Saturday, March 7, 2020

Space Fantasy News: Ocean worlds in the headlines

Some of this "news" is more than a week old now, but I thought it was cool to see a little "ocean world" theme in my internet wanderings over the past several days.  First, on February 27, the University of Cambridge announced that a group of astronomers there had assessed planet K2-18b, just 124 light years away and between the size of Earth and Neptune, to be potentially habitable.  This report from ScienceAlert plays up the possibility of a very watery surface: "It opens up a whole new ballgame of sloshy alien planets."

Obviously, that makes me think of...


It is pretty interesting to see the researchers make statements like: "Our results demonstrate that the potential for habitable conditions is not necessarily restricted to Earth-like rocky exoplanets."  If you're so inclined, you can find the original paper here.

Of course, we live on a pretty watery world ourselves...and a paper has just come out supporting the idea that at one point, our homeworld may have been completely (or almost completely) covered by ocean.  Once again, ScienceAlert has a nice article focusing on that aspect of the work.

If you'd like to see more about ocean worlds, NASA has a nice page about them.  (Did you know that most of our ocean water may have come from asteroids?  I didn't...)

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