Thursday, April 18, 2019
Contact us    |    Advertise    |   Help    |   Cookie Policy    |   Privacy Policy    RSS icon Twitter icon Facebook icon
    Home  ·  News  ·  Forum  ·  Stories  ·  Image Gallery  ·  Columns  ·  Encyclopedia  ·  Videos
Find: in

'Super Earth' aliens may be trapped by gravity


Posted on Monday, 23 April, 2018 | Comment icon 15 comments

A planet with a large mass will also have a large gravitational pull. Image Credit: NASA
On planets more massive than the Earth, launching things in to space will be a lot more challenging.
So far, the hunt for extraterrestrial life on extrasolar worlds has focused primarily on seeking out Earth-sized terrestrial planets located within their parent star's habitable zone.

But what of very large planets - the so-called 'Super Earths' - that also happen to lie within this zone ?

Such massive planets could in theory also support life, especially if evolution had equipped the inhabitants with the ability to withstand the extreme gravitational pull of such a world.

When it comes to spaceflight however, such a civilization may be at a distinct disadvantage. In extreme cases, it may require up to ten times as much thrust to place something in to orbit.

To carry enough fuel to launch the equivalent of an Apollo Moon mission, for instance, a rocket would need to have a mass of up to 440,000 tons - that's the same as the Great Pyramid of Giza in Egypt.

"On more-massive planets, spaceflight would be exponentially more expensive," said study author Michael Hippke of the Sonneberg Observatory in Germany.

"Such civilizations would not have satellite TV, a moon mission or a Hubble Space Telescope."

It is easy to imagine how, in such a scenario, a civilization may never even make it in to space at all.

Source: Space.com | Comments (15)

Tags: Extrasolar Planets

Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #6 Posted by Alien Origins on 23 April, 2018, 21:42
Please remember this is only a theory but its still hard to swallow: https://www.yahoo.com/news/aliens-could-trapped-super-earth-144451116.html
Comment icon #7 Posted by godnodog on 24 April, 2018, 8:49
According to preliminary measurements Jupiter probably has a rocky core, current planet formation theory also points to Jupiter having a rocky core
Comment icon #8 Posted by Orphalesion on 24 April, 2018, 10:07
  They could maybe still develop to a neolithic level, perhaps. But yeah, I have problems picturing them becoming space-faring as well, at least without outside help.
Comment icon #9 Posted by Not A Rockstar on 24 April, 2018, 10:44
I guess mother of pearl really won't cut re-entry heat LOL
Comment icon #10 Posted by Orphalesion on 24 April, 2018, 13:05
But at least it would be a very pretty spaceship.....until it burns up in the atmosphere.
Comment icon #11 Posted by kartikg on 24 April, 2018, 18:06
what if they understand that they are in a huge gravity well and instead of chemical rockets they use nuclear explosion to launch in space 
Comment icon #12 Posted by Scudbuster on 24 April, 2018, 20:18
With the launch last week of the TESS exo planet observatory, over the next 2 years or so we're going to be hearing  a lot about new discoveries of "super earth's" and nearby exo planets in general. I use "nearby" in relative terms, they will still be many, many, light years distant, but they will be much closer than the exo planet discoveries made by the Kepler observatory. I forget the exact numbers, but Kepler focused many thousands of light years away in space. 
Comment icon #13 Posted by Tom the Photon on 25 April, 2018, 15:32
I acknowledge your point, Waspie, and it strongly supports my view that the number of "intelligent alien species trapped on supermassive planets by their enormous gravity" is likely to be a very, very small fraction of the total.  Articles like this are interesting but add little more than idle speculation to the important science carried out by SETI and others.  The importance of contacting advanced intelligences cannot be overstated.  Assuming alien species are benign (and I believe there is little reason for them to be otherwise) and they share advanced knowledge and technology with us, the... [More]
Comment icon #14 Posted by Calibeliever on 25 April, 2018, 18:53
I'm just musing about the fact that they are making assumptions based on our current technology that has only (effectively) advanced to the point of using fire as a means of propulsion. 
Comment icon #15 Posted by Dejarma on 25 April, 2018, 23:04
yep exactly-- i find it fascinating how many just don't look at it in this way


Please Login or Register to post a comment.


  On the forums
Forum posts:
Forum topics:
Members:

6439944
271028
179863

 
'Image of Jesus' spotted in Notre Dame fire
4-18-2019
Some witnesses to the recent devastating fire believe that they've seen something otherworldly in the flames.
10 robotic dogs pull truck along in new video
4-17-2019
A small army of Boston Dynamics' dog-like robots have been filmed hauling a truck through a parking lot.
Earth was hit by interstellar visitor in 2014
4-17-2019
Scientists have revealed that a meteor from another star system may have collided with the Earth 5 years ago.
Liquid blood extracted from 42,000-year-old foal
4-17-2019
Scientists in Siberia have succeeded in retrieving blood from the well-preserved remains of an extinct horse.
Featured Videos
Gallery icon 
Cannon made from 50,000 matches
Posted 4-7-2019 | 4 comments
What happens if you light a cannon made out of 50,000 matches ?
 
Latin America's most dangerous snake
Posted 3-24-2019 | 1 comment
Coyote Peterson comes face to face with an extremely dangerous reptile.
 
Squaring a doughnut
Posted 3-12-2019 | 1 comment
Michael returns with another mind-bending problem - this time concerning squares.
 
Shells of cosmic time
Posted 3-3-2019 | 0 comments
A look at how observations of distant objects enable us to see back in time.
 
Thailand's snake village
Posted 2-26-2019 | 2 comments
Steve Backshall visits a village where the inhabitants live alongside dangerous snakes.
 
 View: More videos
Stories & Experiences
 
Winter solstice hooded figures
3-6-2019 | Decatur, IL
 
My skinless demon
2-8-2019 | Michigan
 
Johannesburg Men in Black
1-2-2019 | Johannesburg South Africa
 
Giant flash of light
1-2-2019 | Pomona, California
 
Terrifying unexplained screams
1-2-2019 | Dorion, Ontario, Canada
 
My name is whispered
11-9-2018 | Wish not to disclose
 
Strange numbers on arm
11-9-2018 | Charlotte, NC
 
Two experiences
10-31-2018 | Pryor, OK
 
Various experiences
10-31-2018 | Californiia
 

         More stories | Send us your story
 
Top   |  Home   |   Forum   |   News   |   Image Gallery   |  Columns   |   Encyclopedia   |   Videos   |   Polls
UM-X 10.712 Unexplained-Mysteries.com (c) 2001-2018
Terms   |   Privacy Policy   |   Cookies   |   Advertise   |   Contact   |   Help/FAQ