If you’ve been paying attention, then you know that scientists have been saying that it’s highly likely that humans can live on Mars. But, did you know that there are other planets out there that are potentially inhabitable as well? Yep, it’s true. That being said, here are ten planets we could live on someday.
According to NASA, Kepler-452b “comes the closest of any found so far to matching our Earth-sun system” — at least that was true when it was discovered just a few years ago. Not only is this exoplanet at just the right temperature within the habitable zone (not too hot, like Venus, and not too cold, like Pluto) it’s only about one-and-a-half times the diameter of Earth, and it circles a star that’s very similar to our sun. Plus, its discoverers say that it is probably rocky like Earth, too.
FUN FACT: The habitable zone is so perfect that scientists often refer to it as the “Goldilocks zone.”
TRAPPIST-1e is one of seven Earth-sized planets in the TRAPPIST-1 system orbiting a dwarf star around 39 light-years away. According to an article published by Popular Mechanics, TRAPPIST-1e “is often hailed as the most likely place for life outside our solar system that we know of.” In fact, new research shows the planets in the TRAPPIST-1 system are rocky like Earth and Mars. In addition to having a rocking exterior, TRAPPIST-1e likely has a rocky interior as well.
“With TRAPPIST-1e, it is the first time that we can precisely characterize an exoplanet with is most similar to the Earth in terms its radius, mass and the amount of radiation that it receives from its host star,” study authors Simon Grimm and Brice-Olivier Demory of Bern wrote in an email to CNN.
“This study allows us to determine the masses—and therefore the densities of the planets—much better than before. These two properties are the basis which are needed for further studies regarding the habitability of the planets or possible formation scenarios.”
8. Proxima Centauri b
Proxima Centauri b is just four light-years away from Earth. It’s 1.3 times the mass of Earth, and even though it lies in the habitable zone, its surface is likely chilly (-40 C) and its red dwarf star could prove to be unstable. This, in turn, would cause too much radiation for humans to handle. Still, because it’s in the habitable zone and it’s a rocky planet orbiting the nearest star to our sun, “there is a reasonable expectation that this planet might be able to host life,” Guillem Anglada-Escudé, co-author of the research from Queen Mary, University of London, told The Guardian.
7. LHS 1140 b
LHS 1140 b is a rocky Super-Earth that is 8.5 times Earth’s mass and 1.4 times the size of Earth. According to Cosmos Magazine, Australian journalist Andrew Masterson says that it may hold conditions sustainable for life — particularly extraterrestrial life. That’s because LHS 1140 b orbits a red dwarf star. And, according to astronomers, planets that orbit red dwarf stars are excellent candidates for alien life.
Another reason it may be able to sustain extraterrestrial life is its density. According to research ld by Jason Dittmann of the Harvard Smithsonian Centre for Astrophysics, LHS 1140 b is estimated to be around five billion years ago. As a result, its hefty mass helped it survive a major drawback associated with its host sun a long time ago.
6. Wolf 1061c
While it’s possible that life could be sustained on Wolf 1061c, scientists say that more research will need to be done to be able to detect atmospheric components of the planet and show what’s happening on its surface. As of right now it looks as if Wolf 1061c has an atmosphere that’s more similar to Venus. That’s because it’s closer to its host star, meaning that it may be too hot. Scientists believe that at one time Venus had at atmosphere similar to Earth’s, but because of its proximity to the sun, the planet became so hot that all the water evaporated. And, all that water vapor trapped in the heat, making its surface even hotter.
5. Gliese 667Cc
Gliese 667Cc was discovered in 2011. And, while it is in the habitable zone, this planet, which is 22 light-years away from us, is very different from Earth. For one, it has much greater gravity than Earth. Two, the light from its red dwarf star is very dim, which means that Gliese 667Cc is far more darker than Earth.
This planet also has a mass at least 4.5 times that of Earth, but its exact true size and density remains a mystery. Still, “Gliese 667Cc’s orbital distance means it probably receives around 90 percent of the energy we get from the sun. That’s a point in favor of life, if the planet’s atmosphere is something like ours,” NASA said on its website.
According to an article published by the Daily Star, K2-3d is the most likely planet to support alien life. It has a bright star nearby that it orbits very closely to, it has a warm climate, and it has just the right conditions for hosting liquid water.
-K2-3d is an extrasolar planet that is 150 million light years away from Earth.
-This planet is 1.5 times larger than Earth.
-The planet orbits a host star, known as EPIC 201367065, every 45 days.
3. Luyten b
Also known as GJ 273b, Luyten b is another planet experts believe could host alien life. In fact, METI (Messaging Extra-Terrestrial Intelligence) International sent a message to aliens on Luyten b back in 2017. Because the planet 12 light-years away, METI doesn’t expect a response from the aliens until the year 2042 — if, indeed, there are even any aliens there to begin with. “Practically speaking, if we get a signal from Luyten’s Star, it will mean the Milky Way is teeming with life. It’s certainly possible,” Doug Vakoch, president and founder of METI, told CNET.
According to an article published by NASA in 2014, Kepler-186f is the first Earth-size planet in the habitable zone. It is less than ten percent larger than Earth, and it orbits around a star that’s very similar to our sun. Unfortunately, scientists are not sure of its mass, composition or density, although research suggests that it is likely to be rocky.
-Located in the Cygnus constellation, Kepler-186f is 500 light-years from Earth.
-Kepler-186f resides in the Kepler-186 system, which is home to four inner planets.
1. Gliese 832 c
Located in the Grus constellation just 16 light-years away, Gliese 832 c has Earth-like temperatures. And, according to the Earth Similarity Index (ESI), it was one of the top three most Earth-like planets back in 2014. It was also the closest to Earth out of all three. Unfortunately, it also has extreme seasons. And, because scientists aren’t sure about the planet’s bulk composition and atmosphere, it’s possible that this Gliese 832 c “Super-Earth” could actually end up being a “Super-Venus” instead, making it uninhabitable.
Are you planning to move to another planet someday? If so, which one?