Can this new model predict which alien worlds could support life?

Dec 28, 2019
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I've been arguing for years that red dwarf planetary systems are the worst places to look for life for several reasons. Because the so-called "habitable" zones of these stars are so close in, not only does this make Earth-sized planets subject to the punishing eruptions of radiation typical of red dwarfs, it also produces tidal locking. Neither of these conditions is terribly conducive to life developing obviously. Additionally, planetary orbits in most multiple star systems have serious stability problems. Thus my own (endlessly repeated!) suggestion is to limit the search for life-supporting planets to Earth-sized bodies orbiting single, sun-like stars in their habitable zones. I realize this cuts way down on the number of possible candidate planets and there is also the fact that such planets are much much more difficult to detect by either means (transit or gravitational wobble) than planets around red dwarfs (which have been the focus of exoplanet research). But so be it....
It's a tough job to figure out which planets are potentially habitable, because we can only see so much detail in our telescopes.

Can this new model predict which alien worlds could support life? : Read more

Good report and I note here "These models cannot predict with certainty whether a given planet could support life, but with thousands of planets to study, the models can help scientists figure out where to look first, senior author Daniel Horton, an assistant professor of Earth and planetary sciences at Northwestern, said in the same statement. "Our study can help limit the number of places we have to point our telescopes."

As the spectral types of stars dwindles because of studies like this, looking for Earth 2.0 is getting tougher. Class M red dwarfs may not be that good, class K stars are under review, apparently class G stars, looking for habitable earths did not work out well here. Moving to hotter stars on the H-R star diagram like class F, A, B, and O stars, seems even more fun :) The report here is showing some of the many variables that need to *align correctly* to make Earth habitable and other exoplanets too. This site shows 4168 exoplanets listed, The Extrasolar Planets Encyclopaedia

I ran a MS SQL query. 234 exoplanets confirmed listed with red dwarf stars (spectral class M types). Minimum orbital period < 1 day and max near 730,000 days with masses, minimum 0.07 earth masses and max 64 Jupiter masses. Distances range 4 light years away out to 23976 light years distance.


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