Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Oceans May Be Common on Rocky Alien Planets

This artist's conception shows the inner four planets of the Gliese 581 system and their host star. The large planet in the foreground is Gliese 581g, which is in the middle of the star's habitable zone and is only two to three times as massive
Oceans, large cities, ape like beings (humans), animals just like we have here on Earth. Earth is not unique in any way shape or form. Even the way people think is not unique. Most of the inhabited planets have people that are clueless about other planets in the universe that are just like their own planet. Just like here on earth, they believed they are special, unique, an accident of un-natural selection, and that the whole universe is mostly empty space when it comes to "intelligent" life.

Every rocky planet likely develops a liquid-water ocean shortly after forming, suggesting that potentially habitable alien worlds may be common throughout the universe, a prominent scientist says.
The building blocks of rocky planets contain more than enough water to seed oceans, and computer models and Earth's own history suggest such seas should slosh around soon after these worlds' surfaces have cooled down and solidified, said Lindy Elkins-Tanton of the Carnegie Institution for Science in Washington, D.C.
"Habitability is going to be much more common than we had previously thought," Elkins-Tanton said today (March 18, 2013) during a talk at the 44th Lunar and Planetary Science Conference in The Woodlands, Texas.
Making an early ocean
Analysis of ancient Earth rocks shows that our own planet hosted an ocean of liquid water at least 4.4 billion years ago, Elkins-Tanton said — just 160 million years or so after our solar system's birth. [9 Exoplanets That Could Host Alien Life]
This water came primarily from the planetesimals that glommed together to form Earth long ago rather than from comet impacts, as some researchers had previously believed, she added.

While comet-delivered water probably made a contribution later on, "it's not required," Elkins-Tanton said, citing studies that model planetary building blocks and how they come together. "You can make a water ocean without it."
For example, even if the pieces that built Earth contained just 0.01 percent water by weight — an extremely conservative estimate — our planet still would have harbored an early global ocean hundreds of meters deep, she said.
Such primitive oceans form in a multistep process, Elkins-Tanton explained. Water first boils out of the molten rock covering a newborn terrestrial planet heated up by accretionary impacts, creating a steamy atmosphere. This atmosphere then collapses as the planet cools, returning the water to the surface and generating an ocean.
"The ramifications of this are that, in any exoplanet system anywhere in our universe, if it's made of rocky materials with similar water contents to ours, every rocky planet would be expected to start with a water ocean," Elkins-Tanton said.
Further, models developed by Elkins-Tanton and others "all indicate that this cooling and collapse process happens on the order of 10 million years or less," she added.
That's an exciting prospect for astrobiologists, as life on Earth is found nearly anywhere liquid water exists.

Holding on to the water
Of course, forming an ocean and holding onto it are two different matters. After all, Earth's solar system hosts rocky planets — Mercury, Venus and Mars — whose surface oceans have long since disappeared, if they ever existed at all.
Indeed, how some rocky worlds manage to retain their water is an area ripe for future research, Elkins-Tanton said, specifically citing the case of Venus, Earth's hellishly hot "sister planet" that veered down a very different road after its formation.
It may be tempting to ascribe the apparent dessication of rocky worlds like Venus to the giant impacts that pummeled them in our solar system's early days. But Earth held onto much of its water despite a massive collision with a Mars-size body (which is thought to have led to the formation of the moon), and data from NASA's Messenger spacecraft show that Mercury still harbors many volatile compounds, Elkins-Tanton said.
"Now if there would be a poster child for the body that should be depleted by giant impacts, that would be Mercury," Elkins-Tanton said. "Giant impacts do not dry bodies."


  1. are prison planets like earth usually located in goldilocks zones to enhance the illusions of darwinism?

  2. Kutubabi,
    your question made me think about the distances between planets in our solar system, I'm sure in solar systems where there's no need to isolate planets like here the planets are not far from each other and you can clearly see them and wave each other hello.

    As for the scientists trying find another Terra, if you do please pretend that you didn't! - like that didn't happen already.

  3. Kutu, no, there is more to goldilocks than meets the mind and the prime living conditions. Size of sun, type of sun, type of life and number of planets. Most are similar to this solar system but billions of others are a bit or a lot different.

  4. Justin, there are caverns with water in the moon.

  5. Hey Lou,

    "Billions a bit or a lot different."

    Thanks for clarifying as your original post on this topic seemed to have left out the notion that the vast majority of 3D planet illusions were utopias compared to the Earth Types.

    Damn, I hope so....LOL!

    Lou, does the next step up (the utopia planet thingy) remain in our same 3D dimension within our solar system or is it a different dimension?

    Is Neptune a 3D planet?

  6. hi lou thanks for the answer, between prison planets and utopian planets, which one is more abundant in the universe?

  7. Muse, same for some but aware of other dimensions and better access points above the dream state.

    Neptune is 3d, beings on it, in it and around it some are much is true with all the planets, moons in this solar system. Sometimes you see them (often called figments of the imagination by the sane people), mostly you don't get to see them (called being grounded, a sane person lol).

  8. Kutu, utopian planets far out number prison/war planets. Many levels/layers of utopian planets and above them way too mindboggling diverse and never-ending big to imagine.