Sep 8, 2022

Surprise finding suggests ‘water worlds’ are more common than we thought

Posted by in categories: alien life, climatology

Water is the one thing all life on Earth needs, and the cycle of rain to river to ocean to rain is an essential part of what keeps our planet’s climate stable and hospitable. When scientists talk about where to search for signs of life throughout the galaxy, planets with water are always at the top of the list.

A new study published in Science suggests that many more planets may have large amounts of water than previously thought—as much as half water and half rock. The catch? All that water is probably embedded in the rock, rather than flowing as oceans or rivers on the surface.

“It was a surprise to see evidence for so many water worlds orbiting the most common type of star in the galaxy,” said Rafael Luque, first author on the new paper and a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Chicago. “It has enormous consequences for the search for .”

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