Besides determining Earth's origins, the study led by a team from the University of California Davis could also help in identifying extrasolar systems
that could support habitable planets.
"This model suggests that the inevitable formation of water would likely occur on any sufficiently large rocky exoplanets in extrasolar systems
," Wu said.
Planetary orbits on solar and extrasolar systems
. Fizika A, 2010, v.
The newcollection suggests that lighter planets are more common in extrasolar systems
than heavier Jupiter-like ones.
These mutual perturbations can change the orbits, as we see in these extrasolar systems
," Rasio said.
Dr Smith added: "Extrasolar systems
are far more diverse than we expected, and that means very few are likely to support life.
"If a system is like our own," says Phil Hinz (Steward Observatory), "it will have dust due to periodic collisions of asteroids, and we will be able to detect such a signature around another star if the dust is only slightly brighter than the dust in our own solar system." Done in cooperation with NASA, this so-called Nulling InfraRed survey of Extrasolar Systems
for TPF, or NIREST (as in the nearest stars) will help refine observing strategies for the proposed Terrestrial Planet Finder mission.
He said that the new findings had motivated him to look at other extrasolar systems
with similar kinds of unexplained radial velocity data, to see if other stars or planets may be lurking there.
Resonances also exist in numerous extrasolar systems
discovered over the past 10 years.