There could be life on a number of planets than what we believe. However the life forms could be much different than what we normally imagine.
This view was put forth by Scottish scientists who believe that there could be life on a lot many planets even if the conditions were much tougher than on Earth.
Researchers from the University of Aberdeen have deduced that planets once believed to be uninhabitable could in fact harbor living organisms deep within its bowels.
Using a computer model to stimulate the conditions to predict the scenario in a world which supports life deep inside his crust researchers have come to the conclusion that life could be possible in extremely inhospitable condition deep within the crust. .
This experiment has effectively put a question mark on the traditional life supporting Habitable Zone for planets orbiting other stars. The theory explains why Earth supports life since it is in the habitable zone or else it will also end up like the Mercury or Venus.
Team member and PhD student Sean McMahon said: “That theory fails to take into account life that can exist beneath a planet’s surface. As you get deeper below a planet’s surface, the temperature increases, and once you get down to a temperature where liquid water can exist – life can exist there too.”
The researchers fashioned a computer model that estimated the temperature below the surface of a planet of a given size, at a given distance from its star.
Mr McMahon added: “The deepest known life on Earth is 5.3km below the surface, but there may well be life even 10km deep in places on Earth that haven’t yet been drilled. Using our computer model, we discovered that the habitable zone for an Earth-like planet orbiting a sun-like star is about three times bigger if we include the top five kilometers below the planet surface. The model shows that liquid water, and as such life, could survive 5km below the Earth’s surface even if the Earth was three times further away from the sun than it is just now.”
The planet Gliese 581 d, which is 20 light years away from Earth and once thought to be a frigid and lifeless planet is now considered a perfect candidate to support life 2KM below the surface.