JERUSALEM– Israeli researchers and their colleagues have developed an innovative system to evaluate the habitability of distant planets, the Hebrew University of Jerusalem (HU) said on Wednesday.
This computerized system classifies the atmospheres of planets and identifies those suitable for future human settlements, without the need to visit them physically, the researchers explained.
Studying the climate variability of Earth-like planets outside the Solar System also provides a better understanding of the current climate changes on Earth and predicts atmosphere changes, they noted.
The system was developed in a new project study, carried out by HU, the Barcelona Supercomputing Center, and the University of Maryland, and published in the Astrophysical Journal.
In their study, the researchers examined the planet TRAPPIST-1e, located some 40 light years from Earth and scheduled to be documented by NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope in the coming year.
Using a computerized simulation of the climate on TRAPPIST-1e, they could assess the impact of changes in greenhouse gas concentration.
It was found that TRAPPIST-1e has a significantly more sensitive atmosphere than Earth and estimated that an increase in greenhouse gases there could lead to extreme climate changes because one side of the planet constantly faces its sun.
“The study will help make informed decisions about which planets are good candidates for human settlement and perhaps even to find life on those planets,” the researchers concluded. – Xinhua