Alien Earthlike worlds 'like grains of sand', say 'wobble' boffins

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I thought that life on Earth was partly possible because of Jupiter hoovering up all the stray planet-smashers for long enough to let something more complex than bacteria to have a chance of hauling up out of the ooze.

Plus, the impact early on with a near-earth-sized planet in the same orbit that gave rise to our abnormally large moon and gained Earth enough mass to hold onto a substantial atmosphere (not to mention the spinning iron core generating a strong magnetic field to deflect nasty stuff).

So, might I suggest that scientists first start considering *only* those solar systems where a large Jupiter-like planet exists, otherwise there'd be nothing but large rocks that hve been repeatedly used for asteroid and comet target practice. Some how I don't think that just picking a random 'grain of sand' is going to be too successful, even just to run a spectrographic analysis of any nacent atmosphere present to work out if there's water vapour, oxygen, and other signs of respiration in the biosystem.


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