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Why human will not be able to move to the Earth's twin planet, even if it exists 86 Why human will not be able to move to the Earth's twin planet, even if it exists 87

Space

Why human will not be able to move to the Earth’s twin planet, even if it exists

Alien: Covenant Movie

Almost every star you see in the night sky serves as the center of the planetary system, and there are about 100 billion stars in our galaxy. But are there worlds like Earth?

Just a couple of days after launching in May 2009, it took the Kepler space telescope to discover its first potentially inhabited planet in the sun-like star Kepler-22. Another 2.5 years were spent confirming the status of the found exoplanet. Finally, on December 5, 2011, the first exoplanet was officially announced, the orbit of which is in the habitable zone of the parent star. Unfortunately, despite all the similarities, Kepler-22 b turned out to be an ocean planet rather than a rocky world like Earth.

The Kepler telescope is able to determine planets only by the transit method, when the planet passes through the star’s disk, slightly changing its brightness for observers. Therefore, the vast majority of exoplanets discovered with its help revolve in orbits around small stars – red dwarfs. Their habitat zones are much closer, and the period of revolution of the planets around them does not exceed several days, which greatly simplifies the search.

Why human will not be able to move to the Earth's twin planet, even if it exists 88

According to scientists, for every planet whose transit through the disk of the parent star we can observe, from 10 to 100 of them are located at a different angle. And we are only talking about red dwarf planets. Although in the Milky Way, most of the stars are red dwarfs.

Despite the fact that our solar system can be called rare for the Milky Way, we must understand that we are talking about tens of billions of similar systems. It is difficult to imagine that only one turned out to be a habitable planet.

In August 2019, the Astronomical Journal published the results of a study that gives the most accurate estimate of the presence in our galaxy of Earth-like planets in the orbits of sun-like stars. As part of this study, an interesting method has been developed to estimate the number of such planets. The results are simply amazing: 

Planets similar in size to the Earth, with a period of revolution around their star from 237 to 500 days, should occur in about every fourth system formed by a star like the Sun.

Thus, we get at least two billion planets in the Milky Way, which should be similar to the Earth in most respects. Does this mean that we have two billion potentially inhabited worlds?

If we talk not so much about intelligent life as about biological life as a whole, we know that it is enough to originate, and it can adapt to almost any conditions. An excellent confirmation of this is extremophiles, various organisms that can survive in various extreme conditions, from unbearable heat and cold to exposure to chemicals poisonous to people and even outer space (for example, tardigrades).

But can we find a double planet of the Earth, which will be able to move if necessary? This is where the chances begin to tend to zero. Today we can confidently say that life was emerging on Earth at a time when it was literally like hell, and we would definitely not be able to exist in those conditions.

Life itself has made the Earth what it is now. And that is why, if we find a planet as similar to ours as possible, it will mean that it has formed over billions of years under the influence of biological life on it, and since we are not part of this biosphere, we will have to adapt to it.

This may not be any easier than, for example, colonizing Mars, because the history of the formation of another biosphere will be extremely different from ours. Even if the biochemistry of the creatures on this planet is as similar to ours as possible, it will be different.

The “native” virus drove us home for two months – can you imagine what the virus will do to us from another planet?

It is just right to recall the “War of the Worlds” by Herbert Wells.

Even if we discover the existence of billions of inhabited worlds, this does not mean that you can pack your bags, setting off in search of a new beginning on another planet. We will remain chained to the Earth and will continue to be a part of it. Earth is us. So our main task should be to preserve it for our own sake.

Space

KOI-5Ab, the curious planet that orbits in a system of three suns

KOI-5Ab, the curious planet that orbits in a system of three suns 101
Photo: (Caltech / R. Hurt (IPAC))

To us, the Sun alone seems perfectly normal, but our solar system is actually a strange exception.

Most stars in the Milky Way galaxy have at least one companion star. In a system 1,800 light-years away, astronomers have finally confirmed the existence of a gas giant planet orbiting stars in a triple star system.

Called KOI-5, the system is located in the constellation Cygnus, and the exoplanet was confirmed ten years after it was first detected by the Kepler space telescope.

In fact, the planet – now known as KOI-5Ab – was discovered by Kepler when it began operations back in 2009.

“KOI-5Ab was dropped because it was difficult and we had thousands of other candidates,” astronomer David Siardi of NASA’s Exoplanet Science Institute said.

“There were lighter dives than the KOI-5Ab, and every day we learned something new from Kepler, so the KOI-5 was almost forgotten.”

Exoplanet hunters tend to avoid the complexities of multi-star systems; of the more than 4,300 exoplanets confirmed to date, less than 10 percent are multi-star systems, although such systems dominate the galaxy. As a result, little is known about the properties of exoplanets in multi-star systems compared to those orbiting a lone star.

After Kepler’s discovery, Chardy and other astronomers used ground-based telescopes such as the Palomar Observatory, Keck Observatory, and the Gemini North Telescope to study the system. By 2014, they had identified two companion stars, KOI-5B and KOI-5C.

Scientists were able to establish that the planet KOI-5Ab, is a gas giant that is about half the mass of Saturn and 7 times the size of Earth, and is in a very close five-day orbit around KOI-5A. KOI-5A and KOI-5B, both of roughly the same mass as the Sun, form a relatively close binary system with an orbital period of about 30 years.

KOI-5Ab, the curious planet that orbits in a system of three suns 102

A third star, KOI-5C, orbits the binary system at a much greater distance, with a period of about 400 years – slightly longer than Pluto’s 248-year orbit.

“By studying this system in more detail, perhaps we can understand how planets are created in the universe.”

The discovery was announced at the 237th meeting of the American Astronomical Society.

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Space

Why the universe does not fit into science

Why the universe does not fit into science 103
Photo: YouTube

Science can be compared to an artist painting what he has never seen, or to a writer describing other people’s travels: objects that he has never seen, places where he has never been. Sometimes such scientific “arts” turn out to be beautiful and interesting, but most of them will forever remain only theories, because they are beyond human capabilities.

In fact, science has the right only to speculate: how our universe appeared, how old it is, how many stars and other objects it contains.

Universe model

Why the universe does not fit into science 104

How many stars are there in the sky?

With an unarmed eye, a person can see about nine thousand stars in the sky in one cloudless and moonless night. And armed with binoculars or a telescope, much more – up to several million. However, this is much less than their true number in the universe. Indeed, only in our one galaxy (the Milky Way) there are about 400 billion stars. The exact amount, of course, is not known to science. And the visible universe contains about 170 billion galaxies.

It is worth clarifying that scientists can see the universe 46 billion light years deep in all directions. And the visible (observable) universe includes the space accessible to our eyes from the moment of the Big Explosion. In other words, only this (accessible to human perception) space science refers to our universe. Science does not consider everything that follows.

It is believed that there are supposedly a ceptillion (10 to 24 degrees) stars in our universe. These are theoretical calculations based on the approximate size and age of the universe. The origin of the universe is explained by the Big Bang theory. This is why the universe is constantly expanding and the more time passes, the more complex the universe and its components become.

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It is not entirely correct to consider and perceive this scientific theory “head-on”. Scientists always claim that that explosion was not exactly an explosion, and the point that exploded was not the only one. After all, it was everywhere, because space did not exist then. And in general – everything happened quite differently from what is described in the Big Bang theory, but all other descriptions of the origin of the universe are even more incredible and inaccurate.

Separate but interconnected

That which is beyond the reach of human perception is usually discarded by science, or recognized as non-existent. Recognizing one thing, science does not want to recognize the existence of the other, although everything in our world is interconnected and is not able to exist separately – by itself.

Each object of the universe is a part of it much more than an independent, separate object.

Any person, like any material object of our world, consists of components: organs, cells, molecules, atoms. And each of its constituent parts can represent the whole world. Separate, and at the same time connected with all the others.

However, science, as a rule, perceives all the components of the universe – people, animals, plants, objects, the Earth, the Sun, other planets and stars – as separate subjects, thereby limiting itself.

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Even what is considered the visible universe, one of the atoms of which could be called our solar system, is not subject to the boundaries of human perception. But perhaps the atom is an exaggeration, and our solar system is not even an atom, but one of its elements!

How, being so far from the truth, can one reason about something with the degree of probability with which science tries to reason about the origin of the universe?

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Space

An unexplained wobble shifts the poles of Mars

An unexplained wobble shifts the poles of Mars 107

The red planet sways from side to side like a whirligig when it loses speed. The new study allowed scientists to notice that the poles of Mars deviate slightly from the axis of rotation of the planet. On average, they move 10 cm from the center with a period of 200 days.

Such changes are called the Chandler Oscillations  – after the American astronomer Seth Chandler, who discovered them in 1891. Previously, they were only seen on Earth. It is known that the displacement of the poles of rotation of our planet occurs with a period of 433 days, while the amplitude reaches 15 meters. There is no exact answer why this is happening. It is believed that the fluctuations are influenced by processes in the ocean and the Earth’s atmosphere.

Chandler’s wobbles on Mars are equally perplexing. The authors of the study discovered them by comparing data from 18 years of studying the planet. The information was obtained thanks to three spacecraft that orbit the Red Planet: Mars Odyssey, Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter and Mars Global Surveyor. 

Since Mars has no oceans, it is likely that the Red Planet’s wobbly rotation is due to changes in atmospheric pressure. This is the first explanation that researchers have shared. In the future, there should be new details about the fluctuations that have so interested the scientific community.

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