Billions of habitable moons may be in our galaxy - VIDEO PDF Print E-mail
Sunday, 15 June 2014 20:00

Astronomers have discovered a gas worlds, which are located within the potentially habitable zones of their stars, where the temperature should be moderate enough to water retained in liquid form. Nobody plans to look at these continents gas giants. But any Moons orbiting them, may be large enough to keep the atmosphere and cherish life.

System satellites of Jupiter and Saturn are two different examples of what can be found throughout the galaxy.

On the cold away 778 million kilometers from the Sun, Jupiter holds four large Moons, which by themselves are lifeless, but geologically very diverse. Two of them, Europe and Ganymede, unfrozen water in the worlds if they fail on the distance from the Earth to the Sun.

The bulk of the system is stored on Saturn's Moons Titan, cold world that is more than the size of Mercury. The surface temperature on Titan - minus three Fahrenheit, and the world itself is remarkably similar to Earth with its lakes, streams, dense atmosphere and volcanic activity.

Project HEK (Hunt for ExoMoons with Kepler) - «hunting ekzoluny with Kepler" - from Harvard University uses data from Kepler received about 3000 exoplanets which may be of interest to us satellites. Any of unseen Moons gravitational tightened to the planet that would influence the passage of a planet in front of a star. If large Moon passes in front of or behind the planet, it will cause unusual changes in the star's brightness.

In the last work of René Heller Leibniz Institute for Astrophysics in Potsdam, Germany, and Rory Barnes of the University of Washington in Seattle, pointed to two exoplanets that are good candidates for having inhabited ekzolunami.

One of them, KOI211.01, with a mass of one third of Jupiter and the size of the Earth revolves around the Sun-like star. Other - Kepler 22b, located 600 light years from us. This candidate can be called a mini-super-Earths with Uranus or weighing six Earth masses. The planet may be large bowl of water enclosed in a stone shell. HEK project found no Moons with masses above half of the earth that revolved around the planet would. (Titanium weighs hundredth the mass of Earth).

Ekzoluny likely will cause tidal impact on the planet as well as our Moon, always facing the same side toward Earth. Days will last half of the orbital period. Seasons will depend on the inclination of the axis of the elliptical orbit of the Moon and the planets in relation to the parent star. eclipse of the parent star will occur frequently, which can lead to sudden changes in the weather on the Moon. Life could synchronize their biorhythms with these eclipses as well as some of the organisms in the world follow the phases of the lunar cycle.

Live near a gas giant planet, most likely, is difficult, and this, in turn, will prevent the birth of life, scientists say. If the Moon is too close to the planet, tidal forces will heat very her, and she is covered with volcanoes. A striking example - Jupiter's Moon Io.

Wet Moon with a dense atmosphere will suffer from the greenhouse effect. Water vapor in combination with other greenhouse gases like methane and carbon dioxide, can make the Moon a very hot (we happened to Venus). The closer the Moon to its gas giant, the more radiation generated by starlight reflected from the planet, it will absorb.

But if the Moon will be farther outside planetary magnetic field, they will be vulnerable to the galactic cosmic rays, and too small to generate its own protective field. Radiation can sterilize life on the surface.

By analogy with the circumstellar habitable zones potentially, this circumstances determine okoloplanetarnuyu "inhabited border," the researchers say. They concluded that if the exoplanet will circle the Moon at a distance of more than 10 planetary radii, it may well be habitable.

Characterize such Moon obviously an order of magnitude more difficult than finding a potentially habitable planet. A statistically such Moons can be more than a potentially habitable planets (gas giants as more than a "second land"). Therefore, even if the galaxy may be more habitable Moons than planets, their detection would be difficult task for telescopes or perhaps distant future spaceships, VIDEO:



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