It looks like astronomers are starting to think that there may be more Earth like planets that are out there, of course this isn’t anything new as Carl Sagan was talking about this sort of thing over twenty years ago. But what is new is that we are starting to get a real glimpse at other solar systems, it’s too bad folks like Carl Sagan and Isaac Asimov aren’t alive to see the revolution that is starting in astronomy:
“Earthlike planets covered with deep oceans that could harbor life may be found in as many as a third of solar systems discovered outside of our own, U.S. researchers said on Thursday. These solar systems feature gas giants known as “Hot Jupiters,” which orbit extremely close to their parent stars — even closer than Mercury to our sun, University of Colorado researcher Sean Raymond said.
The close-orbiting gassy planets may help encourage the formations of smaller, rocky, Earthlike planets, they reported in the journal Science. “We now think there is a new class of ocean-covered, and possibly habitable, planets in solar systems unlike our own,” Raymond said in a statement.
The team from Colorado, Penn State University and NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center Maryland ran computer simulations of various types of solar systems forming. The gas giants may help rocky planets form close to the suns, and may help pull in icy bodies that deliver water to the young planets, they found.”