Creating a Template for Habitable Exoplanets

Vote for this video by social sharing!
Go to to start streaming Breakthrough. Use code SciShowSpace to sign up, just $14.99 for the whole YEAR.

We’ve found thousands of exoplanets over the years, but if we’re going to find one that can sustain life, we need to take a look at the one planet we know that can, Earth.

SciShow is on TikTok! Check us out at

SciShow Tangents Podcast:

Tags: scishow, scishowspace, nasa, exoplanet, planet, solar system, earth, moon

  1. jarooko

    Wait, I got confused by “Polarized light from exoplanets is coming from one direction, whilst unpolarized sunlight is coming from multiple directions.”
    Isn’t polarization just filtering of specific wavelengths of light? Why wouldn’t polarized light from exoplanets come from multiple directions, being bent my various magnetic fields throughout the universe until it reaches us?
    Could someone knowledgeable please explain this to me? I can’t make sense of it for the life of me…

  2. Keanu Bartolata

    I really like this episode. The details are finer than ever.

  3. Doom Food

    Habitable by carbon based life forms like us. Keep that in mind.

  4. eyeonus

    Wait, that doesn’t make sense. How is there an Earthrise when the Moon is tidally locked?

  5. Jared Fletcher

    Still unaware of what technique or technology or complex arrangement of mirrors permits scientists to state exoplanet contents. Literally just looking

  6. Joshua Phillips

    If only Carl Sagan were to suggest an idea similar to this.

  7. Dwayne Frechette

    So… work from home?

  8. Graham Turner


  9. knightshousegames

    Well, when Humans make Earth uninhabitable, now we will have a Black Box on the moon that will show any future species what we did wrong.

  10. Iorwerth ap Dderwen Wyllt

    Am I missing something, or is an “Earthrise” on the moon impossible since the moon is tidally locked to the Earth? Am I being super dumb and not taking something like orbital inclination into account?

  11. WWTormentor

    If our ability to travel to distant solar systems and galaxies is hundreds if not thousands of years away, what is the point of finding an exoplanet with possibility of life when not only we won’t be able to know what kind of life form it is, but also by the time we do find out, that life form may be long gone. After all, what we see today is what it was millions or billions of years ago. That’s like an ant in California realizing there’s an ant in Syria. It will never be able to get to that ant.

  12. John Johansen

    Two things explains how it is.
    1: The rare Earth hypothesis.
    2: Capitalism.
    That’s all it takes to make the Universe lacking intelligent lifeforms.

  13. John Johansen

    Forget it!
    We’ve been killing ourselves by greed, long before we recognize any extraterrestrials.
    That’s the explanation of the Fermi paradox.

  14. joette

    they better find a planet soon. Humans have evicted themselves from our only home

  15. Kazimir

    “we found exoplanets outside our solar system” aren’t all exoplanets outside our solar system?

  16. SomeDudeOnline

    So I’m dumb and thought the moon and sun’s gravity caused the waves because I know they cause the tides… but I did a little googling and apparently wind in fact is the main cause of waves. What I’m unclear on after my googling though, is what exactly the sun and moon are doing. I know they work together and against each other to cause various tides, but they’re not responsible for waves at all? Do they simply create the bulges in the ocean that allow for larger/smaller waves? Or are the wave sizes not even related and it’s literally just more/less water at the time?

  17. Maekar Manastorm

    The human plague must be stopped

  18. Caleb Kallimanis

    Yeah but how do we know that if on a other planet they don’t breathe in a different molecule and produce another, we don’t

  19. Avarus Surava

    Let’s not have such tight margins concerning exoplanets, life could really pop up anywhere.

  20. HenryManson

    thats fun & all, we just missing the engines to go there

  21. My Media

    There’s really a “HIP” exoplanet? That’s cool.

  22. Mal

    I find it hard to take you seriously when you say “off of”! It’s simply “off” for goodness sake!!!

  23. Brent Wilbur

    Hank be like “A’ight, which of these planets can support opium poppies so if I move there I can still get my junk?”

  24. Anil Saini

    Make a video on the Saraswati super cluster

  25. crimson90

    The idea for this project seems so obvious that I’m surprised it’s just now going to be a thing.

  26. Osamu Dazai

    Something I am curious about is what scientists believe the sweet spot for day length in relation to year length is for life to develop and evolve. We believe that Earth’s day was a few hours shorter than it is now when life first started out, but we also know that there are planets that spin so slowly that their day is incredibly long, or even tidally locked with their host star. Such conditions would render parts of the planet potentially extremely hot for extended periods of time, and wouldn’t exactly be the best conditions (to our knowledge) for life to emerge and grow.

  27. Hercule-Champ

    Where is the Earth? LOUPE there it is!

  28. chronoss chiron

    better data would come from this on mars , and they know it….

  29. Frederico Lourenço

    Fun fact: the moon does not rotate in relation to the us, it’s the same side facing us all of the time (the “dark side” is the side that always faces the emptiness of space) so there can be no “earthrises” 0:50, the Earth just stands there in view, all of time

  30. chronoss chiron

    its spyware ………………

  31. Peter Myers

    What does “plants” mean in the context of an exoplanet? Plants are a kingdom of life that evolved on Earth based on our local conditions and chance. They wouldn’t be found anywhere else per se unless we’re talking generally about any organism that… produces oxygen?

  32. nonewmail

    Will the James Webb Space telescope be able to carry out similar (or even more advanced) operations/calculations as this LOUPE program? I have assumed that the JWST will be able to not only detect exoplanets, but also, just like the LOUPE, be able to analyze the characteristics of the atmospheres of some exoplants.

  33. Cathy b

    It’s funny because LOUPE is also the french word for magnifying glass 🔎

  34. General Durandal

    Bible: “Heaven is amongst the stars”.
    Astral-Plane: “where spirits live”.
    Astral: “a starry field”.
    Plane: “area of existence”.

    Everything in space, including Earth,
    is Heaven.
    But, Earth is the Domain of Lucifer/Satan/The Devil.
    Earth is his Kingdom, or, was at least.
    He is trapped to this rock, and can-not leave it,
    but he can still meddle in what goes on about it.

    Where we live, the surface of Earth,
    is both Limbo, the top layer of Hell,
    and Eden, the bottom layer of Heaven.
    Wherever there is green plants growing,
    and wild fruit trees, is Eden.

  35. Joseph Hargrove

    While I don’t doubt the value of the data a lunar observatory will collect, by the end of the video I was recalling a paraphrase of a Jayne Cobb quote: “I’m smellin’ an awful lot of if comin’ off this plan.”

    Subordinate: Thanos, John Wick survived the snap.
    Thanos: So?
    Subordinate: His dog didn’t.

  36. A Youtube Channel

    Throw some life down there and let it figure itself out, no seriously: Let this sink in, there are places on our planet that make Venus and dare I say Neptune look cute – Really think about it the Bottom of our Ocean is arguable worse than a lot of these other planets with the word ‘arguably’ meaning that you can compare the Bottom of our Ocean with that.

  37. Thomas George Castleberry

    You remind me of my Ex wife, with the fast talking. When I was married there was a time I didn’t talk to my ex for 4 months;- why? Because I didn’t want to interrupt her.

  38. Tritun

    Space probe?! Pretty sure James Webb will help considerably. No probes involved

  39. George Michael Sherry

    Based on this video, scientists already know everything they need to look for when they examine light from exoplanets. Hank described in detail all the characteristics light will have to indicate various planetary characteristics. What do they need the satellite for? To take pictures to tell them what they already know? “Yep, sure enough, that’s what waves do to reflected light”? “Yep, just like we already knew, a continent depolarizes light”? This sounds like the kind of project you come up with if you have to spend your money by the end of the year or you’ll get less money next year.

  40. mfaizsyahmi.

    Are we really still trying to find oxygen-rich atmosphere, when we know that life on Earth started when there’s barely any oxygen in the atmosphere, and on a cosmic timescale the time with oxygen and oxygen-exhaling plants on earth is pretty short?

  41. New Message

    The person who thought up the acronym for this one should get a raise.

  42. Muttey

    Smart SEO, apple puts out a ‘starlight’ coloured IPHONE. Here’s a starlight video.

  43. Rob Babcock


  44. Jerry Perez

    the thing is… it’s hard to spot a possible exoplanet/s with life in it because we are too focused to the conclusion that it is “earth-like”. what if there are exoplanets there that doesn’t breathe oxygen? what if they’re living underground as their planet has no atmosphere that protects them from their star’s radiation? what if there are life out there that can survive through harsh conditions like lack of atmosphere, water, etc.?

  45. Jason Webb

    I wish I could go to the Moon and watch Earth rise. I want to know if I am right and Earth is about 4 times larger in the sky than the moon look from Earth. I just think it would be awesome to see. Like watching Saturn rise on one of its moons. To see those pretty rings shining. Or a moon that orbits Jupiter. To see that monster rise would be a breathtaking experience. But maybe I am wrong.

  46. Muramasa

    Imagine planets with red or blue vegetation . Tho blue is very rare it could be possible .

  47. FvckYoutube'sCensorshipAn

    What good is finding a human-habitable planet 10 or 100 ly away when we will probably never leave our own solar system for at least another 1000 years, if ever?

  48. XelusPrime

    Probably not the best idea, considering we’ve already ruined this planet, so it is probably not a good example to build a template from. Still, fascinating though.

  49. Rona

    its insane we have telescopes that can actually spot planets in other solar systems let alone be able to get information to let us figure out things like atmospheric properties and maybe even surface features

  50. Ryan Edgar

    Missed the whole vid by diving down the ROY G BIV rabbithole. Still got learnt though, so thanks! Lol :P

  51. Hactar Davros Blinkenligh

    Shouldn’t this be done from a further distance?

  52. Sara J Shireman

    This is fascinating!

  53. NightBlado

    Dear SciShow Crew, how many episodes away are we still from SciShow SPACE logo, that is in a readable font once again?

  54. Plant Shop

    Hypothetically uv synthesis organisms could filter (part of) a polarized light wave band to use as energy source and filter out the other fractions of polarization by using a shell of translucent minerals…

  55. The Travelin' Sagittarian

    This is so interesting! 😊👍✨🌌

  56. minj4ever

    Ehm… Isn’t vegetation life by itself?

  57. Jessica P

    First Loupe. Next it will be garou. We still need bigfoot, nessie, and ufo missions.

  58. 11thNite

    How does LOUPE data compare to what we expect the James Webb space telescope to see? Is the JWST data what will be compared to the template defined by LOUPE?

  59. CabanaCaseda

    Seeing that picture of the planets of another star is breathtaking.

  60. Michael Horning

    They are not habitable unless they have a strong magnetic field. Without that nothing else matters.

  61. Dylan Bechtold

    This man saved most of my collegiate career and I’m so happy he and the others involved have found something outside of crash course to continue making videos on.

  62. CMDRm

    Now imagine the catalogs advanced civilizations have

  63. oninoyakamo

    With comparatively little atmosphere in space, could we make a dish large enough to just magnify these?

  64. Scribe13

    What about Diggable Planets?

  65. Patrick Doyle

    0:44 – Earthrise doesn’t happen if you’re on the moon because it’s tidally locked. You need to be in orbit. 🤓

  66. Mike Hillenbrand

    No land masses necessary for planets with fish-people thats a silly template requirement.

  67. Bronson Miranda

    Blue, white and red light from an exo planet, would they see our light as red, white and blue?

  68. Joseph E

    Artifexian is a good channel for worldbuilding fictional scifi planets based on physics!

  69. Mr_GiXxEr

    Have you ever noticed that all the instruments searching for intelligent life are pointed away from Earth?

  70. Anthony Hernandez

    … why don’t we already do this with the countless satellites in motion..

  71. axxis30

    habitable exoplanets for life as we know it

  72. Goatcha

    A stable and strong, but not too strong EM shield to block Solar Wind should also be essential.

  73. Yoshibro26


  74. Saint Burnsy

    We did something very similar nearly 30 years ago with an Earth fly-by from the Galileo spacecraft. Carl Sagan, et al. wrote a scientific article on this, titled
    “A search for life on Earth from the Galileo spacecraft”
    (Sagan et al. 1993)

  75. Saint Burnsy

    Hey Hank, any reason my comment gets deleted? Huh?

  76. Scott Powers

    chlorophyll doesn’t convert sunlight into oxygen. chlorophyll uses sunlight to combine carbon dioxide with some minerals and other chemicals from the soil to make sugar, giving off oxygen as a waste product.

  77. Shannon Parkhill

    @0:47 That animation is wrong, the Earth doesn’t rise on the moon, the Moon is tidally-locked.

  78. Wayne Searle

    Our planet’s biology is its history, why would other planets have plants?

  79. Richard Deese

    Thanks. It’s hard to convey to most people just how wide a latitude there really is in the word “habitable.” We’re unlikely to find some other planet out there that’s perfect for us and plants and fish and squirrels, etc. Earth is as it is *_because_* life made it that way. And if we find another planet with basic life – even plant life – it’s liable to be very, very different from anything we know or even understand. It could easily be fundamentally incompatible with our form of life. I also think that living ‘dirtside’ is only a part of what future humans may do. There are many alternatives, such as O’Neal cylinders and their cousins, space stations, generation ships, asteroids that can be made into movable cities, and so on. For us to truly become a space-faring species, it will doubtless involve much more than just finding some compatible planet and saying, “Hey! Let’s go live there!” And terraforming will take hundreds, if not thousands, of years. By most acceptable definitions of the word, Mars is quite “habitable”, and likely closer than anything we’ll find out there. Even if a generation ship reached some suitable system, they’d either have to build domes, go underground, or just stay on their ship until the planet could be made livable. More likely, they’d mine comets and asteroid to build stations and bases in space. tavi.

  80. huldu

    If humans were to travel to a planet with some sort of life wouldn’t we humans all of the sudden turn into an invasive species?

  81. Stin

    “…There’s at least thousands…” – Exacting journalism, right there lol jk

  82. StochasticStoic

    “We have found a lot of exoplanets outside of our solar system.”

    As opposed to the ones we’ve found inside it?

  83. treehuggermc

    how is this different from what voyager 1 did? Maybe a little more data is collected, but sounds like wasted money to me on stuff we already know..

  84. Randall Blyler

    Being able to see rainbows on far-off exoplanets almost seems like a sign of hope, here on Earth.

  85. ꧁Peter Griffin꧂

    Hey, Hank. My wife is ovulating again if you’re up to give it another try. Let me know, man.

  86. Retloch

    A clever project idea. I look forward to seeing its findings and results.

  87. Osmosis Jones

    Place’s like Europia are probably most common place for life advanced life in the universe . A more reliable shield that live around angry red dwarfs . Deeper in the galaxy

  88. Osmosis Jones

    What if live breaths hydrogen sulfides. Or even lives without atmosphere and makes its own

  89. Lowes gameing

    Exoplanets are very diverse, A species evolves to adapt to it’s home planet so what would be considered a hostile environment to us would be hospitable for the indigenous species of said planet.

  90. AxKee141

    I’m waiting for us to increase the resolution of the images we get by using the sun as a gravitational lens. That should help the search even more

  91. The Lonely Rogue

    I’d be more surprised if all exoplanets were the same!

  92. Subliminalsapper

    Oh boy…flat-earthers are gonna eat this up.

  93. Osmosis Jones

    Proof of panspermia our dna goes back 9billion years

  94. MixedKing

    God, I’d love to visit exoplanets for science

  95. Dubswitcher

    Just copy Star Trek lol

  96. k7999

    Hey 🐎

  97. A K.


Comments are closed.