Hot answers tagged

7

I'll touch on a few of these because I disagree with some of those ideas. There are approx. 2000 planetary systems discovered, and all of them, except the Solar System, have angular momentum mostly in a star There's a few problems with that argument because planets close to their star are easier to identify. We don't have a complete picture of the ...


7

Proxima Centauri can't explode as supernova as it is about 2 orders of magnitude too small and light. But if a supernova were to happen from that distance? How bright would it be? You can use the formula: $$\text{Apparent magnitude} = \text{Absolute magnitude}+5log_{10}(distance)-5$$ where the distance is in parsecs. Proxima centauri is 1.3 parsecs ...


6

It might depend on what qualifies as a plant. A thin film of rugged mold for example . . . just maybe. The tricky part is that asteroids are too small to retain an atmosphere and you need an atmosphere to have liquid water which plants and all life (so far as we know) needs. I don't want to dismiss the possibility that there's underground water and some ...


6

We know that life can start and evolve quite well on a planet with 250 mph winds: You're living on one. The jet stream can reach this speed in the Earth's atmosphere. Beyond that it is speculation. While not much is going to survive on the surface if there are surface winds of 1500mph at a static pressure of anything like 1atm, I can see no problem of life ...


6

According to the 1997 paper "A Dying Universe: The Long Term Fate and Evolution of Astrophysical Objects" (arXiv version) by Fred C Adams and Gregory Laughlin, which was the basis for their book "The Five Ages of the Universe", the stelliferous era (the time when star formation is ongoing) is likely to last until ~1014 years after the Big Bang. Their ...


3

Well, Europa is one of the closest moons to Jupiter. Jupiter is an extremely massive planet (317.8 the mass of Earth) which makes strong tides on Europa and other close moons, so Europa is torn a bit which results in so-called tidal heating underwater. Through this heating, the temperature underwater makes the subsurface ocean habitable despite the Jovian ...


3

No one knows for sure, but the idea is plausible. There would not be enough radiation from a rogue planet to provide much help, but we know from the moons of Jupiter and Saturn that tidal heating can keep water liquid. There might have to be multiple moons for it to work. The outer moon keeps making sure the inner moon has an elliptical orbit, and as the ...


3

If you took away the Milky Way except for the Solar system (but kept the MW's satellite galaxies), the "naked eye" night sky would feature the Andromeda Galaxy, 2.5 million light-years away, the Large Magellanic Cloud (LMC), 160,000 light-years away and the Small Magellanic Cloud (SMC), 200,000 light years away.


2

Actually the further away the Solar System is from anything else the better for life. There would be less radiation and fewer mass extinction events from supernovas. We would not see galaxies instead of stars; their brightness would not increase. In fact if we were located in one of the great intergalactic voids the night sky would be completely dark to the ...


2

The solar system could continue to exist outside a galaxy, and apart from a lack of stars in the night sky, I see no reason why anything much would change. It would be very unlikely to form there, even if some chance provided a sufficiently dense gas cloud. The cloud would be made up of almost nothing except hydrogen and helium (since there would not have ...


1

As far as we can tell, the solar system is in such a void already. The region of space outside of the solar system is thought to be pretty sparse but that is hard to tell. We know the nearest star is Alpha Centauri which is over 4 light-years away. If the solar system was moved to an even less dense area if would not be noticeable. There may be planetary ...


Only top voted, non community-wiki answers of a minimum length are eligible