"Artist impression of the exoplanet 51 Pegasi b" by ESO/M. Kornmesser/Nick Risinger (skysurvey.org) / CC BY 4.0

‘Superhabitable’ planets could be better for life than Earth

Oct 8, 2020

By Ashley Strickland

Earth is the only planet we know of so far to host life, but it may not be the best place for life when compared with “superhabitable” planets, according to a new study.

And as scientists search for other planets outside of our solar system, called exoplanets, that could host life, planets much like Earth may not be the best answer.

“We are so focused on finding a mirror image of Earth that we may overlook a planet that is even more well suited for life,” said Dirk Schulze-Makuch, lead study author and professor for astrobiology and planetary habitability at Washington State University, in an email to CNN. The study published in the journal Astrobiology on Monday.

In the new study, Schulze-Makuch and his coauthors identified 24 exoplanets and exoplanet candidates (planets that have not been positively confirmed as exoplanets). They are all more than 100 light-years away, that could be contenders for superhabitable planets with conditions more suitable for life than Earth.

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