Could there be a planet that is even more conducive to life than ours, assuming that everything we know begins with the known, in this case planet Earth?
As bizarre as it may sound, there exists a potentially habitable rocky exoplanet with a surface, atmosphere, and hydrosphere capable of supporting life comparable to that on Earth.
The Earth is unique in our solar system in that it is home to life, at least as far as we are aware. The topic is the planet Kepler-442b, which is considered very habitable.
What is a super livable planet?
There are millions of planets in our Milky Way galaxy, but the frequency of Earth-like planets in the habitable zone is far lower. In order to support life, a planet must have a biosphere comparable to Earth’s, as plants use oxygenic photosynthesis to convert light and carbon dioxide into oxygen and food.
Therefore, the research focuses on settings comparable to Earth in which oxygen-based photosynthesis can occur. However, the most important biochemical process on Earth, oxygenic photosynthesis, requires liquid water, and we already know that only exoplanets with the perfect surface temperature — neither too hot nor too cold — could support such processes. If there is insufficient radiation, photosynthesis will be considerably more challenging.
According to an analysis published in the Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, Kepler 442b receives the most photosynthetically active radiation (PAR) of all the exoplanets studied in this study and could theoretically support the same amount of life as Earth.
However, what makes it more habitable than Earth?
They remark that their objective is to compute the photon flux, exergy, and exergetic efficiency of radiation in the wavelength range suitable for oxygenic photosynthesis as a function of the effective temperature of the host star and the planet-star distance. the professionals.
Some of the known Kepler and K2 planets, like Kepler-442b, have higher H values than Earth, indicating that they are more likely to be habitable, according to the researchers.
How probable is it that Kepler-442b harbors life?
Two-thirds of the light that falls on Earth reaches Kepler-442b, which is 2.36 times the mass of Earth and has a 97% chance of being in a habitable zone.
It orbits a red dwarf star that is smaller and cooler than our Sun, takes up to 112.3 days to complete its orbit, and is located approximately 1,206 light-years away from Earth in the constellation Lyra (home to the famous star Vega).
Using the transit method, NASA’s Kepler and K2 satellites discovered the planet in 2015. 0.409 astronomical units separate it from its star.
It is a super-Earth with a radius 1.34 times that of Earth and one among the planets most likely to support life. Due to the installation of the James Webb Space Telescope and its powerful technology, it is expected that many more rocky planets similar to these will be discovered. Furthermore, it is feasible that alien biospheres differ from our own. For example, we might find biospheres that do not even engage in photosynthesis.
Giovanni Covone, Riccardo M. Ienco, Luca Cacciapuoti, and Laura Inno. Efficiency of oxygenic photosynthesis on Earth-like planets in the habitable zone. Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, volume 505, issue 3, pages 3329–3335, August 2021.