Monday, August 20, 2018
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
This news story is archived which means that, while it is still available to view, the information contained within may be outdated and the original source site/link may no longer be viewable.

For the most recent stories, please visit either the site's home page or main news section.

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
3,200-year-old cheese discovered in Egypt
8-19-2018
A strange white substance found inside a broken jar from an ancient tomb has turned out to be cheese.
Germany has no plan in the event of ET contact
8-19-2018
The German government has 'no plans or protocol' to deal with the possibility of contact with extraterrestrials.
Mystery space plane nears one year in orbit
8-19-2018
The US military's mysterious X-37B has spent almost a year in space on its latest secretive mission.
Earth may have several orbiting 'mini-moons'
8-18-2018
Scientists have discovered that the Moon may not be the only natural satellite in orbit around our planet.
Other news in this category
Mystery space plane nears one year in orbit
Posted 8-19-2018 | 3 comments
The US military's mysterious X-37B has spent almost a year in space on its latest secretive mission....
 
Earth may have several orbiting 'mini-moons'
Posted 8-18-2018 | 6 comments
Scientists have discovered that the Moon may not be the only natural satellite in orbit around our planet....
 
Universe may be teeming with water-worlds
Posted 8-18-2018 | 5 comments
Scientists have determined that a significant percentage of planets in our galaxy may be covered in water....
 
Planet is so hot that even metal evaporates
Posted 8-16-2018 | 5 comments
The extrasolar planet known as Kelt-9b is so hot that its atmosphere contains vaporized iron and titanium....
 
Mystery Russian satellite 'could be a weapon'
Posted 8-15-2018 | 20 comments
A US State Department official has revealed that one Russian satellite is exhibiting 'very abnormal behavior'....
 
Concerns grow as Opportunity remains silent
Posted 8-15-2018 | 17 comments
It is looking increasingly likely that the recent Martian dust storm may have silenced the rover for good....
 
Pence: US Space Force to be set up by 2020
Posted 8-13-2018 | 28 comments
Trump's plan to establish American dominance in space could be set in motion sooner rather than later....
 
Parker Solar Probe has successfully launched
Posted 8-12-2018 | 4 comments
The probe, which is on a daring mission to the Sun, will become the fastest man-made object in history....
 
Jupiter's iconic cloud bands are only skin deep
Posted 8-10-2018 | 1 comment
Scientists have determined just how far down Jupiter's colorful atmospheric bands actually go....
 

 View: More news in this category
 
Top   |  Home   |   Forum   |   News   |   Image Gallery   |  Columns   |   Encyclopedia   |   Videos   |   Polls
UM-X 10.712 Unexplained-Mysteries.com © 2001-2018
Terms   |   Privacy Policy   |   Cookies   |   Advertise   |   Contact   |   Help/FAQ