A study conducted by researchers from Columbia University in new York, showed that the presence of living organisms on the planet can affect the speed of its rotation. Experts hope that their discovery will allow to search for extraterrestrial life more efficiently.
It is assumed that in the very distant past, the Earth rotated much faster than now — in its full rotation around its axis was not 24, but only a couple of hours. The rotation of the planet, even barely noticeable, continues to decline and today every century, the length of day increases by about 1.8 milliseconds. The main factor influencing this process are considered to be the gravitational interaction of the Earth with the sun and the Moon, but some studies have shown that it is not only this — for example, on the axis of rotation of the Earth affects sea level rising with the melting of glaciers. There is also a suggestion that the temperature of the planet’s atmosphere can also change the speed of rotation.
Also, experts have a number of criteria, which — at least theoretically — possible to judge the habitability of other planets. This, in particular, high oxygen content, meta and other gases of biogenic origin in the atmosphere, as well as special lines in the spectrum of the planet. However, according to the scientists, the activities of living organisms and the planet’s rotation rate to link is still not too tried.
In their study, published in the journal Astrobiology, experts have studied in detail how living organisms affect the atmosphere, and that, in turn, on rotation of the planet, and analyzed these processes using the set up for this purpose three-dimensional computer model. As a result, to detect an indirect relationship experts managed.
Scientists say that their findings difficult to apply in practice to measure the speed of rotation of the planet today is quite difficult, and even this information in itself would not be enough. However, authors of research believe that in General they found the patterns quite interesting.
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