Skip to comments.Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Habitable Worlds
Posted on 03/03/2014 5:30:33 PM PST by SunkenCiv
Explanation: Is Earth the only known world that can support life? In an effort to find life-habitable worlds outside our Solar System, stars similar to our Sun are being monitored for slight light decreases that indicate eclipsing planets. Many previously-unknown planets are being found, including over 700 worlds recently uncovered by NASA's Kepler satellite. Depicted above in artist's illustrations are twelve extrasolar planets that orbit in the habitable zones of their parent stars. These exoplanets have the right temperature for water to be a liquid on their surfaces, and so water-based life on Earth might be able to survive on them. Although technology cannot yet detect resident life, finding habitable exoplanets is a step that helps humanity to better understand its place in the cosmos.
(Excerpt) Read more at 18.104.22.168 ...
[Credit & Licence: Planetary Habitability Laboratory (UPR Arecibo)]
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Venus & Mars also orbit in or near the Habitable (”Goldilocks”) Zone of their parent star.
Privileged Planet (Chapter 1 of 12)
Actually mars orbits in the outer edge of the habitable zone and Earth orbits at the inner edge.
On the chart you instantly notice that Earth is the smallest of all those planets.
I’ll guess that gravity might limit the optimal size of living things on many of those planets.
I wonder if self-propelled flight is possible on some of those really large planets?
I always enjoy your posts of NASA photos. Maybe UFO’s and aliens from space are real.
Yes, the title is misleading. These planets may be in the “habitable zone”, but no exoplanet has yet been discovered that would actually be habitable as far as humans are concerned.
Its also possible that some of those planets may be closer to earth mass but have large moons that we can’t currently spot.
RE: “Earth orbits at the inner edge of the habitable zone”
Quite a few scientists seem to believe that Venus’ atmosphere might hold microscopic life or very buoyant life forms.
A show about possible alien earths on the Science channel at 10 tonight.
The upper atmosphere of Venus would be considerably cooler than the surface but its very dry. Hard to say what is possible.
The gravity of these planets will have been what it is — IOW, whatever chances to live there has always lived in those conditions.
:’) Thanks Vinylly.
RE: The giant blue planet
So, are you thinking a large planet covered by water?
I guess that would solve the weight problem completely.
If you know, would high gravity change the physical qualities of liquid water in any way?
Would its solvency for gases and solids change?
Kepler’s pile of possibles has yielded hundreds of verifieds, with another potential 2000 or so to go. And nice pic of a habitable moon!
Venus is ridiculously hot, and that mitigates against any kind of life form as we’d recognize it. Extremophiles might, possibly, live in the extreme upper atmosphere, but they’d have to be introductions, iow, not native to Venus.
Actually I was thinking about moons orbiting large gas giants. I know some of the large gas giants found orbit neatly within their star’s habitable zones.
If you’re interested in possible flying creatures in gas giant atmospheres, you should read “Saturn Rukh” by Robert L Forward. He was an actual physicist and a conservative so his books presented a lot of good science in a fiction format.
There is also the possibility of micro organism life forms, in regards some of moons of the larger outer planet's in our own system, such as Saturn and Jupiter.
Kepler looked at one tiny postage stamp of sky and only looked for transiting planets. Pretty amazing what it found. I was playing with the NASA Eyes on exoplanets program today and noticed that a large number of the planets found were multiple planets.
And not a one of them has a decent cup of coffee. Sure, a couple of them have a decent chicken fried steak, but good coffee? Nope. They kept offering me Tang, but I told them I wanted coffee. And yeah, a little cream and sugar, too. How hard is that? Build big space battle carriers, but can’t come up with a good cup a Joe. Pathetic.
A sidebar (the Moon is about 1/100th the mass of Earth)
Your Weight on the Moon
another (Mars is about 1/8th the mass of Earth)
There was a time I wouldn’t ever turn down Tang.
It’s astounding how much more is known than, say, 15 years ago, and yet detractors of this kind of research keep implying the existence of precognition regarding what we will and won’t find, or developments in propulsion. :’)
Based on the rate of increase in the number of known exoplanets, fifteen years from now they will number in the many thousands, and discernable size will drop by another factor of ten (at least).
Did you ever mix Tang with Ovaltine? I called it Tangaltine. Or maybe it was Ovalang. I gave it to my little Sister to drink. She named her cat after me. She calls him “Asshole”. He does kind of resemble me.
Our technology is advancing at an incredible rate and its just not possible to say what will be possible a few decades from now.
It seems that every time we’ve decided a planet can’t be somewhere, planets are found there.
I prefer the term “domestic shorthair”. ;’)
In 5000 years humans went from making stone tools and using them for everything, to building a scanning/tunnelling electron microscope capable of moving individual atoms. I haven’t even apprenticed in flint-knapping yet...
If the larger planets shown have an earth similar gravity, it would be due to a lower density and would probably preclude having a fractionated and molten or partially molten core to generate a significant magnetic field (a dynamo-core).
That magnetic field comes in handy for keeping the solar wind from hinking up the atmosphere and making life tougher on the surface.
While I don’t think it’s a barrier to life, it would be a lot more difficult to get established there and would probably lead to indigenous species that were quite a bit tougher than earth based life.
Higher gravity would probably mean they have the dynamo-core, so radiation would be limited to good levels at the surface, and then there could be some interesting critters in that environment too. Either super lithe/lightweight or super dense in muscle with maybe a harder material evolved for bone formation.
Funny...none are blue
Gee, with Obama around our planet is barely habitable anymore.