A new study supported by the NASA Astrobiology Program indicates that worlds entirely covered in deep water could still be habitable for life. Previously, scientists thought that such worlds would not be able to support mineral cycling in the same way that we see on the Earth. However, the study provides evidence that, even in the absence of geochemical cycling, the oceans of water worlds could be habitable for long periods of time (more than a billion years). The study focuses on water worlds that orbit Sun-like stars, but the results could also be applicable for planets around red dwarf stars.

To read a press release from the University of Chicago, visit:

The study, “Habitability of Exoplanet Waterworlds,” was published in The Astrophysical Journal.