The spice… and the worm….

PhysOrg has us looking for the mouse-shadow on the second moon with the news that alien life is likelier on “Dune” planets:

Instead of aqua planets with abundant water on their surfaces, researchers investigated what “land planets” might be like, ones with no oceans and vast dry deserts, but perhaps oases here and there. The planet Arrakis depicted in science fiction classic “Dune” is one exceptionally well-developed example of a habitable land planet, said planetologist Kevin Zahnle at NASA Ames Research Center. Arrakis is essentially a bigger, warmer, sparsely inhabited version of Mars with a breathable oxygen atmosphere and polar regions cool and moist enough to have small water icecaps and morning dew.

The scientists reasoned the scarcity of water on a land planet might actually help it have a larger habitable zone around its star.