To find a twin of the Earth in space may be impossible


2017-04-14 16:30:13




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To find a twin of the Earth in space may be impossible

Of all the places that we have ever seen in the Universe, only the Earth has provided us with evidence of the existence of life. But why? Because life is rare, and it requires from us all the conditions we have on Earth to be supported? Or because life is omnipresent, but we found her here, because her find was the easiest?

Since we're on the Ground all arranged as arranged, we tend to think that if we had a planet and a star with the same properties as the Earth and the Sun with the same age, with the same orbital distances, sizes and masses of the same materials, then again we would have received life. We also assume that other combinations are less likely. But all our assumptions can be incorrect. The land can be as rare as life.

In 2015, NASA announced the discovery of Kepler-452b, and called it "the most similar to Earth exoplanet" of all that was ever discovered. Of course, she had a lot in common with the Earth, and its stars had a lot in common with the Sun:

  • Its native star very similar to the Sun in terms of temperature, mass, and size: this is the star G2, about the same brightness and overall survival.
  • the
  • It rotates at almost the same distance and about the same period as our planet around the Sun: 385 days instead of 365.
  • the
  • Star around which it revolves, is not much more developed than our Sun: over 1.5 billion years, which means 20% more energy powerful and 10% cooler.
  • The planet Itself is not much bigger than our Earth, and its radius is 60% more.

And although these conditions may seem "like the earth", discovered the world, of course, has Earth anything to do.

In our Solar system the difference between Earth and Venus is tiny: about 5% in radius. For comparison, the difference between Earth and Uranus or Neptune is huge: these worlds four times bigger than Earth in radius. Therefore, more than 60% may not seem like an exaggeration, but a high probability that we will find a solid planet with a thin atmosphere, which will have the properties of a gas giant: a large shell of light atmospheric gases. In fact, there is a very narrow window, which is considered "earth" sized planets, and a deviation of more than 10-20% of the earth's size is too large.

However, there is every reason to believe that earth-like planets are fairly common. The latest results from Kepler, both show that the disk of the milky Way has at least 17 billion planets the size of Earth, and at least a few percent of the stars will have at least one earth-like world is at hand. Although our ultimate goal — this, of course, to find a world with advanced biological life — preferably a world with life during the Cambrian explosion — in our thoughts always go back to twin Earth. But that double, even if it exists, may be not the best place to search for.

Our Sun is a G star class age of 4.6 billion years. Although we think that she is one of the most common, it is not so: our star is more massive than 95% of all stars. M-dwarfs, little red asterisks represent the most common type of stars in the Universe: three-quarters of all stars represented by M-dwarfs. The oceans on our planet will boil over a billion years, but M-stars will be burning at a stable temperature of tens of trillions of years.

Kepler has found many earth-like planets around these M stars, which were located in suitable places to stay water on their surface in the liquid state and the weight of which quite fit the earthly definition. Although M-stars often give outbreak, and the planet near them must be closer, they also provide a more stable environment for their planets, with less ultraviolet rays and increased protection from severe manifestations of interplanetary and interstellar space. Tidal forces from their host stars is also stronger and shorter orbital periods give them a simple way to generate a large magnetic field might protect against flares.

These systems are quite common, and a system with a double Earth — no. What do we need for a true "double"? First of all we need a star like the Sun. This means that the star must not only be of the same temperature and spectral class, but about the same age. To life evolved and developed into something interesting, it takes time, and so we need some star system, which is many billions of years. But for too long, we can't wait, because the aging stars of the area of the kernel that connects the hydrogen with helium, increases, power output increases (along with the brightness and temperature). In the end, the planet (as Earth) that were once habitable will become too hot, who boils the water and not the giver of life to develop.

Suppose we have a window of 1-2 billion years, approximately 10% of the life of a star. In our galaxy of 200-400 billion stars, and about 7.6% of these stars are G-class as our Sun. Despite the fact that our Sun is more accurately classified as a G2V star, this still implies that about 10% of all stars are G-class will be the same type as our Sun. If you take the top edge, there are 400 billion stars, and 7.6% of which are G-class, 10% are of the same subclass as the Sun, 10% of whom were of an age for an interesting life. 300 million stars. But even then, not all of them will be enough heavy elements to create the earthly world.

Above you see the spectrum of the Sun. In other words, these lines that you see represent different atoms and their ratio. A lot of them in the Sun, and they have a very specific ratio. An indicator that is not hydrogen or helium, but synthesizes material on the Sun, astronomers call metallicity. If we want a planet like the earth, we need stars with metallicity for the solar type. It's not so bad; up to 25% of stars that all formed at the same time that our Sun was intermediate population I stars and many of them (perhaps around 15%) have the same metallicity, that of our Sun.

It turns Out that in our galaxy 11 billion stars like ours, with the same rate of heavy elements. How many of these 11 million solar "twins" have their earth twins in habitable zones?

We need to form a solid planet of suitable size with sufficient elements, a proper amount of water in the right place so she could be considered a twin of Earth. All these problems are interrelated. You would think that if the Central star will have the correct content elements, and formed on the planet should have the same relationship of density to the radius, as in our Solar system. But if your planet is 20% more radius than Earth, you will surely get an envelope of light gases — hydrogen and helium — which will cover your planet, even if you are in the inner part of the Solar system.

The World, which is 60% more Land will be more it in five times by weight, and it is too much to be a solid planet with a thin atmosphere. If we again scroll all the scores we get from forty to hundreds of thousands of earth-like planets with earth-like orbits near solar-type stars. 400 billion stars, the chances are extremely narrow.

And remember that the real purpose of finding such planets is the search for worlds that can support life like the earth. But if the purpose of it is, don't look for a "twin" of the Earth; it is better to look for smaller planets near the stars M-class. Better to look for earth-like worlds in potentially habitable zones around stars. These options will be much greater.



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