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Nasa discovers 17 planets with 'secret' oceans that may support alien life

Nasa discovers 17 planets with 'secret' oceans that may support alien life

These planets could have the potential to host life.

Aliens taking over Earth might be a terrifying thought, but it seems there are 17 planets that might harbor new life.

The 17 exoplanets, which lie outside our solar system, are thought to have icy shells surrounding them and could be hiding flowing water underneath.

Researchers have analyzed these planets and published their findings in The Astrophysical Journal, in an entry with the title Prospects for Cryovolcanic Activity on Cold Ocean Planets.

Illustration of Upsilon Andromedae b, an exoplanet in the Andromeda constellation, not necessarily referenced in the journal, but used for illustration.
Nicholas Forder/Future Publishing via Getty Images

And the discovery could be promising in seeing if there are signs of life or alien lifeforms beyond our solar system.

With climate change affecting Earth, perhaps these exoplanets could be our new home.

However, you may need to wrap up warm as exoplanets are much colder than Earth.

The researchers wrote: "We have estimated total internal heating rates and depths to possible subsurface oceans for 17 planets that may be cold ocean planets, low-mass exoplanets with equilibrium surface temperatures and/or densities that are consistent with icy surfaces and a substantial H2O content.

The entry adds: "Like the icy moons in our outer solar system, cold ocean planets may be astrobiologically significant worlds that harbor habitable environments beneath their icy surfaces."

What makes them so cold is that the stars the exoplanets orbit do not provide as much heat as we get from the sun.

Instead, the study suggests the planets receive heat from an internal process.

While the prospect of alien life might be terrifying, it is important to note that just because a planet has water, it cannot necessarily support life.

Changes in the atmosphere and the distance a planet is from the star it orbits can impact the chances of alien life being present.

Researchers are hopeful this study could provide helpful insight into life beyond Earth.

“If the solar system is any guide, habitable exomoons with subsurface oceans could also be plentiful in our galaxy,” the researchers wrote.

“Therefore, establishing the prospects for geological activity that would facilitate the cycling of water, energy, and organics in exoplanets themselves represents an important avenue for understanding the astrobiological significance of the expected diverse array of ocean worlds in our galaxy.”

Maybe we aren’t the only ones floating through space.

Featured Image Credit: Credit: Nazarii Neshcherenskyi / Apostoli Rossella / Getty