Two newly discovered alien planets might be water worlds whose global oceans are teeming with life, scientists say. The existence of the distant exoplanets, called Kepler-62e and Kepler-62f, was unveiled during a NASA press conference today (April 18). The two worlds are perhaps the most promising life-hosting candidates yet found beyond our solar system, their discoverers said. Computer models suggest both planets are covered by uninterrupted oceans, which could theoretically support a wealth of aquatic life forms. Water worlds are unlikely to host technologically advanced civilizations like our own because any life forms that take root there would not have easy access to electricity or fire for metallurgy. But if Kepler-62e or f has some dry land the story could be different. The relatively high gravity of both exoplanets, however, might make the evolution of large bipedal organisms such as humans unlikely. We'd have to take some special life-support gear if we made that 1,200-light-year journey. While Kepler-62e is likely hot and muggy all the way up to the polar regions, Kepler-62f orbits a bit farther away from the host star and is probably cooler.
In fact, a thick atmosphere with lots of heat-trapping carbon dioxide may be required to keep Kepler-62f's surface water liquid. Such an atmosphere would be tough for humans to handle.
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