STATES CHRONICLE – A new study called “Hunting for hidden life on worlds orbiting old, red stars” from the Cornell University and another one called “Habitable zones of Post-Main Sequence Stars” from the Carl Sagan Institute find alien life might exist on other planets in different solar systems because of the changing habitable zones.
Looking at stars of different ages, scientists have realized that they might find life on planets that were once icy like Jupiter’s moon Europa.
When a star ages it changes its size to hundreds of times its original dimension and its force attracts nearby planets and engulfs them. The ones that are not drawn in the “circle of fire” are the more distant and big ones like our own Saturn and Jupiter.
Then this type of planets might sit in what is now known as the “Goldilocks Zone.” This zone situated at a perfect distance from the sun, like our planet is now – not too close, but not too far either – to sustain life.
In the universe, there is a myriad of solar systems and stars of all ages. The habitable zone has changed or will “soon” change for many of them. This means hidden life might be present on “initially frozen worlds” that their dying star has now melted and left in a new habitable zone.
Astronomers can now compile a new list of planets in their search for hidden life. Using stellar ages and a list of known red giants, with the help of this new model, the quest might turn out a trove of alien treasures.
With the shift of the habitable zone, the planets situated here might suffer from “inhabitable” conditions like intense solar winds that can erode a plate’s atmosphere as the planets move outward.
Still, scientists are optimistic about these red giants and their planets harboring hidden alien life potential. The planets might hold their atmosphere for at least “half a billion years” and “that’s no small amount of time,” said the Carl Sagan Institute scientists.
Authors Lisa Kaltinegger and Ramses M. Ramirez also added that humans might escape to the moons of Saturn and Jupiter when Earth will become inhabitable. Hopefully, we would have found lots of hidden life and helpful aliens by then.
The new habitable zones theory is a first attempt to link a star’s model to a planet’s model.
Image courtesy of NASA Goddard Space Flight Center