And these bulges act like a brake, slowing down the rotation of the world. Oceans also lead to evaporation, spurring the formation of clouds that can also play an important role in regulating conditions on a planet, says Feng Ding, a researcher at Harvard studying exoplanet atmospheres. For many stars, the habitable zone - the ring of space within which planets are able to sustain life - overlaps partially with a zone that makes planets likely to be tidally locked to their star, making them significantly less habitable. The flow patters in the middle of the hot side would probably be crazily chaotic - there'd be a lot of energy there to drive storms, especially if there was a water cycle providing moisture - but in the region near the boundary I would expect a fairly stable convection cell, with hot air blowing to the cold side at high altitude, sinking, and blowing back to the hot side at low altitude. Where in the World Would We Be If Earth’s Ice Melted? You better hold on to something if you don’t want to get blown away. How do modern motherboards differ from each other? Podcast (audio): Download (Duration: 4:49 — 2.1MB), Subscribe: Apple Podcasts | Android | RSS, Podcast (video): Download (Duration: 4:50 — 62.9MB). This lighthearted NASA space tourism poster features the exoplanets orbiting the red dwarf star TRAPPIST-1. But given that 71% of our planet is covered in water, it’s not likely that there would be much habitable land in that twilight zone anyway. Meanwhile, air that is constantly exposed to light - or that is heated by a ground that is constantly exposed to light - will heat up and expand. On one side it’s an endless day, the other a perpetual night. For this time, I guess this particular question can stay as it is (unless you'd like to split it, then feel free to go ahead). I hear that the oceans would recede into disjoint northern and southern oceans if the world stopped spinning. The tourists are taking in TRAPPIST-1e, which is in the star’s habitable zone, making it the most likely TRAPPIST-1 planet to support liquid water. Scientists can feed many of these variables into computer simulations, but much of exoplanet atmospheric research is speculative. Far-away objects are less likely to experience dramatic differences in gravity between their two sides, resulting in smaller bulges, and the bulges themselves will feel less of a pull. For a nearby example of tidal locking we need only look up: Our moon is tidally locked to the Earth, the result of a gradual slowing of the moon’s rotation over millions of years due to gravitational interactions with our planet. More stories at

Research has cast doubt on that theory. Ever stayed on the sun for too long? Subscribe to What-If on Youtube or follow the show on Facebook Watch. The research is adding weight to the notion that some may not be so hostile. So, along with an atmosphere, oceans could play an important role in keeping the day and night sides of a tidally locked exoplanet temperate. I imagine the atmosphere would transfer heat from one side to the other, but would the wind speeds be bearable? How the moon takes energy from Earth (if at all)? It will erode faster, and rocks that might have turned to terrestrial sand in a climate with night and day may be vaporized, picked up by the wind, or dissolved in water vapor to go airborne. “Its day is as long as its year.”, referring to the moon. As one of the Earth’s sides started getting all the sunlight while the other side was thrown into a never-ending night, everything on the planet would change – from weather patterns to water composition.