How Red Dwarf Stars made me reconsider life on earth

On the plane today I got to watch in my airplane headset a video about SETI and the probability of life outside of our solar system. Much of this was predictively impressive and reinforced the things I would have guessed about statistics of alien life and astronomy ( which I dont know a lot, but I have always been hopeful).

Here is what I found really cool.  I have been taught since age 2 that planets spin, and certain conditions have to be met to sustain life in a solar system.  However, it turns out that their are several degrees of this criteria.  For Red Dwarf stars ( the smallest ones ), small planets nearby them do not rotate, leaving one side really hot, and one side really cold.  This means that there would be in theory a ring of life around the planet, with no days and nights.  With sides of uninhabitable space on either side.  One continuous strip where life like forms could evolve.

I imagine somewhere on the other side of the galaxy there is a culture living like this, thinking how odd it is to them that our planet spins and has seasons and nights.

Everything we are taught has outliers and exceptions. The next time you have a problem in front of you, examine if the fundamental rules are true, can be bent, or can be redrawn – in our universe or another.

 

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