Thursday, May 7, 2015   |   10,456 users online
Contact us    |    Advertise    |   Help   RSS icon Twitter icon Facebook icon
    Home  ·  News  ·  Forum  ·  Stories  ·  Image Gallery  ·  Columns  ·  Encyclopedia  ·  Videos  ·  Chat
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
Venus is just about the last planet you would use to help in the search for oceans. With a surface temperature of 480[sup]o[/sup]C, 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
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... [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 moreits closer and there is a big chance of water there
Comment icon #8 Posted by St. Jimmy on 19 July, 2012, 20:08
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.


Other news in this category
Newly discovered galaxy sets distance record
Posted 5-6-2015 | 10 comments
Astronomers have identified the most distant galaxy ever recorded at 13 billion light years away....
 
'Alien sounds' recorded in the stratosphere
Posted 5-5-2015 | 12 comments
A NASA balloon experiment has picked up sounds that wouldn't seem out of place in an X-Files episode....
 
'Pillars of Creation' unveiled in full 3D
Posted 5-4-2015 | 7 comments
The breathtaking cosmic spectacle has been revealed for the first time in three dimensions....
 
Cosmic rays could damage astronauts' brains
Posted 5-2-2015 | 24 comments
Cosmic radiation could be the single biggest problem for future astronauts embarking on a trip to Mars....
 
New Horizons spots polar ice cap on Pluto
Posted 5-2-2015 | 8 comments
The approaching spacecraft has snapped photographs of what appears to be polar ice on the dwarf planet....
 
Messenger spacecraft smashes in to Mercury
Posted 5-1-2015 | 22 comments
After more than a decade in space NASA's Messenger spacecraft has ended its mission with a bang....
 
Star Wars fans send X-Wing in to space
Posted 4-30-2015 | 25 comments
Two amateur astronomers have succeeded in placing a model fighter in to orbit using a weather balloon....
 
Does the universe only have two dimensions?
Posted 4-29-2015 | 25 comments
New mathematical models lend credence to the idea that we live in a universe that is essentially flat....
 
Has NASA just discovered warp drive ?
Posted 4-28-2015 | 68 comments
The space agency has reportedly produced a Star Trek style 'warp field' inside an experimental engine....
 

 View: More news in this category
 
Top   |  Home   |   Forum   |   News   |   Image Gallery   |  Columns   |   Encyclopedia   |   Videos   |   Polls
UM-X 10.6 Unexplained-Mysteries.com © 2001-2015
Privacy Policy and Disclaimer   |   Cookies   |   Advertise   |   Contact   |   Help/FAQ