Earth as a planet can be more rare than we think. Scientists use computer models to prove that our planet has a mild climate rather than an ice world that has a giant star near the original solar system. The star provides radioactive elements to the developing inner planets that evaporate some of the water that was delivered to them.
Scientists once believed that the Earth was originally a giant melting body that gradually cooled, and after several billion years of geologic evolution the earth still retains heat. Most of the Earth's heat comes from the sun. But that is not the case. The interior of the earth is very hot and very active. Why? The answer stems from the discovery of radioactive elements. It was found that the presence of radioactive elements such as uranium provides an energy source for the interior of the earth, allowing it to maintain heat even after many cooling cycles.
Now scientists have learned more about how the planets were formed, one of the last computer simulations is that planets like Earth are very strange. We think it's a world of water – compared to planets like Mercury or Mars, the ocean covering 75% of the Earth's surface makes it look like a water world. But the simulations show that in an asteroid system like ours, the Earth should be huge ice hockey, and the frozen ocean is a few kilometers.
According to Michael Meyer, an astronomer at the University of Michigan, computer simulations provide some answers if he assumes there is a giant star in the area created by the solar system. When these stars reach the end of their lives, they emit a large amount of matter, some of which consist of radioactive components such as aluminum-26.
Simulations show that these elements are in the stars of the new planet (and its neighbors), which provide additional heat that helps evaporate most of the water and prevent the global ocean from forming an impenetrable layer of ice on the ocean floor. This allows the carbon cycle to begin, which helps stabilize the climate and create living conditions that are friendly to life.
The important thing about this discovery is not only that it reveals how the Earth was created, but it also helps space scientists to predict which planets outside the solar system deserve attention or signs of life. By finding the right radioisotope, you can predict whether the candidate planet is a terrestrial planet or a giant ice world. In addition, a better understanding of the mechanism will help calculate how many Earth-like worlds in the galaxy.
"It's great to know that radioactive elements can help dry out the wet system and explain why planets within the same system will have similar characteristics," Meyer said. "But heating a radioactive element can not be enough. How do we explain our planet, which is very dry compared to the planets created in our model? Perhaps Jupiter is also important to keep things colder than the sun.
The study was published in Nature-Astronomy.