Mankind is always on the lookout for habitable planets, with Mars being the one hope in this solar system. However, a new study finds that we might not have to rely on the status quo. In fact, scientists believe volcanoes could turn a previously uninhabitable planet into one that could sustain life.
The science behind the study relies on the heat a volcano could bring to a frozen planet. The ice that forms on planets without a nearby star as a heat source has always made it unlivable. But one volcano could melt some of that ice, leading to an environment that could sustain life.
If a series of volcanoes is strong enough, soon ice on those planets would become water. It would also create an atmosphere that would make it easier for scientists to spot life using the improved technology that is likely to come with telescopes over time.
The study team was particularly interested in TRAPPIST-1h, which is the most distant of a group of seven worlds located 39 light-years from Earth. TRAPPIST-1h orbits a dwarf star in its location, but currently it isn’t warm enough to sustain life. That could change with volcanoes, the research team believes.