The role that Earth's oceans have on our planet's habitability is undeniable, but now scientists think that exoplanetary oceans are essential for alien life to evolve.
In a new study published by the journal Astrobiology, University of East Anglia (UEA), UK, researchers have come to the conclusion that, to make a planet habitable, a large liquid ocean is needed to stabilize its atmosphere.
13 Ways to Hunt Intelligent Aliens
"We know that many planets are completely uninhabitable because they are either too close or too far from their sun," said David Stevens of UEA's School of Maths. "A planet's habitable zone is based on its distance from the sun and temperatures at which it is possible for the planet to have liquid water.
"But until now, most habitability models have neglected the impact of oceans on climate."
The habitable zone surrounding any star is the distance at which it's not too hot and not too cold to support liquid water on a planetary surface. Liquid water is vital for the evolution of life as we know it.