Life has prospects on moons of giant extrasolar planets | Science News

SUPPORT SCIENCE NEWS

Science News is a nonprofit.

Help us keep you informed.


News

Life has prospects on moons of giant extrasolar planets

Earthlike bodies may orbit distant Jupiters

By
4:53pm, January 18, 2013

Earth-sized moons in planetary systems trillions of miles away could be hotbeds for alien life, astronomers report in the January Astrobiology.

"It's the most thorough look at exomoon habitability I've seen," says Darren Williams, an astronomer at Penn State Erie who was not involved in the research. “I’m encouraged by the paper that we’ll find exomoons in abundance and that a fraction of them could be habitable.”  

Astronomers have found about 3,600 confirmed or probable planets orbiting other stars, none of which have the ideal combination of size and temperature to support life. However, more than 150 of them are gas giants in orbits where liquid water could exist, if only i

This article is only available to Science News subscribers. Already a subscriber? Log in now. Or subscribe today for full access.

Get Science News headlines by e-mail.

More from this issue of Science News

[title_1]
From the Nature Index Paid Content