Life is not possible without water. This is why scientists have been searching traces of water on other planets to check if they are habitable. Have they succeeded so far? Well, the answer to this one was a no till they were searching for life on other planet, but now when they shifted their focus to moons surrounding different planets, they have found some positive results. As per a PTI report, researchers at the McMaster University in Canada have found some of the moons, surrounding the planets in the solar system, to be habitable.
The study says massive moons of exoplanets have the right size and are placed in the right position. They possess water to sustain life.
Revealing the findings of this study, Rene Heller, a post-doctoral fellow at McMaster’s Origins Institute said, “We could be just a few decades from proving if there is life elsewhere.”
Exoplanets are being counted in the thousands since the development of new, non-visual methods that allow scientists to prove their existence by measuring light patterns from sun-like stars that dim slightly as the planets pass in front of them in orbit.
Many planets outside the solar system are even more massive than Jupiter, and they orbit their stars at an Earth-like distance, but these faraway super-Jupiters are effectively giant gas balls that cannot support life because they lack solid surfaces.
But their moons are rightly placed and have the correct conditions for liquid surface water. Therefore they can support life, researchers said.
The researchers are also excited to study the moons of those giant Jupiter-like planets, which they believe to have migrated into more temperate ranges of distant stars, towing watery moons in their orbits.
Heller and Ralph Pudritz, professor of physics and astronomy, modelled the early life of Jupiter, revealing a pattern of ice distribution on Jupiter’s moons that led them to predict the formation of moons around the super-Jupiters of other solar systems. Those moons could be twice as massive as Mars.
With about 4,000 exoplanets known to exist so far, and with increasing technological capabilities, an exomoon discovery is now looming on the horizon, researchers said.