Exoplanet Moons May Host Alien Life

JonB

Don't Take Crap from Life
Sep 16, 2012
1,157
0
0
Exoplanet Moons May Host Alien Life



The moons of gas giants orbiting other stars may fall within the habitable zone for human life.

Most exoplanet study so far has focused on solid worlds, those worlds most earth like that orbit their stars in the habitable zone. Two scientists, Rory Barnes and Rene Heller, recently released a statement saying that it's very possible - likely even - that the uninhabitable gas giants which orbit other stars may host habitable moons. The gas giants themselves may not even have a surface or be composed of breathable material, though they orbit in the habitable zone where liquid water can form, but the moons orbiting them could have life or be suitable for people. "There is a habitable zone for exomoons, it's just a little different than the habitable zone for exoplanets," said Barnes. To consider the exact habitability of an exomoon, the scientists observed both that many moons are tidally locked and that most moons have two sources of light which are subject to dramatic changes. Moons which orbit too close to their planet would experience a runaway greenhouse effect, boiling off any liquid surface water.

"An observer standing on the surface of such an exomoon would experience day and night in a totally different way than we do on Earth," said Heller, "For instance, stellar eclipses could lead to sudden total darkness at noon." Tidally locked exomoons, like Earth's own moon, would also have one hemisphere which never faces the planet - keeping the habitable surface lower than earth's, since this side would never receive light reflecting from the planet below.

Currently, no habitable exomoons are known. It's likely that telescopes like NASA's Kepler could detect them as they traverse across their planet, causing noticeable patterns in the brightness detected over time. Barnes and Heller's findings will be in the January issue of the journal Astrobiology.

Source: Space.com [http://www.space.com/19213-alien-life-possible-on-exoplanet-moons.html]
Image: NASA [http://www.nasa.gov/images/content/717260main_pia11824-full.jpg]

Permalink
 

Froggy Slayer

New member
Jul 13, 2012
1,434
0
0
I swear to god, when we get there, and the inhabitants are FUCKING TEDDY BEARS, I am going to cry.
 

Smolderin

New member
Feb 5, 2012
448
0
0
Froggy Slayer said:
I swear to god, when we get there, and the inhabitants are FUCKING TEDDY BEARS, I am going to cry.
With laughter? Jubilation? Disbelief? Cause if it were me, I would be like, "Now I just need to teach one to speak english and me and him can go re-enact the movie Ted". I'll call my master piece...Dancing with Ewoks!
 

Albino Boo

New member
Jun 14, 2010
4,667
0
0
I would have thought that the gas giants Van Allen belts would have made life unlikely. The radiation would be intense, making life unlikely.
 

Soluncreed

New member
Sep 24, 2009
482
0
0
The only thing I've ever wondered is how the tides of those moons would work with such a gigantic planet affecting them.
 

tce11

Turtle Who Lives in the Clouds
Apr 17, 2008
85
0
0
albino boo said:
I would have thought that the gas giants Van Allen belts would have made life unlikely. The radiation would be intense, making life unlikely.
If the moon was in between the inner and outer belt, in the "safe zone", it might actually provide some additional protection from stellar radiation though. Most moons don't have much of a magnetic field, so this might actually be helpful. However this would add an additional "Goldilocks Zone" requirement, so it would limit the candidates even more.
 

Anti-American Eagle

HAPPENING IMMINENT
Legacy
Apr 11, 2020
3,772
8
13
Country
Canada
Gender
Male
Guys stop doing things the complex ways, all we have to do is go to Chiron...

I mean the only flaw in this plan is flying space leaches that'll lay eggs in our skulls while projecting images more horrifying than our worst nightmares into our brains. Or Pandorum could always happen on the way there that'd be fun.

Or we could always try just building a colony on mars... like I thought we would have gotten to work on by now.
 

cerebus23

New member
May 16, 2010
1,275
0
0
I thought we already believed that the more icy moons of these giants and the tidal forces created by their moons might heat up the interior of the planets and heat liquid oceans, there would also be volcanic activity
and as we know from our oceans all sorts of microbes and complex food chains evolve directly around deep volcanic fountains and the like.

I guess they are saying in certain situations you could get people habital worlds roaming around deep space gas giants if the local inner planets do not work out. but with the odds for the godilocks planets out there its got to be an exceeding rare happening, totally ignoring the fact that gas giants have so many moons because they have very active neighborhoods, metor showers in the local weather forecast would probably be frequent when living on a very large sattlite orbiting a gas giant. so any life that does happen to live there would probably be very hardy and not terribly advanced, being that you would have far more frequent major impacts, preventing the rather long grace period our planet gets being in the inner rim and having jupiter and saturn helping keep us safe from those rogue outer rim giants.

and whats our average about 300-600 million years? if that were 100 million or less your evolving life would not be terribly far along before the next species ending event occurs.
 

Thaluikhain

Elite Member
Legacy
Apr 4, 2020
14,759
654
118
Firstly, this isn't really news.

Secondly, the title really, really needs the world "theoretically" in it. Omitting something like that is a really crass way of getting people to click on the article. If you don't think people are going to be interested in the actual content of your article, an exciting and misleading title isn't the way to deal with this.
 

Broderick

New member
May 25, 2010
462
0
0
Froggy Slayer said:
I swear to god, when we get there, and the inhabitants are FUCKING TEDDY BEARS, I am going to cry.
If I saw anyone fucking teddy bears I think I would cry. Those poor poor teddy bears.

At any rate...cool, but I thought this was old news. eh well, I am still excited about the mars colonization project. Planet terraforming is a go!
 

Antari

Music Slave
Nov 4, 2009
2,246
0
0
What is there to be worried about? We're the most dangerous species this planet has ever known. Whatever we find is dead meat. I just hope its tasty.
 

Cecilo

New member
Nov 18, 2011
330
0
0
Antari said:
What is there to be worried about? We're the most dangerous species this planet has ever known. Whatever we find is dead meat. I just hope its tasty.
Unless we find something akin to a Death-World. Where every animal is Carnivorous, Every plant poisonous, and the world itself just hates everything on it's surface and wants it dead.
 

Fireprufe15

New member
Nov 10, 2011
177
0
0
Anti-American Eagle said:
Guys stop doing things the complex ways, all we have to do is go to Chiron...

I mean the only flaw in this plan is flying space leaches that'll lay eggs in our skulls while projecting images more horrifying than our worst nightmares into our brains. Or Pandorum could always happen on the way there that'd be fun.

Or we could always try just building a colony on mars... like I thought we would have gotten to work on by now.
Oh you don't know? I'll just leave this here then...
mars-one.com
 

Quaxar

New member
Sep 21, 2009
3,949
0
0
Cecilo said:
Antari said:
What is there to be worried about? We're the most dangerous species this planet has ever known. Whatever we find is dead meat. I just hope its tasty.
Unless we find something akin to a Death-World. Where every animal is Carnivorous, Every plant poisonous, and the world itself just hates everything on it's surface and wants it dead.
Then we'll just send the Australians!
 

Legion

Were it so easy
Oct 2, 2008
7,190
0
0
Why is it taken as a given that all life-forms require similar habitats and environments to us? Perhaps life on other planets evolved with completely different physical needs from us. It's not like we have found any other inhabited planets to test the idea that all life requires X, Y and Z in order to survive.
 

Th37thTrump3t

New member
Nov 12, 2009
882
0
0
albino boo said:
I would have thought that the gas giants Van Allen belts would have made life unlikely. The radiation would be intense, making life unlikely.
If the atmosphere were comprised of the right stuff to shield from the radiation, such as a thick ionosphere and ozone layer, life would have a chance to start.
 

Beryl77

New member
Mar 26, 2010
1,599
0
0
Legion said:
Why is it taken as a given that all life-forms require similar habitats and environments to us? Perhaps life on other planets evolved with completely different physical needs from us. It's not like we have found any other inhabited planets to test the idea that all life requires X, Y and Z in order to survive.
It's not taken as a given but that's all we know. Like you said, our knowledge about life on other planets is very limited and that's exactly why we search for planets that are similar to earth. Otherwise we'd have to look at literally every, single planet out there and there are billions and billions of them. So for now, scientists search for things that we know worked successfully at least once.