These dusty planets can survive life, we just can't see them

Dusty worlds like the desert planet Arrakis in the Dune novels are probably quite common in the universe. Some of them, which have large amounts of dust in the atmosphere, are most likely places where life can be found.

However, that dusty situation also makes finding evidence of life on these planets more challenging for astronomers.

The researchers modeled three exoplanets , each with different amounts of atmospheric dust. Research has found that dusty atmospheric conditions can "encapsulate" a planet, increasing the range of distances that life can form, thereby giving life development opportunities to play. more on such planets, if they lie close enough to their parent star.

Picture 1 of These dusty planets can survive life, we just can't see them
That dust also makes it harder to find evidence of life on planets.

Planets revolving around cool red stars (often called red dwarfs or M dwarfs) are more likely to be "locked in" to their stars - that is, one side of these worlds will be permanently oriented. about that star, just like one side of the moon that always faces the Earth. This situation will make half of the world always daytime, while the other half is eternal school night.

Recent studies have shown that these locked-out worlds are the most common type of planet in the world around these small, cool stars.

Planets in the Goldilocks region around their stars (where the liquid water temperature is neither too hot nor too cold) and large enough to maintain an atmosphere that is likely to become water worlds.

The high density of dust in the atmospheres of these worlds will both serve to cool the hot face of the planet and warm the cold face. The opposite planets, if too hot or too cold to suit life, will have more extreme temperature conditions.

" On Earth and on Mars, dust storms provide both cooling and warm effects on the planet's surface, in which the cooling effect usually prevails. But planets with" synchronized orbits " here, the dark side of these planets in the everlasting night, and the warming effect prevail, while in the daytime, the cooling effect prevails. adjusting the extreme points of temperature, making the planet more suitable for life "- Dr Ian Boutle of Exeter University and UK Meteorological Office said.

Areas suitable for life around a star include areas with standing water on the surface of the world, forming ponds, rivers and the sea.

In worlds locked in with their stars, dust will cool the hot face of the planet and warm the night. This helps to expand the size of both sides of the region to accommodate life around a star of these worlds. Planets that are not hard-locked with their parent stars will cool down across the surface, meaning that they must be closer to their stars than normal for these water conditions to form.

Picture 2 of These dusty planets can survive life, we just can't see them
Planets that are not locked away with their parent star will cool down across the surface.

At the inner edge of our own solar system, Venus probably once had a large amount of water but was evaporated into space long ago. On the other side of our Goldilocks region, Mars was once a water world, but then water also evaporated into space long ago.

As the planet's heat and oceans evaporate into the universe, this process can release huge amounts of dust into the air. This process, also known as a "negative climate retroactivity," can temporarily cool the planet, slowing its loss of water.

" Dust rises from any relatively dry land surface and there are no plants. Dust can not only cool the surface by scattering cosmic radiation, but also cooling the climate through absorption and emitting red infrared radiation "- the researchers said.

Life can be . gas

In the search for signs of life on planets around distant stars, astronomers look for the presence of methane and other chemicals at a higher or lower level than in one world. The world has no life.

Mineral dust plays an important role in shaping the climate of Earth and Mars. The dust atmosphere, which increases the ability to form life in other worlds, can also make it harder to find them.


How NASA's new telescope will help explore the exoplanet's atmosphere.

The simulations show that the high dust densities in the exoplanet's atmosphere make it harder to detect typical biomarkers - most notably methane and ozone -. In the NASA video above, you can see how the James Webb space telescope (JWST) is about to go into operation and how it can tell us what the atmosphere of the orbiting worlds is. the distant sun. The researchers say the dust densities of distant worlds should also be considered when considering the potential for life on planets around other stars.

" Dust flying in the air is something that can help planets survive, but also limits our ability to find signs of life on these planets. These effects need to be considered." in future research "- Professor Manoj Joshi of the University of East Anglia in Norwich, UK, explains.

On locked-up planets , the dusty atmosphere creates a blanket covering their night faces, and a pair of sunglasses for the daytime face. By recognizing the effects of dust on the exoplanet's climate, we will get closer to being able to recognize signs of life on distant planets.

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