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Old January 31 2013, 12:41 AM   #17
Christopher
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Re: planetary classes

It's believed that Earth might be toward the low end of the size range for habitable planets, because smaller planets wouldn't have plate tectonics, which is necessary for recirculating carbon from the atmosphere or something like that. An exception might be a large moon of a Jovian in the habitable zone, where tidal stresses might drive plate tectonics in a smaller world than could otherwise have it. But there are questions about whether such large moons would be possible, except in rare cases of initially independent planets being captured into Jovian orbit.
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