Alien life could be much more common in exoplanets than previously thought, study finds

Researchers believe that a planet's tilt has direct impacts in determining the presence and sustainability of life

A new study conducted by a team of researchers in the United States has found that life on distant planets outside the solar system is much more common than previously thought. Researchers at the American Georgia Institute of Technology found that the secret to planet's habitability lies in its tilt, and their study found that nine out of ten earth-sized planets might be harboring alien life.

Representative picture of an exoplanet

The connection between a planet's stable tilt and evolution of life

As per the study report, a planet's stable tilt will result in predictable seasons, thus encouraging plants, animals and other living beings to thrive and evolve. Researchers noted that 87 percent of exoplanets similar to the earth outside the solar system might be having steady axis tilt, and this crucial factor helps to maintain climate stability which will favor the evolution of complex organisms.

It should be noted that the solar system in which the earth exists has only one star, and these star systems are quite rare in the universe. However, dual star systems are common in the universe, and having two stars seems to balance the planet's tilt.

Single vs Multi-star solar systems

"Multiple-star systems are common, and about 50% of stars have binary companion stars. So, this study can be applied to a large number of solar systems. Single-star solar systems with multiple planets like ours appear to be rarer," said Professor Gongjie Li, co-investigator of the study, in a recent statement.

Researchers also noted that the earth's climate has been calm for hundreds of millions of years despite the trigger of occasional ice ages and heatwaves. The study team also revealed that the presence of the moon also plays a crucial role in stabilizing the blue planet's tilt.

"If we didn't have the moon, Earth's tilt could vary by about 60 degrees. We would look maybe like Mars, and the precession of its axis appears to have helped deplete its atmosphere," said Billy Quarles, principal investigator of the study.

Aliens living within our solar system?

Interestingly, a few weeks back, Dr Jim Green, a chief NASA scientist had predicted that alien life will be discovered by 2021. The scientist also added that human beings are not prepared enough to accept the reality surrounding extraterrestrial existence.

In the meantime, William Romoser, an entomologist at Ohio University recently claimed that aliens are living on Mars. Romoser made this conclusion after analyzing various images taken by NASA's Curiosity Rover.