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Researchers: Exo-planets more friendly than thought

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From ScienceDaily:

A study by astrophysicists at the University of Toronto suggests that exoplanets — planets outside our solar system — are more likely to have liquid water and be more habitable than we thought.

“Planets with potential oceans could have a climate that is much more similar to Earth’s than previously expected,” said Jérémy Leconte, a postdoctoral fellow at the Canadian Institute for Theoretical Astrophysics (CITA) at the University of Toronto, and lead author of a study published today in Science Express.

Scientists have thought that exoplanets behave in a manner contrary to that of Earth — that is they always show their same side to their star. If so, exoplanets would rotate in sync with their star so that there is always one hemisphere facing it while the other hemisphere is in perpetual cold darkness.

Leconte’s study suggests, however, that as exoplanets rotate around their stars, they spin at such a speed as to exhibit a day-night cycle similar to Earth.

“If we are correct, there is no permanent, cold night side on exoplanets causing water to remain trapped in a gigantic ice sheet. Whether this new understanding of exoplanets’ climate increases the ability of these planets to develop life remains an open question.”

YOU bet the farm on it. Send us a postcard.

And that space alien was due on the set three hours ago. Who’s in charge of the Screen Actors’ Guild now? Who? Yeah, sure. And Superman is still waiting for a phone booth, right?

Abstract: Jérémy Leconte, Hanbo Wu, Kristen Menou, Norman Murray. Asynchronous rotation of Earth-mass planets in the habitable zone of lower-mass stars. Science, 2015

See also: Early Earth was indeed “extremely oxygen-poor compared to today” (It may have had more methane and carbon dioxide)

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2 Replies to “Researchers: Exo-planets more friendly than thought

  1. 1
    JayJay says:

    I’m no expert in any field but I am intrested in the subject at hand. If ID proceeds in its quest to disprove the current Origins of life theory, would that strengthen the fact that intelligent design was the source of complex organism creation? Would it mean that those Exo-planets would have to have very very similar conditions to Earth inorder for life to exist or would some different form of life platform be able to support life?
    Perhaps one with a external temperature that differes form that seen on Earth?

    I apologise that I’m not as intelligent as most but I would like to understand this abit more.

    JayJay

  2. 2
    mahuna says:

    OK, I hadn’t picked up on this ANYWHERE else, but are these bozos (a precise technical term) stating as a general fact that ALL exo-planets are ALWAYS tidally locked with their star?

    As far as I know, the ONLY planet in our solar system that is tidally locked with Sol is Mercury, and you can have ALL of my share of the oceans on Mercury.

    Even assuming that the exo-planet somehow managed to collect oceans of water, there is the problem that if you are VERY close to your star (as many of “Earthlike” exo-planets orbiting red dwarfs are), then you are CONTINUOUSLY bathed in enough radiation to STERLIZE the planets several times a day. The same is true of the moons of the gas giants: forget the cold, the radiation will kill you before you freeze to death.

    Oh, wait. I think they’re playing “Let’s Pretend”. So let’s all think up a planet where unicorns and pixies live, and it’s springtime every day, and we can fly there in ordinary airplanes this afternoon.

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