(ORDO NEWS) — Astrophysicists are trying to determine the approximate number of water exoplanets in the Milky Way.
According to scientists from the University of Chicago, there may be as many of them as there are planets not similar to the Earth.
Previously, scientists believed that dry planets differ from wet ones in radius. Therefore, some studies were wrong.
Now they understood that the main difference between the planets is their density, so the new results, to put it mildly, amazed the physicists.
Before coming to this conclusion, astrophysicists studied 43 known rocky exoplanets that orbit stars similar to the Sun.
There are about 80% of such stars in the entire Milky Way. But so far only life has been recorded in a single solar system, and it exists only on planet Earth. The research was carried out using the NASA Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite.
The analysis of the planets showed the following results. A large part of the investigated celestial bodies consisted not only of stones.
There could be water or liquid accumulations of gases on their surface. This is the first evidence that there are many water planets in the Milky Way.
For comparison, water on Earth makes up only 0.02% of its total mass. On the studied exoplanets, the total mass of water reached 50%. They do not have the same seas and oceans, but a huge amount of eternal ice has been discovered.
In the near future, astrophysicists will begin a more detailed study of a water planet outside the solar system.
We are talking about Proxima Centauri B. It is located only 4.25 light years from Earth, and revolves around a red dwarf. Maybe they will find signs of life on it.
However, in order for there to be signs of life on the planet, not only water resources are needed, but also the appropriate atmosphere and temperature.
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