What Color Are Habitable Alien Planets? #SpaceSaturday
We know that the Ocean planet Caladan is blue, and the desert planet Arrakis is sort of a beige kind of deal. Our own planet Earth is mostly blue but also green. So if a blue planet, a blue and green planet, and a beige kind of deal can all support life, fictional or not, what other colors can support life? Here’s more from Centaur Dreams:
But the scientists point out that a land planet’s climate would be considerably different from our own, accounting for the difference in flora and fauna that Spohn alludes to above: “…we would expect that the land planet has a substantially dryer, colder and harsher climate,” they write in their presentation abstract, “possibly with extended cold deserts in comparison with the ocean planet and with the present-day Earth.”
We need look no further than Earth’s geological history to see analogues. A land planet scenario produces the kind of climate that Earth would have had in the Pleistocene, while the ocean planet conditions are similar to the climate in Earth’s Paleocene. We’ll see how these numbers stack up when this work evolves out of the conference presentation stage and into a formal paper, but if they hold, the implications for habitable planet detection seem clear. We’re far more likely to find land planets and water worlds than the expected ‘pale blue dot’ signature characteristic of Earth.
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