Astrophysicists have identified a new type of planet that could harbor extraterrestrial life
Article by: Andacs Robert Eugen, on 17 September 2022, at 11:36 am Los Angeles time
In a recent study, astrophysicists analyzed 34 exoplanets orbiting red dwarfs.
These stars, smaller than our Sun, are the most common in the Universe, making up 70% of all discovered so far.
Analyzing several planets near these stars, University of Chicago experts identified 21 planets consisting of rock, 7 gaseous, and 6 belonging to a new, never-before-seen class.
These planets contain about 50% water (liquid or ice) and 50% rock. According to Live Science, their composition could be recognized by researching their mass and diameter.
The fact that much of the planet contains water can have huge implications, as water increases the chances of extraterrestrial life. In comparison, astrophysicists consider Earth a dry planet because only 0.02% of its mass is water.
However, the fact that these exoplanets contain 50% water does not mean that they have oceans on the surface, because the water could be mixed with the rocks.
Their atmosphere will be analyzed later, with the help of the James Webb Space Telescope.
The study was published in the journal Science.