First Exoplanet that exists in the so called "Goldilocks" area found.

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CodeBreaker CodeBreaker's picture
First Exoplanet that exists in the so called "Goldilocks" area found.

Press Release: http://news.ucsc.edu/2010/09/planet.html
Discovery Article: http://news.discovery.com/space/earth-like-planet-life.html

Interesting stuff. The kind of planet that might have a Pandora Gate stuck on it. Hell, the entire system is potential ground for a Pandora Gate.

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Extrasolar Angel Extrasolar Angel's picture
Re: First Exoplanet that exists in the so called ...

To be honest the coming discoveries concerning exoplanets will change the face of Science Fiction.
We probably will have Earth-like planets discovered soon enough, and authors will start placing action and stories on locations that will be known to us.
So far the existance of exoplanets and rapid development of astronomy in that field has been largely ignored by SF. One notable exception which I can recall is Blind Lake by Robert Charles Wilson which I highly recommend.

Raise your hands to the sky and break the chains. With transhumanism we can smash the matriarchy together.

CodeBreaker CodeBreaker's picture
Re: First Exoplanet that exists in the so called ...

One of the interesting things about this little system is that it is possible that 20 years ago we may of detected a laser like burst from it. I say may of because we aren't really sure where it came from exactly, its more of a "In this general direction, and this system happens to be right in the way". Before this discovery it was thought that other two likely planets that orbit the sun where too close to the Goldilocks boundries to be able to support intelligent life. This one, however, might be able too.

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Extrasolar Angel Extrasolar Angel's picture
Re: First Exoplanet that exists in the so called ...

Discovery of exoplanets is one thing, ET another. Personally I don't believe any are near enough(in both distance or our level) for us to notice them.

Raise your hands to the sky and break the chains. With transhumanism we can smash the matriarchy together.

Arenamontanus Arenamontanus's picture
Re: First Exoplanet that exists in the so called ...

Is it just me, or does the phrase 'the so-called "goldilocks area"' grate? The habitable zone (or life zone) is the term used by researchers, goldilocks area is to my knowledge just used by journalists.

Extropian

Extrasolar Angel Extrasolar Angel's picture
Re: First Exoplanet that exists in the so called ...

Search on arXiv.org gives four science papers using the term.

Raise your hands to the sky and break the chains. With transhumanism we can smash the matriarchy together.

CodeBreaker CodeBreaker's picture
Re: First Exoplanet that exists in the so called ...

Arenamontanus wrote:
Is it just me, or does the phrase 'the so-called "goldilocks area"' grate? The habitable zone (or life zone) is the term used by researchers, goldilocks area is to my knowledge just used by journalists.

Its not even necessarily the only place that could support life. Look at some of the current hopes on Europa. Its way out of the normal (well, what we think is the normal) zone simply because of its complex interactions with the Jovian magnetic system. Its one of the reasons I am excited about possibly finding life on Europa, if it can survive there then it opens a lot of potential Exoplanets for possible habitation.

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urdith urdith's picture
Re: First Exoplanet that exists in the so called ...

I'm rather interested to see true artist renderings/simulations of what the topography and light would be like on the terminator given Gloaming (it's semi-official name) is tidally locked.

I could see gatecrashing photographers traveling to different planets just so they could see how their atmospheres and suns impact photographs taken in the area. One could make a performance art project: self portraits in the same relative position but different worlds.

"The ruins of the unsustainable are the 21st century’s frontier."
— Bruce Sterling

Arenamontanus Arenamontanus's picture
Re: First Exoplanet that exists in the so called ...

Ah, atmospheric optics is fun. Different worlds are going to have quite diferent colors:

http://www.astrobio.net/index.php?option=com_retrospection&task=detail&id=2477
http://pubs.giss.nasa.gov/docs/2007/2007_Kiang_etal_1.pdf
http://pubs.giss.nasa.gov/docs/2007/2007_Kiang_etal_2.pdf

Some good discussions on alien skies:
http://www.bautforum.com/archive/index.php/t-60031.html
http://www.shatters.net/forum/viewtopic.php?t=11138

We had some good ones on the 2320AD forum. Some notes:

Cooler stars are less luminous but will have terrestrials orbiting closer. A planet in the lifezone will be sqrt(L) AU away and the luminosity in watts/m^2 will be roughly constant (L/4pi(sqrt(L))^2), about 1300 W/m^2 outside the atmosphere.

The size of the sun will be different though. Assuming the star radius to scale as R ~ T^(-2)L^0.5 the angular diameter is going to scale like ~Rstar/distplanet = T^(-2)L^0.5/L^0.5 = T^(-2) - hot stars will be pinpricks of searing light, cool stars will cover more of the sky.

This affects horizon light and colour perspective a lot. It turns out that the brightness of the horizon is set by how much of sky sphere is covered by the sun. So on planets with hot suns the horizon will be much darker and the colour perspective will be weak - distant mountains will not look as bluish as they do here. On a M star planet there will be more of a mistiness in the air, and the colour perspective will be more extreme (and likely a bit tinted; "look at yonder turquoise mountains!").

If the peak of the spectrum is at longer wavelengths than for the sun, there will be less Rayleigh scattering of the sunlight and the sky will look darker at the same light intensity from the sun. However, particle scattering may matter more.

Ozone scattering is apparently responsible for keeping the sky blue at sunset and especially twilight, otherwise it would be a greyish-green blue at sunset and yellowish at twilight (this is from E.O. Hurlbut's paper in 1952). Planets with UV-rich stars might hence have much bluer twilights than planets with stabler stars (or less oxygen).

Another messy factor: the scale height of the atmosphere. Pressure decreases exponentially with height, the scale height (a 37% decrease, ~8 km on Earth) is H=kT/Mg, where T is the temperature, M is the mean molecular mass and g is gravity.

On a light planet the scale height will be larger, the atmosphere will be "higher", clouds will grow higher (but more slowly) - and light will have to pass through more air. But since low gravity worlds the total pressure is lower, so the amount of air scales just with temperature and M, not g! This means an equal amout of Rayleigh scattering, but more chances from diffuse scattering from dust and water, reddening the sun a bit and making the sky a more milky blue.

On a heavy world M is going to be bigger in addition to a heavy g, so the scale height is going to be short. Clouds will be low, convection strong (fires can turn into nasty firestorms due to the chimney effect). The difference between zenith and horizon will larger, and there will be less scattering - a sharper, more dark blue sky with a low but intense horizon light.

Flares might be important for habitability of worlds around M-class star
http://www.centauri-dreams.org/?p=993

Halos and parhelia on alien worlds might also be quite different:
http://www.atoptics.co.uk/halo/oworld.htm

If you want the full story of atmospheric optics:
http://homepages.wmich.edu/~korista/atmospheric_optics.pdf

Extropian