the Milky Way may be formed by the same building blocks, meaning that planets with the same amount of water and carbon as Earth – and thus potential places where life may be present – occur frequently around other stars in our galaxy, provided the temperature is right,” he states.

Good possibilities for the development of life

If worlds in our galaxy had the very same foundation and the very same temperature level conditions as Earth, there will likewise be great chances that they might have about the very same quantity of water and continents as our world.

Professor Martin Bizzarro, co-author of the research study, states:

“With our model, all planets get the same amount of water, and this suggests that other planets may have not just the same amount of water and oceans, but also the same amount of continents as here on Earth. It provides good opportunities for the emergence of life,” he states.

If, on the other hand, it was random just how much water existed on worlds, the worlds may look greatly various. Some worlds would be too dry to establish life, while others would be totally covered by water.

“A planet covered by water would of course be good for maritime beings, but would offer less than ideal conditions for the formation of civilizations that can observe the universe,” states Anders Johansen.

Anders Johansen and his research study group are eagerly anticipating the next generation of area telescopes, which will use far much better chances to observe exoplanets orbiting a star aside from the Sun.

“The new telescopes are powerful. They use spectroscopy, which means that by observing which type of light is being blocked from the planets’ orbit around their star, you can see how much water vapor there is. It can tell us something about the number of oceans on that planet,” he states.

Reference: “A pebble accretion model for the formation of the terrestrial planets in the Solar System” by Anders Johansen, Thomas Ronnet, Martin Bizzarro, Martin Schiller, Michiel Lambrechts, Åke Nordlund and Helmut Lammer, 17 February 2021, Science Advances.
DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.abc0444



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