Life on Earth-Sized Planets Predicted to be Widespread
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January 17, 2014

Life on Earth-Sized Planets Predicted to be Widespread

 

EarthlikePlanet-590

 

Earth-sized planets can support life at least ten times farther away from stars than previously thought, according to researchers at the University of Aberdeen and the University of St Andrews. Many planets previously considered uninhabitable may actually be able to support life beneath the surface. The team challenges the traditional “habitable zone” or “Goldilocks zone” — the area of space around a star that can support life — by taking into consideration life living deep below the ground.

The traditional habitable zone is based on the premise that a planet needs to be not too close to its sun but also not too far away for liquid water to persist, rather than boiling or freezing, on the surface, said researcher Sean McMahon. “But that theory fails to take into account life that can exist beneath a planet’s surface. As you get deeper below a planet’s surface, the temperature increases, and once you get down to a temperature where liquid water can exist — life can exist there too.”

The team created a computer model that estimates the temperature below the surface of a planet of a given size, at a given distance from its star. “The deepest known life on Earth is 5.3 km below the surface, but there may well be life even 10 km deep in places on Earth that haven’t yet been drilled. Using our computer model we discovered that the habitable zone for an Earth-like planet orbiting a sun-like star is about three times bigger if we include the top five kilometers below the planet surface.

“The model shows that liquid water, and as such life, could survive 5km below the Earth’s surface even if the Earth was three times further away from the sun than it is just now. If we go deeper, and consider the top 10 km below the Earth’s surface, then the habitable zone for an Earth-like planet is 14 times wider.”

The current habitable zone for our solar system extends out as far as Mars, but this re-drawn habitable zone would see the zone extend out further than Jupiter and Saturn. The findings also suggest that many of the so-called “rogue” planets drifting around in complete darkness could actually be habitable.

“Rocky planets a few times larger than the Earth could support liquid water at about 5 km below the surface even in interstellar space, and even if they have no atmosphere, because the larger the planet, the more heat they generate internally.

“It has been suggested that the planet Gliese 581 d, which is 20 light years away from Earth in the constellation Libra, may be too cold for liquid water at the surface. However, our model suggests that it is very likely to be able to support liquid water less than 2 km below the surface, assuming it is Earth-like.”

“The surfaces of rocky planets and moons that we know of are nothing like Earth. They’re typically cold and barren with no atmosphere or a very thin or even corrosive atmosphere. Going below the surface protects you from a whole host of unpleasant conditions on the surface. So the subsurface habitable zone may turn out to be very important. Earth might even be unusual in having life on the surface.”

NASA’s Kepler team recently reported in Astrophysical Journal on four years of ground-based follow-up observations of the masses, sizes, and orbits of 49 planets orbiting 22 Kepler stars. The study confirmed that the numerous Kepler discoveries are indeed planets and yield mass measurements of these enigmatic worlds that vary between Earth and Neptune in size.

“Kepler’s primary objective is to determine the prevalence of planets of varying sizes and orbits. Of particular interest to the search for life is the prevalence of Earth-sized planets in the habitable zone,” said Natalie Batalha, Kepler mission scientist at NASA’s Ames Research Center in Moffett Field, Calif.

“But the question in the back of our minds is: are all planets the size of Earth rocky? Might some be scaled-down versions of icy Neptunes or steamy water worlds? What fraction are recognizable as kin of our rocky, terrestrial globe?”

Dynamical mass measurements made by Kepler provided a hint: a large fraction of planets smaller than 1.5 times the radius of Earth may be comprised of the silicates, iron, nickel and magnesium that are found in the terrestrial planets here in the solar system, they found. Armed with this type of information, scientists will be able to turn the fraction of stars harboring Earth-sizes planets into the fraction of stars harboring bona-fide rocky planets. And that’s a step closer to finding a habitable environment beyond the solar system — perhaps underground.

Source: Sean McMahon, Jack O’Malley-James, John Parnell, Circumstellar habitable zones for deep terrestrial biospheres, Planetary and Space Science, 2013, DOI: 10.1016/j.pss.2013.07.002

The Daily Galaxy via  University of Aberdeen and the University of St Andrews

Image creditL http://exep.jpl.nasa.gov/TPF/tpf_earths.cfm

Comments

CATCH-22 FOR EVOLUTIONARY ORIGIN OF LIFE

What many don't realize is that although oxygen is necessary for life's processes, the presence of oxygen would prevent life from coming into being. This is because oxygen is destructive unless there are mechanisms already in place to control, direct, and regulate it such as what we find in already existing forms of life.

Evolutionists must assume that the early earth had no oxygen. But, then that would mean there was no ozone layer in the atmosphere to protect from harmful radiation that would destroy life or even any budding form of life. Ozone is made-up of oxygen. It's a Catch-22 situation for evolutionists. In fact, there are numerous Catch-22 situations for evolutionists when it comes to the origin of life issue. The latest scientific evidence from geology shows that there, indeed, was oxygen in the earth's earliest atmosphere.

Miller, in his famous experiment in 1953 (and he made sure not use oxygen), showed that individual amino acids (the building blocks of life) could come into existence by chance. But, it's not enough just to have amino acids. The various amino acids that make-up life must link together in a precise sequence, just like the letters in a sentence, to form functioning protein molecules. If they're not in the right sequence the protein molecules won't work. It has never been shown that various amino acids can bind together into a sequence by chance to form protein molecules. Even the simplest cell is made up of many millions of various protein molecules.

The probability of just an average size protein molecule arising by chance is 10 to the 65th power. Mathematicians have said any event in the universe with odds of 10 to 50th power or greater is impossible! The late great British scientist Sir Frederick Hoyle calculated that the the odds of even the simplest cell coming into existence by chance is 10 to the 40,000th power! How large is this? Consider that the total number of atoms in our universe is 10 to the 23rd power.

The cell could not have gradually evolved. A partially evolved cell would quickly disintegrate under the effects of random forces of the environment, especially without the protection of a complete and fully functioning cell membrane. A partially evolved cell cannot wait millions of years for chance to make it complete and living! In fact, it couldn't have even reached the partially evolved state.

Of course, once there is a complete and living cell then the code and mechanisms exist to direct the formation of more cells. The problem for evolutionists is how did the cell originate when there were no directing code and mechanisms in nature. Natural laws may explain how a cell or airplane works but mere undirected natural laws could not have brought about the existence of either.

What about natural selection? Natural selection doesn't create or produce anything. It can only "select" from what is produced that has survival value. Natural selection can only "select" from variations that are possible. If a variation occurs that helps a species survive, that survival is called " natural selection." It's a passive process. There's no conscious selection by nature, and natural selection only operates in nature once there is life and reproduction and not before, so it would not be of assistance to the origin of life.

Science can't prove we're here by chance or design. Neither was observed. Both are positions of faith. The issue is which faith is best supported by science. Let the scientific arguments of both sides be presented.

Read my popular Internet articles: SCIENCE AND THE ORIGIN OF LIFE, ANY LIFE ON MARS CAME FROM EARTH

Visit my Internet site: THE SCIENCE SUPPORTING CREATION

Babu G. Ranganathan*

(B.A. Bible/Biology)

Author of the popular Internet article, TRADITIONAL DOCTRINE OF HELL EVOLVED FROM GREEK ROOTS

*I have given successful lectures (with question and answer period afterwards) defending creation before evolutionist science faculty and students at various colleges and universities. I've been privileged to be recognized in the 24th edition of Marquis "Who's Who in The East" for my writings on religion and science.

I think personally that you should move your crap somewhere else, then banned from here and die.

big text with lots of nonsense you should lecture on an android factory, where you should more easelly input that nonsense on pre programmed minds......


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