A team of scientists believes that features such as liquid water and landmasses may not be unique to Earth (or Mars and Venus in the distant past), and could have formed on other exoplanets in our galaxy, according to space.com.
As Anders Johansen, an astronomer at the University of Copenhagen and lead author of the new study, explained, data suggests that "water was part of Earth's building blocks, right from the beginning."
"Because the water molecule is frequently occurring, there is a reasonable probability that it applies to all planets in the Milky Way. The decisive point for whether liquid water is present is the distance of the planet from its star," he said.
In the course of their study, the scientists reportedly established that the “primary building blocks” of our planet were “tiny, millimetre-sized particles of ice and carbon,” as well as “pebbles that drift through the protoplanetary disc."
"All planets in the Milky Way may be formed by the same building blocks, meaning that planets with the same amount of water and carbon as Earth — and thus potential places where life may be present — occur frequently around other stars in our galaxy, provided the temperature is right," Johansen remarked.
Martin Bizzarro, a professor from the University of Copenhagen and co-author of the study, also noted that the planets in their model "may sport continents as well," as the media outlet puts it.