Number Of Planets That Could Have Water Doubled, 60 Billion In Milky Way Alone, Due To The Effect Of Clouds

July 1, 2013 8:30 PM

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Number Of Planets That Could Have Water Doubled, 60 Billion In Milky Way Alone, Due To The Effect Of Clouds

Planets in the habitable zone of a parent star may have the ability to sustain liquid water on their surface. This habitable zone, sometimes known as the “Goldilocks Zone,” is neither too hot nor too cold, which increases the chance of liquid water, and life, being present on the planets residing within it. Researchers from the University of Chicago and Northwestern University used computer models of planets orbiting red dwarf stars, the most common type of star in the universe, and discovered that clouds increased the potential habitable zone of red dwarf stars.

Since red dwarf stars are smaller than stars like our Sun, which is classified as a yellow dwarf, their habitable zone is likewise smaller, but this new study points to a much-expanded zone surrounding these parent stars. According to a press release from the researchers, it was believed that for ev...

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