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A team of European astronomers led by Michaël Gillon, a researcher from Liege University, has measured the transit of a Neptune-sized planet around another star. For the first time, the size and density of such a small extra-solar planet has been measured, showing that this planet is made up mainly of water.
The star GJ 436, a diminutive star (red dwarf) 30 light-years from the Sun, was known since 2004 to harbour a 22-Earth mass planet, orbiting 4 million kilometers from the star (0.03 Astronomical Units).
As the planet is close to its host star, its surface temperature is expected to be at least 300 C (600 F). The water in its atmosphere would therefore be in the form of steam. Inside, the water is crushed under intense pressure and adopts states unknown on Earth, except in physicist’s laboratories. Says Frédéric Pont: "water has more than a dozen solid states, only one of which is our familiar ice. Under very high pressure, water turns into other solid states denser than both ice and liquid water, just as carbon transforms into diamond under extreme pressures.
The boiling point of water is 100 °C (212 °F) at standard pressure. On top of Mount Everest the pressure is about 260 mbar (26.39 kPa) so the boiling point of water is 69 °C. (156.2 °F).
Originally posted by toreishi
if there is life in this planet then it won't quite be the same as the ones that we're familiar with.
Originally posted by shearder
I would suspect there would be possible life on a water world.
But we need to think outside of the box and realize that life on Earth has adapted for this environment. Raise the temperature of earth a few hundred degrees and eventually there will be other life forms we perhaps have not seen or heard of at all.
Who's to say life cannot exist at 1000 degrees on another planets? Science? nah - i think not!
Originally posted by Now_Then
Show me a planet (besides Earth) with life that I would be familiar with and I'll be you bestest friend!
[edit on 9/6/2008 by Now_Then]
Originally posted by smokey101
It would seem from this threads reply posts that quite a few people have the same belief as most scientists that for life to exist it requires certain things to be present.
Water and a "comfortable" temperature are the pre-requisites for life on earth, buts as we are discussing non-earth lifeforms then what makes people believe that they would require the same things as we do to live.
In other words what is to say that an alien lifeform couldn't survie without water? why wouldn't they be say liquid methane "drinkers" and hydrogen "breathers"?
Originally posted by smokey101
Thank you Shearder,
It was reading great posts by people like you that helped me make the decision to join ATS after a being a "lurker" for a year or so.
I wonder if we can find planets orbiting other stars then has a civilisation on a distant world who are at the same technological level as us, found our planet orbiting our star the same way we have with this one.
The earth is a mere spec in the universe at 4billion miles and think that further away does not even feature. Based on info from the HST (hubble) and its new camera - it is estimated there are 125 billion galaxies in OUR universe (if there is a multiverse - imagine the enormity)
Now our galaxy, the Milky Way, contains 100,000,000,000 stars multiply that by (ok not exactly so we could get technical so i will humour those technical junkies in a second) 3000 galaxies that we CAN see would contain 300,000,000,000,000 stars. Ok for the junkies, lets divide that by 1000 and we get 300,000,000,000 stars. Now put that all together and hold it up and find earth amongst all of that. Now consider this, theoretically there are 10 trillion planetary systems in the universe. Now even if there were only 1 million planetary systems we are one and we are a mere spec. Hell, if we have a picture of the milky way we don't even feature and we wouldn't be seen just by looking at it. We would be able to point out an approximate position but pointing to a spec that is earth would be virtually, if not totally, impossible.
So to conclude:
there are at least 100 billion stars with planets in our Galaxy alone
and we have people who still don't believe that possibly on ONE other planet there is life like ours - and perhaps an even more diverse life forms