Could Some Alien Worlds Be More Habitable Than Earth?
Extraterrestrial life may hide on planets quite different from Earth.
Planet hunters have always been keen to find Earth's twin, but an astrobiology team now suggests that "superhabitable" planets may be even better places to look for alien life.
Since 1995, astronomers have detected more than 1,000 worlds orbiting nearby stars, sparking a race to find the one that most resembles Earth, blessed with oceans and an oxygen-rich atmosphere. That's because Earth is the only place in the universe where we know that life has evolved. (See: "More Than 1,000 Potential New Planets Found.")
In the journal Astrobiology, however, researchers René Heller of Canada's McMaster University and John Armstrong of Weber State University in Ogden, Utah, calls that idea too Earth-focused. "From a potpourri of habitable