Science Fiction Dictionary
A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z

 

M-Dwarf Stars May Not Have Habitable Planets

Picky, picky, picky. It appears that we have become so blasť about our ability to discern star systems with planets that we are now winnowing out the uninteresting uninhabited star systems.

An Earth-like planet orbiting an M dwarf -- the most common type of star in the universe -- appears to have no atmosphere at all. This discovery could cause a major shift in the search for life on other planets.

Because M-dwarfs are so ubiquitous, this discovery means a large number of planets orbiting these stars may also lack atmospheres and therefore are unlikely to harbor living things.

The work that led to the revelations about the no-atmosphere planet, named GJ 1252b, are detailed in the Astrophysical Journal Letters.

This planet orbits its star twice during the course of a single day on Earth. It is slightly larger than Earth, and it is much closer to its star than Earth is to the sun, making GJ 1252b intensely hot as well as inhospitable.

"The pressure from the star's radiation is immense, enough to blow a planet's atmosphere away," said Michelle Hill, UC Riverside astrophysicist and study co-author.

Earth also loses some of its atmosphere over time because of the sun, but volcanic emissions and other carbon cycling processes make the loss barely noticeable by helping replenish what is lost. However, in greater proximity to a star, a planet cannot keep replenishing the amount being lost.

(Via ScienceDaily.)

Science fiction great E.E. 'Doc' Smith has similar complaints during a manual search for habitable planets described in his 1934 classic Skylark of Valeron:

At the edge of the strange galaxy though they were, many days were required to reduce the intergalactic pace of the vessel to a value at which maneuvering was possible, and many more days passed into time before Crane announced the discovery of a sun which not only possessed a family of planets, but was also within the specified distance of a white dwarf star.

To any Earthly astronomer, whose most powerful optical instruments fail to reveal even the closest star as anything save a dimensionless point of light, such a discovery would have been impossible, but Crane was not working with Earthly instruments. For the fourth-order projector, although utterly useless at the intergalactic distances with which Seaton was principally concerned, was vastly more powerful than any conceivable telescope.

Driven by the full power of a disintegrating uranium bar, it could hold a projection so steadily at a distance of twenty light-years that a man could manipulate a welding arc as surely as though it was upon a bench before him which, in effect, it was-and in cases in which delicacy of control was not an object, such as the present quest for such vast masses as planets, the projector was effective over distances of many hundreds of light-years.

Thus it came about that the search for a planetiferous sun near a white dwarf star was not unduly prolonged, and Skylark Two tore through the empty ether toward it.

I also think that the scientists of today should take note of the word "planetiferous" and add it to the scientific argot of our time.

Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 3/1/2023)

Follow this kind of news @Technovelgy.

| Email | RSS | Blog It | Stumble | del.icio.us | Digg | Reddit |

Would you like to contribute a story tip? It's easy:
Get the URL of the story, and the related sf author, and add it here.

Comment/Join discussion ( 0 )

Related News Stories - (" Space Tech ")

Japan's LignoSat Space Wood Satellite And Dan Simmons' Treeship
'The Consul remembered his first glimpse of the kilometer-long treeship...' - Dan Simmons, 1989.

Is It Time For Lunar Farside Telescopes?
'Mount Ambarzumian Observatory, on Farside.' - Poul Anderson, 1958.

Spaceflight Vertigo Solved By NASA Releasing The Kraken
"I threw up in my helmet."

Lunar Pogo Stick - Retro Technovelgy From 1968
'Lucky touched the leap knob...' - Isaac Asimov, 1954.

 

Google
  Web TechNovelgy.com   

Technovelgy (that's tech-novel-gee!) is devoted to the creative science inventions and ideas of sf authors. Look for the Invention Category that interests you, the Glossary, the Invention Timeline, or see what's New.

 

 

 

 

Science Fiction Timeline
1600-1899
1900-1939
1940's   1950's
1960's   1970's
1980's   1990's
2000's   2010's

Current News

ESTHER Tennis Robot V. Fact (1934) And Fiction (1952)
'THE red tennis robot scooted desperately across the court...'

Japan's LignoSat Space Wood Satellite And Dan Simmons' Treeship
'The Consul remembered his first glimpse of the kilometer-long treeship...'

Skyline Robotics Instantiates Heinlein's 'Window Willie' Skyscraper Robot
'Do you know what window washing used to cost by the hour?'

Drone Bombings In Moscow Foreseen 100 Years Ago
'Once the target is confirmed, it uses an IR laser to send a coded signal back to the parent, clearing it to attack.'

I Didn't Know You Can Already Buy Flesh Putty
'I filled your bullet hole with flesh putty and the lattice.'

'A Sign in Space' Gives Practice In Decoding ET Messages
'... it will be easy to form an alphabet which shall enable us to converse with the inhabitants of the moon.'

Melting Permafrost Endangers Infrastructure
'From the tower's huge octagonal base radiate wide silvery strips...'

EELS Exobiology Extant Life Surveyor For Enceladus
'It was about five feet long... a black bullet head and red camera eyes.'

Lazy Lawyer's Trust In ChatGPT Misplaced
'The Law Society has strict rules on the use of pseudo-intelligent software...'

Paradromics Implant FDA 'Breakthrough Device'
'I used my implant to tell MILLIE what we wanted...'

Mice, At Least, Can Sober Up Quickly
'Then draw some aldodote-vitamin pills from the medic.'

Is It Time For Lunar Farside Telescopes?
'Mount Ambarzumian Observatory, on Farside.'

Spaceflight Vertigo Solved By NASA Releasing The Kraken
"I threw up in my helmet."

TM-62 Loitering Ground Landmine
Runaway movie comes to life!

Helpful Robots In Science Fiction
'If you douse me again... I'm donating you to a city college.'

Lunar Pogo Stick - Retro Technovelgy From 1968
'Lucky touched the leap knob...'

More SF in the News Stories

More Beyond Technovelgy science news stories

Home | Glossary | Invention Timeline | Category | New | Contact Us | FAQ | Advertise |
Technovelgy.com - where science meets fiction™

Copyright© Technovelgy LLC; all rights reserved.