Alien super-Earths may get a habitability boost from hydrogen-rich atmospheres

rod

Oct 22, 2019
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"The scientists developed computer simulations of super-Earths between one and 10 times Earth's mass with atmospheres rich in hydrogen and helium that orbited sun-like stars at distances of 1 to 100 astronomical units (AUs). (One AU is the average distance between Earth and the sun, which is about 93 million miles, or 150 million kilometers.)"

That is quite a simulation range here for distances from parent stars. This site The Extrasolar Planets Encyclopaedia (exoplanet.eu) shows 5106 exoplanets confirmed. Using MS SQL query, I find 752 exoplanets showing 1 to 100 AU. The min mass is 1.2109 earth masses and max size, 135.3 Jupiter masses so many are very large in this semi-major axis range.

NASA Exoplanet Archive (caltech.edu), this site shows 612 exoplanets in the 1 to 100 AU distance range. 1.97 earth mass for min and max 38.505 Jupiter masses. So already in exoplanet studies, we have a robust population known from 1 to 100 AU from their parent stars and with large masses too.
 
A planet like that might be interesting for determining where life can develop. But, getting in and out of those gravity wells and thick dense atmospheres sounds so difficult that we are not ever going to visit any life forms on them in-person.

Maybe we need to start differentiating between "habitable by humans" and "supports life of some sort".
 
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