About Me

My photo
I'm a consulting geologist for a small company in the Denver area. I study problems related to active tectonics, using geomorphology, structural geology and remote sensing.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

The 'Goldilocks Zone'

Heh, Scientists are an odd lot... I've just read about the discovery of (the organic compound) Methane existing in the atmosphere of an extrasolar planet. The importance of this being obviously that now we are starting to gather real evidence of carbon based organic compounds existing elsewhere in the universe, and even more interestingly, within range of our relatively crude techniques of detection... this means that the likelihood of finding another rocky planet with an atmosphere containing both organic compounds and water keeps increasing with the continued development and application of these techniques. quoted from the BBC today:

"The key to this search is the so-called "Goldilocks zone", an area of space in which a planet is "just the right distance" from its parent star so that its surface is not-too-hot or not-too-cold to support liquid water." (Read the BBC article here)

I just think that is freakin' awesome. On a remotely related note, the primary author of the study, Dr. Giovanna Tinetti, says that her "personal view is it is way too arrogant to think that we are the only ones living in the Universe." Oddly, she also looks a little like the actress Jenna Elfman, who is a renowned Scientologist... don't confuse the two. Personally I agree with Dr. Tinetti.


No comments: