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Future evidence for extraterrestrial life might come from dying stars

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Headlined to H4 2/25/13

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At phys.org


This shows a habitable planet orbiting a white dwarf.
(image by David A. Aguilar (CfA))

Even dying stars could host planets with life - and if such life exists, we might be able to detect it within the next decade. This encouraging result comes from a new theoretical study of Earth-like planets orbiting white dwarf stars. Researchers found that we could detect oxygen in the atmosphere of a white dwarf's planet much more easily than for an Earth-like planet orbiting a Sun-like star. 'In the quest for extraterrestrial biological signatures, the first stars we study should be white dwarfs.' When a star like the Sun dies, it puffs off its outer layers, leaving behind a hot core called a white dwarf. A typical white dwarf is about the size of Earth. It slowly cools and fades over time, but it can retain heat long enough to warm a nearby world for billions of years. A habitable planet would circle the white dwarf once every 10 hours at a distance of about a million miles.

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At phys.org


 

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New technology and an alternative physics that rej... by Mark Goldes on Tuesday, Feb 26, 2013 at 1:45:54 PM
I really don't think you have to look any further ... by Victoria Parks on Tuesday, Feb 26, 2013 at 7:15:29 PM