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Millions more planets theoretically habitable?

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The first clue for caution is this should be the title: Theoretical astrophysicists have discovered that millions of planets are more habitable than we realized

The authors, led by Jérémy Leconte, a postdoctoral fellow at the Canadian Institute for Theoretical Astrophysics at the University of Toronto, built a three-dimensional climate model and found that a thin atmosphere would allow a planet to break free of rotational lockup and spin as it rotates around the star.

Scientists previously thought that only a large atmosphere could create a significant spin but, according to Leconte, thin atmospheres may have a larger rotational effect, because they allow more light from the star to reach the planet’s surface. This solar heat drives wind to create an atmospheric tide, which in turn creates a friction that causes the planet to rotate.

Don’t blast off just yet.

See also: Don’t let Mars fool you. Those exoplanets teem with life!

podcast - Hugh Ross on Eric Metaxas's radio show - Tuesday, September 29, 2015 http://www.metaxastalk.com/podcast/tuesday-september-29-2015/ bornagain77
Of related interest:
Eric Metaxas - Does Science Argue for or against God? - animated video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UjGPHF5A6Po Requirements to sustain intelligent physical life: - Hugh Ross Probability for occurrence of all 816 parameters approx. 10^-1333 dependency factors estimate approx. 10^-324 longevity requirements estimate approx. 10^45 Probability for occurrence of all 816 parameters approx. 10^-1054 Maximum possible number of life support bodies in observable universe approx. 10^22 Thus, less than 1 chance in 10^1032 exists that even one such life-support body would occur anywhere in the universe without invoking divine miracle http://www.reasons.org/files/compendium/compendium_part3.pdf Existence Itself Is a Miracle - Oct. 2014 Excerpt: "For instance, if the earth were slightly larger, it would of course have slightly more gravity. As a result, methane and ammonia gas, which have molecular weights of sixteen and seventeen respectively, would remain close to the surface of the earth. Since we can’t breathe methane or ammonia because of their toxicity, we would die. If Earth were slightly smaller, water vapor would not stay close to the planet’s surface, but would instead dissipate into the atmosphere. Obviously, without water we couldn’t exist." Eric Metaxus https://www.breakpoint.org/bpcommentaries/entry/13/26299
An average apple is about 225 millimeters around, and its skin is about 3 millimeters thick. If we compare the Earth and its atmosphere to an apple and its skin, the skin of the apple is about 20 times thicker relative to the size of the apple than the atmosphere is to the size of the Earth. If you were a creature who could only live in the skin of an apple, you wouldn’t want to stray very far in the wrong direction. Similarly, human beings don’t go very far from sea level — even to the tops of high mountains — without oxygen masks or pressurized cabins. (per decoded science)
Tidal forces could squeeze out planetary water - February 2012 Excerpt: Alien planets might experience tidal forces powerful enough to remove all their water, leaving behind hot, dry worlds like Venus, researchers said. These findings might significantly affect searches for habitable exoplanets, scientists explained. Although some planets might dwell in regions around their star friendly enough for life as we know it, they could actually be lifelessly dry worlds. ,,, After a tidal Venus loses all its water and becomes uninhabitable, the tides could alter its orbit so that it no longer experiences tidal heating. As such, it might no longer appear like a tidal Venus, but look just like any other world in its star's habitable zone, fooling researchers into thinking it is potentially friendly for life, even though it has essentially been sterilized. http://www.physorg.com/news/2012-02-tidal-planetary.html Dr. Michael Denton Interview Excerpt Question 14: 14. Q: ,,,you also detail that nature isn’t fine-tuned for just any kind of life, but life specifically like human life. Would you expound on this for our readers? A: there are certain elements of the fine-tuning which are clearly for advanced being like ourselves. We are warm-blooded, terrestrial aerobes; we use oxidation to get energy, we’re warm-blooded and we breathe air. We get our oxygen from the air. First of all, a warm-blooded organism needs to maintain a constant temperature. To do that we are massively assisted by the high specific heat of water, which buffers our body against rapid changes in temperature. In getting rid of excess heat, we utilize the evaporative cooling of water. That’s why dog’s pant, we sweat, etc. Warm-blooded organisms have to get rid of excess heat, and the evaporative cooling of water is the only way you’ve really got to get rid of heat when the temperature reaches close to body temperature. When it’s hot you can’t radiate off body heat to the environment. These critical thermal properties are obviously of great utility to air breathing, warm-blooded organisms like our self. But what relevance do they have to an extremophile living in the deep ocean, or a cold-blooded fish living in the sea? It’s obvious that these are elements of fitness in nature which seem to be of great and specific utility to beings like us, and very little utility to a lot of other organisms. Of course it is the case that they are playing a role in maintaining the constancy of global climate, the physical and chemical constancy of the hydrosphere and so forth. No doubt the evaporative cooling of water plays a big role in climatic amelioration; it transfers heat from the tropics to the higher latitudes and this is of utility for all life on earth. But definitely water’s thermal properties seem particularly fit for advanced organisms of biology close to our own. And even the freezing of water from the top down rather than the bottom up, which conserves large bodies of fresh water on the earth, is again relevant to large organisms. Bacterial cells can withstand quite well periodically freezing. And for unicellular organisms living in the hot sub surface rocks its pretty well irrelevant. In other words the top down freezing and the consequent preservation of liquid water is of much more utility for a large organism, but of far less relevance for microbial life. Or consider the generation and utilization of oxygen. We use oxygen, but many organisms don’t use oxygen; for a lot of organisms it’s a poison. So how do we get our oxygen? When we look at the conditions in the universe for photosynthesis, we find a magical collusion between of all sorts of different elements of fitness. First of all the atmospheric gases let through visual light which has got the right energy for biochemistry, for photosynthesis. And what are the gases in the atmosphere that let through the light? Well, carbon dioxide, water vapor, oxygen, and nitrogen. And what are the basic reactants which are involved in photosynthesis? Well, oxygen, water, and CO2. The same compounds that let through the light are also the main ‘players’ in photosynthesis. And then you might wonder what about the harmful radiations? UV, Gamma rays, microwaves? Well to begin with the sun only puts out most of its electromagnetic radian energy in the visual region (light) and near infrared (heat) and puts out very little in the dangerous regions (UV’s, gamma rays, X-rays etc.). And wonder on wonder, the atmospheric gases absorb all these harmful radiations. And so on and on and on, one anthropocentric biofriendly coincidence after another. And what provides the necessary warmth for photosynthesis, indeed for all life on earth. What keeps the average temperature of the earth above freezing? Well water vapor and carbon dioxide. If it wasn’t for water vapor and CO2 in the atmosphere the temperature of the earth would be -33 centigrade. Now when you consider all these factors necessary for the generation of oxygen via photosynthesis knowing that not all organisms use oxygen implying that all these coincidences are irrelevant to the vast majority of all species (most of the biomass on the planet may well be anaerobic unicellular life occupying the hot deep biosphere in the sub surface rocks) never use oxygen, its clear that the special fitness of nature for oxygen utilization is for us. http://successfulstudent.org/dr-michael-denton-interview/
Also of interest
Plasma plumes help shield Earth from damaging solar storms - March 6, 2014 Excerpt: Now scientists at MIT and NASA have identified a process in Earth's magnetosphere that reinforces its shielding effect, keeping incoming solar energy at bay. By combining observations from the ground and in space, the team observed a plume of low-energy plasma particles that essentially hitches a ride along magnetic field lines -- streaming from Earth's lower atmosphere up to the point, tens of thousands of kilometers above the surface, where the planet's magnetic field connects with that of the sun. In this region, which the scientists call the "merging point," the presence of cold, dense plasma slows magnetic reconnection, blunting the sun's effects on Earth. "The Earth's magnetic field protects life on the surface from the full impact of these solar outbursts," says John Foster, associate director of MIT's Haystack Observatory. "Reconnection strips away some of our magnetic shield and lets energy leak in, giving us large, violent storms. These plasmas get pulled into space and slow down the reconnection process, so the impact of the sun on the Earth is less violent." per Science Daily Cluster Spacecraft Detects Elusive Space Wind - July 2, 2013 Excerpt: A new study provides the first conclusive proof of the existence of a space wind first proposed theoretically over 20 years ago. ,,plasmasphere, a donut-shaped region extending above Earth's atmosphere.,, "After long scrutiny of the data, there it was, a slow but steady wind, releasing about 1 kg of plasma every second into the outer magnetosphere: this corresponds to almost 90 tonnes every day.,,, "The plasmaspheric wind is an important element in the mass budget of the plasmasphere,,, The plasmasphere, the most important plasma reservoir inside the magnetosphere, plays a crucial role in governing the dynamics of Earth's radiation belts. http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/07/130702100106.htm Image of Belts http://www.eos.unh.edu/Spheres_0812/graphics/summer12_pics/magneto_lg.jpg The science behind northern lights - October 2, 2012 Excerpt: ,,,(solar) flares release a burst of charged particles, or plasma, into the solar system. When they come our way, they whack into the Earth's magnetosphere, which is made up of its own stream of charged particles. That collision causes particles to break free of the magnetosphere and cascade toward the Earth's magnetic field lines, usually traveling toward the poles. "The aurorae happen when these high-energy particles bap into atoms and molecules in the Earth's atmosphere, typically oxygen," Nemiroff said. Light is emitted as part of the reaction. Those particles can also wreak havoc. "The plasma cloud can cause the Earth's magnetic field to fluctuate," Nemiroff said. "At worst, that can knock out satellites and even power grids.",,, Per Phys Org
Here is a glimpse at how the aurora borealis is actually formed by solar flares interacting with the magnetic field:
NASA Magnetic Reconnection - video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7_Gny2JVqQ8 The Earth as You've Never Seen it Before: Atmosphere, Airglow and Aurora - video https://vimeo.com/42909676

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