A recently published study titled In Search for a Planet Better than Earth: Top Contenders for a Superhabitable World has revealed astronomers have identified 24 planets that may not only be habitable for humans, but possibly “even better for life than our Earth.” These planets could support more biodiversity and biomass (aka organisms) than the planet we currently call home and were found by researchers examining Kepler Objects of Interest which tracks potential Exoplanets. The discovery supports the Copernican Principle, “a centuries-old assumption that Earth does not occupy a special place in the universe”—meaning Earth is the only planet we are certain supports life (or life as we know it) but that it surely can’t be the only one. The “favorite” planet orbits a star 3,000 light years away. Leading the research team, scientist Dirk Schulze-Makuch tells VICE, “We are so focused on finding a mirror image of Earth that we may overlook a planet that is even more well-suited for life.” Visit VICE to find out more.
Image courtesy of NASA/Ames/SETI Institute/JPL-Caltech