Super-Earths Are Bigger and More Habitable Than Earth, and Astronomers Are Di
Is that true?
> A super-Earth is an extrasolar planet with a mass higher than Earth's, but substantially below those of the Solar System's ice giants, Uranus and Neptune, which are 14.5 and 17 times Earth's, respectively. The term "super-Earth" refers only to the mass of the planet, and so does not imply anything about the surface conditions or habitability.
To me, exoplanet surveys are one of the most exciting forms of science. I can think of no other thing that would bring us closer to understanding whether or not life does exist in our universe beyond us.
I've long held that it does, but it feels to me that belief is practically religious, completely unfounded. Combined with the fact that I think no other event will impact our world for the better more than knowing this universe has other life... I have my fingers crossed for the giant ground-based teles they listed at the end. Godspeed
Also a rogue planet without a star might be able to sustain simple life but without human sources of nuclear power the only source of energy would be geothermal, so not exactly exciting candidates for living. Also who wants to live in a planet in perpetual darkness?
Either the “astronomer” author wasn’t a real astronomer at all or this is just clickbait.
What would be the energy source to sustain life on an ejected super-Earth? Radioactivity? Tidal forces from orbiting moons?
If we focus on settling planets, then each planet is its own set of problems.
But if we focus on learning to live in space, then although it may be harder initially, it's a single problem to solve. Then we just keep working and improving on that solution. And there's a lot more space out there than there are habitable planets. And there's a lot more matter and energy out there than are available on those planets.
So, ~60% denser than Earth? Density is mass/volume, and 2x / 1.25x = 1.6x.
The math works out really well if they meant a 20-30% larger radius: 1.25*3 = 1.95, so similar density but larger volume.
Since a lot of such interest is resulting in US federal government funding and I am a US citizen, I have standing, if only as a taxpayer, in this interest.
About this interest and paying to pursue it with my tax money, I ask "Why should I?".
I confess that getting good evidence of such life would be curious, entertaining, fun, etc.
For any in doubt, I will just stipulate that there is a lot of life out there in our galaxy and the rest of the galaxies in the universe. Done. No more wondering or arguing. If you want, I'll also stipulate that they are all little, green, and have 10 legs and 5 eyes. And I will agree that we might find evidence of a Dyson sphere (build a sphere around a sun and collect all or a lot of its energy).
Second, but I will insist that, from all we know about physics now, there is no way for us ever to have anything like practical two way communications with any life that evolved outside of our solar system.
Third, with current physics, the search for life is at best just curious, entertaining, fun, etc., and, sorry, on these criteria some good movies are better! I can buy a good movie on a DVD for about $10 -- so if I give $10 for the search for that life, I'm all paid up?
Fourth, really, then, the search for such life needs to include a search for some radical new physics. If want to pursue promising research directions in such physics, okay by me, but such research efforts should be low budget unless very promising, and I doubt that there will be any promising directions.
So, net, whatever astronomy, astrophysics, etc. are good for, the search for life that evolved outside of our solar system is not very serious -- or, such life IS there but with current physics there are no significant consequences for us. Sorry 'bout that.
Or, a big effort on the search for such life looks to me like some researchers want to do a big selling job to get taxpayers to give them an interesting career. Sorry 'bout that.
Or, if the search for life is mostly just for a search for some radical new physics, then sell the effort as a search for the physics, not the life. Or I agree already that there is a lot of life out there, but with our current physics there are no consequences for us -- stipulate that they are all green with 5 eyes and get no conflicting data.
Interesting... The "no" is definitely cheaper and faster than the "maybe" or "yes." If we get a "no", what's next? Planet-wide depression?