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Researchers: Rocky dead planets common, therefore ET life common


According to “autopsies” of planets frizzled by white dwarfs:

In a study published on Thursday, researchers studied six white dwarfs whose strong gravitational pull had sucked in shredded remnants of planets and other rocky bodies that had been in orbit. This material, they found, was very much like that present in rocky planets such as Earth and Mars in our solar system.

Given that Earth harbors an abundance of life, the findings offer the latest tantalizing evidence that planets similarly capable of hosting life exist in large numbers beyond our solar system.

“The more we find commonalities between planets made in our solar system and those around other stars, the more the odds are enhanced that the Earth is not unusual,” said Edward Young, a geochemistry and cosmochemistry professor at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), who helped lead the study published in the journal Science.

Will Dunham, “Planetary ‘autopsies’ indicate worlds like Earth common in the cosmos” at Reuters

In case you thought this field was “settled science”, see also: “Evolution” says we are alone


Once again, for the thousandth time, we are “closing in” on alien life

There are many necessary attributes for a planet that MIGHT support Earth-like life. "Having rocks" is a good start, but of course "Being REALLY really close to your Star" generally gets you thrown out of any further consideration. There are also problems such as any planet too small (e.g., Mars) to retain a real atmosphere is a waste of time, and then even Venus, which was LONG assumed to be so Earthlike that it MUST have a similarly diverse population of Life, turns out to be a literal hell-hole. Can you say, "Grasping at straws"? I knew you could. But I highly recommend people who are interested in the general question of how common "Earthlike" planets are read "Rare Earth" by Peter Ward and the more recent "Privileged Planet" by Guillermo Gonzalez. You need to analyze the whole package: planet, tide producing moon, meteor-shield Jupiters, type of star, location of the star within the galaxy, etc., etc. Perhaps 90% (or more) of Space is simply a write-off because the secondary requirements aren't there. vmahuna
"Where are they?" - Enrico Fermi (a lunchtime conversation at Los Alamos, 1950). The question stands unanswered. EugeneS
Soooooo we will see if their study actually produces results, it increases the odds earth isn’t unusual and once we increase the odds high enough with studying all of these dead planets magical poof another earth will appear. Surprised they still haven’t found one yet AaronS1978

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