The five year mission continues
To seek out planets with shoals of goldfish and mango trees...
NASA scientists have dashed hopes that Proxima Centauri b, an Earth-ish-like planet orbiting the closest star to the Sun, could be habitable. Last year, it emerged there was a rocky exoplanet, dubbed Proxima Centauri b, within Proxima Centauri's crucial Goldilocks zone – meaning there was an alien world in the sweet spot …
If a decent magnetic field is required then the next question is "To what extent does Earth owe its magnetic field to the large amounts of iron in its core that it pinched from Theia?". The old Drake equation might give a rather different answer if you had to insert a "has a collision with another planet early in its life" factor to the right-hand side.
The very first part of the Drake Equation states: R = Rate of formation of suitable stars.
Maybe we need to tweak that one to not include stars that spew vast amounts of spikey radiation burst.
or at least calculate a value that negates that radiation by having a bloody good magnetic field
One day, when we do make contact with a truly advanced civilization that make us look like we've just crawled out of the primordial soup, people like NASA will be sitting down for about 100 years eating nothing but humble pie. We think we're so clever, so advanced, so able to predict what's out there and how the universe works and hangs together. Believe me, we don't. We don't have the slightest clue. We stare out to space from earth-bound or orbiting telescopes, or listen to radio waves thinking we know the answer to this stuff. It's a farce really.
It seems that with a stronger magnetic field, the atmosphere may survive for longer. I haven't read the paper properly, but in the discussion & conclusions section, the author also mentions that there are methods of atmospheric replenishment, which could keep it gassed up.
Well, on the frontiers of science, it's understandable that what was considered to be the most likely case will keep changing
When Proxima Centauri b was first discovered, we were told that because Proxima Centauri was a flare star, it was unlikely for it to have an atmosphere, although some hope remained.
But shortly afterwards, GJ 1132b, a planet around Gliese 1132, also a red dwarf star, was found to actually have an atmosphere. This was apparently a positive sign for Proxima Centauri, as it showed that red dwarf stars don't necessarily strip away the atmospheres of their planets. Of course, it might not have been similar enough to Proxima Centauri b for that to be relevant.
" ... we'll have to wait for JWST to come online ..."
So, maybe, if the USofA gets conquered by some civilisation, sometime in the forty-fifth century?
JWST, flying cars, really useful Asimovan household robots, flying cars and fusion giving us power too cheap to meter.
All coming "soon". All promised "within the next fifty years" for over seventy years.
We don't yet know exactly how Jupiters field is generated.
It is possible that a super earth might have a far stronger magnetic field than Earth for the same reason; as the geodynamo could contain radically different mixes of metals. Earth has nickel iron but it could just as easily be nickel iron cobalt, or have elements heavier than uranium which are even more effective for generating a truly monstrous field.
I did some preliminary calculations suggesting that an earth sized planet is far below the minimum size for an effective field but suggesting we might be the exception rather than the rule.
in fact aliens might ignore us because their astronomers are concentrating on systems with large rocky planets with a certain key metallic signature in the stars spectrum.
" ... or have elements heavier than uranium which are even more effective for generating a truly monstrous field."
According to the latest research, Einsteinium *might* be magnetic.
Which isn't very useful as it is also rarer that altruistic politicians and just a teentsy bit radioactive.
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