As the world homes in on Mars as the next habitable planet, some scientists think the answer may fall outside our solar system. Two planets show promise as potential environments for human life, a team of researchers recently stated in Science Advances.

The researchers point out that Earth may have become habitable largely due to the UV light it receives. Recent breakthroughs have indicated that UV light plays a role in the building blocks required to form life. The key, they believe, is to find a planet that has similar exposure to ultraviolet light.

To find the two perfect planets, scientists looked outside Earth’s solar system to find planets that had the right exposure to UV light. But there are more factors in play than being in a habitable zone.

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The cigar-shaped mass is the first confirmed interstellar object to travel through our solar system, though astronomers are not yet ready to pin down the asteroid's origins.

It's possible that the 400 meter-long asteroid has simply wandered throughout the galaxy for millions of years, with no one star system considered as its "home."

Until, that is, it made an appearance in our skies, where it was discovered on October 19, 2017, by the Pan-STARRS 1 telescope in Hawaii. Dubbed Oumuamua, the object was also picked up by other observatories around the globe. According to a report from Forbes magazine, the asteroid "seems to be a dark red highly-elongated metallic or rocky object, about 400 metres long, and is unlike anything normally found in the Solar System."

In a statement, astronomer Karen Meech added, “This thing is very strange, with a complex, convoluted shape."

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Saturday, 23 September 2017 00:00

Earth’s Oxygen Found on the Moon

Recent moon exploration has brought questions about whether there might have once been life on the planet. A Japanese spacecraft has discovered oxygen on the moon and have identified it as originating on Earth.

The discovery led one astrobiologist to theorize that there may be fossil organisms on the moon’s surface. The astrobiologist, Caleb Scharf, was not involved in the research into the discovery of oxygen, but he spoke following the oxygen discovery.

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