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Created PH2 b talk page - Enjoy! :) Drbogdan (talk) 23:51, 13 January 2013 (UTC)

Could PH2 b Be Potentially Habitable - Or Not?[edit]

Apparently, the confirmed exoplanet PH2 b is in the "Habitable zone".([1]

One cited reference in the PH2 b article suggests that a "Jupiter-size world" (PH2 b?) could "potentially be habitable."[2]

This was originally stated in the PH2 b Wikipedia article but has been reverted by two editors: Roentgenium111 with a reason and by Nergaal without a reason. The reason for the reversion given by Roentgenium111 is as follows: ("correct - the absurd habitability claim is (self-)contradicted by the article itself: "Ph2 b is considered much too large to host life." It could only have habitable moons...")

However, the statement ("Ph2 b is considered much too large to host life.") seems to have been written by the magazine writer (Elizabeth Howell) and does *not* seem to have been presented by the scientists: after all, there is no citation for the sentence; Ms Howell, the writer, does not quote the scientists and a search of the original arXiv article does not reveal any mention of the notion (directly or indirectly) as far as I can see.

For myself at the moment, the notion of a planet being in the "Habitable zone" may make the existence of life (as we know it) more likely - such a planet being large (or even being gaseous) should not make hosting life forms less likely. Is there something I may be overlooking?

Any help in better understanding this issue would be greatly appreciated - in any case - Enjoy! :) Drbogdan (talk) 02:13, 15 January 2013 (UTC)

Gas giants are exactly that, gas giants. In laymen terms what it really means is that they do not have a solid surface. Think of it as an ocean without bottom: you would slowly drop until the outside pressure would crush you. This makes life existing as extremely unlikely. I am sure viruses brought by meteorites could survive for a while, but there is no real sustainable pocket where life can actually develop. Nergaal (talk) 02:46, 15 January 2013 (UTC)
Thank you *very much* for your comments - yes, I understand your view on this - guess I'm thinking along the lines of microbial life on Earth - seems much of the life forms on Earth (both now and perhaps at the very beginning of life on Earth) are in the air (a gas of course) - and collectively may outweigh all the life forms on the Earth's solid surfaces - if interested, some of my present thinking on some of this is noted in My Published Comment in The New York Times - in any case - Thanks again for your comments - and - Enjoy! :) Drbogdan (talk) 03:35, 15 January 2013 (UTC)
I seriously doubt your "outweighing" claim - do you have any reliable reference for it? Also, life is believed to originate in the sea, not the air. Adding to Nergaal, the concept of the habitable zone is that liquid water is possible on a planet's (solid) surface - but a gas giant has neither a well-defined surface, nor can it support liquid water due to the immense pressure in its interior. So it makes no sense to consider PH2-b habitable just because it's in the habitable zone. Just look at the List of potential habitable exoplanets (referenced to actual scientists) - it contains only planets much smaller than Neptune ("superterrans" and smaller).
BTW, your apparent reasoning against my edit
"However, the statement ("Ph2 b is considered much too large to host life.") seems to have been written by the magazine writer (Elizabeth Howell) and does *not* seem to have been presented by the scientists: after all, there is no citation for the sentence; Ms Howell, the writer, does not quote the scientists and a search of the original arXiv article does not reveal any mention of the notion (directly or indirectly) as far as I can see."
is absurd, since the same is true for Howell's "habitable" claim itself! Presumably Ms. Howell just misquoted the scientists on this point initially, and "corrected" herself later on. --Roentgenium111 (talk) 16:03, 15 January 2013 (UTC)

@Roentgenium111 - Thank you for your comments - re "outweighing" claim => several responses (after a casual internet search) are as follows:

ALSO - seems Carl Sagan thought Life could exist on gas giant planets, including Jupiter itself.[3]

ALSO - seems PH2 b is "Jupiter-size" but is it really a gas giant? - the original arXiv reference doesn't seem to include mass or density data.

ALSO - is there some reliable reference(s) that microbes *cannot* live on a Habitable zone planet that is a large size? - or airborne microbes, perhaps seeded via panspermia and perhaps in an ok-pressure zone of the atmosphere, *cannot* live on a Habitable zone planet that is gaseous and has no surface?

ALSO - re the writer's statement => you seem to be side-stepping the issue - from the original "too large" statement to a "habitability" claim instead - and making a "presumption" - which may (or may not) be true of course - writers are known to mis-state words and/or ideas => the recent go-round re the Mars Curiosity Rover where the statement of John Grotzinger (MSL Principal Investigator), that some released data is "gonna be one for the history books" becomes, in the words of one magazine writer, "earth-shaking", comes to mind at the moment - there may be other examples.

In any regards - Thanks again for your comments - and - Enjoy! :) Drbogdan (talk) 19:57, 15 January 2013 (UTC)

By your rationale, any planet has a non-zero chance of harboring life. That may be technically true but it is also meaningless. The point of the term "habitable zone" is to discuss planets that have *significant* chance of harboring life - think of it as the most likely candidates to host life. If one virus survives on a man-made shuttle to Venus or Jupiter, it does not make either of them be likely candidates for sustaining life. Nergaal (talk) 19:22, 16 January 2013 (UTC)
@Nergaal - I *entirely* agree with some of your comments - however, "... any planet has a non-zero chance of harboring life" is your statement, not mine - for me at the moment, some planets may be more likely to host life (as we know it) than others - those in the Habitable zone for instance seem more likely - the many, many other planets *not* in the Habitable zone, less likely, I would think - nonetheless, an open mind on such unknowns seems better than otherwise - and may help us not miss something important in our search(es) - one example of this thinking may be in My Published Comment in the New York Times on bdelloid rotifers - apparently, such life-forms can survive in a completely waterless, dried-up state for years (even "indefinitely"?), and then later be successfully reconstituted - also, if interested, several other of my published comments may be relevant => My Published Comments in the New York Times on habitability on exoplanets as well as My Facebook Comments with Timothy Ferris, associated with the Voyager probes - currently traveling out of the solar system - microbes onboard may not be absolutely ruled out? - a kind of forward-contamination? - or panspermia in the making? - in any case - Enjoy! :) Drbogdan (talk) 20:59, 16 January 2013 (UTC)
When people think of a planet that could harbor life I am pretty sure they refer to those that can sustain organisms replicating not just barely surviving. Nergaal (talk)
Yes, I Agree - Some People May Think This - Nonetheless, Finding An Exoplanet Where Organisms Are "Just Barely Surviving" Would Still Be A Really, Really *Significant* Discovery To Most People In The World I Would Think - Enjoy! :) Drbogdan (talk) 03:52, 17 January 2013 (UTC)
I am not a planetary scientist, geophysicist, or astrobiologist, from in my own judgment life would be quite likely to survive on this planet, provided that it were to dwell in an area with a sufficient amount of carbon, nitrogen, and oxygen (which shouldn't be too much of a problem) and without excessive atmospheric pressure. Gravity is quite irrelevant on a planetary-mass scale insofar as it does not cause atmospheric pressure to become unbearable for such prokaryotes. Multicellular eukaryotes, while within the realm of possibility, are highly unlikely, given the difficulty of sustaining a large and complex organism in a place with rarefied nutrient concentration (the atmosphere being mostly hydrogen). Wer900talk 04:43, 17 January 2013 (UTC)
@Wer900 - Thank You for your comments - I *entirely* agree - Your comments seem *very* consistent with my own thinking described above - Thanks Again - and - Enjoy! :) Drbogdan (talk) 18:42, 17 January 2013 (UTC)


  1. ^ Wang, Ji; Fischer, Debra A.; Barclay, Thomas; Boyajian, Tabetha S.; Crepp, Justin R.; Schwamb, Megan E.; Lintott, Chris; Jek, Kian J.; Smith, Arfon M.; Parrish, Michael; Schawinski, Kevin; Schmitt, Joseph; Giguere, Matthew J.; Brewer, John M.; Lynn, Stuart; Simpson, Robert; Hoekstra, Abe J.; Thomas Lee Jacobs; LaCourse, Daryll; Hans Martin Schwengeler; Chopin, Mike (January 3, 2013). "Planet Hunters. V. A Confirmed Jupiter-Size Planet in the Habitable Zone and 42 Planet Candidates from the Kepler Archive Data". arXiv. arXiv:1301.0644v1Freely accessible. Retrieved January 13, 2013. 
  2. ^ Howell, Elizabeth (January 13, 2013). "Amateur Astronomers Discover 42 Alien Planets". Retrieved January 13, 2013. 
  3. ^ Sagan, C.; Salpeter, E. E. (1976). "Particles, environments, and possible ecologies in the Jovian atmosphere". The Astrophysical Journal Supplement Series. 32: 633–637. Bibcode:1976ApJS...32..737S. doi:10.1086/190414. 

Added Kepler-86 Redirects to PH2.[edit]

FWIW - PH2b now officially designated as Kepler-86b - Added Kepler-86, Kepler 86, Kepler-86b, Kepler 86b Redirects to PH2 - Enjoy! :) Drbogdan (talk) 12:32, 25 September 2013 (UTC)

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