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Absorption Features in an Extrasolar Planet Atmosphere - Research Paper Example

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In the paper “Absorption Features in an Extrasolar Planet Atmosphere” the author has made certain generalizations based both on factual observation, as well as limitations of instrumentality. An important strategy for planet detection must be the location of optimal configuration…
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Absorption Features in an Extrasolar Planet Atmosphere
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Download file to see previous pages This may not apply that no terrestrial planets, Earth-like or larger than Earth could exist further out, but using purely telescopic methods there are limitations with regard to the detection of eclipses. Large, terrestrial planets outside our present optimal detection rate would eclipse their stars so infrequently as to be virtually undetectable by the present observational techniques. (Choi, 2012)
Before evaluating the tools and strategies employed by astronomers in the search for exoplanets, it is necessary to define the parameters, as well as define the overall, eventual goal: The detection of Earth-like planets. More than merely an item of curiosity, the search for the new potential earth will help to answer fundamental questions about our own world: How common are the planets that maintain the stable environments for millions of years that Earth offers? If such planets are indeed common, then what is the frequency of life upon them? In addition, at what level of evolutionary/intellectual development? Answering questions like these put Earth in perspective, with implications across the spectrum of scientific endeavor.
A fundamental principle in the search is the definition of habitability. What makes a planet habitable by potential life; both in terms of its stellar position, and present conditions? The exoplanet task force defines the habitable zone of a star as the orbital region at which liquid water is stable on the surface of a planet; based on the amounts of radiation/heat the planet is calculated to receive. (Exoplanet Task Force, 2008) It is possible to speculate on other fluid media that might permit living chemistry; cooled hydrocarbons such as found on Titan for example, but since no such living systems are presently known to exist, we must begin by evaluating the prospects for life base on known principles. ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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