Extraterrestrial Life May be Common A...

Extraterrestrial Life May be Common Around Binary Stars

There are 2 comments on the Space.com story from Feb 26, 2013, titled Extraterrestrial Life May be Common Around Binary Stars. In it, Space.com reports that:

Planets orbiting binary star systems have to deal with the stresses of more than one star.

Join the discussion below, or Read more at Space.com.

“Geologist [I'm Climate Change]”

Since: Mar 07

formerly Nuneaton

#1 Feb 27, 2013
Nice article.

One bit of note that the article messed up on is that Venus did not suffer EARLY water loss. Its position just inside the lifezone resulted in a runaway greenhouse effect that occurred within the 1st billion years or so but after outgassing from the volcanoes & core formation in the planet produced the atmosphere and ~280 bar of H2O as an ocean.
The runaway greenhouse effect finally evaporated the global ocean ~1 billion years after outgassing (error bar of +-1 billion years, but with an early venereal ocean as a start point. This was nothing to do with venus but instead a feature of steady increase in insolation from the sun which evolves to larger and hotter from its initial zero age main sequance (ZAMS) start.
Once a steam bath the venereal surface temperature becomes hot enough to anneal the crust erasing all surface details... The much vaunted "global lava bed" scenario which apparently occurred to venus in the early Cambrian period ~550Ma is in fact a mark of the date when the steam path finally hydrolysed out leaving only the CO2 which weighs more. The loss of greenhousing from all the H2O has left the crust of Venus with a low enough temperature to no longer slowly flow & creep and an ability to preserve surface features.
As the CO2 is now photolysing (CO and O) and is being lost Venus continues to cool as the Sun continues to get larger & hotter.

End conclusion: Venus lost its water late rather than early. It also did not undergo a spectacular pulse of volcanism, just a time of the loss of a steam bath hot enough to make the rocks flow like roofing asphalt in heatwave sun conditions.

One other item: Tidal effects versus outer planets around orbiting inner close binaries will boost energy to the orbiting planets causing them to drift out and cool with time.(handy for the global desert Tattooine I suppose). In the case of a giant planet the tidal bump effect will also drive the stars closer causing a merger if the 2 stars and planet orbit in plane. The merger will eventually fry a previously frozen planet once the stars merge into a main sequence blue straggler. For the record Altair; {Alpha Aquilae}(rotation period 6 hours) is one such merged blue straggler, Altair also has a companion star which forced the merger of the 2 main components into the current A7 primary.

Life in binary systems may need to be very adaptable long term.

Happy hunting

“Is that all you've got?”

Since: Jun 10

Location hidden

#2 Feb 28, 2013
We need to appreciate the life we have here...


...more. Photo #6 is awesome.

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