Friday, February 24, 2017

Would be the life in newly discovered exoplanets

After the discovery of the new solar system around the star Trappist-1 you have to answer several questions to confirm if they harbor life and to know if someday humans will be able to analyze it. While some of these unknowns could be solved in a few years, others require technologies that may not be available for centuries.

Compared to our Solar System, the Trappist-1 planets are much closer together and stuck to their star. "The planet farthest from the star, h, is about a tenth of the distance between the Sun and Mercury," explains Jose Caballero, a researcher at the Astrobiology Center near Madrid. The planets are so close that from the surface of one you could get to appreciate the clouds and the other's geographical features with the naked eye, according to NASA.

The great question about the seven terrestrial planets is whether they have atmosphere. This gas sheathing is essential to generate a greenhouse effect, to attenuate temperatures and to allow liquid water to exist. It is also a shield for the dangerous ultraviolet radiation that dominates in this type of stars, known as red dwarfs.

It is likely that the discovered planets always give the same face to their star, as the Moon to Earth. This makes them worlds where they are eternally day in one hemisphere and night in the other. The temperature differences would be brutal and there would be a meteorology dominated by strong winds from the sunny to the dark side, NASA said in a statement. This situation can be life-friendly. "In previous studies, eye-planets have been discovered, where there is a large ocean of liquid water in the illuminated part and ice in the rest of the surface," explains Ignasi Ribas, an exoplanet expert at the Institute of Space Sciences (IEEC-CSIC) ), in Barcelona. In addition, "the atmosphere would redistribute the heat and energy that comes from the star," he adds.

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