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Old December 10 2013, 11:32 PM   #5
Metryq
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Re: Potential Habitable Planets

The so-called "habitable zone" is not the only thing that affects a planetary surface. It is believed that continental drift strongly influenced the habitability of available land area. Thus, the ancient super-continent Pangea may have been a hostile desert in the areas farthest from the moderation of the ocean.

The "obliquity" or axial tilt of a planet can have a major effect, and is the source of Earth's seasons. A planet with its axis tilted almost towards its star may not have any real day or night. Rolling along like a wheel in its orbit, the planet might have one very hot and sunny side and one very cold and dark side. The "terminator" between the two hemispheres might have a median temperature, but it might also be the area with the fiercest winds—again, depending on any oceans and land masses.

Then there's a notion from Electric Universe/plasma cosmology—which might still work within the framework of orthodox astronomy—where a planet might orbit within the "glow mode" atmosphere of its star. Such a planet would receive a constant flux from all directions, thus having no night or day. (Or rather, an eternal day.) Such a planet might be very hospitable for life, although any intelligent life there may be eternally cut off from radio astronomy and SETI, until they ventured beyond the plasma sphere of their sun. (See excerpt from THE ELECTRIC UNIVERSE by Wallace Thornhill and David Talbot below.)

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