Researchers from Peking University in China created 3D climate models to simulate the evolution of icy planets, which some scientists believe may have provided the conditions for life.
According to initial theories, icy planets or moons have undergone melting phases where the conditions would have been right to hold liquid water.
Saturn’s moon Enceladus and Jupiter’s moon Europa were touted as potential candidates for alien life in our solar system.
But these theories have been dealt a massive blow after Peking’s scientists found that icy planets would likely have skipped the habitable phase because of the incredibly high amount of energy required to melt their surface.
According to latest study Earth is the only habitable planet because when it thawed, approximately 600 to 800million years ago, it required less solar heat to melt the ice because of planet-warming atmospheric greenhouse gases emitted by volcanic eruptions.
In the simulated model of other planets, the scientists found that when a star became hot enough to melt the ice, it transitioned too quickly into a “greenhouse state” and evaporated any oceans in the process.
In a statement, Peking university’s scientists said: ”We find that the stellar fluxes that are required to overcome a planet’s initial snowball state are so large that they lead to significant water loss and preclude a habitable planet.”
The study comes as Stephen Hawking, an avid believer in aliens, warns that extra-terrestrials would kill any humans who tried to contact them.
He said: “One day, we might receive a signal from a planet like this, but we should be wary of answering back.
“Meeting an advanced civilisation could be like Native Americans encountering Columbus. That didn’t turn out so well.”
He went on to say that alien life could be “rapacious marauders roaming the cosmos in search of resources to plunder, and planets to conquer and colonise”.
Meanwhile another study revealed that life on earth may have extra-terrestrial origins.
Daniel Anglés-Alcázar, a postdoctoral fellow in Northwestern University’s astrophysics centre, said: “Given how much of the matter out of which we formed may have come from other galaxies, we could consider ourselves space travellers or extragalactic immigrants.
Claude-Andre Faucher-Giguere, co-author of the study, said that the discovery could revolutionise our understanding of the universe.
He added: “Our origins are much less local than we previously thought.”