Exoplanets Intelligent Design

Earthsize, yes, but is planet TOI 700 Earth-LIKE?

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This illustration of TOI 700 d is based on several simulated environments for an ocean-covered version of the planet. | Credit: NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center
Conception of TOI 700 d/ Goddard Space Flight Center

NASA’s NASA’s Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) found a planet orbiting a star “100 light-years away in the southern constellation Dorado:

“TESS was designed and launched specifically to find Earth-sized planets orbiting nearby stars,” said Paul Hertz, astrophysics division director at NASA Headquarters in Washington. “Planets around nearby stars are easiest to follow-up with larger telescopes in space and on Earth. Discovering TOI 700 d is a key science finding for TESS. Confirming the planet’s size and habitable zone status with Spitzer is another win for Spitzer as it approaches the end of science operations this January.”

NASA/Jet Propulsion Laboratory, “NASA planet hunter finds Earth-size habitable-zone world” at ScienceDaily

But wait:

The innermost planet, called TOI 700 b, is almost exactly Earth-size, is probably rocky and completes an orbit every 10 days. The middle planet, TOI 700 c, is 2.6 times larger than Earth — between the sizes of Earth and Neptune — orbits every 16 days and is likely a gas-dominated world. TOI 700 d, the outermost known planet in the system and the only one in the habitable zone, measures 20% larger than Earth, orbits every 37 days and receives from its star 86% of the energy that the Sun provides to Earth. All of the planets are thought to be tidally locked to their star, which means they rotate once per orbit so that one side is constantly bathed in daylight.

NASA/Jet Propulsion Laboratory, “NASA planet hunter finds Earth-size habitable-zone world” at ScienceDaily

If they are tidally locked, like the Moon, that is bad news for hopes of life or habitability, no?

Note: “Habitable zone” needn’t mean a whole lot. Abundant Earth is in a habitable one but so is the lifeless Moon, tidally locked.

Hey, keep looking.

21 Replies to “Earthsize, yes, but is planet TOI 700 Earth-LIKE?

  1. 1
    ET says:

    Yes, tidally locked means there is no chance of life. The star is a red dwarf. If they really want to find life they need to find a star like our Sun and then look for planets around it.

  2. 2
    Ed George says:

    If they are tidally locked, like the Moon, that is bad news for hopes of life or habitability, no?

    I don’t think that being tidally locked is the limiting factor, although it will limit the amount of surface area for life to develop. The moon cannot support life (or we don’t think it can) because it is of insufficient mass to retain an atmosphere and, therefore, water.

  3. 3
    Latemarch says:

    As I understand it, it’s also very difficult to maintain an atmosphere when you are that close to an M type (dwarf) star. They have frequent flares which tend to blow off any atmosphere that might accumulate.

  4. 4
    ET says:

    As latemarch said, rotation = revolution doesn’t make for a “gas-dominated world” of TOI 700 c. Unless it migrated from outside the habitable zone and still has some gasses left. Or maybe it’s getting baked and giving off gas as a result.

    There isn’t a magnetic field to protect an atmosphere…

  5. 5
    Trumper says:

    “All of the planets are thought to be tidally locked to their star, which means they rotate once per orbit so that one side is constantly bathed in daylight”
    I get it that from a vantage point other than the two bodies ( T 700 and it’s sun) it looks like it rotates. but technically isn’t it just orbiting w/o rotation….hence only one side ever (ever ever) faces it’s sun

  6. 6
    Latemarch says:

    Trumper@5:
    “I get it that from a vantage point other than the two bodies ( T 700 and it’s sun) it looks like it rotates. but technically isn’t it just orbiting w/o rotation….hence only one side ever (ever ever) faces it’s sun”

    Set yourself down with any handy objects easily manipulated and you’ll see that it has to rotate once per “year” if it’s going to keep one face to the sun. This is one of those times where it can be handy to use a geocentric rather than heliocentric reference system.

  7. 7
    Trumper says:

    Thanks Latemarch…. but but even from that perspective it does not rotate upon an axis (no matter what angle like our planet does). So for example if a planet like ours rotates while it orbits…. you could hypothetically anchor an imaginary super stretchy string from the center of the planet to the center of the sun i. after several years that planet will not be wrapped up (or wrapped around) by any string…. but in the example of our planet earth…. it certainly would be.

    Clearly when only these two reference points are considered (as they would be in this case for life possibilities ) that planet is not rotational rather it is orbital.

  8. 8
    ET says:

    Trumper:

    but even from that perspective it does not rotate upon an axis

    It has to (rotate upon an axis)

  9. 9
    Latemarch says:

    Let’s try this one more time.
    If the planet is not rotating then if you were on the surface of the planet the distant stars would not move in the sky.
    If the distant stars move then you are rotating. We don’t care what the sun is doing.
    Sit down with your objects again and as it goes around in its orbit with one face toward the sun, what happens in relation to the distant stars (some fixed point in the room) compared to a fixed point on the planet?

    You should know there is no shame in not understanding this. It’s subtle. I have had the same problem with my home school students.

  10. 10
    Trumper says:

    So we can all agree that 700 is NOT rotational like the Earth is……it orbits it’s sun , like we do but it does NOT rotate on it’s axis like we do. the string experiment proved that out- that is the point being made here. We have day/night (pretty much every day last i checked). Life is far less likely to form is there are no seasons …. and no day/night – given that we have only found life where there is such an environment. Yes that does not mean that life of any form is not capable otherwise. Personally I believe there is very likely life out there , possibly even intelligent and it in no way discredits ID …. rather it supports it.

  11. 11
    Trumper says:

    @Latemarch- you probably confused your poor students. please re-read for comprehension … only two bodies are being referenced. If you choose to inject other bodies to reference then we can certainly change this discussion to that.
    Good luck with your future education endeavors…and good luck to your subjects you are attempting to educate.

  12. 12
    DiEb says:

    @Trumper:

    get an orange, get an apple, mark one side of the apple with a pin. Now move the apple around the orange in a circle such that the pin is always facing the orange.

    Observation: you have to turn the apple around its axis to keep the pin facing the orange.

    The apple turns once a year around its own axis. Inhabitants of the apple could spot this movement with their own version of Foucault’s pendulum.

  13. 13
    Trumper says:

    @DiEb – yeah pretty simple thing to do there, same with the penny and nickle on a table….same with the horse running around the track examples…… Yet what you and others are simply looking past is that you are changing the perspective from just two bodies to more than two.
    In the original comment, and of most importance in relation to possibilities of life, the perspective is only between planet 700 and it’s sun….not some third vantage point as some are trying to inject
    Simply put once again – imagine just two bodies (like our moon and our earth) imagine a super stretchy string anchored to the center of each one. after several orbits you can then make the observation that only one body is tidal locked and is not being wrapped up in the string.
    So when comparing two planets, one that rotates on it’s axis like our earth and one that does not like planet 700 by the same experiment after just one ‘day’ it is apparent that only one of these planets will be wrapping itself in this imaginary string…after just one year it becomes more so apparent..and after 100 years there will still be *no* string wrapped around planet 700.
    I think what is being shown here is that to rotate on it’s axis is basically to be spinning correct? If planet 700 were in any way spinning in relation to it’s sun, it would not be tidal locked to it’s sun…and therefore have a little better chance of forming some type of life.
    I get that we all agree that planet 700 is tidal locked, what I don’t get is that one can think that planet 700 ‘has to’ rotate upon it’s axis when comparing only those two objects…. it has no spin in relation to it’s sun.

  14. 14
    DiEb says:

    @Trumper: perform Foucault’s pendulum experiment on the top of the apple: the plane of oscillation will stay put not in relation to the orange, but in relation to the surrounding space. If the apple is moving around the orange, observers on the apple will see the change in the orientation of the plane and can conclude that the apple is rotating once an orange-year, even if living under ground.

    To not spin around its own axis, the apple-day has to be as long as the orange-year (though this would mess with the string)!

  15. 15
    Trumper says:

    DiEb… again…nobody is arguing the orientation of planet 700 as it ‘orbits’ it’s sun….to you here on earth it appears to be rotating on its axis fully once per year….. but that was not the discussion…. the discussion was about only two points of reference. Planet 700 and it’s sun. Planet 700 has zero spin in relation to it’s sun…no matter if you lived on your apple or your orange. Planet 700 will always face it’s sun as they both move through space. I think we are saying the same thing here and just being stubborn.
    Planet 700 does not spin on it’s axis around it’s sun…(like our Earth does) it has no day night…it is tidal locked and it is a poorer candidate for life due to that
    Planet 700 does spin on various axes depending upon ones point of references and orbital paths.

  16. 16
    Latemarch says:

    A brief article about stars and habitable zones.
    Goldilocks Stars Are Best Places To Look For Life
    Heh! Of course there’s that underlying assumption that if you make warm ponds and wait long enough life will spontaneously arise.

  17. 17
    pw says:

    Off topic – sorry.

    Please, can somebody explain to me how this was possible?

    Were those high temperatures in the winter of 1890 the result of the industrial revolution? I’m not good in history.

    Thanks in advance for any clarifying information on this.

    Pittsburgh and Washington, D.C., could come close to breaking 130-year-old temperature records this weekend. Saturday’s record high in the Steel City stands at 68 from 1890 while Sunday’s record in D.C. is 76 from the same year.

    https://www.accuweather.com/en/weather-forecasts/record-challenging-warmth-to-thaw-wintry-northeast-this-weekend/659224

  18. 18
    PavelU says:

    PW,
    That’s simply called “global warming” (aka. climate change). Didn’t you get the memo?

  19. 19
    Trumper says:

    Pw – Most high temps that we experience today are basically not a result of ‘global warming’…rather they are more localized in nature. Your example is one of many where some zones experienced high temps against recent records while other zones hit lows. Look at the 1930s in the US – those record high temps (many of which still have not been broken) occurred while record lows also landed. (and we have had massive increase in human-made CO2 in the last 40 years).
    It basically points to many other things being in play than just humans or just C02…

  20. 20
    DiEb says:

    It seems that neither apples nor oranges can convince you.

    Newton has already thought about this problem: The inhabitants of the apple can make observations which will allow them to conclude that it is turning around its axis once a year (and that the apple and the orange are not, e.g., moving in parallel through space)

    Obviously, you can invoke general relativity, but that is another can of worms altogether.

  21. 21
    asauber says:

    “That’s simply called “global warming” (aka. climate change)”

    PavelU,

    Sure. Just comment some jargon. Very convincing.

    Andrew

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