PDA

View Full Version : Searching for Exoplanet Oceans More Challenging Than First Thought



Fraser
2012-May-08, 11:20 PM
As astronomers continue to discover more exoplanets, the focus has slowly shifted from what sizes such planets are, to what they’re made of. First attempts have been made at determining atmospheric composition but one of the most desirable finds wouldn’t be the gasses in the atmosphere, but the detection of liquid water which is a [...]

More... (http://www.universetoday.com/95065/searching-for-exoplanet-oceans-more-challenging-than-first-thought/)

Selfsim
2012-May-09, 07:29 AM
Well so, from this study, it becomes clear that specular reflection for detecting liquid water oceans on exoplanets may not be as straight-foward, nor reliable, as was previously believed ...

Even if we were fortunate enough to be able to ascertain from other measurements, that specular reflections for a particular exo-planet of interest were valid ...and that it showed that there was 'likely' say, a large liquid ocean on that exo-planet .... what then ? What do we then do with that bit of information ? Write a whole bunch of new Star Trek episodes ? (Oops ... we've already got plenty of those ...)

I guess we do what seems to be 'the norm' for what humans do ... we add meaning to that information and conjure up stories about 'the likelihood' of 'possible' exo-life. But wait ! .... we can do that right now ... no need for specular measurements ... so what progress will have been made ?

Until a single instance of exo-life is discovered locally, (or by direct ET contact), and correlated with an exo-habitat, all we can do is generate more inferences about the possibility of exo-life. Why not focus on getting on with local exploration of our own neighbouring habitable zone, where at least, a confirmed discovery is feasible ?

Regards