Astronomers and scientists are racing to find signs of life beyond Earth. Although signs have been found that life could exist beyond Earth and even outside the Solar System, the lack of concrete evidence makes the task murkier. Astronomers have claimed to identify a new class of habitable planets outside the Solar System. They said that the discovery will give acceleration to the efforts for finding life beyond the Solar System. The end of the road to this finding could be the identification of biosignatures in the atmospheres of these exoplanets. This is because biosignatures are considered the signs of life on a planet that is habitable just like Earth. In scientific terms, exoplanets are just other planets that orbit other stars outside the Solar System.
Astronomers in past have discovered several exoplanets that are similar to Earth in size. These planets are the primary target for astronomers looking for signs of life. The just identified exoplanets have been dubbed as Hycean. This opens a new avenue in the search for life. Astronomers from the University of Cambridge said that these exoplanets could be habitable. They said that atmospheres at these exoplanets are likely to be hydrogen-rich. These exoplanets are more numerous. Besides, they are observable than planets that are similar to Earth. They added that these exoplanets can support life. Astronomers said that the probability of finding biosignatures on the new class of exoplanets is high and can be accomplished in two to three years.
Astronomers said that Hycean planets are likely 2.6 times larger than the size of Earth. Their atmospheric temperature is nearly 200 degrees Celsius. However, the conditions of oceans might be favorable for microbial life. This is because the tidally might be on the sides having permanent night. The chances of receiving radiation from their stars are also very low. They said that Hycean-like worlds are common. They could be the most promising destinations for searching for signs of life. They added that understanding other factors like temperature, mass, and properties of atmospheres is also important before confirming that they are habitable just like Earth. Astronomers said that they are looking for molecular signatures similar to Earth. They exuded hope that Hycean could offer opportunities of finding several biosignatures.