“Superhabitable” Exoplanets

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 7,078
    Researchers say that tidal heating may allow exoplanets outside of the stellar habitable zone to be favorable for life, possibly even more so than Earth.

    Scientists are saying that “superhabitable” exoplanets could exist!  A duo from McMaster University and Weber State University based their new assumption on the idea of tidal heating, which would allow planets outside of the stellar habitable zone to have conditions favorable for life and maybe even more favorable than Earth.  They say the problem to date has been that we’ve been trying to find other planets with conditions just like Earth, which has mislead research into thinking some non-Earth-like planets were in habitable.  But tidal heating, by which heat is released in the crust of a planet via orbital and rotational energy, could turn what would normally be a frozen, snowball planet far away from its star into a superhabitable world.  Here are some prerequisites for an SHP:  a larger terrestrial area than Earth that permits liquid water, planetary spin, an atmosphere, and biological diversification.