The super-Earth is a type of rocky planet that we are not used to and which obviously does not exist in our solar system. This category of exoplanet is a cross between Earth and gas giants such as Uranus and Neptune and over time has captured the attention of astronomers as a possible habitable and living world.
However, a new study states that this exoplanet lacks a fundamental factor to be habitable and to form life: the Moon. We may never think about it, but our natural satellite and above all its size were crucial to allow our world to be so full of living beings.
The moon controls the tides of the oceans and affects all biological cycles and life as people know it. If the moon were smaller, none of this would be the same. The climate and the Earth’s rotation axis would be destabilized. The Earth’s moon is huge, more than 1/4 the size of the Earth. It is the largest moon relative to its planet in this solar system, and this is no coincidence considering that life only blooms here.
The team of researchers ran several simulations on planets of different sizes and how the collisions would have formed the moons. However, the conclusion they have reached is rather definitive: Super-Earths do not form large moons when rocky planets are six or more times the size of Earth. The impact is too strong and the energy creates fully vaporized discs.
This would mean that in the next few decades if we are to pursue our search for extraterrestrial life we will have to stop focusing on the Super-Earths and start looking at smaller planets.
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