Scientists have created a climate decoder – it will help seek life on exoplanets. The work of researchers from Cornell University has published in the journal Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society.
Exoplanets are planets that are outside the solar system. Today, scientists are aware of the existence of thousands of such objects, and at least part of them can exist.
Now scientists are trying to determine how much the climate existing on exoplanets is suitable for life in the earthly sense, actually by hand. This process takes a lot of time – while in the near future astronomers plan to launch new generation telescopes, which will increase the number of exoplanets known to science by an order of magnitude.
In order to automate the determination of the climate of exoplanets, the researchers created a climate decoder. It is based on a combination of color details of the planet’s surface and light from the host star to calculate the climate on it.
For example, a rocky black basaltic planet absorbs light well and will be very hot, but if you add sand or clouds to the atmosphere on its surface, it will cool.
Depending on the type of star and the primary color of the exoplanet – or reflecting albedo – the color of the planet can soften part of the energy released by the star. This allows us to determine whether there are clouds in the atmosphere and how its surface is structured, and ultimately determine its climate.
Jack Madden, lead author of the research