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Exoplanets Containing Potential Life

Written by Dalena

The question asked, ever since we were old enough to look up and interpret the stars in the night sky, is if there is life somewhere beyond Earth, or are we alone? Astrobiologists have researched the chances of other planets nurturing a stable enough environment for life to be created and cultivated. Here are their results.

Astrobiologists send probes to Mars in hopes of discovering past microbial life while on Saturn’s moon (Titan) and Jupiter’s moon (Europa), they’re searching for potential microbial life under the subsurface habitats. But even beyond our solar system a virtual team of researchers a part of the Planetary Habitability Laboratory (PHL) have made great successful efforts to find habitable exoplanets (planets outside of our solar system).

Just last month, PHL’s Habitable Exoplanets Catalog (HEC) released a scope of research inquiry that consists of five habitable exoplanets (Above) based on the Earth Similarity Index (ESI).

This number is a measure of Earth-likeness where Earth is the standard of comparison with an ESI value equal to one. In general, exoplanets with values above 0.8 could be considered Earth-like planets but those with values down to about 0.7 might still be habitable, a least by microbial life.

Sunsets of the five habitable planets in our universe so far

We’ve only lightly kissed the unknowns of the universe that continues to infinitely expand and change, mind you (to learn more about dark matter and the “fate” of the universe, you can read about it here). So the possibility of life on earth isn’t as far-fetched as we have believed.

And I’ve come to personally write this article to propose us to imagine exoplanets inhabited by different life forms for the sake of propagating our curious minds and  imagination. We could have friends living among us, conscious or unconscious of their own existence, that can behave and look completely foreign from the species on Earth, given the different natural resources and evolution processes.

But we may really be the only living creatures on Earth. We may really be alone. But what are your speculations? Do you think there are other life forms among us?