Exomoons in Binary Solar Systems Could Harbor Extraterrestrial Life

May 7, 2014 / No Comments

It is not just exoplanets that could hold the possibility of life beyond Earth, as astronomers believe that even Exomoons present the required conditions for sustenance of life.

Researchers from the University of Texas at El Paso believe that this probability increases several fold if the exomoons are part of a close binary solar system.

View from surface of an exomoon Exomoons in Binary Solar Systems Could Harbor Extraterrestrial Life

While our search for alien life has always been centered around planets within the solar system and beyond, new research suggests that this approach might be a bit lopsided.

Moons of planets like Jupiter and Saturn have already show potential for creating conditions favorable for organic life. This might be true with exomoons as well.

Exomoons are simply moons of planets that are part of star systems beyond our own solar system. In case of a binary solar system, two stars at close proximity revolve around one another due to their respective gravitation fields.

This creates a whole new set of conditions for both the planets and their respective moons.

Astrophysicist Paul Mason says that two stars similar to our own sun create more favorable conditions for life to flourish as each of them cancels out the solar radiations and stellar wind of the other.

NASA’s Kepler spacecraft mission is currently collecting data of such binary star systems hoping to locate both exoplanets and exomoons that could be hospitable to life.