There are planets close enough to each other that could share life and boost its survival, a new study suggests. Scientists are exploring the potential presence of "multihabitable systems," planetary systems with more than one habitable planet.

Two planets have already been discovered so close together around a star, known as Kepler-36, about 1,200 light-years from Earth. Scientists from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas observed the planets through a series of computer models, simulating multihabitable systems.

Researchers have found the two planets could potentially be sharing life through meteor impacts. Scientists say that meteorites from a planet could transfer a life-bearing material, like microbes, to its neighbour, a process known as lithopanspermia.

Previous research shows that there have been over 100 meteorites on Earth that came from Mars. However, lithopanspermia remains uncertain between Mars and Earth.

The great distance between the planets and the impact on the surface of Earth have potentially affected the survival of life-bearing materials on meteorites. But the scientists said the planets in multihabitable systems are considered much closer to each other, allowing microbes to more likely survive their journey and the impacts.

The study was presented on Dec. 1 at the Extreme Solar Systems III meeting in Waikoloa Beach, Hawaii. The two planets around the Kepler-36 also raise the possibility of two or more Earth-sized planets orbiting near each other in multihabitable systems.

"The most interesting possibility that these systems enable is a biological family tree that is shared among the two planets," lead author Jason Steffen, from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, told The scientists believe that life could potentially be available in “two places at the same time and in the same system” in multihabitable systems.

Climates could also be stable on planets in multihabitable systems. "The climate isn't likely to be any worse in multihabitable systems, and the possibility of two planets sharing the biological burden could help the system traverse the inevitable rough times," Steffen said in a statement.

"You can imagine that if civilizations did arise on both planets, they could communicate with each other for hundreds of years before they ever met face-to-face,” he added. “It's certainly food for thought."

However, Steffen noted that no real system has been discovered with life forms “communicating with each other."

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