March 24, 2005

Dream job?

The people at the Virtual Planetary Laboratory get paid to simulate extra-terrestrial planets, so that astronomers will have some idea of what spectra to expect when their instruments become sensitive enough to see planets in other solar systems.

There aren't very many details on the website, but their basic model looks sensible enough. Simulating a biotic world is probably taking things a bit too far, though. Until we have more data points (i.e. we've seen a few more worlds with life) the smart thing to do would be to concentrate on abiotic modeling, and search for spectra that deviate from dead worlds.


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