Subscribe to our free daily newsletters
  Space Travel News  




Subscribe to our free daily newsletters



EXO WORLDS
A new Goldilocks for habitable planets
by Staff Writers
New Haven CT (SPX) Aug 22, 2016


illustration only

The search for habitable, alien worlds needs to make room for a second "Goldilocks," according to a Yale University researcher.

For decades, it has been thought that the key factor in determining whether a planet can support life was its distance from its sun. In our solar system, for instance, Venus is too close to the sun and Mars is too far, but Earth is just right. That distance is what scientists refer to as the "habitable zone," or the "Goldilocks zone."

It also was thought that planets were able to self-regulate their internal temperature via mantle convection - the underground shifting of rocks caused by internal heating and cooling. A planet might start out too cold or too hot, but it would eventually settle into the right temperature.

A new study, appearing in the journal Science Advances on Aug. 19, suggests that simply being in the habitable zone isn't sufficient to support life. A planet also must start with an internal temperature that is just right.

"If you assemble all kinds of scientific data on how Earth has evolved in the past few billion years and try to make sense out of them, you eventually realize that mantle convection is rather indifferent to the internal temperature," said Jun Korenaga, author of the study and professor of geology and geophysics at Yale.

Korenaga presents a general theoretical framework that explains the degree of self-regulation expected for mantle convection and suggests that self-regulation is unlikely for Earth-like planets.

"The lack of the self-regulating mechanism has enormous implications for planetary habitability," Korenaga said. "Studies on planetary formation suggest that planets like Earth form by multiple giant impacts, and the outcome of this highly random process is known to be very diverse."

Such diversity of size and internal temperature would not hamper planetary evolution if there was self-regulating mantle convection, Korenaga said. "What we take for granted on this planet, such as oceans and continents, would not exist if the internal temperature of Earth had not been in a certain range, and this means that the beginning of Earth's history cannot be too hot or too cold."

The NASA Astrobiology Institute supported the research. Korenaga is a co-investigator of the NASA "Alternative Earths" team, which is organized around the principle of understanding how the Earth has maintained a persistent biosphere through most of its history, how the biosphere manifests in "biosignatures" on a planetary scale, and how reconstructing this history can inform the search for life within and beyond the solar system.


Thanks for being here;
We need your help. The SpaceDaily news network continues to grow but revenues have never been harder to maintain.

With the rise of Ad Blockers, and Facebook - our traditional revenue sources via quality network advertising continues to decline. And unlike so many other news sites, we don't have a paywall - with those annoying usernames and passwords.

Our news coverage takes time and effort to publish 365 days a year.

If you find our news sites informative and useful then please consider becoming a regular supporter or for now make a one off contribution.

SpaceDaily Contributor
$5 Billed Once


credit card or paypal
SpaceDaily Monthly Supporter
$5 Billed Monthly


paypal only

.


Related Links
Yale University
Lands Beyond Beyond - extra solar planets - news and science
Life Beyond Earth






Comment on this article via your Facebook, Yahoo, AOL, Hotmail login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks
del.icio.usdel.icio.us DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle

Previous Report
EXO WORLDS
Venus-like Exoplanet Might Have Oxygen Atmosphere, but Not Life
Boston MA (SPX) Aug 19, 2016
The distant planet GJ 1132b intrigued astronomers when it was discovered last year. Located just 39 light-years from Earth, it might have an atmosphere despite being baked to a temperature of around 450 degrees Fahrenheit. But would that atmosphere be thick and soupy or thin and wispy? New research suggests the latter is much more likely. Harvard astronomer Laura Schaefer (Harvard-Smithson ... read more


EXO WORLDS
New payload preparation milestones bring Ariane 5's upcoming mission closer to liftoff

SpaceX lands Falcon 9 rocket after launching Japanese satellite

Two Intelsat payloads installed on Ariane 5 for next heavy-lift launch

Crew Access Arm Installed for Starliner Missions

EXO WORLDS
Opportunity rover studying grooves

So you want to drive a spacecraft

New spectroscopic technique may help zero in on Martian life

Spotlight on Schiaparelli's landing site

EXO WORLDS
Roscosmos to spend $7.5Mln studying issues of manned lunar missions

Lockheed Martin, NASA Ink Deal for SkyFire Infrared Lunar Discovery Satellite

As dry as the moon

US company gets historic nod to send lander to moon

EXO WORLDS
Pluto Flyby - A Year Later

Scientists attempt to explain Neptune atmosphere's wobble

New Distant Dwarf Planet Beyond Neptune

Researchers discover distant dwarf planet beyond Neptune

EXO WORLDS
Brown dwarfs reveal exoplanets' secrets

Venus-like Exoplanet Might Have Oxygen Atmosphere, but Not Life

Scientists to unveil new Earth-like planet: report

Astronomers catalogs most likely 'second-Earth' candidates

EXO WORLDS
NASA to hold Industry Day to discuss Universal Stage Adapter

First results show success for second NASA SLS booster test

Orbital ATK and NASA report outcomes from Qualification Motor QM-2 test

Mechanisms are Critical to Space Vehicle Flight Success

EXO WORLDS
China launches hi-res SAR imaging satellite

China launches world first quantum satellite

China launches first mobile telecom satellite

China prepares for new round of manned space missions

EXO WORLDS
NASA prepares to launch first US asteroid sample return mission

NASA Asteroid Redirect Mission Completes Design Milestone

Bringing Home NASA's First Asteroid Samples

NASA to map Asteroid Bennu from the ground up




Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily :: SpaceWar :: TerraDaily :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News






The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2017 - Space Media Network. All websites are published in Australia and are solely subject to Australian law and governed by Fair Use principals for news reporting and research purposes. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA news reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. All articles labeled "by Staff Writers" include reports supplied to Space Media Network by industry news wires, PR agencies, corporate press officers and the like. Such articles are individually curated and edited by Space Media Network staff on the basis of the report's information value to our industry and professional readership. Advertising does not imply endorsement, agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement