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Home / Science / Worlds completely covered in deep ocean could be habitable to foreign life: study

Worlds completely covered in deep ocean could be habitable to foreign life: study



A clone of the Earth, one with some land and a shallow ocean, may not be necessary for extraterrestrial life to survive. Thus, water worlds in deep oceans could keep their climate stable and support life.
( Pixabay )

Scientists have widely thought that planets that are entirely in the deep sea would not be friendly to foreign lives. The idea is that these water worlds can not support the cycle of minerals and gases, the process that stabilizes the Earth's climate.

Keep Climate Change Stable

Researchers Edwin Kite of the University of Chicago and Eric Ford of Pennsylvania State University, however, found evidence that it is possible that water worlds could be habitable.

It takes a long time for life to develop. Scientists in search of extraterrestrial life often look for planets that can hold both water and climate.

In the case of Earth, the planet cools down over long periods of time by extracting the greenhouse gases into minerals. Our home planet then warms up by releasing these minerals through volcanic eruptions.

 The circulation of minerals and gases on Earth keeps the climate of the planet stable.

(Photo: Pixabay) The cycle of minerals and gases on Earth keeps the climate of the planet stable.

However, this method does not seem to work on water worlds as deep water covers the rocks and suppresses the volcanoes. 19659005] In a new study published in The Astrophysical Journal on August 30, Kite and Ford attempted to find out if water worlds could otherwise maintain their climate stable. They performed simulations of thousands of randomly generated planets and studied how the climate in these worlds evolved over billions of years. The duo found that many of these planets remain stable for more than a billion years.

Lucky Planets

These planets tend to sit in the right place around their host stars. They also have the right amount of carbon and do not contain too many minerals and elements from the crust dissolved in the oceans, which could pull carbon out of the atmosphere.

These happy planets have enough water right from the start. They also move carbon only between the ocean and the atmosphere. Given the right concentrations, this is enough to keep the climate in this planet stable.

"We show that a random variation of initial conditions without geochemical cycles can result in habitability on water worlds with multiple gyr surfaces," the researchers said

Life is not an earth clone

Kite and Ford said that their Results suggest that life does not necessarily need a clone of the Earth, one with some land and a shallow ocean to thrive.

"There seems to be a way to keep a planet habitable for a long time without the geochemical cycling that we see on Earth," said Kite.

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