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Earth-like exoplanets may be common in the universe, suggests a study



Earth-like exoplanets may be quite common in the universe, suggests a new UCLA study.

Scientists led by Alexandra Doyle, University of California Los Angeles (UCLA), a graduate student in geochemistry and astrochemistry, have come up with a new method for analyzing the geochemistry of planets outside our solar system for research, published in Science magazine this week.

"We have just increased the likelihood that many rocky planets are like Earth, and there are a very large number of rocky planets in the universe," said co-author Edward Young, a UCLA professor of geochemistry and cosmochemistry.

Doyle analyzes the elements in the rocks of asteroids or fragments of a rocky planet, orbiting about six stars, a white dwarf. planet at the top right “/>

Presentation n ing artist shows a white dwarf star with a planet in the upper right corner.
(Mark Garlik)

"Observing a white dwarf is like autopsying the contents of what has stuck in its solar system," she said.

Researchers examined the six most common elements in the scale: iron, oxygen, silicon, magnesium, calcium and aluminum.

"Very similar," Doyle said of the rocks they were analyzing compared to the rocks of Earth and Mars.

"They are similar to Earth and Mars ̵

1; as to their oxidized iron. "We find that the rocks are rocks everywhere, with very similar geophysics and geochemistry," she said.

The data analyzed was collected by telescopes, mainly from the WM Keck Observatory in Hawaii, according to UCLA.

"If extraterrestrial rocks have a similar amount of oxidation as Earth, then you can conclude that the planet has a similar tecton plates and similar potential for magnetic fields such as Earth, which are widely considered to be key ingredients in life, "said co-author Hilk Schlichting, an associate professor at UCLA Astrophysics and Planetary Science." This study is a leap forward so we can to draw these conclusions for bodies outside our own solar system and it shows that it is very likely that there will be truly terrestrial analogues. "


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