Though the existence of life beyond Earth is unknown, the possibility of life on other planets is strongly suspected over several decades.
Although human life on neighboring planets is not entirely possible, Scientists are in a continuous search of finding a perfectly habitable planet.Over years, many habitable planets had been identified.
I present here, the list of habitable planets, which resembles our earth in several aspects and have the potential to serve as a new home for human
Before Moving to the list of Habitable planets you must know how the researchers classify a particular planet as habitable and inhabitable:
In astronomy and astrobiology, the circumstellar habitable zone (CHZ), or simply the habitable zone, is the range of orbits around a star within which a planetary surface can support liquid water given sufficient atmospheric pressure. [credits: wikipedia].
The star’s energy supports life on the planet with water and atmosphere helps the organisms to thrive. (Earth is a perfect example)
The planets that satisfy the liquid availability criteria, atmospheric pressure conditions are called habitable planets.Here is the List of 10 important planets among them.
- Orbiting the nearest star Proxima Centauri – Proxima Centauri B :
Proxima Centauri is the Red Dwarf star and it closest to the sun than any other stars.
Proxima Centauri b is an Exoplanet orbiting within the habitable Zone of Proxima Centauri at a Distance 4.2 light-years (1.3 parsecs, 40 trillion km, or 25 trillion miles) from Earth.
This was early considered as a Habitable planet with the presence of water and right atmospheric pressure on the surface, but the latest studies proved that the planet is subject to stellar wind pressures of more than 2,000 times those experienced by Earth from the solar wind.This made the planet considerably inhabitable.
Researchers think that its proximity to Earth offers an opportunity for robotic exploration of the planet with the Starshot projector, at least, “in the coming centuries”.
2. Saturn’s Moon – The Titan:
Titan is the largest moon of Saturn(second largest in the solar system after Ganymede of Jupiter). It is the only moon known to have a dense atmosphere and the only object in space other than Earth where clear evidence of stable bodies of surface liquid has been found.
Scientists believe that conditions on Titan are similar to Earth’s early years (the main difference is that, because it is closer to the sun, Earth has always been warmer). According to NASA, “In many respects, Saturn’s largest moon, Titan, is one of the most Earth-like worlds we have found to date.”
3.Mercury’s Look – alike: Kepler 62-e
Kepler-62e is an exoplanet believed to be a water world, orbiting at about the equivalent distance of Mercury in its planetary system some 1,200 light-years from Earth. The planet is an exciting find to exoplanet researchers because it is close in size to Earth, and also orbits in the habitable region of its star (which is smaller and dimmer than that of Earth’s).
The planet is about 1.6 times the size of Earth and orbits its parent red dwarf star about once every 122 days.
4. Disappeared planet: Gliese 581 g*
It was, they believed, the first planet outside our solar system in the Goldilocks zone around its star – an area not too hot and not too cold for life.
It is about 20 light-years away from Earth in the constellation Libra. Its estimated mass is about a third of that of the Sun, and it is the 89th closest known star to the Sun. Observations suggest that the star has a planetary system consisting of three known planets, designated Gliese 581 b, c, and e and a possibly confirmed planet, d, in order of discovery. Additional outer planets, which received the designations Gliese 581 f, and g have been proposed, but the evidence that led to the discovery claims has been shown to be the result of stellar activity mimicking the radial velocity variations due to orbiting planets.
5. Inside the Scorpius Constellation: Gliese 667C c
GJ 667C is the smallest member of a triple star system located about 22 light-years away in the constellation of Scorpius. At the heart of this system (also known as Gliese 667)
Gliese 667 Cc is a super-Earth, an exoplanet with a mass and radius greater than that of Earth, but smaller than that of the giant planets Uranus and Neptune. It is heavier than Earth with a minimum mass of about 3.7 Earth masses.
Its host star is a red dwarf, with about a third as much mass than the Sun does. As a result, stars like Gliese 667 C have the ability to live up to 100–150 billion years, 10–15 times longer than the Sun will live.
The planet is likely tidally locked, with one side of its hemisphere permanently facing towards the star, while the opposite side shrouded in eternal darkness. However, between these two intense areas, there would be a sliver of habitability – called the terminator line, where the temperatures may be suitable (about 273 K (0 °C; 32 °F)) for liquid water to exist. Additionally, a much larger portion of the planet may be habitable if it supports a thick enough atmosphere to transfer heat to the side facing away from the star.
6. The Most promising: Kepler – 22 b
Kepler-22b is the first extra-solar planet, or exoplanet, that the Kepler Space Telescope found in the habitable zone of its star. It is believed to be a promising spot to search for life. But at 600 light-years away, further scrutiny of this world may require more powerful telescopes.
Announced in 2011, the planet is estimated at 2.4 times larger in diameter in Earth, with a comfortable average surface temperature of 72 degrees Fahrenheit (22 degrees Celsius).
The planet is slightly larger than Earth but has an orbit that is pretty similar (290 days to Earth’s 365). Kepler-22b also orbits a G-star class sun like our sun, but the exoplanet’s star is a little bit smaller and colder. Investigators praised the find as helping to fulfill Kepler’s mission of finding another Earth.
7. The Strange 5 moon planet: Tau Ceti e*
Observations have detected more than ten times as much dust surrounding Tau Ceti as is present in the Solar System. Since December 2012, there has been evidence of possibly five planets orbiting Tau Ceti, with two of these being potentially in the habitable zone.Because of its debris disk, any planet orbiting Tau Ceti would face far more impact events than Earth. Despite this hurdle to habitability, its solar analog (Sun-like) characteristics have led to widespread interest in the star. Given its stability, similarity and relative proximity to the Sun, Tau Ceti is consistently listed as a target for the Search for Extra-Terrestrial Intelligence (SETI), and it appears in some science fiction literature.]The planets’ estimated minimum masses are between two and six times the mass of Earth and their orbital periods range from 14 to 640 days.
8. Kepler – 61 b
Kepler-61b (also known by its Kepler Object of Interest designation KOI-1361.01) is a super-Earth exoplanet orbiting within parts of the habitable zone of the K-type main-sequence star Kepler-61. It is located about 1,064 light-years (326 parsecs, or nearly 1.006×1016 km) from Earth in the constellation of Cygnus.
It was discovered in 2013 using the transit method, in which the dimming effect that a planet causes as it crosses in front of its star is measured, by NASA’s Kepler team.
Kepler-61b is located in the inner part of the empirical habitable zone, a zone where liquid water could exist with high albedo, relatively low humidity and higher atmospheric pressure.However, the planet is likely tidally locked because of its close distance to its host star.
9.The Venus Look-alike: Kepler – 62 f
Kepler-62f orbits it’s host star every 267 days and is roughly 40 percent larger than Earth in size.
The size of Kepler-62f is known, but its mass and composition are not. However, based on previous exoplanet discoveries of similar size that are rocky, scientists are able to determine its mass by association.
The planet was announced in 2013 as part of a larger discovery of seven exoplanets announced around the stars Kepler-62 and Kepler-69.
The planet makes a complete circle of its red dwarf star every 267 days and orbits at about the equivalent distance of Venus to the sun in our own solar system.
10.The nearest Habitable planet: HD 40307 g*
HD 40307 g is an exoplanet orbiting in the habitable zone of HD 40307. It is located 42 light-years away in the direction of the southern constellation Pictor.
The planet orbits at a distance of 55.8 million miles (90 million kilometers) from the star. This distance puts it into HD 40307’s habitable zone, the region in a planetary system where liquid water can exist on a planet’s surface. The planets Earth and Mars orbit within our sun’s habitable zone.
The mass of exoplanet HD 40307g is at least seven times the mass of Earth. A single year on the planet takes 197.8 Earth days.
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