what makes earth habitable compared to other planets

How has Earth been able to hold on to its oceans while those on other planets freeze or fry? As the solar wind strikes Earth’s magnetic field, it is deflected around, shielding the planet within. (CNN) — Earth is the only planet we know of so far to host life, but it may not be the best place for life when compared with “superhabitable” planets, according to a new study. The liquid water makes the planet earth habitable compared to other planets. NASA Ames/SETI Institute/JPL-Caltech, Exo-Earths and the search for life elsewhere: a brief history, For life to form on a planet it needs to orbit the right kind of star, Giant impacts, planet formation and the search for life elsewhere, Impacts, extinctions and climate in the search for life elsewhere. All of these features make Earth special among known planets near and far. Earth-like? The large bright spot to the west of South America is the Sun’s light scattering off ocean waves. To enable life, this most special of attributes, planet Earth has a number of ideal features. This article was originally published on The Conversation. By continuing to use our website you consent to all cookies in accordance with our cookie policy. With a warmer upper mantle, the temperature difference between that region and the Earth’s deep interior would be smaller, and convection would eventually cease. Every planet is differnet. Habitable zone, the orbital region around a star in which an Earth-like planet can possess liquid water on its surface and possibly support life. They fling material to space and continually bombard their planets with radiation. The location of the “habitable zone” around a star will therefore be a function of the mass of the planet in question. NASA/GSFC. Life itself needs water, but for a planet to keep its atmosphere, it needs a magnetic field. But the perfect planet for the search for life must be the right size – not too big and not too small. "You hear all the time how Earth-like Mars is, but if you were taken to Mars you wouldn?t feel happy there at all," said University of Washington astronomer Don Brownlee, author of the book "Rare Earth" (Springer, 2003). Based on what we’ve observed in our own solar system, large, gaseous worlds like Jupiter seem far less likely to offer habitable conditions. For one, water needs to be liquid for life to come into existence and thrive, and that means that a habitable planet needs to have average temperatures between 0 and 100°C. Earth's water is also special in that it has remained liquid for so long. But Earth is still special. And to keep plate tectonics, it needs water. © "The fact that Earth has plate tectonics allows for the carbon-silicate cycle to operate over geological timescales," Valencia said. "From our anthropocentric viewpoint, we naturally separate ourselves from the planet that we live on, but if one adopts the point of view of an external observer, it is the 'planet' (taken as a whole) that has done these remarkable things," he told SPACE.com. For one, it has large amounts of liquid water. Brownlee's view may be in the minority, however. The Sun would be barely visible (about the size of a pea) and Earth's ocean and much of its atmosphere would freeze. Please refresh the page and try again. The moon also helpfully pulls the ocean's tides, which scientists suggest might have been the perfect place for early life to begin evolving to survive on land. That makes this Earth-sized planet TOI-700d particularly interesting as a potential host for life. Boss and many other scientists think it's likely that some form of life exists on some of those countless other planets out there. Space is part of Future US Inc, an international media group and leading digital publisher. Not only does plate tectonics enable liquid water to exist by way of regulating the temperature, but many scientists have argued water enables plate tectonics to happen. Using telescopes, scientists have detected many exoplanets outside of the solar system. It will grow to become a gas giant, like Jupiter and Saturn in our own solar system. At that point, the solar wind began to strip the atmosphere away, while at the same time, chemical processes on the surface were pulling the atmosphere down into the rocks. Stellar activity can strip away the atmosphere of a planet, leaving it barren and lifeless. It is thought that this is precisely what happened to Mars. Recycling. The day/night rhythm is very similar to ours here on Earth: a Mars day is 24 hours, 39 minutes and 35 seconds; The only other two celestial bodies in orbits near the Earth are our Moon and Venus. That lack of shielding has caused the planet to pay a terrible price – Mars’s once thick atmosphere has been whittled away to almost nothing. All planets are believed to form by a process of competitive cannibalism, in a disk of material around a nascent star. A more massive planet, with a more massive atmosphere, will likely have a stronger greenhouse effect. "Certainly there will be other planets that support life," he said. "It?s the only planet we know of that has life," said Alan Boss, a planet formation theorist at the Carnegie Institution of Washington in Washington, D.C. Sign up today to get weekly science coverage direct to your inbox. "So far, we haven't found it anywhere else," said Alex Wolszczan of Pennsylvania State University, who co-discovered the first planets beyond our solar system. Space Chat with Space.com: Tune in Fridays for science, space and more! By Sebastian Kettley PUBLISHED: 21:55, Tue, Nov 7, … The presence of a magnetic field is particularly important during a planet’s youth – when its host star is still young and excitable, and energetically shedding material to space. In addition to maintaining our planet’s magnetic field, plate tectonics are important for many other reasons, particularly when it comes to the creation of the atmosphere we breath today. The situation would be grave. Artist’s impression of the effect of a vast stellar flare on the atmosphere of the exoplanet HD 189733b. Jupiter acts like a giant broom, sweeping the solar system of debris ? Such a planet would most likely be habitable at distances that would result in smaller planets icing over. Plate tectonics and water are inextricably linked. Only the strongest solar storms, and the most energetic particles, can penetrate that shielding. The general idea is that water acts as a lubricant – either between colliding plates (helping them overcome the friction between them), or within Earth’s mantle (increasing its fluidity, helping it to move, and easing the convection currents therein). So, with this theory, we’ve come full circle. Artist’s impression of an Earth-sized planet in the Kepler 186 system. Typically, the more massive the planet, the more massive the atmosphere it can acquire and maintain. But without convection in Earth’s core, that field would not exist. ... when they are searching for potentially habitable planets … Many rocky planets have been detected in Earth’s size-range: a point in favor of possible life. digging up microbes beneath the surface of Mars, On This Day in Space! It also does not have an atmosphere to form a barrier against radiation. NASA’s quest for habitable planets similar too Earth continues, with a growing list of planets that could sustain alien and human life. Another "just-right" aspect of Earth is its size: If it was much smaller, it wouldn't be able to hold on to our precious atmosphere, but much larger and it might be a gas giant too hot for life. Liquid water is essential to all life on Earth, and so the definition of a habitable zone is based on the hypothesis that extraterrestrial life would share this requirement. I could talk about size, mass, composition, atmosphere, position, parent star, temperature, satellites, etc. The Aurora Borealis, imaged here from northern Canada, is the result of charged particles flung outward by the Sun smashing into Earth’s atmosphere. To maintain a magnetic field, a planet needs a dynamo. Venus has about the same mass [as Earth], almost the same distance from the sun. It is the right distance from the Sun, it is protected from harmful solar radiation by its magnetic field, it is kept warm by an insulating atmosphere, and it has the right chemical ingredients for life, including water and carbon. Without water, a planet might have to be somewhat more massive than the Earth to support plate tectonics. Of the nearly 300 new worlds glimpsed elsewhere in the galaxy, most are "hot Jupiters" ? There are too many differences for me to point out. large planets that orbit close to their stars, on which life and liquid water are unlikely to exist. Earth-like planets around small stars likely have protective magnetic fields, aiding chance for life Sep 29, 2015 Rocky planet neighbor looks familiar, but is not Earth's twin rocks as small as cars and as huge as moons ? It is unique among planets in our solar system for having water in its liquid form at the surface, in an amount conducive to life evolving. "In the past 10 years, everything has been pointing in the direction of, 'Hey, the solar system, which we thought was unique, is not unique at all,'" said Alan Boss. As of now, we do not have any concrete proof of the existence of life anywhere else in the universe. 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