London: By being unique among 700 million trillion planets in our known universe, Earth has proved that it is special.
According to ‘Copernican principle,’ our planet doesn’t hold a privileged position in the cosmos, but now, a new study has suggested that Earth is special, proving the principle wrong.
Astronomer Erik Zackrisson from Uppsala University in Sweden has been using computer simulations to model all of the terrestrial planets likely to exist in the universe. According to an in-depth report in Scientific American, his computer model created a miniature digital copy of the early universe.
He then inputed all the exoplanet data they had from probes such as Kepler, and modelled what would happen to these planets given the known laws of physics.
The team discovered that if you bring the model forward 13.8 billion, none of the known 700 quintillion possible planets look like Earth. This is because most were far older, which led them to believe that Earth’s relatively young age and position within the Milky Way makes it unique.
Co-author Andrew Benson said that it’s kind of mind-boggling that they are actually at a point, where they can begin to do this.
The researchers concluded that Earth stands as a mild violation of the Copernican principle.
The results have been published to the preprint server arXiv and submitted to The Astrophysical Journa