Companion Planets May Increase a Planet's Chances of Hosting Alien Life

August 1, 2014 2:44 PM

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Astronomers continue their hunt for life on other planets. Yet part of that search depends on narrowing down which locations are most likely to host favorable conditions. Now, scientists have taking another step toward discovering life; they've found that companion planets may extend the chance for life on Earth-sized planets in the cosmos.

As they age, planets cool and their molten cores solidify. This makes them less able to host life, since the lack of inner heat-generating activity makes it more difficult for the planets to regulate carbon dioxide in order to prevent runaway heating or cooling. Yet for certain Earth-sized planets, ...

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