Engineering

How many planets can sustain life?

Recent studies suggest that the planet on which it could develop life, is much less, than previously thought.  According to the current state of knowledge, the search for extraterrestrial life focuses on the planets located in eco-zone, the away from the Sun, on where the right conditions to sustain life. Unfortunately, many scientists does not take into account another important factor necessary for living organisms: the internal temperature of the planet. The problem is not only the eco-zone, but our knowledge about the processes of convection in the mantle of the planet, which is responsible for the regulation of temperature on it.

The internal temperature of the planet is more important than we thought
The internal temperature of the planet is more important then we thought?

The planet present in eco-zone are considered potentially suitable for residence, because they are located at a distance from its star, which permits the existence of water in the liquid state. Basically, the planet may not be so far from their stars that froze on them water, but may not be so close to the total evaporation of the life-giving liquid.

Complications regarding internal planet temperature are more serious then we thought.

There is another factor that affects the temperature of the surface of the planet, and thus the ability to keep the water in the liquid state. It is well known that the Rocky planets (like Earth) comes to the tectonic movements that alternately given and cools down the surface of the world. Scientists came to the conclusion that this extraordinary process that automatically adjusts the incurred, to maintain the right temperature of the planet.

Take5-Korenaga
Jun Korenaga, Professor of Geology & Geophysics http://people.earth.yale.edu/profile/jun-korenaga/about

Recent research carried out by scientists from Yale University under the direction of Jun Korenagi suggest that this phenomenon is of key importance for the development of life. In his opinion, the initial temperature inside the planet, when for the first time appear in living organisms, has a much greater impact on their maintenance, than all known us self-regulatory processes.

If we put all types of scientific data about how the Earth has evolved over the last few billion years, we understand how important it is to the internal temperature of the planet”, said Korenaga.

Korenaga suggests that not all the planets similar to the Earth develop self-regulation mechanisms, so important is the initial temperature on them.

Studies on the formation of the planets suggest that not all the planets similar to the Earth develop similar mechanisms of self-regulating. We are sure that the oceans and the continents would not have arisen on the planet, which the internal temperature is not in a narrow range. This means that the age of the infant planet determines, or may develop on her life, said Korenaga.

This means that to develop and sustain life not enough to the planet was located in eco-zone, just as important is the internal temperature. If the calculation of the Korenaga are correct, this would mean that many exoplanets in eco-zone, in fact, is not suitable for habitation because of the inappropriate internal temperature. This can drastically reduce the number of actually suitable for residence ofeco-zone planets.