The uncertainty of science: Evidence from 23 white dwarfs, all located less than 650 light years from Earth, suggest that the make-up of rocky exoplanets are likely very alien to Earth, with minerals and chemistry that is found nowhere in our solar system.
They found that these white dwarfs have a much wider range of compositions than any of the inner planets in our solar system, suggesting their planets had a wider variety of rock types. In fact, some of the compositions are so unusual that Putirka and Xu had to create new names (such as “quartz pyroxenites” and “periclase dunites”) to classify the novel rock types that must have existed on those planets.
“While some exoplanets that once orbited polluted white dwarfs appear similar to Earth, most have rock types that are exotic to our solar system,” said Xu. “They have no direct counterparts in the solar system.”
Putirka describes what these new rock types might mean for the rocky worlds they belong to. “Some of the rock types that we see from the white dwarf data would dissolve more water than rocks on Earth and might impact how oceans are developed,” he explained. “Some rock types might melt at much lower temperatures and produce thicker crust than Earth rocks, and some rock types might be weaker, which might facilitate the development of plate tectonics.”
The data from the white dwarfs is believed to be the leftover material of exoplanets that were absorbed by the star, sometime in the far past.
First, this result should not be a surprise. To even think for a second that planets in other solar systems would be similar to the planets in our solar system is unrealistic. Even in our solar system we have found that practically every single body — planets, moons, asteroids, comets — is remarkably unique. Other solar systems are sure to be even more alien.
Second, the result here is somewhat uncertain. The scientists were not gathering data of actual exoplanets, but what is believed to be the remains that had been swallowed by the stars. The scientists then extrapolated backwards to come up with these alien rock types. The result, while very suggestive, must be taken with some skepticism.
Now available in hardback and paperback as well as ebook!
From the press release: In this ground-breaking new history of early America, historian Robert Zimmerman not only exposes the lie behind The New York Times 1619 Project that falsely claims slavery is central to the history of the United States, he also provides profound lessons about the nature of human societies, lessons important for Americans today as well as for all future settlers on Mars and elsewhere in space.
Conscious Choice: The origins of slavery in America and why it matters today and for our future in outer space
, is a riveting page-turning story that documents how slavery slowly became pervasive in the southern British colonies of North America, colonies founded by a people and culture that not only did not allow slavery but in every way were hostile to the practice.
does more however. In telling the tragic history of the Virginia colony and the rise of slavery there, Zimmerman lays out the proper path for creating healthy societies in places like the Moon and Mars.
“Zimmerman’s ground-breaking history provides every future generation the basic framework for establishing new societies on other worlds. We would be wise to heed what he says.” —Robert Zubrin, founder of founder of the Mars Society.
All editions are available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and all book vendors, with the ebook priced at $5.99 before discount. The ebook can also be purchased direct from my ebook publisher, ebookit, in which case you don't support the big tech companies and I get a bigger cut much sooner.
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