Let's Talk About Science

Habitable World In Habitable Zone

Scott DeGirolamo - The Kepler spacecraft has detected a planet in a far away solar system. Using the photometer on board the Kepler was able to measure the (dimming) of the star as the planet pasted in front. It is very difficult to determine what the planet might look like, its size, or where it is in relation to the star it orbits, but later we may be able use spectrum analysis to determine if the atmosphere of this world contains water. It is likely that we will find many worlds like this. Hundreds of thousands of worlds will likely be found as we launch more advanced spacecrafts.

The habitable zone: This refers to an area that can support liquid water. This idea can be misleading. The Cassini probe flew right through liquid water in orbit around Saturn - spewed from a volcano - a water volcano on a moon of Saturn. As it turns out, we may not understand what habitable really means. Life may exist anywhere - on Mars, in deep space, under the ice on Europa, or maybe even on the planet shown above.

The picture above was snapped by the Huygens probe upon its descent. It is a picture of Titan - A moon of Saturn. What you see here in the picture are gullies, rivers, a large oily sea, some clouds, a shoreline, and other features that look like Earth. It does look like Earth, only the rocks are Ice, and the water is actually liquid methane, hydrocarbons. Organic molecules rain down on the surface, and dense clouds have the same patterns as Earth. It seems likely that these patterns exist in any temperature range (just with different substances), so maybe life can also exist in many ranges, just using different stuff.

CARL SAGAN speaks here about the Voyager probe, which is currently entering a void area right before deep space. He mentioned the Huygens probe in this video. He did not live to see it land on Titan, but if he had - it would have been a very happy day for him, because what we see her - in real pictures, is truly an Earth like world. This world is like earth, and able to be explored by us humans right now - if we want, or we can just do what we are doing now.

Please also hear Carl Sagan talk about this Pale Blue Dot which we all ride on

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