It’s worth realizing that if the energy from stellar flaring is sufficient to noticeably heat the entire planet, it’s more than enough to “cook its goose.”
Bold claim: “However, given that water is the fundamental building block for all life as we know it, the exciting first-ever confirmation of two exoplanet water worlds still dramatically increases the likelihood that alien life exists in the universe. “
The HST reveals more scenes of galactic beauty.
Paul Scott Anderson writes: We know that life originated on Earth some 3.7 billion years ago. But we still don’t understand exactly how life came to be. Likewise, we know little to nothing about life on other rocky worlds, even those that might be similar to Earth. Is life a rare occurrence, or is it common? Or somewhere in Read More…
“For the first time ever, astronomers used NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope to take a direct image of a planet outside our solar system.”
One reason for hope for finding life elsewhere in the universe is that the universe appears to be fine-tuned for life. What the universe won’t do is tell us where the life is.
“A super-Earth planet has been found near the habitable zone of a red dwarf star only 37 light-years from the Earth.”
If life is “a cosmic imperative that emerges on any mineral- and water-rich world,” say the researchers, then life emerged early on Earth along with minerals.
“NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope has demonstrated its unprecedented ability to analyse the atmosphere of a planet more than 1,000 light-years away.”
As reported in Astronomy Now, NASA’s Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite has now identified more than 5,000 possible exoplanet candidates – TESS Objects of Interest, or TOIs.
Ethan Siegel: Thanks to its unique, unprecedented capabilities, JWST might answer five currently open questions about the Universe in very surprising ways.
To sum up, whatever we see or read about planets in science fiction, something out there is likely stranger still. It will be most interesting to see how many of the more conventional exoplanets have life and if there is in fact a reliable formula for predicting it. Those who claim that Earth is just an ordinary planet are certainly wrong — but is Earth unique? The universe is fine-tuned, as is Earth, and that would be an argument for life on exoplanets.
Chris Hadfield points to Kepler-442b as Earth-like but some researchers defend the possibility of life even on tidally locked planets, in “edge” zones.
Of course, science can deal only in fact but many of the facts scientists are unearthing can support science fiction premises.
University of Rochester: The researchers found that rocky planets larger than six times the mass of Earth (6M) and icy planets larger than one Earth mass (1M) produce fully—rather than partially—vaporized disks, and these fully-vaporized disks are not capable of forming fractionally large moons.