A joint study conducted by scientists from multiple institutions has proposed a new way to search for extraterrestrial life. This new tool that might help narrow down the search for alien life relies on the radiation emitted by stars. During the research, scientists found that planets around inactive stars are quite likely to host conditions required to support alien life that includes presence of liquid water.
As per the study, planets orbiting stars that actively emit radiation are less likely to support life as they lose significantly high amounts of water due to vaporization. Scientists who took part in the research came to this conclusion after analyzing M dwarf stars that apparently constitutes 70 percent of the universe.
"Are we alone? is one of the biggest unanswered questions. If we can predict which planets are most likely to host life, then we might get that much closer to answering it within our lifetimes," said Howard Chen, the first author of the study, Phys.org reports.
Daniel Horton, senior author of the study revealed that this new development could narrow down the planet candidates that could host alien life. It should be noted that a planet will host life only if it lies in the habitable zone of the star system. If the planet is near to its star, water presence will be nil due to vaporization, and water will freeze if the planet is quite far away from the star. The area between these two extremes is the habitable zone, and the team led by Horton and Chen analyzed this area, and later compared it with the radiation emitted by stars to determine the amount of water loss.
Scientists who took part in this study believe that advanced instruments like the James Webb telescope, and Hubble telescope are capable of identifying water vapor, and this new development could help scientists to narrow the search.
The study report is expected to available online in the Astrophysical Journal on November 14.
A few weeks back, another study conducted by researchers had suggested that the mere presence of water cannot be considered as a sign of alien life on distant planets. The study report revealed that aliens may thrive in a harsh environment which may be dangerous for living beings on earth, and vice versa.