Rocky Planet Rotation, Thermal Tide Resonances, and the Influence of Biological Activity


Extrasolar planet

It has been established theoretically that atmospheric thermal tides on rocky planets can lead to significant modifications of rotational evolution, both close to synchronous rotation and at faster rotations if certain resonant conditions are met.

Here it is demonstrated that the normally considered dissipative gravitational tidal evolution of rocky planet rotation could, in principle, be 'stalled' by thermal tide resonances for Earth-analog worlds in the liquid water orbital zone of stars more massive than ~0.3 Msolar. The possibility of feedback effects between a planetary biosphere and the planetary rotational evolution are examined.

Building on earlier studies, it is suggested that atmospheric oxygenation, and ozone production could play a key role in planetary rotation evolution, and therefore represents a surprising but potent form of biological imprint on astronomically accessible planetary characteristics.

Caleb Scharf
(Submitted on 27 Nov 2017)

Comments: 17 pages, 2 figures, submitted to Astrobiology
Subjects: Earth and Planetary Astrophysics (astro-ph.EP)
Cite as: arXiv:1711.09944 [astro-ph.EP] (or arXiv:1711.09944v1 [astro-ph.EP] for this version)
Submission history
From: Caleb A. Scharf
[v1] Mon, 27 Nov 2017 19:31:42 GMT (229kb)

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