74 Earth-Sized Planets Have Earth-Like Circular Orbits

Posted: Jun 2 2015, 6:31am CDT | by , in Misc


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74 Earth-Sized Planets Have Earth-Like Circular Orbits
  • Many Earth-Sized Planets in Outer Space may be Capable of Supporting Life

There are many earth-sized planets in outer space surrounding various stars. At least six dozen have been identified and they may in fact be capable of supporting life as their circular orbits are like Earth.

The solar system, with its series of planets circling in elliptical orbits around the sun, appears to be an archer’s target when seen in model form. The earth maintains its distance from the sun in the exact proportion required to support life on its terrestrial surface.

And while for decades it was thought that such perfection of distance was a singular case that was earth-specific, now it seems that there are several other planets and bodies in space that follow the same laws. A total of 74 exoplanets, which orbit 28 stars, have been discovered via telescopic exploration by astronomers.

These planets circulate in orbits around their respective stars in a similar manner to our own mother earth, according to the study by scientists at MIT and from Denmark's Aarhus University.

“Twenty years ago, we only knew about our solar system, and everything was circular and so everyone expected circular orbits everywhere,” says Vincent Van Eylen, a visiting graduate student in MIT’s Department of Physics.

“Then we started finding giant exoplanets, and we found suddenly a whole range of eccentricities, so there was an open question about whether this would also hold for smaller planets. We find that for small planets, circular is probably the norm.”

In their study to be published in the Astrophysical Journal, the researchers report that some of the planets have highly eccentric paths though. This fulfills the hypothesis that there is extraterrestrial life out there somewhere. The biggest requirement is that the exoplanets have sizes similar to our own spaceship earth.

“If eccentric orbits are common for habitable planets, that would be quite a worry for life, because they would have such a large range of climate properties,” Van Eylen says. “But what we find is, probably we don’t have to worry too much because circular cases are fairly common.”

Although planets with eccentric orbits may have wild fluctuations in climate and atmospheric temperatures, depending upon the distance from their respective stars, those with circular orbits will probably possess ecological systems similar to those found on our earth.

The latest evidence points towards most the orbits of the exoplanets being circular instead of eccentric. Thus the possibility of life forms being on these strange and mysterious planets is not out of the question.

It appears to be the case that larger planets have eccentric orbits while earth-sized planets have more circular orbits. Photometry reveals that small exoplanets have lesser eccentricity. The search for extraterrestrial life in outer space has a long history.

Early mankind too must have wondered if there were any alien beings on the stars that shone at night. Today the journey has reached a stage where probes are being sent into the depths of space in order to contact ALFs (alien life forms).

Yet the paradox remains that we human beings are unable to sit down and talk with each other amicably. The communication gap is actually greater at home than abroad. Even if there are aliens, they probably don’t exist in a form that is recognizable to us.

But the dearth of love and understanding found between individuals in today’s barren and drought-ridden postmodern age is something to seriously consider as a source of alienation and despair.

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<a href="/latest_stories/all/all/20" rel="author">Sumayah Aamir</a>
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