Home

About

Advanced Search

Browse by Discipline

Scientific Societies

E-print Alerts

Add E-prints

E-print Network
FAQHELPSITE MAPCONTACT US


  Advanced Search  

 
The Astrophysical Journal Letters, 735:L27 (4pp), 2011 July 10 doi:10.1088/2041-8205/735/2/L27 C 2011. The American Astronomical Society. All rights reserved. Printed in the U.S.A.
 

Summary: The Astrophysical Journal Letters, 735:L27 (4pp), 2011 July 10 doi:10.1088/2041-8205/735/2/L27
C 2011. The American Astronomical Society. All rights reserved. Printed in the U.S.A.
THE STEPPENWOLF: A PROPOSAL FOR A HABITABLE PLANET IN INTERSTELLAR SPACE
D. S. Abbot1
and E. R. Switzer2,3
1 Department of the Geophysical Sciences, University of Chicago, 5734 South Ellis Avenue, Chicago, IL 60637, USA; abbot@uchicago.edu
2 Kavli Institute for Cosmological Physics, University of Chicago, 5640 South Ellis Avenue, Chicago, IL 60637, USA; switzer@kicp.uchicago.edu
3 Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics, University of Chicago, 5640 South Ellis Avenue, Chicago, IL 60637, USA
Received 2011 February 5; accepted 2011 May 18; published 2011 June 16
ABSTRACT
Rogue planets have been ejected from their planetary system. We investigate the possibility that a rogue planet
could maintain a liquid ocean under layers of thermally insulating water ice and frozen gas as a result of geothermal
heat flux. We find that a rogue planet of Earth-like composition and age could maintain a subglacial liquid ocean if
it were 3.5 times more massive than Earth, corresponding to 8 km of ice. Suppression of the melting point by
contaminants, a layer of frozen gas, or a larger complement of water could significantly reduce the planetary mass
that is required to maintain a liquid ocean. Such a planet could be detected from reflected solar radiation, and its
thermal emission could be characterized in the far-IR if it were to pass within O(1000) AU of Earth.
Key words: astrobiology conduction convection planetary systems planets and satellites: surfaces
1. INTRODUCTION
As a planetary system forms, some planets or planetesimals,

  

Source: Abbot, Dorian Schuyler - Department of Geophysical Sciences, University of Chicago

 

Collections: Geosciences