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Super-earths (Exo-planets): How Much Probability of Colonization of Life is There?

Rupak Bhattacharya, Pranab Kumar Bhattacharya, Upasana Bhattacharya, Ritwik Bhattacharya, Rupsa Bhattacharya, Ayshi Mukherjee, Dalia Mukherjee, Hindole Banerjee


On January 4th, 2009 American Astronomical Society in Washington D.C, the Kepler team announced that it had identified first new exo-planet and after that up to 2013, Kepler had identified nearly 4034 exoplanets or Super earth outside our solar system where some chemical conditions that the pre-biotic earth had might have prompted life, at least in form of microbes. Scientists so far announced the lists of earth-sized 4034 exo-planets with a duration of orbit around their stars from 6 hours to 632 days and from the list, Kepler team singled up to 20 candidates most likely to have characteristics necessary to sustain life. Of such planets are HD 1461 (76 light years away); GJ 1214b(40 light years away), GJ 452 b ( Which is one and half time sized in the earth and is around 40 light years away); Gliese 581 c and another is KOI -7923.01. This last Exoplanet is 97% of the size of our earth has an orbit period of 395 days of our earth days, likely surrounded by a cold atmosphere. Super-earth Wolf -1061 C is however habitable planet outside our solar system and could support also alien life. It is only 14 light years away from the earth. Statistics suggest that our own galaxy harbors at least 100 billion such exoplanets including planetesimals. Of the world’s found, today few closely resembles the earth. Instead, they exhibit truly enormous diversity, varying immensely in the orbit, their size, composition and circling a wide variety of stars including one significantly smaller than our sun. Diverse features of those exo-planets suggested us (the authors) and also to many others that earth may not be only where close to the pinnacle of habitability. In fact, some exo-planets are quite different from our own, could have much higher chances and can maintain stable biosphere. Of course our planet the earth possesses a number of properties at first seems to be ideal for evolving life, that earth revolves around a sedate middle-aged star, that has shined steadily for billions of years, giving life plenty of times to arose and evolved from RNA worlds to microbe worlds to prokaryotic to eukaryotics to multicellular organism life to modern planets, reptiles mammals, human through a process called Darwinian evolution. It has oceans of life-giving water, largely because it orbits within suns habitable zone, life-friendly size, big enough to hold a substantial atmosphere with its gravitational field but small enough to ensure gravity does not pull a smothering, opaque shroud of gas over the planet earth size its rocky composition, its volcanoes also gave rise to other boosters of habitability of life Wolf 1061 C is the closest Super-earth from our planet, only 14 light years away. But it has more than 4 times the mass of earth and the planet sits within the habitable zone, possible for water and life to exist. Others are in the habitable zone of cool dwarf star known as TRAPPIST -1 which is 39 light years away from earth and the planets have a surface temperature from zero to 100 degree Celsius - the temperature, which is perfect for supporting life. Earth-sized planets those are rocky, those are watery, NH3 has methane, and volcanoes can support the origin of life. The amonia methane, HCN and water are an essential components for the origin of life in any planet for RNA and DNA. To develop most earliest microbes it need methane-rich oxygen-poor mud at bottoms of river and lakes as microbes live on a diet of methane and nitrogen oxides like nitrites and nitrates or by other pathways like photosynthesis, bacterial reduction of chlorates and enzymatic conversion of reactive oxygen species and directly energy from methane through a chemical process linked denitrification which releases nitrogen and oxygen from nitrogen oxides. So life can begin in any of twenty super-earths where methane exists as free gas in the atmosphere or in the river or as a lake or asthe ocean. In such an environment, alien microbes can use any of the pathways to leave off carbon and energy supplied by methane. The bacteria may be called methanotrophs.

Keywords: Gliese 581 c, glycine RNA/DNA life, habitable zone, HCN, HD 1461, KOI -7923.01, methane, methanotrophs, Miller Urey experiment, super earh, TRAPPIST-1 volcanos, water, Wolf 1061 C

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Rupak Bhattacharya, Pranab Kumar Bhattacharya, Upasana Bhattacharya, Ritwik Bhattacharya, Rupsa Bhattacharya, Dalia Mukherjee, Oaindrila Mukherjee, Ayshi Mukherjee, Debasis Mukherjee. Super-earths (Exo-planets): How Much Probability of Colonization of Life is There?. Journal of Aerospace Engineering & Technology. 2019; 9(1): 30–39p.

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