We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars.
Posted 22 March 2013 - 02:26 PM
Oceans May Be Common on Rocky Alien Planets
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) during a talk at the 44th Lunar and Planetary Science Conference in The Woodlands, Texas.
"Space is big. Really big. You just won't believe how vastly, hugely, mind-boggingly big it is. I mean, you may think it's a long way down the street to the chemist, but that's just peanuts to space." - The Hitch-Hikers Guide to the Galaxy - Douglas Adams 1952 - 2001