Life on Other Planets

Topics: Planet, Extrasolar planet, Sun Pages: 6 (2352 words) Published: October 15, 2012
Life on Other Planets
Life on other planets, Is there another titan planet out there that harbors life? Scientist have found two such planets in a neighboring but distant Solar System. Which planets are habitable and is there already life there or basically in general, “Is there life in outer space?” That is the question and debate among astrologists and scientist alike about this discovery of two planets that orbit the red dwarf star of Gliese 581 (Gliese The fascination of intelligent life other than us has led to many studies and theories. With recent discoveries about the universe and the finding of Gliese 581, the idea of intelligent life has become even more intriguing. The implications of proving life exists on other planets and communicating with them could have an enormous impact to our society. The following discusses the possibilities of life on other planets by studying what sustains life on planet Earth, possible life within our Solar System, the discovery and study of other life bearing planets, examines what criteria may sustain life in other stars systems, and current programs studying extraterrestrial life (Koch and Borucki, 1996). Recent technological advancements have confirmed the existence of relatively large planets around other stars. Earth-like planets orbiting other stars have yet to be discovered, but most astronomers believe one will be found. In order for a star to maintain a potentially life-giving planet within its orbit certain criteria would have to be established and maintained. Stars have been classified by The Harvard one-dimensional temperature classification scheme (based on hydrogen Ballmer line strengths) was developed in Harvard College Observatory in 1912 by Annie Jump Cannon and Edward C. Pickering (Koch and Borucki, 1996). This classification is ordered from hottest to coldest, comparing mass, radius and luminosity to our Sun. Stars are catalogued by the letters O, B, A, F, G, K, and M. These star types span the range of star temperatures. Spectral type is determined strictly by temperature: O type stars are the hottest stars and M type stars are the coolest. Stars within the classification of “O”, “B”, and “A” are considered to massive and have very short life spans to allow primitive life forms to emerge. “K” and “M” stars are considered to be too dim and would create little solar radiation for a habitable planet to evolve unless the distance was as close as Mercury is to the Sun. Any other type planet would be too cold to support life. Our Sun is presently a G-2 class Star, which because of size and photospheric temperature is best suited for sustaining life as we humans understand it. Different stars within the classification of F and G vary from white or yellow-white stars with medium to weak hydrogen lines have been researched by astronomers as potentially being conducive to the development of life. This type of region would be considered, ”The Habitable Zone”. The Habitable Zone is a region surrounding a star throughout which the surface temperatures of a planet would be ideal for life formation and be life sustaining (Kasting, Whitmire, Reynolds 1994). With this technology, humankind has made advancements that enable more accurate research and validation to the science of astronomy. Scientists worldwide are involved in research of location and identification of new planets and unexplained occurrences within the universe, along with exploration of life on other planets. Space travel performed by organizations such as NASA are assisting in dispelling many myths about our current solar system and the existence of life on any of these other planets, while organizations such as Meta Research Inc. is dedicated to ruling out unnecessary theories and updating the ideas and predictions while educating students of the stars with updated facts and ongoing programs. 28 new Exoplanets outside our solar system were found and identified...

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