Nine out of 10 planets with two suns “could harbour alien life”, scientists believe
It’s not quite the smoking gun which proves that little green men are real, but planets that could support life could be more common than previously thought.
Researchers have found that nine in 10 Earth-sized planets orbiting not one but two stars – similar to Tattooine in Star Wars – could support life.
These stars are known as ‘binaries’ and make up one in two solar systems, according to the researchers from Georgia Institute of Technology.
The increased likelihood is down to the ‘axis tilt’ of Earth-like worlds in binary solar systems – which the researchers found to be surprisingly steady.
In 87 percent of cases, the tilt is steady, a vital ingredient for climate stability that favours the evolution of complex organisms.
Co-investigator Professor Gongjie Li said: “Multiple-star systems are common, and about 50 percent of stars have binary companion stars.
“So, this study can be applied to a large number of solar systems.” Single-star solar systems like ours with multiple planets appear to be rarer, she added.
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