Thursday, December 10, 2015

Multi-habitable systems – Alien Solar Systems offer much!


How cool would it be to instead of hopping a plane to Aunt Martha’s in California to hop a plane (rocket really) to a planet that resides as close as our Moon, okay maybe a tad further, like 40 times the distance to the Moon. AND when you get up or are maybe when you are headed to bed to watch the planet-rise in the sky. Sounds kind of cool, no? To have a spare planet around, maybe some room to stretch our proverbial legs.


Apparently it isn’t that odd; At least not in alien solar systems. The search for habitable planets is ongoing, has been for about 25 years. During that time, the existence of 1,900 exoplanets has been confirmed -some exoplanets and some around their own star right smack in the habitable zone. What is the habitable zone? In case you aren’t sure, the habitable zone is that spot where the temperatures are just right for life. Now I am a big proponent of expecting the quest for life to have worked a little differently in places such as a Methane world or a frozen world, but these worlds in the so called habitable or “Goldilocks” zone are worlds that may offer us a future.

Whether or not you are pro or con in the Climate Change debate, you must admit that the chances of something going wrong with the Earth – from a meteor to losing too much life/food, maybe facing other realities not familiar, could happen; Actually, probably will occur. We (humans) pretend we know what’s going on but we have only been on the Earth some 200,000 years or if you want to broaden the definition of ‘us’, our ancestors have been here about 6 million years BUT the Earth has been here 4.5 billion years so in terms of luck and odds…

But all is okay – two exo-planets were recently discovered around Kepler-36. They are apparently so close together that if you are on planet A you will see planet B rise as you currently see the Moon rise. It is 1200 light years from Earth in the Swan constellation.

Scientists were curious what life would be like on worlds such as these and so ran computer simulations. What did they find out? That the climates might be stable; the seasons on Earth require both the tilt of the axis to 23.5 degrees relative to its orbit around the Sun. The scientists further found that it was unlikely that gravitational interactions between the two planets would trigger any changes. HOWEVER meteorites between Earth and Mars are not likely to deliver any microbes BUT in planets so close, it is likely that biological family tree exists that is shared among the two planets. Researchers went on to suggest that this sharing of microbes that occursbetween habitable companion planets might help life survive.

Multihabitable systems are among the few scenarios where intelligent life is likely to be fostered on one planet by the other planet. The brotherhood of intelligent life-form A and intelligent life-form B will enable them to survive more than they might alone.

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