Super Earth


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Ever since watching the movie "Treasure Planet" when I was a kid, I've always wanted to live until traveling and living in another planet was made possible by the growth of technological innovations in the future. Be able to take my family to live in another planet, and new place with new things to explore. According to ecologists "Humanity would need five Earths to produce the resources needed if everyone lived as profligately as Americans" (Phys. Org). That fact really alarms me because thought not yet, the rest of the world is growing slowly but surely, meaning that more resources will be used as the standard of living for these people increase. Even now "humanity each year uses resources equivalent to nearly one-and-a-half Earths to meet its needs" (Phys. Org). If we continue to use more resources than the speed it takes the Earth to regenerate them, then there will be serious ecosystem collapses and destroy our home planet as we speak. Humans already generate more CO2 44% faster than the Earth can regenerate. Since the growth of natural resource usage by the planet is only increasing, Ecologists calculate that "we will require the resources of two planets to meet our demands by the early 2030s" (Phys.Org). Our Earth that we live in will not be enough for the growth in population and growth in use of resources, meaning that sooner or later we need to either cut down heavily, or look at the more attractive idea of looking at different planets to inhabit.

             In order for a planet to be habitable, it must have a certain traits that give it Earth-like qualities. These traits include temperature, water, atmosphere, energy, and nutrients. For a better look at a table that really explains what the earth needs, click on this link here.

To quickly summarize the table, since you guys probably didn't read a single word of it, pretty much a planet has to fit into the just right category of the table in order to sustain life.

Temperature: a range from 15 degrees Celsius-115 degrees Celsius.

Water: Available regularly, dormant in wet periods but needs to be available.

Atmosphere:  "Be able to keep the surface warm and protects from radiation and small to medium sized meteorites."

Energy: "steady input of either light or chemical energy, cells can run the chemical reactions necessary for life."

Nutrients: Be able to transport and replenish chemicals required by living organisms.

Too much or too little of these 5 criteria can destroy the chances of a planet being habitable or inhabitable.  Scientists however have found planets that follow these strict guidelines.  Planets orbiting around the red dwarf star Gliese 581.

The planet is called Gliese 581 d, and this planet is around 20 light years away in the constellation Libra. Though the planet is significantly bigger than the earth (if you see on the table you see that in the atmosphere category it shows that Earth and Venus size planets are ideal for planetary habitability, technically making this higher in the atmosphere category), it contains surface water, making it along with other factors a planet that can be consider to be habitable.

However, little is known about this planet. There are many limitations to the technology that we have today. No atmosphere could be observed for the planet, and also other compositions are unable to be seen/measured because we are limited with current technology. Another thing observed by this planet is that half the planet is in eternal darkness, while the other half is in eternal light. Other factors that hinder the chances of this planet is that it is predicted to only get 30% of the light from the Sun as the Earth does, making this too cold to support life in the planet. The cold in this planet could range from -18 degrees Celsius, which is too cold. It can be a minimum of -15 degrees Celsius, according to the table in the earlier parts of this post. In the plus side, there has been many similar characteristics between the Earth and this planet. One of the big similarities is that both planets stabilize the CO2 levels, making it possible to produce a liquid water cycle and support life.

Much more research must be don't in order for the scientists and astronomers to find whether or not this planet can be habitable or not, and in order for that to happen the technology must increase and grow significantly. Meaning that it might happen 10 years from now, or maybe in my children's lifetime. 

Who else would want to live on another planet? If so Why?

 

Sources:  "Discovery News." DNews. N.p., n.d. Web. 19 Oct. 2013 

http://news.discovery.com/space/alien-life-exoplanets/exoplanet-gliese-581d-human-habitation-110516.htm



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