In B science fiction movies, a terrible force often pushes the Earth off its axis and spells disaster for all life on Earth. In reality, life would still be possible on Earth and any Earth-like planets if the axis tilt were greater than it is now, according to Penn State researchers.
"We do not currently have observations of extrasolar planets, but I imagine that in the near future, we will uncover some of these small planets," says Dr. Darren M. Williams, assistant professor of physics and astronomy, Penn State Erie, the Behrend College. "The issue before us is what will they be like? Will they have moons? What will their climates be like? Will they be teaming with life or will life be rare?
"I suspect, based on simulations and our own solar system, that many Earth-like planets will have spin axes that are tipped more severely than Earths axis."
A’ndrea Elyse Messer | EurekAlert!
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