From: UFO UpDates - Toronto <post.nul> Date: Sun, 13 Nov 2011 16:54:42 -0500 Archived: Sun, 13 Nov 2011 16:54:42 -0500 Subject: Aliens Don't Need A Moon Like Ours Source: NewScientist.Com http://tinyurl.com/86ujeg3 13 November 2011 Aliens Don't Need A Moon Like Ours by David Shiga Talk about being over the moon. It seems planets don't need a big satellite like Earth's in order to support life, increasing the number on which life could exist. In 1993, Jacques Laskar of the Paris Observatory in France and colleagues showed that the moon helps stabilise the tilt of Earth's rotation axis against perturbations by Jupiter's gravity. The researchers calculated that without the moon, Jupiter's influence would make the current tilt of some 23 degrees wander chaotically between 0 and 85 degrees. That could cause huge climate swings, making it hard for life to survive, especially large, land-based organisms like us. The result was taken by many to imply that complex life is rare in the universe, since Earth's large moon is thought to have coalesced from the debris of a freak collision between a Mars- sized planet and Earth. Less than 10 per cent of Earth-sized planets are expected to experience such a trauma, making large moons a rarity. But a study now suggests moonless planets have been dismissed unfairly. "There could be a lot more habitable worlds out there," says Jack Lissauer of NASA's Ames Research Center in Moffett Field, California, who led the research. [More at site... thanks to 'The Norm' for the lead] Listen to 'Strange Days... Indeed' - The PodCast At: http://www.virtuallystrange.net/ufo/sdi/program/ These contents above are copyright of the author and UFO UpDates - Toronto. They may not be reproduced without the express permission of both parties and are intended for educational use only.
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