While some in the scientific community believe that finding extraterrestrial life is "probably going to take a long time", others believe that extraterrestrials could be more present than previously thought.
The new study suggests that intelligent life is likely to live in a star-forming system drastically different from ours. Researchers have modeled a theoretical Earth in binary star systems – those with two stars – and found that 87% of these "exoplanets" should have an inclined axis similar to that of Earth, an important component of intelligent life.
"Multi-starter systems are common and around 50 [percent] the stars have binary accompanying stars. So, this study can be applied to many solar systems, "study co-author Gongji Lee said in a statement.
These types of discoveries have been made in the past, including the latest LTT 1445 A b, a rocky, three-star exoplanet. LTT 1445 A b is about 22 light-years from Earth. In 2016, NASA discovered a planet orbiting about two stars in the OGLE-2007-BLG-349 system, 8,000 light-years away.
An easy year measures the distance in space and equals 6 trillion miles.
The researchers compared the Earth's tilt with that of Mars, noting extreme variations between the two planets and then looking at what the Earth might be like if it were in the Alpha Centauri AB system, 4.4 light-years from Earth.
"Using the numerical modeling in α Centauri AB, we show the following: there is a serious contrast between planetary variations of shape depending on the host star, planetary neighbors limit possible rotational states for Earth-shaped stability and the presence of the moon as , defying our expectations based on the Earth, "the researchers added.
"We simulated how it would be around other binaries with more variations in star masses, orbital qualities and the like," Billy Carlesz, lead researcher, said in a statement. "The overall message was positive, but not for our closest neighbor."
Going deeper into space, the results have become more promising, leading researchers to believe it's a possibility.
"In principle, the separation between the stars is greater in binary systems and then the second star has less effect on the Earth model," Lee added. "The planet's own dynamics of movement dominate other influences, and comradeship usually has less variation. So, this is pretty optimistic. "
The study was published in the journal Astrophysical Journal and was funded by NASA's Exobiology Program.
A comprehensive study released in June found no evidence of extraterrestrial life among more than 1,300 stars near Earth, a hunt that lasted more than three years.
A separate study published that month drastically reduced the number of planets that could potentially lead intelligent lives, noting that the definition of a "habitable zone" – the distance between the planet and the star – "is probably limited to that of the microbiological. life".
In October, a former NASA scientist published a stunning general saying he was convinced the space agency had "found evidence of life" on Mars in the 1970s. NASA has vehemently denied the claim.