Wednesday, March 29, 2017
Contact us    |    Advertise    |   Help   RSS icon Twitter icon Facebook icon
    Home  ·  News  ·  Forum  ·  Stories  ·  Image Gallery  ·  Columns  ·  Encyclopedia  ·  Videos
Find: in

Can astronomers detect exoplanet oceans ?


Posted on Wednesday, 18 July, 2012 | Comment icon 8 comments | News tip by: Waspie_Dwarf


Image credit: NASA

 
As the hunt for habitable planets intensifies astronomers are turning their attention to alien oceans.

With a surface ocean being such a strong indicator of a habitable planet, a method with which to detect such an ocean on a planet orbiting another star would seem to be vital in determining if it might be a suitable place to find life. One method might be to look for specular reflection, the 'glint' on the water like we see on Earth when the Sun reflects off of the surface. The planet's reflectivity ( or 'albedo' ) could then be measured to determine if a liquid ocean is likely to be present there.

"Astronomers are keen to figure out how to detect oceans on exoplanets, because biologists assure us that liquid water is necessary for life as we know it," said team leader Nicolas Cowan. "The challenge is that exoplanets are very far away, so at best they appear as Carl Sagan's proverbial ‘pale blue dot’."

"Detecting water on the surface of exoplanets is becoming a high priority for researchers, as surface water is considered a requirement for habitability."

  View: Full article |  Source: Phys.org

  Discuss: View comments (8)

   


 
Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #1 Posted by Super-Fly on 15 July, 2012, 23:22
Interesting, didnt they trial somesort of thing like this with the transit of venus, or am i completely wrong? Nice post OP!
Comment icon #2 Posted by Waspie_Dwarf on 15 July, 2012, 23:42
Interesting, didnt they trial somesort of thing like this with the transit of venus, or am i completely wrong Venus is just about the last planet you would use to help in the search for oceans. With a surface temperature of 480oC, there's not a lot of liquid water there. What astronomers were interested in with the transit of Venus was the planet's atmosphere. The hope is that the observations made will be able to help detect atmospheres on exoplanets when they transit their star.
Comment icon #3 Posted by Super-Fly on 15 July, 2012, 23:44
Venus is just about the last planet you would use to help in the search for oceans. With a surface temperature of 480oC, there's not a lot of liquid water there. What astronomers were interested in with the transit of Venus was the planet's atmosphere. The hope is that the observations made will be able to help detect atmospheres on exoplanets when they transit their star. Ah right, my mistake, i knew they were interested in for looking for something, atmosphere. Thanks for replying!
Comment icon #4 Posted by marcos anthony toledo on 18 July, 2012, 11:42
I would wait for a orbital observatory in deep space to search for oceans on exoplanets patance will win out in the end.
Comment icon #5 Posted by Sundew on 18 July, 2012, 17:00
While it would be scientifically interesting to find water or even oceans on other worlds, it is all rather academic to exploration/colonization. If a space vehicle cannot breach the speed of light barrier (and all thoughts are to how to do that are presently theoretical, certainly not practical) then these "water worlds" will always be tantalizingly out of reach. We are talking dozens or hundreds of light years distance, that is, if you COULD make a ship able to reach the speed of light, it would STILL take one or multiple generations of astronauts to reach these worlds. The effects of space ... [More]
Comment icon #6 Posted by Rhino666 on 18 July, 2012, 18:48
Why does it matter. We're not going there, it's too far.
Comment icon #7 Posted by csspwns on 19 July, 2012, 1:08
yea we should focus on mars a bit more its closer and there is a big chance of water there
Comment icon #8 Posted by St. Jimmy on 19 July, 2012, 20:08
yea we should focus on mars a bit more its closer and there is a big chance of water there This is interesting. A picture of Mars how it may have looked a billion years ago. http://xtremecoders.org/wp-content/uploads/2010/06/Mars-Water.jpg By the way, the chance of finding a liquid form of water isn't that big because of current conditions on the planet surface. But in the atmosphere is still small amount of water vapor.


Please Login or Register to post a comment.


  On the forums
Firm plans to build upside-down skyscraper
3-29-2017
The bizarre plan would see the world's tallest building being hung upside-down from an orbiting asteroid.
Woman blames car crash on Bigfoot sighting
3-28-2017
An unidentified motorist ended up hitting a deer in her car after being distracted by a 'hairy beast'.
Apollo astronaut: 'ET has never visited us'
3-28-2017
Alan Bean, one of only 12 people to walk on the Moon, doesn't believe we have ever been visited by aliens.
'Maerdy Monster' is new species of millipede
3-28-2017
Scientists in the UK have discovered a previously unknown species of millipede at an old Welsh coal mine.
Other news in this category
Trump signs new bill to send humans to Mars
Posted 3-22-2017 | 11 comments
$19.5 billion has been authorized to support a renewed commitment to NASA's manned space program....
 
Blue fireball lights up the sky over Sweden
Posted 3-21-2017 | 4 comments
People from several towns across the country reported witnessing the spectacle at 9:30pm on Monday night....
 
Stephen Hawking is planning to go in to space
Posted 3-20-2017 | 1 comment
The celebrated physicist has described journeying in to outer space as his 'ultimate ambition'....
 
Mars Base Camp mission could launch by 2028
Posted 3-19-2017 | 2 comments
NASA partner Lockheed Martin is planning an ambitious mission to put astronauts into orbit around Mars....
 
NASA could use the Sun as a magnifying glass
Posted 3-18-2017 | 12 comments
Scientists at JPL have come up with an ambitious new plan to get a better look at extrasolar planets....
 
Older galaxies had a lot less dark matter
Posted 3-18-2017 | 10 comments
Scientists have discovered that dark matter played a much smaller role in galaxies in the early universe....
 
X-37B space plane is nearing orbital record
Posted 3-17-2017 | 3 comments
The US Air Force's mysterious space plane is on track to break the mission duration record of 674 days....
 
Enceladus may be an ideal place to find life
Posted 3-15-2017 | 5 comments
New data from Cassini has suggested that Enceladus' liquid water ocean may be very close to its surface....
 
NASA ordered to send humans to Mars by 2033
Posted 3-13-2017 | 11 comments
The space agency has been given a set of ambitious new goals which include a manned mission to Mars....
 

 View: More news in this category
 
Top   |  Home   |   Forum   |   News   |   Image Gallery   |  Columns   |   Encyclopedia   |   Videos   |   Polls
UM-X 10.7 Unexplained-Mysteries.com © 2001-2017
Privacy Policy and Disclaimer   |   Cookies   |   Advertise   |   Contact   |   Help/FAQ