Asian News International21 Oct 2019 09:07:40 IST
There is no denying the fact that the Earth is the only habitable and unique planet, but according to new evidence there may be numerous Earth-like planets in the universe!
The researchers presented the results in a new study published in the journal "Science& # 39;.
"We have just increased the probability that many rocky planets are like the Earth and that there is a very large number of rocky planets in the universe," said co-author Edward Young, professor of geochemistry and cosmochemistry of the UCLA.
Led by Alexandra Doyle, a UCLA graduate student in geochemistry and astrochemistry, scientists developed a new method to analyze elements in asteroid rocks or fragments of rocky planets orbiting six dwarf white stars.
White dwarf stars are dense and burned remains of normal stars. Their strong gravitational attraction causes heavy elements such as carbon, oxygen and nitrogen to sink rapidly into their interior, where heavy elements cannot be detected by telescopes.
The nearest white dwarf star Doyle studied is about 200 light years from Earth and the farthest is 665 light years away.
"By observing the white dwarfs and the elements present in their atmosphere, we are observing the elements in the body that orbited around the white dwarf," said Doyle.
The data was collected from telescopes, mainly from the W.M. Keck Observatory in Hawaii.
"If I were to just look at a white dwarf star, I would expect to see hydrogen and helium. But in this data, I also see other materials, such as silicon, magnesium, carbon and oxygen – material that accumulates on white dwarfs from bodies that were orbiting them "explained Doyle.
When iron is oxidized, it shares its electrons with oxygen, forming a chemical bond between them, Young said.
"This is called oxidation, and you can see it when the metal turns to rust. We measured the amount of iron that has oxidized in these rocks that hit the white dwarf. We studied how much the metal rusts," the researcher explained.
The rocks of the Earth, Mars and other parts of our solar system are similar in their chemical composition and contain a surprisingly high level of oxidized iron, Young added.
The researchers claimed that the oxidation of a rocky planet has a significant effect on its atmosphere, its core and the type of rocks it creates on its surface.
"All the chemistry that happens on the surface of the Earth can ultimately be traced back to the planet's oxidation state," said Young.
"The fact that we have oceans and all the ingredients necessary for life can be traced back to the planet being oxidized as well as it is. Rocks control chemistry," he added.
Saying how similar the rocks were, Doyle said, "Very similar. They are similar to Earth and Mars in terms of oxidized iron."
The researchers studied the six most common elements in the rock: iron, oxygen, silicon, magnesium, calcium and aluminum.
"If extraterrestrial rocks have an amount of oxidation similar to that of the Earth, then you can conclude that the planet has similar plate tectonics and similar potential for magnetic fields like the Earth, which are widely considered key ingredients for life," he said. explained Schlichting.
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