Stephen Ornes Jun 27, — Seth Shostak If aliens ever sent us a message, scientists hope to pick it up in a remote part of northern California. There, in a clearing nestled amid the volcanoes of the Cascade Range, 42 radio dishes point together at the sky.
Like cracking open a watermelon and finding its seeds, the infrared telescope "busted open" this murky cloud to reveal star embryos tucked inside finger-like pillars of thick dust.
McMaster researchers who have modeled planetary systems far beyond our own solar system have found that massive moons larger than Mars might be the best bet. Using data from our solar system and observations of huge planets far beyond the visual range of any telescope, astrophysicists Rene Heller and Ralph Pudritz have shown that some moons of those planets could be habitable.
Their findings, presented in two papers in the journals Astronomy and Astrophysics and Astrophysical Journal, suggest that some moons of exoplanets—planets beyond our solar system—are the right size, in the right position and have sufficient water to support life.
Many planets outside the solar system are even more massive than Jupiter, and they orbit their Sun-like stars at an Earth-like distance, but these faraway super-Jupiters are effectively giant gas balls that cannot support life because they lack solid surfaces. Their moons, though, might have the right conditions for liquid surface water and therefore for life to emerge and evolve.
While recent research has focused on exoplanets, the McMaster authors are eager to study the moons of those giant Jupiter-like planets, which they believe to have migrated into more temperate ranges of distant stars, towing watery moons in their orbits.
Those moons could be twice as massive as Mars.
No moon around an exoplanet, a so-called exomoon, has been discovered as of today, but they are certainly there, Heller says. With about 4, exoplanets known to exist so far, and with increasing technological capabilities, an exomoon discovery is now looming on the horizon.
Life possible on extrasolar moons More information:NARRATOR: Finding Life Beyond Earth, now on NOVA. The possibility of life beyond Earth, is a tantalizing idea, long prompting our species to wonder if there are other worlds where life exists.
Does life exist beyond Earth? All of this is good news for astrobiologists who dream of finding life beyond Earth's confines, as many of the .
Distant moons may provide evidence of life beyond Earth, researchers say June 1, by Wade Hemsworth, McMaster University This is the "South Pillar" region of the star-forming region called the.
The knowledge and tools NASA has developed to study life on Earth will be a great asset to the study of planets beyond our solar system.
Is there life beyond Earth?: Discovering aliens and UFOs For a while now there have been many UFO sightings around the world and many people have become amazed and astonished by this.
Many scientists who study extraterrestrial life have come up with a lot of information that points toward t. Extraterrestrial life, of liquid hydrocarbon lakes in the polar regions—the first stable bodies of surface liquid discovered outside Earth.
Analysis of data from the mission has uncovered The apparent contradiction between high estimates of the probability of the existence of extraterrestrial civilizations and the.