According to scientists, alien life may be more common than we thought.
But any extraterrestrial life in the Universe is likely to live in a completely different star system, very far away, the researchers conclude.
A new study looked at the theoretical double of the Earth and studied how it can fit into a binary star system. Unlike our own solar system, there are planets in such places that revolve around two stars.
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They found that in 87% of cases, these planets should tilt in the same way as the Earth. This, in turn, is considered an integral part of the climate, contributing to the birth of a complex life, like us or aliens.
These star systems are found throughout the universe, suggesting that at least some of them can serve as home for planets where alien life looks up to see two suns in the sky. Single-star systems like the one we live in are actually rarer.
“Multi-star systems are common, and about 50% of stars have binary companion stars. Thus, this study can be applied to a large number of solar systems, ”said Gongji Lee, co-author of the study, associate professor at Georgia Tech. School of Physics, in a statement.
Researchers began by studying how the tilt of the Earth compares with the tilt of Mars. They found that our relatively small changes in tilt help make the Earth a great place to start and flourish life, while much more extreme changes on Mars helped destroy its atmosphere.
Then they looked at how the Earth could have evolved if it had been in a system known as Alpha Centauri AB, which is the closest neighbor to our solar system, and is a binary system consisting of two stars known as “A” and “B.” The news in this system was pessimistic, offering bad news for those planning to send a space probe into the system in the hope of finding alien life.
“We modeled what would be around other binaries with multiple variations of star masses, orbital qualities, etc.,” said Billy Quarles, research lead researcher and researcher at Lee's laboratory. “The overall message was positive, but not for our closest neighbor.”
Then the researchers peered into the universe. The results were more positive for extraterrestrial life when they looked further, because research showed that smooth changes, like those that occur on Earth, were much more likely if you look deeper into space.
“In general, the distance between the stars is greater in binary systems, and then the second star has less impact on the model of the Earth. The planet’s own dynamics dominates other influences, and bias usually has less variation, ”says Lee. he said. “So that's pretty optimistic.”
Today, the Astrophysical Journal is publishing a new study, “Evolution of the inclination of circumstellar planets in stellar binary stars like the Sun.” It was funded by NASA's Exobiology Program.
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