There are many planets in the Universe where climatic conditions are simply hellish by earthly standards, even if the exoplanet is in the habitable belt of its star. These are planets like our Venus, which always face the star on one side. It was hot on the bright side, and bitterly cold on the dark side. But can life arise and develop on such planets in the zone of the terminator or light division? Modeling has shown that this is possible.
Researchers from the University of California at Irvine (UCI) have done the work and shared their results in the prestigious astronomical journal The Astrophysical Journal, where they talked about modeling climatic conditions in the terminator zone on a planet that is constantly facing its star on one side. To do this, scientists took one of the Earth’s climate models and set the conditions under which it would slow down its rotation to a state of synchronization with the Sun. The model of the Earth began to make one revolution around its axis in one orbital period of passage around the star.
Calculations have shown that stable climatic conditions are created in the terminator zone for the origin and development of biological life. An interesting point is that for this there should not be an excess of water on the planet. Life originated on the planet in the zone of the light divide, the easier it was, the less open sources of water there were. Oceans and seas are not needed for this. Moreover, they are harmful, because then there is strong evaporation and the greenhouse effect, which increases the already high air temperature. But if lakes are common in the terminator zone, then life in such places would be more comfortable from the point of view of terrestrial biology.
The study shows that many previously discovered exoplanets and future discoveries can be erroneously screened out for a detailed review, where planets “synchronized” with their stars, previously considered unpromising for the search for life, could fall. Life should also be looked for in the terminator zone if the exoplanet falls into the habitable zone of its star. Signs of life on such planets may be in a narrow strip of light division and it is not in our right to ignore such a possibility.
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