Suitable for life. Scientists have found out how many Earth-like planets exist in the galaxy
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A new study shows that the number of planets with the same ratio of land to oceans is negligible.
In order for life to appear on a planet, it must revolve around its star in the so-called habitable zone. There must be the necessary conditions for the existence of liquid water, including the temperature, which will not be too high and not too low. If we take the Earth, then on our planet about 30% of the surface is occupied by land, and the rest of it is covered with water. As a new study shows, in our galaxy there may be only 1% of Earth-like planets suitable for life. At the same time, potentially habitable planets, which are almost completely covered by land, can be 80%, and almost completely covered by water, the so-called oceanic worlds – 19%, writes Space.
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“The results of our simulations show that it is practically impossible to find a planet that could be called an almost perfect version of the Earth. That is, the probability of this is very small, because most likely planets like ours make up only 1% of the planets in the galaxy,” says Tilman Spon from the International Institute of Space Sciences in Switzerland.
According to scientists, the Earth has reached, one might say, an ideal balance of land and oceans – 30% and 70%. But on most of the same rocky worlds, there was a shift in these values in the direction of increasing either land or oceans.
On Earth, such an almost perfect balance was achieved about 2.5 billion years ago and this is due to internal processes in the bowels of the planet. Scientists believe that similar processes on other planets occurred much earlier, and therefore they turned into either a land world or an ocean world. Although there remains a small probability of the existence of planets similar to the Earth.
“At the same time, the differences in flora and fauna between these planets will be significant. For example, on water planets, where less than 10% is covered by land, there will be a warm, humid, tropical climate. On the contrary, on planets where the ocean will occupy less than 20% of the surface, there will be cold, harsh, dry climate,” says Spon.
But the results of the new study do not agree with the opinion of Canadian scientists from the University of Toronto, who believe that planets with a lot of land should, on the contrary, have high temperatures throughout planet.
As Focus already wrote, a recent study showed that a new supercontinent will appear on Earth and scientists figured out when and why this happen.