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Stop Looking For An ‘Earth 2.0,’ Say Scientists As They Detect An Even Better ‘Superhabitable’ World

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Our planet is the best there is, right? Not necessarily, say researchers at Washington State University who have produced a list of 24 planets outside our Solar System that are not only Earth-like, but may even be better than Earth. 

The list—which is intended to be a “to do” list for a bunch of powerful telescopes due to go live in the next few years—includes planets that are older, a little larger, slightly warmer and possibly wetter than Earth, and which orbit stars with longer lifespans than our Sun. 

The researchers—whose work is published this week in the journal Astrobiology—think the worlds in the list contain some that could be called “super-habitable.” That means they could be places where life could more easily thrive than on Earth. 

Cue an MVP—Most Valuable Planet—which is likely to be larger than Earth and easier to detect than Earth-like planets. 

If we want to find life elsewhere in the galaxy then “superhabitable” planets may deserve higher priority than most Earth-like planets, say the researchers. 

How could another planet possibly be more suitable for life than Earth? To an Earthling with only one reference point, it sounds like a crazy question.

Here’s everything you need to know about the search for “super-habitable” planets where life may not only exist, but thrive. 

Where are the ‘super-habitable’ planets? 

Sadly, all of the 24 planets are in star systems that are over 100 light-years from the Solar System. The researchers went through the list of the over 4,500 known exoplanets in our Milky Way. They didn’t look for life, but only for the general conditions that would be conducive to complex life—defined as

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Cambridge University plans to stop fossil fuel investments by 2030

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  • Cambridge University becomes the latest high profile institution to announce its intention to divest from fossil fuels.
  • Its move away from fossil fuels is set to be staggered across a number of years. 



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The University of Cambridge said it would aim to “divest from all direct and indirect investments in fossil fuels” by the year 2030.

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In a statement outlining its plans, the British university said Thursday the £3.5 billion ($4.53 billion) Cambridge University Endowment Fund (CUEF) also intended to “ramp up investments in renewable energy as it divests from fossil fuels.”

The move is set to be staggered. Among other things, the CUEF will: “withdraw investments with conventional energy-focused public equity managers” by December of this year; develop “significant investments in renewable energy” by the year 2025; and “divest from all meaningful exposure in fossil fuels by 2030.”

In addition, the fund will look to reach “net zero greenhouse gas emissions across its entire investment portfolio by 2038.”

Tilly Franklin, the university’s chief investment officer, described climate change, ecological destruction and biodiversity loss as presenting “an urgent existential threat, with severe risks to humankind and all other life on Earth.”

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“The Investment Office has responded to those threats by pursuing a strategy that aims to support and encourage the global transition to a carbon-neutral economy,” she added.

In another step which could have significant implications in the years ahead, Cambridge explained that, going forward, “all research funding and other donations” would be scrutinized to make sure donors could “demonstrate compatibility with the University’s objectives on cutting greenhouse gas emissions before any funding is accepted.”

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