Probabilities of earth like orbits, and solar systems like ours?

In summary, there is not enough information to provide a definitive answer to the question of whether or not Earth-like orbits and solar systems are common in the universe. However, there is evidence that suggests this may be the case, and as such it is still possible that there are many Earth-like systems out there that we simply cannot know about.
  • #1

wolram

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What are the probabilities of Earth like orbits, and solar systems like ours?
 
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  • #2
near nonexistant in the known universe...however there is so much out there that we cannot even begin to know or see, it's all simply speculation when answering a question like this.
 
  • #3
The question is too ill defined to have an answer. What defines an Earth-like orbit? That is is circular? That it is in a given range of AUs from its star? That the apparently luminosity of its star tends to be similar (within a certain range)?

Likewise, what constitutes a solar system like ours? That it has a non-binary primary star? That it is orbited by planets? That those planets include both inner rocky planets and outer gas giants?

I presume that the underlying question is something along the line of "how many systems can support life as we know it" and that this is a subquestion in that line of reasoning.
 
  • #4
Ohwilleke
If you like i will try to rephrase the question , given that there is only so
many permutations for orbits, solar system dynamics, what is the probability
of the AP being correct
 
  • #5
wolram said:
Ohwilleke
If you like i will try to rephrase the question , given that there is only so
many permutations for orbits, solar system dynamics, what is the probability
of the AP being correct
I believe that the universe is infinite both temporally and spacially, although I cannot prove either. If the U is truly infinite, the AP is absolutely irrelevant. Post 17 in this thread sums up my disgust with this concept:

https://www.physicsforums.com/showthread.php?p=532639#post532639

If every living being (even ones that we would not consider sentient) in the present universe is entitled to claim that the Universe was fine-tuned to produce them personally or as a species, we are in pretty big trouble. Some string theorists seem enamoured of this concept. Why not? There are almost as many string theories as there are string theorists, yet none of them make solid falsifiable predictions about our Universe. Draping the Anthropic Principle over these theories may provide some hope that String (M theory) is not quite dead, but how many decades can you spend developing a theory before the funding entities ask you to make a testable prediction or two?
 
  • #6
Turbo-1
I can not disagree with any of your post, but i was wondering how finely
tuned "our" solar system needs to be to support life, Earth's distance from
the sun and its circular orbit is one factor, but what if we did not have
a gas giant to intercept spaces debris, etc etc.

If our U is infinite then the possibility is that our solar systems format is not
unique," it is just a matter of probabilities".

The thing i am not sure about is the ingredients needed to make a sustained
life supporting system, ie would we be here if saturn did not exist or jupiter?
 

1. What is the likelihood of finding a planet with an Earth-like orbit?

The probability of finding a planet with an Earth-like orbit depends on a variety of factors, such as the size and type of the star it orbits, the distance from the star, and the composition of the planet itself. However, recent studies have estimated that as many as 40 billion Earth-sized planets could exist in the habitable zones of Sun-like stars in our galaxy.

2. How common are solar systems like ours?

It is difficult to determine the exact frequency of solar systems like ours, as we have only observed a small fraction of the estimated 100 billion planets in our Milky Way galaxy. However, based on recent exoplanet discoveries, it is estimated that at least 20% of Sun-like stars have Earth-sized planets in their habitable zones, suggesting that solar systems like ours may be relatively common.

3. What factors contribute to the likelihood of a planet having an Earth-like orbit?

The main factors that contribute to the likelihood of a planet having an Earth-like orbit are the distance from its star, the size and type of the star, and the composition of the planet itself. A planet must be in the habitable zone of its star, where liquid water can exist on its surface, and have a stable orbit to have Earth-like conditions.

4. Are there any other factors that are necessary for a planet to have an Earth-like orbit?

In addition to the main factors mentioned above, there are other factors that can affect a planet's likelihood of having an Earth-like orbit. These include the presence of gas giants in the system, which can help stabilize the orbits of smaller planets, and the occurrence of other celestial events, such as collisions with other planets or asteroids, which can disrupt a planet's orbit.

5. How do scientists search for planets with Earth-like orbits and solar systems like ours?

Scientists use various methods to search for planets with Earth-like orbits and solar systems like ours, including the transit method, which looks for dips in a star's brightness as a planet passes in front of it, and the radial velocity method, which detects the wobble of a star caused by the gravitational pull of an orbiting planet. Scientists also use telescopes, such as the Kepler Space Telescope, to search for exoplanets and analyze their characteristics to determine if they have Earth-like orbits and solar systems.

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