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‘Super earths’ may be even more habitable than our own planet, study says

New research suggests that extrasolar “super earths” rich in hydrogen and helium may be even more livable than our own planets.

Researchers say that rocky exoplanets with an atmosphere dominated by hydrogen and helium have a surface warm enough to accept liquid water.

Because the presence of liquid water is “life-friendly,” these planets have the potential to provide habitable conditions and exotic habitats for perhaps eight billion years.

Researchers say that rocky exoplanets with a primordial atmosphere dominated by hydrogen and helium (planets outside the solar system) have a surface warm enough to accept liquid water.

The new study, led by researchers at the University of Zurich, Switzerland, was published today in the journal Nature Astronomy.

Exoplanets and Super Earth

Exoplanets are planets that transcend our solar system. Most stars orbit other stars, but rogue planets, called rogue planets, orbit the galactic center and are not constrained by any star.

The exoplanets found so far include a small, rocky world like Earth, a giant gas many times larger than Jupiter, and a “Hot Jupiter” in a very close orbit around the star. It will be.

Super-Earth, on the other hand, is an exoplanet with a larger mass than our home planet.

Super Earth can be made of gas, rock, or a combination of both.

They say these planets are likely to be “much like our home planet” and may be hosting organisms at very high pressures.

“Life on the type of planet described in this work will live under very different conditions than most life on Earth,” the author says.

‘Our resulting surface pressure is on the order of 100-1,000 bar, which is the pressure range of the seafloor and trenches.

“There is no theoretical pressure limit on life, and some of the most extreme examples of the Earth’s biosphere thrive at about 500 bar.”

Billions of years ago, the early universe contained only hydrogen and helium gases. These were readily available in planet-forming materials around young stars such as the Sun.

Therefore, all planets have built an atmosphere dominated by these two elements, including Earth.

“When the planet was first formed from a universe of gas and dust, it collected an atmosphere consisting primarily of hydrogen and helium, the so-called primitive atmosphere,” said Rabbit Heled, a research author at the University of Zurich.

However, in the process of their development, rocky planets, including Earth, have lost this primitive atmosphere in support of heavier elements such as oxygen and nitrogen.

When our planet was first formed from a universe of gas and dust, it collected an atmosphere consisting primarily of hydrogen and helium, the so-called primitive atmosphere.

When our planet was first formed from a universe of gas and dust, it collected an atmosphere consisting primarily of hydrogen and helium, the so-called primitive atmosphere.

However, other larger planets can collect a much larger primitive atmosphere and in some cases keep it indefinitely.

“Such a large primitive atmosphere can cause the greenhouse effect, just like the Earth’s atmosphere today,” Heled said.

“Therefore, I wanted to find out if these atmospheres helped to create the necessary conditions for liquid water.”

For this study, the team modeled nearly 5,000 exoplanets, some bounding stars, some free-floating, and simulating their development over billions of years.

Researchers explained not only the characteristics of the planet’s atmosphere, but also the intensity of each star’s radiation and the internal heat of the planet’s outward radiation.

On Earth, this geothermal heat plays a minor role in surface conditions, but can make a greater contribution to planets with large primordial atmospheres.

Exoplanets are planets that transcend our solar system. Most stars orbit other stars, but rogue planets, called rogue planets, orbit the galactic center and are not bound by any star (file photo).

Exoplanets are planets that transcend our solar system. Most stars orbit other stars, but rogue planets, called rogue planets, orbit the galactic center and are not bound by any star (file photo).

Research results suggest that, depending on the mass of the planet and its distance from the star, if the atmosphere is thick enough, these planets can maintain a warm surface environment for as long as 8 billion years. Of earth.

“What we have found is that, in many cases, especially on planets close to the stars, the strong radiation from the stars has lost the primitive atmosphere,” said Marit MolLous, PhD student and lead author. I am.

“But if the atmosphere remains, proper conditions for liquid water can occur.”

“If enough geothermal heat reaches the surface, we don’t even need radiation from stars like the Sun, so the conditions that allow the presence of liquid water dominate the surface.”

“Perhaps most importantly, our results show that these conditions can last for very long periods of time, up to tens of billions of years.”

Researchers say equipment such as the James Webb Space Telescope currently in space and the ultra-large telescope currently under development should reveal more about atmospheric biomarkers on exoplanets.

NASA confirms that there are more than 5,000 planets beyond our solar system

NASA has confirmed that there are more than 5,000 known planets outside the solar system known as exoplanets.

The US space agency has added another 65 extrasolar planets to the online NASA Exoplanet Archive, bringing the total to 5,009 as of April 1, 2022.

This number is 5,005 on March 22, indicating that four planets have been added to the total in just 10 days.

As of June 8, there are 5,044 exoplanets, as shown by the database.

The exoplanets found so far include a small, rocky world like Earth, a giant gas many times larger than Jupiter, and a “Hot Jupiter” in a very close orbit around the star. It will be.

The more than 5,000 exoplanets identified in our galaxy so far include a variety of species. Among them is a mysterious variety known as

The more than 5,000 exoplanets identified in our galaxy so far include a variety of species. Among them is a mysterious variety known as “Super Earth” because it is larger than our world and probably rocky.

However, NASA emphasizes that the Milky Way galaxy alone has found only “a small part” of all planets.

According to NASA’s online database, most exoplanets are not terrestrial, but gaseous, like Jupiter and Neptune.

Most exoplanets are discovered by measuring the dimming of the stars that the planet passes through, called the transit method.

Another method of detecting extrasolar planets, called the Doppler method, measures the “wobble” of a star due to the gravitational pull of an orbiting planet.

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