Astronomers find new hints of habitability «big sisters» of the Earth

© Photo : NASA Ames/SETI Institute/JPL-CaltechKepler-186fAstronomers find new hints of habitability «big sisters» of the Earth© Photo : NASA Ames/SETI Institute/JPL-CaltechПодпишись to daily updates RIA Science

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. Super-earths Kepler-186f, one of the first «big sisters» of our planet, does not suffer from the «swing axis», so it must exist «earthly» seasons and climate. To such conclusion scientists, who published an article in the Astronomical Journal.

«Mars is within the «zone of life» of the Solar system, but its axis is very unstable – the slope can range from zero to 60 degrees. Such a «swing axle» was one of the reasons why all the inventory of Martian water and most of its atmosphere «escaped» into space,» explains Gontse Lee (Gongjie Li) from the Harvard-Smithsonian astrophysical center (USA).

In recent years, as they say scientists, the «Kepler» telescope and several ground-based observatories have discovered thousands of planets outside the Solar system. Most of them were «hot Jupiters», large gas giants, or «supersense» – rocky planets, whose mass is 1.8-3 times larger than the earth.

How formed large «cousin» of the Earth, is still largely a mystery to scientists, as long as planetary scientists failed to find any newborn star system, where would any such planets. This prevents assessing whether they can sustain life or ultra-high pressure, temperature or other factors are inherent to such objects, be sure to make them lifeless.

Lee and his colleagues uncovered one of the most important characteristics of these planets, observing the planet Kepler-186f is the first «super-earths» in the history of astronomy, the discovery that NASA scientists said in April 2014.

This planet is in the constellation Cygnus, at a distance of about 560 light years from Earth, making it and its «neighbors» — the other five worlds of the system Kepler-186 — can be observed with the help of Hubble and many powerful ground-based telescopes.

Gravitational interactions Kepler-186f with other planets of this star family, as the scientists explain, will periodically shift its axis, causing it to «swing». The strength of these swings may be different – for example, the angle of inclination of the orbit of the Earth has always varied from 21 to 24 degrees, while the axis of rotation of Mars and Venus were documented in 60 and 180 degrees in the distant past.

According to Lee, these fluctuations can be calculated by observing how the planets move, as they are located in the star system and how strongly they attract and repel each other. Using data from the «Kepler» and «Hubble», his team figured out how much «swinging» axis of Kepler-186f in the last ten million years.

It turned out that even in the absence of satellites like the moon, preventing the shifts of the Earth’s orbit, «swing» axis of Kepler-186f should not exceed about two degrees. Similar changes, as shown by the calculations, should be characteristic of the planet Kepler-62f, super-earths different from the «zone of life» in the constellation Lyra.

Similar to the results of calculations suggests that the climate and conditions on such planets should be much more stable than scientists previously thought, suggesting that their stabilization necessarily need a satellite the size of a moon. All of this is how they make Lee and his colleagues, significantly increases our chances of finding intelligent or non-intelligent life on the «big sisters» of the Earth.

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