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Re: Speculation Re Planet Orbiting Alpha Centauri 1

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Posted by Gerald Love/">Gerald Love on August 28, 1998 14:03:49 UTC

: You should read up on Isaac Azimov(I think that : is spelled right). He is one of the most respected : astronomers today.

Is he still alive? I was sure he was dead. I'm not familiar with his non-fictional work (I know Clark and Brin are bot serious scientists).

: He wrote a book entitled Alpha : Centauri, inwhich he suggested that not only could : a planetary sysyem exist within the gravitational : forces of the two main stars, a life sustaining : planet may exist there as well.

I would think there would be a whole slew of problems. Life as we know it can only exist in envyronments with liquid water (around 0 - 100c varying by chemicalt in the water and pressure). Even if you got an appropriate orbital distance and it was stable I would think the the temperature fluctuations would undermine the formation of life. But there are not enough examples of life evolving (just earth) to tell the likelyhood. I personally still look at Benton's Star as the best chance for semi-localized life (or IO if you want to talk about truely in our vacinity).

Mars had liquid water and a tempertaure range from about -60 to +15f (at the equator in summer) and there is no life there :(

: The idiot who : expressed his view of the system as three closely : nit stars should be ignored.

If someone has wrong data, they are an idiot? Or did I just not read the rest of his letter?

: The third star is : a white dwarf, which is located at a position that : it's gravitational force is negligable to either star.

Back in 1984 or so, 8 of the planets in our solar system were in the same 90 degree arc around the sun. I could do cool stuff with standing eggs and such. I don't think there is such a thing as negligable gravitational pul from a local star.

: Alpha Centuari 1 is a star much like our sun, and Alpha : Centuari 2 is a star slightly smaller, a K1, star : also capable of sustaining life; however less likely.

So combined, their energy (read heat) output is much higher than the sun?

: No planet beyond Jupiter's orbit could exist in the : Alpha Centuri 1 system because of the orbit of Alpha : Centuari 2; however, a planet with the orbit of earth : would feel negligable gravitational pull.

Because of the formentioned higher energy output of the binary star, I imagine it would be much hotter.

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