If intelligent life forms are trapped in the interior oceans of rocky moons and planets, Earth is a special planet—much better suited to space exploration.
Scharf: “Eventually it might all just be a bit of a relief. We’ll neither be alone, nor surrounded by anything particularly extraordinary. Copernican mediocrity will be somewhat restored, and we can go back to worrying about everything else that can go wrong on our speck of rock and water as it sails through the cosmos.”
Siegel thinks that a rocky planet of more than 30% greater radius than Earth stands a good change of becoming a gas giant in consequence of its size. Earth is the right size to avoid that.
It plays an unexpected role in planetary temperature, researchers found: While most research about the habitable zone has focused on a star’s brightness (as temperature dictates whether water on a planet could be liquid, ice or gas), new research is showing that this is an extremely simplified and naive picture. The true test for whether Read More…
Like space junk Oumuamua, it’ll almost certainly turn out to be nothing. So why … ? It’s a legitimate question, at this point, whether “science” is just cultural territory now—a way of saying that one is Woke, Cool, and progressive. Depending on where you work, no actual results may be required.
Andrew Zic: But given Proxima Centauri is a cool, small red-dwarf star, it means this habitable zone is very close to the star; much closer in than Mercury is to our Sun.” That would mean those planets would be “sterilised” by dangerous ionising radiation that came from their Sun.
There may or may not be other intelligent life forms out there. As it happens, we may be in a position to get hard evidence in the next century. But there is no time where it more pays to be sceptical than a time when we could get genuine information. Or not.
And yet we never hear from anyone living there. Here’s a list, just for fun, of eight possible reasons…
The Hart-Tipler conjecture (they don’t exist) is, of course, very unpopular in sci-fi. But let’s confront it, if only to move on to more promising (or maybe scarier) speculations.
As in: “For exoplanets to be superhabitable, they should be older, larger, heavier, warmer, and wetter compared to Earth, and ideally located around stars with longer lifespans than our own. So yeah, not only is Earth inferior, so too is our Sun, according to the new research.”
Researchers: Exoplanets around stars with a higher carbon to oxygen ratio than our sun are more likely to be carbon-rich. They hypothesize that these carbon-rich exoplanets could convert to diamond and silicate, if water (which is abundant in the universe) were present, creating a diamond-rich composition.
Oh for a single, solitary fossil bacterium on Mars, to make this discussion sound real…
As we’ve said here before, it is a reasonable idea. If only we could find a fossil bacterium on Mars.
There’s got a reason why so much science is beginning to sound like the National Enquirer for STEM nerds. But we are waiting for the Big Explain book to come out. Should be a classic.
At Air & Space: “There aren’t many organic silicon compounds to begin with, and silicon-based life in water, or on an oxygen-rich planet, would be all but impossible as any free silicon would react quickly and furiously to form silicate rock. And that’s pretty much the end of the story.”