The Super Earths
01- K-11
02- Migrating Worlds
03- Gliese 581
04- Goldilocks
05- 51 Pegasi
06- Doppler Effect
07- Rhythmic Shift
08- Eccentric Giants
09- Transitters
10- Mu Arae
11- Intermediate World
12- Worlds Observed
13- Extra Solar Earths
14- Migrant Worlds
15- Accretion
16- Core Accretion
17- Disk Erosion
18- Planetary Embryos
19- The Protected Zone
20- Ecosphere
21- Ecosphere II
22- Beta Pictoris
23- Vanquishing Starlight
24- Red Edge / Earth Shine
25- Distant Continents
26- The Age of Stars
   

25 - Distant Continents

 

 

To see that Red Edge, and to find oxygen, and to see variations in brightness due to continents, would be the real jump.

When this first direct glimpse of the surface of an extra-solar Earth, at a stage of its life cycle comparable to that of our own, is caught, the above image is what I believe will be seen. I believe It will display a continent configuration exactly the same as our own. If it is at an earlier stage its continents will be obscured by an atmosphere comparable to Venus', and if it is at a later stage, like Mars, it will have no liquid water left and so its former continents will not be discernible by Earthshine.

For an overview of why I believe this tectonic pattern is common to all major planets, see 'The Visible Earths'.

I believe the tectonic activity of an Earth is a universal pattern that all planets undergo, and as all people have two eyes, a nose and a mouth, and all four leafed clovers have four leaves, so all Earths look like this one when in their prime.

 
  Alan Lambert 2011