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Nothing Like The Earth

Updated on March 2, 2017

Earth-sized
Not Earth-like
For they're nothing like the Earth.
They have tides from Earth-sized planets whizzing past
Only three times the distance of our moon.
Look at the moons of Jupiter and Saturn,
Tidal forces have made many of them inhabitable for life,
Expanding the range for potential habitats in our solar system
Way beyond the Goldilocks zone.

Few planets are within the inhabitable zone of our solar system,
Planets that receive enough solar energy to support life
And create enough water on the surface to sustain it
Remember that although our Sun is a very small star
Most planets have much closer orbits than Earth
To stars that are much larger
Many stars are very stable
So conditions won't have changed much for a very long time.
This is brand new territory,
The focus has been on discovering planets with Sun-like stars,
Watching with interest as astronomers tease out information
About the contents of any atmospheres they discover, if any.

In astronomy circles,
Possible planets are properly described as terrestrials,
Meaning they are rocky planets similar in size to Earth.
Mars, Venus, and even Mercury are also Earth-like planets.
What we search for are Earth twins, or Earth analog planets
Planets which have similar environmental conditions
These planets have the potential to be Earth-like
They could have liquid water on their surface,
But we don't yet know enough about them to say
The odds are low, but you never know.

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