December 1, 2022

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Two gas giants in planetary systems can be favorable for life

Two gas giants in planetary systems can be favorable for life

Is Earth unique, are there many such planets in space? Astronomers have long been troubled by this question. They are also wondering Or gas giants like Jupiter and Saturn prefer to create lifeOr on the contrary.

Scientists from XXX have performed computer simulations of the fate of up to 140,000 planetary systems containing two gas giants. The results surprised them a little.

In many of these systems (60% of simulations), there is no planet with a stable orbit in the “Goldilocks Zone.” This is what astronomers call a fairly narrow region around a star where water has a chance to exist in a liquid state. Too cold too hot, the planet ends up without water, and it stays too cold.

Only eight of the approximately 150,000 such systems had a chance of a stable Earth-sized orbit at the correct distance from a Sun-type star. This means that However, Earth can be very special.

However, in 253 of these simulated systems, the presence of gas giants not only allowed the planet to form at the correct distance from the star, but also settled in the orbit of such “Earth”. It’s a small percentage of deals, but it’s exceptionally favorable for the life of the possible.

The most “successful” systems were those in which two gas giants with a mass of one-tenth of Jupiter orbited away from the star, according to one of the authors of the calculations, Nora Bailey of the University of Chicago, according to New Scientist magazine.

Of course, he adds, the presence of two giants in the system does not guarantee the existence of an Earth-like planet (let alone life on it). However, it greatly increases the chances that if this happens, its orbit will be stable for billions of years.

This is a guide Where we can direct the lenses of telescopes in search of traces of life, and where it is not worth it. Many planets’ orbits are unstable in perspective of millions of years – they end their lives by falling on a star or being thrown from the original system like a slingshot.

It may be consolation From this perspective, the solar system is stable. Long time calculations (eg, hundreds of millions of years) are really prone to error.

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