Posted on April 30, 2019
Beautiful blue planet with endless oceans may be orbiting the Milky Way many of one trillion stars. In 2016, for example, Kepler astronomers have found planets that are unlike anything else in our solar system -a «water world" planetary system orbiting the star Kepler-sixty-second This system of five-planet has two worlds in the habitable zone – their surface is completely covered with the infinite ocean of the world, without land or mountain in sight.
In our solar system, Jupiter's moon. Europa, hides a massive salty ocean beneath its icy surface, scientists believe that up to 100 kilometers -a depth is 10 times more than the Mariana Trench.
Europa rocky bottom of the boundless ocean, and offers Caltech Mike Brown, can be almost like a miniature Earth, with plate tectonics, continents, deep trenches and active spreading centers. "Think about the mid-ocean ridges on the Earth," writes Brown in his blog, "with its black smokers belch burning of nutrient-rich water to the seabed of the & # 39; yadnovvaetstsa life that survives these chemicals. It does not take much imagination to envision a rich chemical soup into the ocean in Europe, which leads to the evolution of a life lived at the expense of the internal energy generated in the core in the Europa. If you are looking for a whale Europa – which many of my friends and I often joke that we have – this is the world that you want to look for them. "
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The likelihood that water worlds with & # 39 are a common feature of the Milky Way has been strengthened by new research, published today in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) rollers. Using computer simulations, an astronomer at Harvard University, Li Zeng and his colleagues presented data showing that the sub-Neptune-sized planets, ie planets distinguishing radiuses around 3:58 times larger than the Earth is likely to be water worlds, not gas dwarfs surrounded by thick atmospheres, usually considered ,.
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Some of these sub-oceanic planet, Zeng said, there are oceans deep enough to put pressure equivalent to a million times our atmospheric pressure on the surface. Under these conditions, liquid water is compressed to high pressure phase of ice such as ice or seven superionic ice. "These high-pressure ice, in fact, as the silicate rocks within the deep mantle, they are hot and the solid Earth," he said. "This is a completely different worlds compared to our Earth."
In contrast, the Earth has a clear surface with water compositions in the range of 25 to 50 percent of the total mass of the planet, on the & # 39; sites would be completely swamped. They "may or may not have a well-defined surface," said Lee, and they "may be liquid all the way down all the way down to a great depth."
Can these worlds ocean to support life? Maybe even intelligent life? "There might be life there," says Lisa Kaltenegger, director of the Institute Carl Sagan of Cornell. "But it may be based on technologies such as ours? Life on these worlds will be under water, without easy access to metals, electricity, or fire for metallurgy. Maybe life ingenuity to get to the technology stage to surprise us. "
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Maybe alien worlds water at some point evolve life as we know it on Earth? "Clean the World Ocean (without land on the surface)," says Avi Loeb, chairman of the department of astronomy at Harvard University in an email dailygalaxy.com, "probably not develop the diversity of life as we know it, because they are depleted the essential nutrients for life, such as phosphorus and molybdenum ".
"We tend to think they have liquid water on the planet, as a way to start a new life, because life as we know it on Earth, is composed mainly of water and requires to live," explains astrophysicist Natalie Hinkel Senior Researcher Fellow research Southwest Institute in San Antonio, and co-investigator for the Nexus for exoplanets System science (NExSS) research network at the University of Arizona. "Nevertheless, the planet with the & # 39 is a water world, or one that does not have any surface above the water, it is not important or geochemical elements Arna cycles that are absolutely necessary for life. "
"I think it can be dangerous just to think of everything in the world-thought," said Ramses Ramirez at the Tokyo Institute of Technology. "You could let other opportunities."
New research shows that about 35% of all known exoplanets, which are larger than the Earth is to be rich in water. Recently launched TESS mission to find a lot more of them, with the help of ground-based spectroscopic observations. Next Generation Space Telescope, the James Webb Space Telescope, will be hoping to characterize their atmospheres important implications for the search for life in the Milky Way.
"It was a great surprise to find out that there should be so much water worlds," Zeng said.
The oceans of the Earth itself became conductor of evolution, says Peter Godfrey-Smith in the other consciousness. cephalopod ocean inhabited Lands – octopus, squid and nautilus, Godfrey-Smith writes – "an island in a sea of mental complexity of invertebrate animals," he says, expanding on a different way from us, "an independent experiment in the evolution of large brains and complex behavior."
"If we can establish contact with the cephalopod, like living beings, it is not because of the common history, not because of the relationship, so that the evolution of minds are built twice," says Godfrey-Smith. "This is probably the closest we will come to meet an intelligent alien."
The Daily Galaxy via the California Institute of Technology, University of Arizona, Goldschmidt Conference, The Atlantic, and Scientific American