Monday, January 9, 2023

Can there be a more habitable planet than Earth? Well, yeah and we've already found it

Could there be a world even more suitable for life than ours, given the assumption that everything we know always starts from the known, in this instance from our planet Earth?

As strange as it may seem to you, there is a potentially habitable rocky exoplanet that could support a surface, an atmosphere, and a hydrosphere capable of supporting life similar to that of our planet. 


The Earth is unique in our solar system in that it contains life, at least that which we are currently aware of. The topic is Kepler-442b, which is regarded as a highly livable planet.


A super habitable planet is what?


There are millions of planets in our own Milky Way, but Earth-like planets that are in the habitable zone are significantly less frequent. Through oxygenic photosynthesis, which plants employ to transform light and carbon dioxide into oxygen and nutrition, a planet must have a biosphere similar to Earth in order to sustain life. 


As a result, the research focuses on environments similar to Earth where oxygen-based photosynthesis can take place. However, the most significant biochemical activity in the Earth's biosphere, oxygenic photosynthesis, requires liquid water, and we already know that only exoplanets with the ideal surface temperature—not too hot or too cold—could support anything like that. It will be far more difficult for photosynthesis to occur if there is insufficient radiation.


Kepler 442b gets the most PAR, or photosynthetically active radiation, of all the exoplanets examined in this research, and could theoretically support the same amount of life as Earth, according to analysis published in the Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society.


What makes it more livable than Earth, though?


They note that their aim is to calculate the photon flux, exergy, and exergetic efficiency of radiation in the suitable wavelength range for oxygenic photosynthesis as a function of the effective temperature of the host star and the planet-star separation. the specialists.


According to the researchers, some of the known Kepler and K2 planets, notably Kepler-442b, have higher H values than Earth, which indicates that they are more likely to be habitable.


How likely is it that Kepler-442b will have life?


Kepler-442b, which is 2.36 times the mass of Earth and has a 97% likelihood of being in a habitable zone, receives two thirds of the light that falls on Earth. 


It circles a star as Earth orbits the Sun, namely a red dwarf star that is smaller and colder than our Sun, takes up to 112.3 days to complete the orbit, and is located around 1,206 light-years from Earth in the constellation Lyra (home to the famous star Vega). 


The planet was discovered in 2015 by NASA's Kepler and K2 spacecraft using the transit technique. It is located 0.409 astronomical units from its star.


It is a super-Earth with a radius that is 1.34 times that of Earth and is one of the planets with the best chances of harboring life. But many more rocky planets like these are anticipated to be found because of the installation of the James Webb Space Telescope and its powerful equipment. And it's also conceivable that alien biospheres exist that are unlike to our own. For instance, we could discover biospheres that do not even engage in photosynthesis.


Efficiency of oxygenic photosynthesis on Earth-like planets in the habitable zone by Giovanni Covone, Riccardo M. Ienco, Luca Cacciapuoti, and Laura Inno. Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, Volume 505, Issue 3, August 2021, Pages 3329–3335. 

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