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Other Solar Systems Could Be More Habitable Than Ours 143

SternisheFan sends word of new research out of Ohio State University into the possibility of life arising in other star systems: "Scattered around the Milky Way are stars that resemble our own sun—but a new study is finding that any planets orbiting those stars may very well be hotter and more dynamic than Earth. That's because the interiors of any terrestrial planets in these systems are likely warmer than Earth—up to 25 percent warmer, which would make them more geologically active and more likely to retain enough liquid water to support life, at least in its microbial form. ... 'If it turns out that these planets are warmer than we previously thought, then we can effectively increase the size of the habitable zone around these stars by pushing the habitable zone farther from the host star, and consider more of those planets hospitable to microbial life,' said Unterborn, who presented the results at the American Geophysical Union meeting in San Francisco this week."
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Other Solar Systems Could Be More Habitable Than Ours

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  • by SJHillman ( 1966756 ) on Tuesday December 04, 2012 @06:50PM (#42185797)

    The atmosphere. Move Venus out to the orbit of Earth or even Mars and it would still be way too hot and toxic.

  • Blow up a balloon. Now, look at that rubber covering. That's where we live on the balloon planet. We could mine as much as we want from the crust and literally not even scratch the surface. Now, maybe some day we'll have mantle drilling operations to extract molten materials from deep within the planet, but no, we're not doing that, so no. Besides, Get out your GPS. Wait till a little before the moon is rising or after it has just set. Take a GPS elevation measurement. Then, take one again when the moon is directly overhead. Where I'm at the crust fluctuates ~30cm (one foot), just due to the moon's tidal forces... Massaging the crust like that has to have some effect on tectonics doncha think? Imagine all the friction that flexing causes...

  • by TapeCutter ( 624760 ) on Tuesday December 04, 2012 @08:42PM (#42186751) Journal
    I believe the GP was talking about a natural runaway GH effect, this is the fate of the Earth when the oceans evaporate in ~0.5 billion yrs from now. Venus and Mars also had oceans in the distant past. The water vapour is split by solar radiation and the hydrogen is lost to space, the oxygen is then free, oxygen doesn't like being free so it binds with carbon, sulphur, nitrogen, etc.

    Of course, back then we had "tropical" climes north of the Arctic Circle

    If you think the entire planet was like Hawaii back then, you're sadly misinformed.

The only function of economic forecasting is to make astrology look respectable. -- John Kenneth Galbraith