Habitable Worlds

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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.

If you’re thinking about leaving town, escaping whichever nutso nation you find yourself encapsulated within – consider a truly long-range journey.

I have no idea how to get there.

Thanks, Ursarodinia

One thought on “Habitable Worlds

  1. ARP 2500 says:

    “First map of clouds on an exoplanet” http://arstechnica.com/science/2015/10/first-map-of-clouds-on-an-exoplanet/ “Of the 2,000-plus planets discovered orbiting alien stars, only one has been found to have clouds. The planet, Kepler-7b, is one of the earliest exoplanets discovered.” …”By observing this planet with Spitzer and Kepler {Space Telescopes} for more than three years, we were able to produce a very low-resolution ‘map’ of this giant, gaseous planet,” said lead author Brice-Olivier Demory of Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge. “We wouldn’t expect to see oceans or continents on this type of world, but we detected a clear, reflective signature that we interpreted as clouds.”
    Using a modeling technique, they have systematically estimated the extent, location, and optical thickness of the clouds. It’s likely that the clouds are tall, extending high up into the planet’s atmosphere; they’re more focused in the planet’s western hemisphere, with little in the east. Furthermore, they were able to determine their probable composition: silicates, perovskite, and silica, though it’s difficult to determine exactly how much of each.”

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