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  (Source: nsf.gov)
Ideal planet discovered 20 light-years away.

Astronomers have found an Earth-like planet that they believe can support life. The newly discovered exoplanet Gliese 581gdubbed Planet G, exists in the Gliese 581 system and is believed to be the right size and location for life according to a press release and webcast from the National Science Foundation.

Part of a six-member family of planets, this particular exoplanet is situated in the middle of the system's habitable region.  Scientists believe the temperatures at this position would be ideal for sustaining liquid water on the planet's surface.

"The planet has to be the right distance from the star so it's not too hot and not too cold that liquid water can exist," said Paul Butler, a staff scientist at the Carnegie Institution of Washington. "And then the planet has to have the right surface gravity."

While similar to Earth, Planet G has very distinct differences. 

This world is tidally locked to its red dwarf sun and doesn't have days and nights.  Half  of the planet is perpetually drenched in sunlight while the other side is draped in darkness.

"Any emerging life forms would have a wide range of stable climates to choose from and to evolve around, depending on their longitude," said Steven Vogt, professor of astronomy and astrophysics at UC Santa Cruz.

Although it has not yet been determined whether or not water exists on the planet,  scientists are one hundred percent certain that Planet G can support life.

"Personally, given the ubiquity and propensity of life to flourish wherever it can, I would say, my own personal feeling is that the chances of life on this planet are 100 percent.  I have almost no doubt about it,"Vogt said.

An article on this research can be found in this week's Astrophysical Journal.



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Tidal Locked. Perpetual Darkness/Light
By paydirt on 10/1/2010 9:32:21 AM , Rating: 2
Wouldn't the lack of rotation for day/night make one side of the planet very hot and the other side very cold? How could non-sentient mammal life flourish under such circumstances?




RE: Tidal Locked. Perpetual Darkness/Light
By PsychoPif on 10/1/2010 10:15:01 AM , Rating: 5
You never seen Pitch Black ?


RE: Tidal Locked. Perpetual Darkness/Light
By FITCamaro on 10/1/2010 10:25:02 AM , Rating: 1
You note that its a movie. A species evolving into giant flying bugs on a planet where they can't go above ground except once every 100 years or so (whatever the time frame in the movie was) is extremely unlikely. Hence why its a movie.


RE: Tidal Locked. Perpetual Darkness/Light
By artemicion on 10/1/2010 4:24:09 PM , Rating: 5
someone call IT, i think we've got a malfunctioning sarcasm meter here.


By erikejw on 10/2/2010 6:43:28 PM , Rating: 2
Personally, given the ubiquity and propensity of researchers lifes, my experience of them is that they are masters when it comes to measure things and retrieve data but as soon as they start to draw conclusions we instantly get into great trouble especially when they feel things.

"Personally, given the ubiquity and propensity of life to flourish wherever it can, I would say, my own personal feeling is that the chances of life on this planet are 100 percent. I have almost no doubt about it,"Vogt said."


RE: Tidal Locked. Perpetual Darkness/Light
By cjohnson2136 on 10/1/2010 10:24:56 AM , Rating: 2
who ever said mammal life would flourish. Life to them could just mean moving cells. Plus one side would be hotter and one colder but depending on the distance it could, just a theory, mean that one side is like 80 degrees and the other side 60 degrees. I don't think it would be like Mercrury where one side is frying and the other frozen.


RE: Tidal Locked. Perpetual Darkness/Light
By FITCamaro on 10/1/2010 10:26:59 AM , Rating: 2
If a side of a planet never sees the sun, it will be below freezing. The side of the Earth that's not facing the sun doesn't freeze because of retained heat that lasts through the night.


RE: Tidal Locked. Perpetual Darkness/Light
By Luticus on 10/1/2010 3:24:50 PM , Rating: 2
Also our planted has geothermal heat that is generated as well. The sun is not the "only" source of warmth on the planet.


By delphinus100 on 10/1/2010 5:44:12 PM , Rating: 5
Even with all that geothermal, Iceland still has glaciers...


By roadhog1974 on 10/3/2010 7:37:42 PM , Rating: 2
That depends on the amount of surface liquid and density of the atmosphere.

Of course it may be on a tidal locked planet, the atmosphere
boils off.


By clovell on 10/4/2010 11:54:28 AM , Rating: 2
There's this thing called an atmosphere...


RE: Tidal Locked. Perpetual Darkness/Light
By MekhongKurt on 10/2/2010 1:23:15 AM , Rating: 2
The temperature difference between the side facing the star and the side facing away would vary far, far more than that. Some of the reporting has inadvertently contributed to considerable confusion on this. It has been widely reported that scientists believe the *average* temperature might range from about -24 degrees (Fahrenheit) to +10. However, it's not at all clear if that means a *planetary* average or just in the twilight zone. I don't see how a planetary average temperature on a tidally-locked planet orbiting just 14 million miles from its star -- even a red dwarf far smaller than Sol that's much, much dimmer than our Sun and radiates far less energy than it does -- could possibly stay within such a narrow range of 34 degrees. (I'm from northeast Texas, where the record low, to date, is -18, while the record high stands at +113 -- a range of 131 degrees. And we're not tidally locked.)

In short, this planet almost certainly *is* like Mercury. (If it turns out there's a substantial liquid ocean, that could change things dramatically, since an ocean is an very effective heat-transfer body.)

That doesn't mean life couldn't evolve, should water turn out to be present and the composition of the atmosphere has the elements required to support life.

As the researchers have said, the more likely place for life to arise is along the boundary between the lit side and the dark side, which I earlier called "the twilight zone."

On another thread, I read a comment by someone worried about LGM -- "Little Green Men" -- lurking on this planet waiting to ambush us. Hardly.

For starters, there's the distance. At ~20 light years away, Gliese581g is practically bumping up against us, in cosmic terms. However, consider if Earth-orbit involves velocities of around 17,500mph. During an hour, light travels about 670 *million* miles -- and IT still takes around 20 years to travel between the two systems. Put another way, light travels around 38,000 times faster than a space shuttle. What takes light 20 years to travel would take our shuttle around 760,000 years to cross! That's right, over 3/4's of a million years. If an average generation had a life-span of 76 years, that would equal 10,000 -- ten THOUSAND -- generations.

"Well," you might say, "what if those LGM's have live-spans measured in the millions of years?" Conceivable, I suppose, but so are Superman and kryptonite. And if they do have life-spans of millions of years . . . where's their radio chatter? Where are their TV broadcasts? We've had an ear towards the heavens (though not always deliberately, true) for around a century -- 5 times longer than needed for a signal to speed across the void to Terra. As far as I've ever read, nary a peep from there (or anywhere, for that matter, though SETI efforts continue). If the LGM's *are* there but either don't have radio or developed it within less than the past 20 years, well, we don't have anything to worry about anyway, do we? They're still waiting for their own Charles Lindbergh, in that case, and space flight is a distant dream.

So, we can safely put aside any idea of LGM's in this particular case.

Microbial life, however, is an entirely different matter. Look at such life we've discovered in the ocean's depth around vents, where heat comes out. Life thrives around some of those vents, despite the complete absence of life at such extreme depths. This suggests that such extreme life well may develop in hostile conditions on other planets (one of the big hopes for Mars, for instance).

Discovery of such life wouldn't necessarily generate headlines as dramatic as if a flotilla of UFO's landed somewhere such as the middle of Kansas (or Germany or Russia or China or India -- anywhere) and a bunch of LGM's emerged asking to be taken to our leader. But even the discovery of microbial life *anywhere* other than Earth would be the most dramatic news in the history of mankind. Imagine the implications for our many religions, for instance -- though some are beginning to prepare for the possibility; the Vatican has been particularly active in this area.

And even if this planet turns out to be lifeless, its discovery is still important: its nearness implies that Goldilocks planets are almost certainly quite common throughout the cosmos. That increases the likelihood of those LGM being somewhere!


By dark matter on 10/3/2010 8:38:24 AM , Rating: 4
Ah, the problem with "radio" chatter is we assume alien civilisation invented "radio" chatter. They may have took a different path completely and we are blind to their communications (in that we are looking in the wrong place).

This is what happens when humans assume things.


RE: Tidal Locked. Perpetual Darkness/Light
By AssBall on 10/1/2010 10:32:37 AM , Rating: 4
Assuming there is some water, it would sure make for some phenomenally brutal winds and storms in the twighlight area.

Plus its three times earth's mass? Yeah, I'll pass on moving in.


RE: Tidal Locked. Perpetual Darkness/Light
By MozeeToby on 10/1/2010 10:56:52 AM , Rating: 3
quote:
Plus its three times earth's mass? Yeah, I'll pass on moving in.
Doesn't necissarily mean anything as far as gravity is concerned; after all, you could make floating platforms on Saturn that would have around 1G gravity. It's density that matters, if the radius is 2x Earth's the surface gravity would actually be lower than 1 G. It does still make rocketry more expensive though, but if you can make the 20 light year journey I don't think that is going to make much of a difference to you.


RE: Tidal Locked. Perpetual Darkness/Light
By delphinus100 on 10/1/2010 5:51:02 PM , Rating: 2
Its massive atmosphere over a rocky core, gives Saturn a low average density, yes. But there is something hard and rocky (and under serious pressure), somewhere down there.

A planet of three Earth masses is going to be mostly a solid, and I suspect it would have to be like a planetary ball of balsa wood, to approach one Earth gravity on its surface...


RE: Tidal Locked. Perpetual Darkness/Light
By MekhongKurt on 10/2/2010 1:31:34 AM , Rating: 2
Are you aware that if there was an ocean large enough to hold it, Saturn would float?


RE: Tidal Locked. Perpetual Darkness/Light
By delphinus100 on 10/2/2010 11:57:34 AM , Rating: 2
I've heard that many times. It's true that its density is less than that of water.

But again, that's average density. Were there a body of water expansive enough to (gently!) put it in, I guarantee that its core would settle out and sink, as the atmosphere spreads out across this mythical ocean...


By dark matter on 10/3/2010 8:43:23 AM , Rating: 2
Wow.

That is some g'tee considering how experienced humans are with planets.


RE: Tidal Locked. Perpetual Darkness/Light
By xxsk8er101xx on 10/2/2010 11:19:58 AM , Rating: 1
Saturn is a gas planet much like Jupiter is a gas planet. Gas planets are called gas because they have no surface.


By delphinus100 on 10/2/2010 12:12:02 PM , Rating: 4
No,they're called that because they have massive atmospheres that may exceed the mass of solids in their cores. They're 'giant' compared to Earth, and they're largely to mostly gaseous in mass.

Even Jupiter isn't gas all the way to its center, there's likely a relatively small rocky core, overlaid by a crapload of metallic hydrogen, possibly with 'liquid' hydrogen (forced into a liquid state by high pressure, rather than low temperature) over that.

Either one of those sounds like a 'surface' to me,though not one that we or our machines could ever reach or survive on. Saturn is likely somewhat less like this, Uranus and Neptune even less so.

However, the depths of even more massive gas giants detected around other stars (which may not be much bigger than Jupiter, but they'll be seriously denser, until you get up to barely-stellar brown dwarfs) likely have even more exotic transitions as you go toward their centers.


RE: Tidal Locked. Perpetual Darkness/Light
By MozeeToby on 10/1/2010 10:36:08 AM , Rating: 5
It's called a ringworld, (and it's called that for long before Niven and especially long before Halo came up with the idea of an artificial, life sustaining ring). The fact that it is tidally locked means that somewhere on the planet there is a region which must have temperatures capable of sustaining life. It's probably only a couple hundred miles wide, and it's probably got some crazy wind patterns, but there is definitely a twilit region that has temperatures humans would find quite comfortable.


By rcc on 10/7/2010 5:50:19 PM , Rating: 2
With a contant temperature differential that large, the winds through the temperate zone would be..... interesting....


By AstroGuardian on 10/1/2010 11:02:13 AM , Rating: 2
No not at all. Water and winds are the primary factors for distributing heat planet wise...


By kattanna on 10/1/2010 11:22:40 AM , Rating: 5
i'd be more worried about the possible lack of an atmosphere and high levels of radiation.

this planet is so close to its star that it only takes 37 days to go around it. now while it is a red dwarf and considerably dimmer then our own sun, that close the planet better have a powerful magnetic field to shield its atmosphere from the the solar winds, else even with its gravity, or eventually it would be blown off.

and even if it did have an atmosphere, radiation could still be a big deal. frying life that tried to take hold on the sun lit side.

with that said though, i do share their enthusiasms about finding such a small planet. kudos to them!


By fteoath64 on 10/1/2010 12:32:09 PM , Rating: 1
If it had water and large oceans and a thick enough gaseous atmosphere, then convection currents could cool the planet and create a weather system. All without the rotation.
However, the gravity effect would be different enough for (without rotational counter-balance we have)it to spawn a very different life-form compared to ours.

I expect several remote-viewers must be targetting this to "see" if there are life and what types and what numbers. Interesting stuff and we are going to see more and more of this sort of reports.


By gamerk2 on 10/1/2010 2:01:17 PM , Rating: 2
Not always; its not like half of our planet burns to a crisp every day. Depending on the atmosphere/Climate at different lattitudes, being tidally locked may not be a major factor.

In fact, this is probably a plus, as theres two unique environments where life could develop on the surface.


RE: Tidal Locked. Perpetual Darkness/Light
By ZachDontScare on 10/1/2010 3:03:43 PM , Rating: 4
No rotation = no magnetic field = very bad for (human) life. Especially given its proximity to the star.

Plus they said its 3 times the mass of Earth, so it probably has crushing gravity.

Life may be possible there, but I wouldnt want a condo there.


By excelsium on 10/3/2010 4:27:25 AM , Rating: 3
mmm

- insane levels of radiation.
- crushing gravity

So life is very unlikely to evolve beyond something very basic.. if it can even survive the radiation at all.


By Shadowmaster625 on 10/4/2010 8:24:47 AM , Rating: 2
How can someone be 100% sure it can support life if it has no magnetic field?


RE: Tidal Locked. Perpetual Darkness/Light
By Reclaimer77 on 10/2/2010 11:25:59 AM , Rating: 2
I'm sure there ARE planets out there that could support human life.

The problem is that we have no way to reach them and probably won't ever be able to.

The simple fact is that the distances involved in interstellar travel are staggeringly enormous. And there's just no way to bridge the gap without somehow shattering everything we know about physics and relativity. With technology we can't even begin to fathom at this time.

100 light years away might as well be 100 million.


By EricMartello on 10/4/2010 12:29:42 AM , Rating: 2
Yes, all good reasons for us not to try at all. :)

On a side note - by the time we have the tech required to reach one of these distant planets, such as making something akin to "warp" drive, we would probably also have terra-forming tech that could be used to make uninhabitable planets into habitable planets if they had some key fundamental attributes, such as proximity to a star, mass and water.


RE: Tidal Locked. Perpetual Darkness/Light
By JediJeb on 10/5/2010 2:36:18 PM , Rating: 2
But at 20 light years distance, if we can manage even 50% light speed that would make it a 40 year trip, which would be ok in a pinch if we just needed to find another home. 25% light speed would get us there in 80 years, which could work out to 2-3 generations on a generational transport. Massive nuclear powered ion drives are technically possible now, just not practical yet.


By 0ldman on 10/23/2010 2:52:07 PM , Rating: 2
Spool up the FTL and get ready to go on my mark.


We need to get out there...
By Thelookingglass on 10/1/2010 9:12:59 AM , Rating: 5
I have always believed the single largest threat to humanity as a species and as a civilization is the lack of a second planet to call home.

But here's the crux of the whole thing. There are only so many scenarios for advanced life.

1. We're the first advanced race in the galaxy.

Unlikely considering our galaxy contains far older solar systems. And to think we are the most stable of all those systems regarding the speed of evolution is again, unlikely.

2. Space travel can never reach the point where it can be done in a quick, economically feasible way.

Warp drive or an equivilant is physically impossible and species must build monstrous ships in which generations live and the ship travels slowly. Or species always burn out or reach technological peaks due to war, famine, or disease.

3. The galaxy is already inhabited by a myriad of advanced civilizations.

They have made contact with eachother and have been utilizing the galaxy's resources for thousands if not millions of years. We are either hidden because our radio signals haven't travelled far enough or radio signals are a quickly outdated communication technology.

Or we are not hidden. We are in wide open view to one or many advanced civilizations and they observe and direct us for some purpose.

Who knows? But I don't believe there are many more scenarios for advanced life.




RE: We need to get out there...
By MrBlastman on 10/1/2010 11:04:43 AM , Rating: 4
Whoa, hold on a minute--lots of good points here except this one:

quote:
Warp drive or an equivilant is physically impossible and species must build monstrous ships in which generations live and the ship travels slowly. Or species always burn out or reach technological peaks due to war, famine, or disease.


I don't think you can claim that a "warp drive" is completely impossible until you can answer a simple question of mine:

"What is nothing?" Specifically, I'm referring to empty space--not what it contains, but what is it?

Once you can answer this, perhaps then you can express with certainty that there is absolutely no other means of travel than linear acceleration within a current frame of reference in a standard space-time membrane that can approach, but not exceed, the speed of light in Euclidean->Minkowski space.

But yes, answer my question, I beg you. :) There are a few areas on science I behoove you to look into before you make such a claim.


RE: We need to get out there...
By MozeeToby on 10/1/2010 11:42:50 AM , Rating: 2
So you're prepared to throw away causality to make your theoretical FLT ship work? Because that's just the way the universe works, FTL == Time travel. http://sheol.org/throopw/tachyon-pistols.html is the best explanation that I've found (it still isn't exactly what you would call intuitive).

It doesn't matter how the message is sent from one place to another, even if you try to argue that wormholes, tachyons, bubbles of space, etc don't actually violate relativity, it doesn't matter because the causality violation can always be caused by combining the FTL effect with general relativity.

It might still be possible, but you have to give up what is one of the basic underpinnings of human understanding of the universe to make it happen. It's interesting to me that we're more sure that relativity is true than we are that causality is true though, considering that relativity doesn't enter into our lives at all but we experience causality every second of every day of our lives.


RE: We need to get out there...
By MrBlastman on 10/1/2010 12:42:32 PM , Rating: 3
Re-read what I said. :) I think you misunderstood me. I precluded the linear travel statement with "other." I wasn't talking about strictly exceeding the speed of light--or FTL travel in a conventional means.

FTL in a particular frame of reference in a continuous stretch of spacetime is, by all intents and purposes not possible in a strictly linear manner. However, if you move the actual "brane" itself, you can still maintain compliance with the speed of light for all intents and purposes.

You simply need to move spacetime itself around you to achieve the goal--or, per Minkowski terms, move through it, not on a planar brane. I hope I'm making sense as I can elaborate if neccessary.

Time travel, of course, as far as I'm concerned, can only be achieved in a forward motion--going back would violate the scheme of our universe and while models exist of extra-dimensionality, I am not truly sold yet on the plausibility of multiple branching universii of our own. However, multiple universes (not copies of our own) are certainly possible.

You're right--we don't know what our universe is, well, completely yet, but, M-Theory certainly is making great strides to show us what it really might be.


RE: We need to get out there...
By bh192012 on 10/1/2010 2:33:37 PM , Rating: 3
Igor Novikov and I know exactly how causality can be violated, I just can't compel myself to post how.


By xxsk8er101xx on 10/2/2010 11:45:01 AM , Rating: 2
*sigh

FTL = Faster Than Lightspeed


RE: We need to get out there...
By dark matter on 10/3/2010 9:01:00 AM , Rating: 2
Have you ever considered that the basic underpinnings of human understanding of the universe is wrong. Not far off being right of course, but still wrong enough.

And before you claim otherwise, all we know about the universe is mere assumption. What is our frame of reference? You need to answer the question is the rest of the universe similar to our immediate location. To answer this "factually" you would need to be able to measure the physical properties of at least 50% of the whole universe.

I think it extremely arrogant and presumptuous of us to believe what we see out of our window is going to be the standard across the whole universe. An analogy would be for you to right now look outside your window and assume that everyone on the planet sees exactly the same thing when they look out of their window.

Think about it, look at the time scales, how long have we been looking out of our window for, compare that time to geological time, and then compare that time to universe time scales. It is nothing more than a quick glance. Who is to say that the universe doesn't suffer from localised "physics weather conditions". Oh, of course, I remember now "you just looked out the window" so it must be the same everywhere else.


By JKflipflop98 on 10/3/2010 8:14:19 PM , Rating: 2
Imagine the 2 planets in space with nothing in between them. Visualize a ship travelling from one to the other. Now think about it for a second. How does the speed at which you travel from one to another somehow make you go backwards in time? It makes no sense.

I suppose as you physically outrun the light that has already passed you, you could effectively "look back in time". . . but that would have zero bearing on anything physically happening in the universe around you.


RE: We need to get out there...
By Parhel on 10/1/2010 11:54:40 AM , Rating: 2
I think if you reread the post, you will see that he was laying out possible scenarios in which intelligent life can exist and that account for the lack of observable evidence for it. I don't believe it was intended as a statement of fact.


RE: We need to get out there...
By RivuxGamma on 10/1/2010 8:00:13 PM , Rating: 2
Genius. "You can't prove the impossible, therefore I'm right." is highly illogical.

Feel free to say that isn't what you were doing.


RE: We need to get out there...
By MrBlastman on 10/1/2010 8:31:26 PM , Rating: 2
Hmm I suggest you try and answer my question first before making such an inflammatory accusation.

There is actually a whole scientific community dedicated to my question, and the potential answers might surprise you.


RE: We need to get out there...
By dark matter on 10/3/2010 9:12:05 AM , Rating: 3
It isn't about what is possible. It is about probability. And be honest, given our knowledge of the universe we should think twice before proclaiming what is and what isn't probable.

Humans are but ants in Australia, and even then that is only comparable to our local solar system. Even all we have achieved as a species could be no more impressive to another species out there as we find an ant colony.


RE: We need to get out there...
By kattanna on 10/1/2010 11:39:54 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
Warp drive or an equivilant is physically impossible


actually, in theory we can. what we would need to do is to build a ship that can create a strong enough gravity field that it bends or folds space ahead of the ship. the kicker is we dont know how to create an energy source powerful enough to do that. need the power of anti-matter if i am recalling the theory right.

quote:
Or we are not hidden. We are in wide open view to one or many advanced civilizations and they observe and direct us for some purpose.


there is also the possibility that we are simply not interesting enough to visit except by rare people of their civilizations. just like how many people from our own planet visit those deep bush tribes in africa or the amazon? not very many. and they are really not all that separated from us in advancement.

now consider a space faring civilization that could be millions.. to billions of years older then us. we would be so undeveloped to them as to not merit attention. when you go to the zoo how long do you spend admiring the monkeys? maybe 30 seconds to a minute. take a pic then walk on. we might not even be that interesting to what life might be out there.


RE: We need to get out there...
By MozeeToby on 10/1/2010 11:50:30 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
actually, in theory we can. what we would need to do is to build a ship that can create a strong enough gravity field that it bends or folds space ahead of the ship. the kicker is we dont know how to create an energy source powerful enough to do that. need the power of anti-matter if i am recalling the theory right.
It's not enough to create an artificial gravity well(that at least might be theoretically possibly with a high enough energy density), you also need to be able to create a negative gravity well, that is a gravity well that pushes you away from it (a gravity 'hill' I guess?). To do that you need negative mass or negative energy, things that have never been observed or even theorized beyond 'what if' type scenarios. There's no room for them in our current particle physics model and there's definitely no theorized way to produce them. Models that try to demonstrate stable wormholes, warp drives, or tachyons all rely on them, but there is currently no reason to believe they exist

(and at least one reason to believe that they don't: if they do exist FTL is possible, if FTL is possible time travel is possible, if time travel is possible causality goes out the window. Personally, I find it easier to believe that causality holds than to believe that negative mass matter is possible, but I guess that's just my assumption).


RE: We need to get out there...
By MrBlastman on 10/1/2010 1:31:14 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
theory we can. what we would need to do is to build a ship that can create a strong enough gravity field that it bends or folds space ahead of the ship. the kicker is we dont know how to create an energy source powerful enough to do that. need the power of anti-matter if i am recalling the theory right.


I think you're thinking too brute force and without so much elegance but you're going in the right direction. I believe if we delve into the small of what is our space we can manipulate it without so much focus on the large.


RE: We need to get out there...
By gamerk2 on 10/1/2010 2:05:28 PM , Rating: 2
Before we start trying to bend gravity to our will, how about we definitivly find out what exactly causes it? Just a thought.


RE: We need to get out there...
By MrBlastman on 10/1/2010 2:14:31 PM , Rating: 2
Exactly. We don't know what causes it. :) Hence--focus on the small, the infinitessimally small, to solve the big.

... And I'm not talking about particles here either (though, exploring them as well because the other theories might not pan out is still worthwhile).

I think once we find a way to unify, truly unify general relativity with quantum mechanics, we'll be on our way, or have found our answer. This is what M-Theory is all about.


RE: We need to get out there...
By JediJeb on 10/5/2010 2:58:24 PM , Rating: 2
Dr. Kaku who is one if the best theoretical physicist out there currently, talked about this on his show SciFi Science on the Science Channel. While not being possible at the moment with our technology, the theory does exist to do just this type of thing. Physicist are already developing theories on how to in a sense move our plane of reference against the actual universe so that we do not technically exceed the speed of light, yet can travel between stars in short time spans.

Another thing I think of when considering absolute speed limits is when physicist talk about the beginning of the universe. They say that it expanded from an almost point sized singularity to over half of its current size in less than a second. If that is true, then the opposite "sides" of the universe would have to have moved away from each other at a speed many many times faster than the speed of light. If the universe can go from being centimeters across to billions of light years across in seconds, then something is violating the speed of light. If we unlock the secret of stretching spacetime like it did in the very beginning of the universe, then we could travel almost any distance in mere seconds. If you believe in the Big Bang, then you must also believe it is possible.


RE: We need to get out there...
By Parhel on 10/1/2010 12:06:08 PM , Rating: 3
I think you left out the possibility that a race of super-advanced robots live in the outskirts of the galaxy, waiting for intelligent life to reach the point where they understand the mass relays, at which point they show up and kill everyone.


RE: We need to get out there...
By Flail on 10/2/2010 10:54:57 PM , Rating: 2
No need to worry, Commander Shepard will take care of them.


RE: We need to get out there...
By ZachDontScare on 10/1/2010 3:12:40 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
Warp drive or an equivilant is physically impossible

I'm sure if you showed an F-15 to a caveman, he'd say that'd be impossible too.

Just because we cant fathom it now doesnt mean 1000 years from now we wont be able to. 200 years ago it took months to cross the continental US. Now it takes about 6 hours. That anyone could look at human history and the advancements made over the past couple centuries, and 'proclaim' that 'technology X' is impossible is, frankly, sad and short sighted. A 100 years from now we could have an understanding of these topics far beyond what we have now, and our notions of limits of light speed might be viewed as quaintly we now view turn-of-the-century theories about not being able to go faster than sound.


RE: We need to get out there...
By Reclaimer77 on 10/2/2010 11:48:03 AM , Rating: 1
quote:
I'm sure if you showed an F-15 to a caveman, he'd say that'd be impossible too.


How cute. I suppose this caveman also has an understanding of lift/drag, aerodynamics, and thermodynamic theory as well?

Look I like Star Trek as much as the next guy, but get real. The distances involved in space travel are simply enormous. And the speed of light an absolute barrier. It may be possible in THEORY to go around that by "warping" time and space, but the practical process in making that happen is most likely impossible.

Even getting something UP to lets say .99 C would be a mind blowing achievement in space travel. And at that speed it would take years just to get to our nearest star, Proxima Centauri. Our nearest galaxy, Andromeda, would take about 4.5 million YEARS to reach!

Also we're leaving something out, aren't we? Let's say for a minute that you're right, and such speeds would be possible. How do we prevent the passengers from being smashed into bits from these tremendous accelerations. Not to mention when you arrive at your destination you'll need to also be able to decelerate. You would have to also have some type of Star Trek "inertial dampener" system. Good luck with that!!


RE: We need to get out there...
By Masospaghetti on 10/3/2010 3:04:51 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
How cute. I suppose this caveman also has an understanding of lift/drag, aerodynamics, and thermodynamic theory as well?


There are plenty of topics in science that are not fully understood, just like how the caveman doesn't understand the topics you list.

quote:
Look I like Star Trek as much as the next guy, but get real. The distances involved in space travel are simply enormous. And the speed of light an absolute barrier. It may be possible in THEORY to go around that by "warping" time and space, but the practical process in making that happen is most likely impossible.


If you showed a Intel Core processor to a programmer in the 50's when vacuum tubes were the computing device, he would say its impossible, there cannot be almost a billion vacuum tubes in that little square chip!

If you showed a nuclear power plant to an engineer from the early 1900's, before nuclear energy was understood, he would say thats impossible, theres no material that can release so much energy from being burned.

If you showed a Airbus A380 during takeoff to anyone from the 1800's, even physicists and engineers, they would say thats impossible, theres no way anything that heavy could have the bouyoncy to lift off, and theres no way to make an engine powerful enough to have it accelerate that quickly. FYI - each turbofan on the A380 puts out as much power as the entire Titanic did, and the A380 has four of them.

You are incredibly short sighted or ignorant if you think, just because we don't know how, NOW, that we will never be able to. Just think, the above examples aren't even that long ago.


RE: We need to get out there...
By Reclaimer77 on 10/4/2010 11:57:38 AM , Rating: 1
quote:
If you showed a Intel Core processor to a programmer in the 50's when vacuum tubes were the computing device, he would say its impossible, there cannot be almost a billion vacuum tubes in that little square chip!


You know what, again, stupid analogy. A modern Intel CPU doesn't BEND TIME AND SPACE. It doesn't shatter the Theory of Relativity. It does NOT break physics.

All of your examples are stupid. You're trying to compare people of older times, ignorant of modern advances, to the ability to shatter absolute barriers of physics and time and space that we KNOW to be facts. It's been proven beyond a shadow of a doubt.

quote:
You are incredibly short sighted or ignorant if you think, just because we don't know how, NOW, that we will never be able to.


It may be possible in THEORY to go around that by "warping" time and space, but the practical process in making that happen is most likely impossible.

Even though you quoted me saying this, you obviously didn't really READ it.

There is a big difference between what's possible and what can actually be DONE. Scientists have also theorized it may be possible to go back in time. However actually DOING it is an entirely different matter.

Ignorant and short sighted? No, just realistic.


By Masospaghetti on 10/5/2010 2:27:50 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
You know what, again, stupid analogy. A modern Intel CPU doesn't BEND TIME AND SPACE. It doesn't shatter the Theory of Relativity. It does NOT break physics.


And before solid state transistors were invented, they seemed impossible too. You don't get it. I'm not saying somebody will invent a device that shatters physics - but there are plenty of areas that have not been explored yet. You sound as dumb as the guy who said "everything to be invented has already been invented", because that's exactly what you're saying.

quote:
All of your examples are stupid. You're trying to compare people of older times, ignorant of modern advances, to the ability to shatter absolute barriers of physics and time and space that we KNOW to be facts. It's been proven beyond a shadow of a doubt.


Actually, I'm comparing people of older times that didn't have modern advances, just like how people of the current times don't have future advances. Get it? An engineer that did not know of solid state transistors would state, accurately, that it would be physically impossible to have vacuum tubes switch at 3 billion times a second. An engineer that did not understand fission power would have concluded, accurately, that 1 ounce of ANY fuel could not release 10^12 joules of energy through combustion.

YES, YOU ARE CORRECT, with modern tech and without a technological breakthrough, we will not be able to travel these massive distances.

quote:
t may be possible in THEORY to go around that by "warping" time and space, but the practical process in making that happen is most likely impossible.


Even you admit that it's not a certainty. I guarantee that it's possible. We just haven't discovered the process yet.


RE: We need to get out there...
By lolmuly on 10/1/2010 6:14:19 PM , Rating: 3
not so sure that advanced civilizations would want to direct us if they were watching. Ever play star ocean?

Everyone always jumps to the conclusion that an advanced civilization would want our natural resources, or would want to destroy us.... but if a civilization is 1000 years more advanced than us, you think they would have any trouble finding those?

What an advanced civilization would probably want is a supply of fresh new ideas, thus they would leave us alone to build our own devices, and create our own cultures, and learn space travel on our own so that we might realize the importance of intellectual resources.


So lets....
By JonnyDough on 10/1/2010 7:44:29 AM , Rating: 1
work together with the international community to send out an SOS probe to them. That way, maybe someone will come rescue us from ourselves. Unless of course the project would teach us how to work with one another instead of killing each other.




RE: So lets....
By JonnyDough on 10/1/2010 7:47:45 AM , Rating: 2
*and by "them" I mean the life forms that exist there. If scientists are "100%" certain life can survive there then there is likely already something living there right? After all, we're certainly not alone in the universe. That would just be too sad and lonely. Why else would we invent God for companionship?


RE: So lets....
By Aloonatic on 10/1/2010 8:45:22 AM , Rating: 1
Give me a few $$$ a week and I'll slowly let you think that I have the answer, then get you to know that you really need to find that out yourself, with my help...

See you Sunday.


RE: So lets....
By Quadrillity on 10/1/10, Rating: 0
RE: So lets....
By Digimonkey on 10/1/2010 9:32:18 AM , Rating: 2
I think he just meant that churches don't have the answers, yet they always portray they do. I don't think he necessarily meant they are all greedy.


RE: So lets....
By Aloonatic on 10/1/2010 10:24:23 AM , Rating: 1
If I was defaming anyone it would have been the people who take money from other people, which does happen all over the place, but not those who do the good works that you mention.

I think you might have something of a rose tinted view of religion and the church though. Let us be honest, the Pope hardly lives on a trailer park. An easy and obvious example, granted, but you get my point.

Now you might want to dismiss them as NOT being a church of God and wash your hands of the situation, but that's simply not true, nor is it that simple, and I'm not sure that you are qualified to say what is or isn't a church of god anyway.

I wasn't alluding to Scientology, btw. And, there are probably a lot of Scientologists who do a lot of good and charitable works, does that makes it all OK too?

Sometimes, cults and religions and those entities that are somewhere in-between such a Scientology (which is technically a religion I believe, or is registered as such?) are not quite as distinct or different as many (like yourself I assume) might wish to believe, but I can see why you might want to.

If you have faith in a higher power, and know/have met/have accepted the lord into your heart, then please forgive me if I have offended you, as I have forgiven you for the condescending tone which your comment had, just FYI.


RE: So lets....
By FITCamaro on 10/1/2010 10:31:14 AM , Rating: 2
The United States is the only country in the world that recognizes Scientology as a religion. Every other nation rightly considers it a cult.


RE: So lets....
By Just Tom on 10/3/2010 9:01:02 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
The United States is the only country in the world that recognizes Scientology as a religion. Every other nation rightly considers it a cult.


Well, no, that would be wrong. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scientology_as_a_stat...


RE: So lets....
By JonnyDough on 10/5/2010 8:38:40 PM , Rating: 1
I view all religious organizations as cults. :)


RE: So lets....
By Quadrillity on 10/1/10, Rating: 0
RE: So lets....
By Aloonatic on 10/1/2010 11:34:19 AM , Rating: 1
Wow, steady on there fast pony. I think you're massively over reacting.

Re: rose tinted view; well, read the rest of my comments all together and you might get it. Basically though, you just want to pick and choose the good bits and ignore all the abuses of the church/religion in general by saying that they are not real churches or whatever. Just because you think that does not make the disappear and cease to exist. The pope might mean whatever he does to you, but that doesn't change that he is a very wealthy (and powerful) person and the church makes a great deal of money, has a lot of wealth.

I'm sorry that Christianity gets bashed more here though, and that offends you. That is probably because there are a lot of Christians, and very vocal ones too, and our nations are founded on Christianity, is taught in schools and is all around us. It is a part of out politic too, part of our history and culture and even some have made it into the highest positions of power with the US and UK governments of late, so I suppose that might make them more commonly referred to?

Basically, it seems that you are upset that I don't agree with you about what is counted as religion or religious, but in the wider society, out side that of your head the pope is considered to be a genuine religion entity, as are many many other churches and organisations and many of them take money and keep it.

That you and your very worthy local church gets lumped in with all of them is unfortunate, and I'm sorry for that.

So you might be angry with those people and organisations who abuse the faith/good word, and how they make people like you appear/reflect poorly on you. I can't blame you for that. Projecting that anger onto me however, who just wants to point out that religion/higher powers etc are abused by a lot of people, and that yes, organisations do make money from it, often by selling answers that they don't really have (which is something that we both might not like) does not (sadly) make them disappear, simply because you say they don't count.

By the way, I'm not trying to victimise myself either, it's just how you came over.


RE: So lets....
By Quadrillity on 10/1/2010 1:57:32 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
Basically though, you just want to pick and choose the good bits and ignore all the abuses of the church/religion in general by saying that they are not real churches or whatever.

I specifically addressed that there IS (unfortunately) a select few that are massively hypocritical and detrimental to the foundation of the church. How in the world can you accuse me of "pick and choose the good bits and ignore all the abuses"? I just plain and simply don't understand that move.
quote:
and the church makes a great deal of money, has a lot of wealth.

Any church that sits on "wealth" is not a church. God commands to help thy neighbors, and the less fortunate. You make it seem like the main goal of a church is to collect money and hoard it.
quote:
Basically, it seems that you are upset that I don't agree with you about what is counted as religion or religious,

No, I'm just upset that you have made a few assumptions about me that weren't based off of anything but a guess.
quote:
as are many many other churches and organisations and many of them take money and keep it.

And those organizations that do that don't deserve to call themselves a house of God.
quote:
Projecting that anger onto me however

I thought that my last paragraph detailed that I wasn't trying to project anger. Like I said, I get very spirited about these subjects. My apologies if it came across as angry.
quote:
often by selling answers that they don't really have (which is something that we both might not like) does not (sadly) make them disappear, simply because you say they don't count.

I never said that labeling them as non-function/deviated churches made the problem disappear. This is why I so strongly defended my stance on it; you had no reason to believe that I was trying to erase the problem just by saying they were not true churches. Had I said, "It's not really a problem since they aren't real churches" you would have a justifiable case. But they ARE a problem, and they need to be addressed.

I was just pointing out that Christian churches are in no way supposed to be money hungry and hypocritical. And the funny thing is, unless people are just downrating because they see "by Quadrillity" in the header, they are disagreeing with me that bad churches/people should stop acting high and mighty and greedy; otherwise there was no reason to downrate.


RE: So lets....
By Aloonatic on 10/1/2010 6:39:47 PM , Rating: 1
Erm, I really don't know where to start debating with you as you seem to be in a world of your own.

I'm happy that you are happy to believe what you believe, good luck with it, although you do seem to be some what sensitive and prone to over reacting and read far more into comments. I'm not sure what that might suggest.

Anyway, I've got better things to do than go through all your points, pointing out what you've missed and explaining the simple points that appear to have gone over your head, as I know that we will simply arrive at the same point as always, where I cannot understand you because I don't have faith or the ability to believe etc.

We've all been there.

Good luck, I hope you're right.


RE: So lets....
By Quadrillity on 10/3/2010 10:30:52 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
Erm, I really don't know where to start debating with you as you seem to be in a world of your own.

Ok, so you make a general blank statement about me being in a world of my own...
then,
quote:
although you do seem to be some what sensitive and prone to over reacting and read far more into comments. I'm not sure what that might suggest.

quote:
Anyway, I've got better things to do than go through all your points

Then why Bother responding back in the first place?
quote:
you've missed and explaining the simple points that appear to have gone over your head,

Seriously, shut up. I have already apologized for coming across as "over reacting" but all you seem to want to do is belittle me and call it a day. It's seems like this has become the norm here on this site; to start a conversation with someone, then call them retarded and walk away when you don't agree with their opinions. YOU will need "good luck" if you continue to carry out that mentality in life. Do you treat people like this out in the real world?


RE: So lets....
By callmeroy on 10/1/10, Rating: 0
RE: So lets....
By Aloonatic on 10/1/2010 10:32:00 AM , Rating: 2
Are you saying that people who don't believe in cloud wizards are ignorant?

Anyway, you think/believe that "god invented us, not the other way around", or are you stating that as definitive fact?

Just trying to help :o)


RE: So lets....
By Chaser on 10/1/2010 3:28:25 PM , Rating: 2
Most scientists are also secularists. For now the only certainties in life is death. (well most the time :).

But all scientists are human beings. And like the rest of us they desire to know the meaning of life, maybe even after death. We all seek answers or hope.

Since there are no answers beyond what we all know today all of us eventually must rely upon our faith to varying degrees.

Whether it's the hopes of religion or a planet 220 trillion miles away our human flaws do not allow us to be completely objective in our search for meaning in life beyond the limited absolutes we have before us.


RE: So lets....
By JonnyDough on 10/5/2010 8:40:19 PM , Rating: 2
Mine do.


Fairly Naive...
By yxalitis on 10/1/10, Rating: 0
RE: Fairly Naive...
By SSDMaster on 10/1/2010 8:44:14 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
So, we discover an unknowable planet orbiting an unknowable star in a set of circumstances too distant to ascertain to any degree of certainty...and "LO, there may be life"


They can actually find out quite a bit with science and the maths. Though I can't imagine just finding 1 planet like ours means "100% certainty".


RE: Fairly Naive...
By tastyratz on 10/1/10, Rating: 0
RE: Fairly Naive...
By Parhel on 10/1/2010 10:30:07 AM , Rating: 1
quote:
I think its simple minded and naieve to think we are all that exists, and the natural elitism that causes hesitation. How could anything possibly exist that's as smart or smarter than us? Reality is that there IS intelligent life, we just aren't intelligent enough to find it yet.


So you're saying that you believe something that you have absolutely no evidence to support, and that anyone who believes otherwise is simple-minded, naive AND an elitist??? I think the jury is still out, and normal intelligent people can think either way on the subject without the need for derision. There are, after all, quite a few unanswered questions if intelligent life does indeed exist elsewhere. The primary one being why there has been no reliable evidence of it.

In the billions of years the universe has existed, I would assume we would be one of the newest forms of intelligent life. And, if that were true, the older forms would have had a chance to develop technology to it's fullest extent, right? I mean, to use a near and dear example, if we can go from an 8086 to an I7 in 20-odd years, imagine 100,000 years of technological development. Why are there no Deathstars floating around? Even a single star sized object flashing in some variant of morse code would let everyone for hundreds of light years around know that someone is out there.


RE: Fairly Naive...
By tastyratz on 10/1/2010 4:53:03 PM , Rating: 2
My post was more targeted to the people who say "no" instead of "maybe"

I suppose you could label this as the scientists religion. The universe to us now has no bounds. We found a planet 20 light years away? For all we know the universe could extend trillions upon trillions upon trillions of light years. We have never found the end and if its so far away yet so new the light may not reach earth till long after man. Statistically for there not to be life you probably have better odds to be half human half permanent marker.


RE: Fairly Naive...
By MrBlastman on 10/1/2010 10:58:26 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
Life has already been found on mars such as Biomorphs and "pond scum". While it is not that fun loving ET everyone thinks of - it IS life.


I want them to find life on another world, I really do, but, I don't think you can say with complete certainty that these findings completely satisfy our natural requirement of proof that life has existed on Mars. It points to a much higher probability that it has, but, it still isn't completely, undeniable proof--yet.

Morseso--it isn't life, these biomorphs and pond scum are fossils, or remanants of life, but not the actual lifeforms themselves.

I'm pretty sure there is other intelligent life out there, I think though we have not found it yet. The Universe is quite massive (even for a possibly finite place--think about it for a while, it might make your head spin).


RE: Fairly Naive...
By Calindar on 10/1/2010 6:23:02 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
I'm pretty sure there is other intelligent life out there, I think though we have not found it yet.

Out there? It's difficult enough to find intelligent life on this planet!


Tidally locked?
By Chernobyl68 on 10/1/2010 2:31:45 PM , Rating: 2
I'm trying to figure out how they know the planet is tidally locked. I mean, they though mercury was tidally locked for a long while before they found that it wasn't.




RE: Tidally locked?
By ZachDontScare on 10/1/2010 3:21:05 PM , Rating: 2
Just plain old physics. The gravitational pull of the star, at that distance, is measurably different on the day side of the planet than it is on the night side. That causes the planet's spin to slow, as that day side wants to stay on the day side because its being pulled more by the sun.

They wouldnt be able to say for sure that its tidally locked, but they can run the numbers - distance, estimated age (the older, the more likely its rotation has been slowed down to a stop) - and give a pretty good estimate that its the case.

To answer your next question, yes, that does mean that every rotating planet is, at some level, being slowed. Even Earth. Its just that at our distance, the effect is very, very small.


RE: Tidally locked?
By JediJeb on 10/5/2010 6:29:25 PM , Rating: 2
But if there had been a recent tangential impact by a very large body it could be spinning again.

But if it isn't spinning, I doubt its magnetic field is very strong so I doubt there would be much protection from the solar winds. If that is true, then it may or may not have any atmosphere left so when the one scientist says he is 100% certain it could support life, that is a big leap of faith because if it doesn't have an atmosphere or even water then life if not so probable.


So how far away is 20 light years?
By donttryit on 10/1/2010 11:12:23 AM , Rating: 1
Light travels at a speed of 186000 miles a second or 700 million miles an hour. 700000000 x 24 x 365 x 20 = 122640000000000 or around 122 trilliom miles away. We can't get there.

Stay home, we need you here.




By ZachDontScare on 10/1/2010 3:13:54 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Stay home, we need you here.

We really dont.


By delphinus100 on 10/1/2010 5:56:26 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Stay home, we need you here.


Define 'home.'

I might settle for a cottage on Pluto...


20 years? how bout 85,000 years!
By Rakanishu on 10/1/2010 11:22:30 AM , Rating: 1
85,000 years is how long it would take our fastest probe, that can theoretically go 70km per second, to reach that planet. And you're concerned that something might happen to it in a 20 year time frame...

Even if we managed to multiply our probe speed by a factor of 1000 it would still take 85 years to get there... I think we should get comfortable with the idea of just staring at it for a while :)




RE: 20 years? how bout 85,000 years!
By MrBungle123 on 10/4/2010 7:11:51 PM , Rating: 2
If only our idiotic ancestors hadnt flown all our ships into the sun we could go there like... tomorrow. But NOOOOOOOO! "we wanna start over!"


By Pastuch on 10/5/2010 4:02:47 PM , Rating: 2
You win the prize for best Battlestar Galactica reference. Kara Thrace is god. I'm starting the church of BSG.


Space is BIG.
By bcowdery on 10/1/2010 3:37:36 PM , Rating: 2
All this discussion of whether or not alien life exists, are they ignoring us etc. fails to take into account one very important fact about our universe.

It's big. Impossibly big. Un-imaginably impossibly hugely big. Mind bogglingly big.

While the billions upon billions of stars and the fact that we found a "goldilocks" planet so close to our own makes a very good case for life evolving elsewhere - the chance of someone/something else ever finding us is astronomically tiny.

There may be millions of advanced civilizations (Id say it's a guarantee over a long enough time-line), but to find out about each other you would have to be able to find the 1 planet out of the empty billions and billions that they call home, which is not any easy task.

This also doesn't take into account that there are billions and billions of galaxies with billions and billions of stars and planets of their own.

So- life = yes, visitation/communication = no.




RE: Space is BIG.
By Parhel on 10/1/2010 4:29:13 PM , Rating: 2
Let's take it for granted, for argument's sake, that there are indeed millions of advanced civilizations in the universe. Why then is there no evidence?

Would we really have to search through billions of empty planets to find one, as you say? It seems that your statement has to assume that, of these millions of advanced civilizations, not a single one of them has both the desire to be detected and the technological means to accomplish that.

If we humans had 100,000 more years of technological development, I guarantee that we could create a means by which other advanced life could detect us from a distance of far more than 20 light years. And what about space travel? Wouldn't millions of advanced civilizations have realized that by now, and would that not exponentially increase the possibility of detection?

I'm not pretending to have answers to these questions. I'm honestly agnostic on the issue, but the true believers tend to bring out my inner skeptic.


I...
By Etern205 on 10/4/2010 10:48:43 PM , Rating: 2
remembered there was a article about this plant from eons ago.




RE: I...
NOT a "Goldilocks" / "Earth-like" Planet
By Bluebird47 on 10/1/2010 9:10:50 AM , Rating: 2
You gotta congratulate the folks on their fabulous marketing, but calling a planet orbiting A RED DWARF a goldilocks planet (and a tidally locked one at that) is ridiculous. "Goldilocks planet" means the planet's properties are "just right" to support life (as we know it). However, these properties do not just concern the distance from the sun, but many other things, including the age and type of the sun. Red dwarfs are very different from our Sun and while it is open whether some form of life could exist on a planet orbitting them, their differenceness makes it pretty certain that this life would not be like anything we know, and the planet certainly not "Earth like".




By rudolphna on 10/1/2010 10:36:17 AM , Rating: 1
You are partially right. Our sun, and a red dwarf are funcationally identical. The difference is the habitable zone is different, because red dwarf stars are colder, and put out a lot less heat and light. Thus the habitable zone is closer to that star than we are to ours. they can tell the temperature of the star through mathematical formulas, color of the star, spectrometry, etc. They know what they are doing, and are a hell of a lot smoarter than either of us.

what they mean when they say "earth-like" means in temperature. Likely there will be less habitable area on that planet. The side in constant daylight likely is extremely, hot and the dark side will be very cold. The most habitable areas are likely along the circumference of the planet, where the neverending twilight lies.


By JakLee on 10/1/2010 12:42:48 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
"Personally, given the ubiquity and propensity of life to flourish wherever it can, I would say, my own personal feeling is that the chances of life on this planet are 100 percent. I have almost no doubt about it,"Vogt said.


Last I checked, if I was 100% sure about something, then I would have no doubt about it..... at least I think so, maybe.... well it's a possibility at least.....




Why 'Goldilocks'?
By The Raven on 10/1/2010 9:22:22 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
it's not too hot and not too cold

Umm... wasn't the baby bear's stuff 'just right'?
So shouldn't we call it some thing like 'little bear'?

Oh Oh! And let's do it in Latin!!! That won't be confusing at all in the world of astronomy!




Stargate
By GroBemaus on 10/1/2010 10:38:02 AM , Rating: 2
Anyone else seem to remember a stargate episode with a similiar day/night situation? I'm just sayin...




But serously, folks
By bupkus on 10/1/2010 2:19:04 PM , Rating: 2
can you just imagine the jet lag?

At least 20 years travel, probably budget class and you get to a planet with 24 hour days or 24 hour nights?

Each side of the planet would evolve entirely different species, some with huge eyes and the other with Foster Grants.

Speaking of weather, wouldn't the day side be much warmer than the dark side. What about ice formation on the dark side. Here on Earth moisture coming off the oceans comes to a land mass where often the warm moist air is forced upward by elevations releasing large amounts of rain. If an atmosphere laden with moisture from the warm/bright side travels to the cold/dark side wouldn't that 'precipitate' a permanent transfer of water creating an ice pack vs a desert? I imagine huge glaciers then moving towards the warm side. In addition, would this not create an oblong shaped planet causing possibly a wobble detectable from Earth observations? If there is no wobble wouldn't that mean no water?
Someone else can pick up on the speculation. I'm up for coffee now.




100% certain?
By karlostomy on 10/1/2010 11:48:03 PM , Rating: 2
""Personally, given the ubiquity and propensity of life to flourish wherever it can, I would say, my own personal feeling is that the chances of life on this planet are 100 percent. I have almost no doubt about it,"Vogt said."

hmm if Vogt has almost no doubt, then by definition he has some doubt. If some doubt exists, how can he be 100% certain of uncertainty?

... gotta love unscientific scientific commentary.




Big deal?! naaaaaaaaaaaaaah
By desertpenguin85 on 10/3/2010 12:00:34 PM , Rating: 2
why is this called exciting discovery?! this planet is 20 light years away!!! meaning, if we could move at the speed of light (which is impossible), it'd take us 20 years to get there!!!

So people of earth, you better cherish your little planet and go green.. no more coal, no more fossil fuels, no more deforestation...

WAKE UP folks!




By Iketh on 10/3/2010 8:00:43 PM , Rating: 2
Not having days and nights means species will evolve with the ability to sense time. We don't need it because the rotating sun overhead is our time meter.

Species that can perceive 4 dimensions are extremely more advanced than we are and inherently understand all that we are trying to understand here on Earth, such as the relationship between gravity and time.

Humans are at the short end of the stick, sorry to break that to everyone...




By derricker on 10/3/2010 10:43:29 PM , Rating: 2
It's far enough to be safe from us, just for a minute I thought we'd found another planet to rape, pollute and over crowd.




"human Life"
By grcunning on 10/5/2010 8:17:31 PM , Rating: 2
Please stop saying "Human Life". Homeo Sapiens, or Human, is a species on this world. Any extraterrestial life will most certainly not be "human". You are making it seem like we will see Captain Picard out there. How about just saying "life"?




20 light-years away is still a long way away
By Titanius on 10/1/10, Rating: -1
RE: 20 light-years away is still a long way away
By SSDMaster on 10/1/2010 8:18:34 AM , Rating: 2
-_-


RE: 20 light-years away is still a long way away
By quiksilvr on 10/1/2010 9:52:32 AM , Rating: 2
My thoughts exactly. Sometimes taking a risk is what makes life worth living. In the end, what is money? Metal and paper. Its the memories that last forever.

Just a thought.


By GuinnessKMF on 10/1/2010 10:08:30 AM , Rating: 2
I'm just picturing this guy thinking it'll be like when Luke arrives at Alderaan, that it'll take us 20 years to get there and we won't be able to "look forward", so we arrive and it's all "Hey! What's with this meteor field!"

I'd say there is the same risk of Earth getting destroyed by a meteor 20 years from now as that planet being destroyed by a meteor right now, what if we decide not to check it out and our planet gets vaporized.


RE: 20 light-years away is still a long way away
By MrBlastman on 10/1/2010 10:37:04 AM , Rating: 2
I'm more worried about the 100% certain this scientist is of life. That is a lofty claim to be made by anyone in science. Likewise, anyone worth their salt in science will agree that there never is a 100% certainty when it comes to things on the galactic scale--and universal, scale.

If we were 100% certain of everything, then there'd be no need for science, right?


RE: 20 light-years away is still a long way away
By acase on 10/1/10, Rating: -1
By MrBlastman on 10/1/2010 12:45:53 PM , Rating: 2
Please don't bring religion into a scientific article.


RE: 20 light-years away is still a long way away
By wgbutler on 10/1/2010 1:12:56 PM , Rating: 2
quote:

If we were 100% certain of everything, then there'd be no need for science, right? ....

AKA Christians...


It's amazing that on a science article about the discovery of a new planet, (i.e. something that has NOTHING to do with religion at all) the obnoxious atheists still can't refrain from taking cheap potshots at Christians.

If the Christians were ANY other group of people, the insults, snide remarks, and offensive language wouldn't be tolerated. But fortunately for the atheists, Christians aren't a protected class and so are fair game for every obnoxious behavioral pattern that an atheist cares to display.

And fortunately for the Christians, the Bible promises great blessings to Christians whenever they are insulted!

I Peter 4:14
If you are insulted for the name of Christ, you are blessed, because the Spirit of glory and of God rests upon you.


RE: 20 light-years away is still a long way away
By mcnabney on 10/1/2010 1:48:20 PM , Rating: 2
Whatever pal.

The thread questioned a scientist's statement of 100% certainty. Anyone with a scientific background recognizes that as an absurd statement. This type of statement coming shortly after discovery is ludicrous. A person posted that certainty based solely upon 'wanting' to believe fits in more with religion as opposed to science.


By wgbutler on 10/1/2010 2:22:03 PM , Rating: 2
quote:

The thread questioned a scientist's statement of 100% certainty. Anyone with a scientific background recognizes that as an absurd statement. This type of statement coming shortly after discovery is ludicrous. A person posted that certainty based solely upon 'wanting' to believe fits in more with religion as opposed to science.


I agree with everything you just said. And I mean everything .

Without knowing it, the scientist in question has just confirmed that the whole "life arises from chemicals on any planet that has liquid water and then evolves into more advanced life" paradigm is basically a religion. It's not backed up by science, but instead by a religious desire for a purely naturalistic, Star Trek type universe to be true.

The thing is, Christianity has nothing to do with this type of religious belief. The irony is the other dude was basically insulting his own belief system while taking a potshot at Christianity.


By ipay on 10/6/2010 1:42:16 AM , Rating: 2
Yea and the planet is 6000 years old give me a break, there is no god.


By ppardee on 10/1/2010 12:21:18 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
In the end, what is money? Metal and paper.


Actually, in the end, money is a representation of a portion of your life that you sold to someone else. Wasting money is wasting life. The government is wasting life that they stole from other people, and that is almost as despicable as genocide. In a way it is more insidious because most people see money as an infinite resource and aren’t completely outraged when our government blows billions of dollars launching people into space when it could have been done for 1/100th of the cost if it were a private project.

Average cost of sending the shuttle into space (total cost/number of missions): $1.3 billion (as of 2006)
Average US hourly wage: $18.69 (as of 2009)
Average US life expectancy in hours: 682,404 (as of 2007)

That means that if you paid the average person their average wage for every hour they were alive, they would get about $12.7 million over the course of their life (obviously, this doesn’t reflect actual earnings, which would be around $1.9 million.)

That means the government effectively consumes the lives of 102 Americans every time the shuttle is launched, and has consumed the lives of about 11,771 just in the last 20 some odd years of the shuttle’s history. Not exactly numbers that can stack up against Chairman Mao, but NASA is only one way the government is wasting your life. This is only part of NASA’s budget, which is a very small sliver (usually about 1%) of the total that the government takes from us. You should see how much of your money they give to other people who didn’t earn it! (Hint: it is about 60% of your tax dollars)

Just a thought.


RE: 20 light-years away is still a long way away
By JonnyDough on 10/1/10, Rating: 0
By SSDMaster on 10/1/2010 8:38:07 AM , Rating: 2
You make little sense.


RE: 20 light-years away is still a long way away
By Titanius on 10/1/2010 8:43:02 AM , Rating: 3
I'm not being a pessimist, I'm being a realist. But fact is that it was just a thought to entice conversation, not get beaten with an ugly stick because someone woke up on the wrong side of the bed.


By AnnihilatorX on 10/1/2010 8:51:09 AM , Rating: 2
lol. Given the chance of a meteor strike big enough to make a planet disappear or disintegrate, it'd be a significant scientific discovery in itself. I am sure the crews won't be disappointed


By nafhan on 10/1/2010 8:55:25 AM , Rating: 2
If I sat around work talking about how I might get hit by a bus on the way home, even though it's very unlikely, people would probably call me a pessimist.
On an astronomical time scale, 20 years is nothing, BTW.


By Flunk on 10/1/2010 8:55:32 AM , Rating: 2
No, you're not. Realistically there is little chance that any planet will be destroyed in a scant 20 year period. We're talking about forces that operate on a astrological time scale. Millenia are short periods of time on this sort of scale.


By Motoman on 10/1/2010 8:47:23 AM , Rating: 4
What we know of the planet so far is it's size and it's distance from it's star...that's not going to change.

Even if we'd managed to do detailed spectroscopic analysis and whatnot, the chances of that changing in 20 years is pretty infinitesimal. 20 years is nothing on a geologic scale.


RE: 20 light-years away is still a long way away
By callmeroy on 10/1/2010 8:52:26 AM , Rating: 2
Your concern has merit, but its also an obvious one and a common sense "risk" that anyone in NASA or any space agency, astronomy or other "ET" research group is well aware of.

20 light years is actually amazingly CLOSE if you have ever kept up with such findings of other planets over the years. Let alone one that seems so good for life.

We've discovered what we think are planets before -- ranging from hundreds or even thousands of light years away.

So 20 light years , when thinking on the scale of the universe is pretty much a trip around the block.

Don't get me wrong still WAY beyond our technology to ever send a human to the planet...but then right now even 1 light year away is beyond our technology...FAR beyond our technology in fact.

So unless you think an Earth like planet will suddenly pop up that's only "mere" millions of miles away....:)


By MozeeToby on 10/1/2010 11:25:51 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
Don't get me wrong still WAY beyond our technology to ever send a human to the planet...but then right now even 1 light year away is beyond our technology...FAR beyond our technology in fact.
So lets stop and see what is actually necessary, I mean if we absolutely had to do it for some reason and everyone on earth was behind the project. 20 light years... I'm prepared to argue that we could design and build a spacecraft that would remain operational for 200 years, maybe 300-400 if there was an active crew during that time period. So we would need to average .1c with a sleeper crew or .5 c with an awake crew that can perform maintenance. Sleeper crew is obviously something we can't do yet biologically, and I can't foresee us developing any scifi grade 'hypersleep' solution any time soon, not for hundreds of years time spans anyway. So lets limit ourselves to an arkship design.

That means that you need a ship big enough to hold 500+ people (a realistic minimum to prevent genetic drift) as well as a food/oxygen garden for supplies (sorry explorers, I think you're going to be stuck with a vegan diet). Nuclear reactors could supply power over those kinds of time scales, and if the ship were strong enough it could be spun for gravity eliminating that little problem. Have multiply redundant facilities to manufacture every single spare part the ship could need and enough computer smarts to educate the crew on how to produce them. Actually keeping the ship running isn't the hard part when you're talking a ship big enough to house that many people over those timescales.

The obvious hard part is going to be getting that much mass into orbit, and then accelerating up to an appreciable fraction of light speed. That's where thousands of nuclear bombs come in, AKA Project Orion (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Project_Orion_%28nucl... ).

Here's the idea, build a spaceship the size of a small city on the ground with a large pressure plate and spring system at the base. Then launch nuclear bombs below the pressure plate and ride the resulting shock waves to the stars. They were actually in the design stages back in the 60's when the nuclear test ban treaty ended research into the concept and using 60's era materials they figured they could get a 100,000 ton spaceship up to 3.3% lightspeed. Presumably with modern materials we could do better, even without changing the design (and there have been several more efficient designs suggested). Total cost? 10% of the US GNP for 1 year... 1 year in 1968 ($91 billion, or about .7% of today's GNP). Now obviously the engineers involved would want to improve on the design considerably and it would cost much more than that (if I had to guess I would say it would be closer to $1 trillion than $91 billion, but even a trillion dollars isn't outside the realm of possibility).

So actually, if we really wanted to do it, we could start designing an unmanned probe to the stars today. Once we get the kinks worked out of that we could probably begin designing and building a manned version within 20 years... again, if we really wanted or needed to.


By FaceMaster on 10/1/2010 9:06:45 AM , Rating: 2
It's been around for billions of years, I'm sure it will be able to last 20 years more.

Either that, or us humans are walking disasters.


RE: 20 light-years away is still a long way away
By Titanius on 10/1/2010 10:51:15 AM , Rating: 1
Thanks everyone for rating me into oblivion...I now understand my thoughts have no place here and won't make that mistake again.

And now for something completely different:

A Scotsman on a horse.


RE: 20 light-years away is still a long way away
By nafhan on 10/1/2010 11:53:16 AM , Rating: 2
Don't take it personally. You got downrated because what you said was very unlikely to happen, not because Dailytech commentors have it out for you or something.


RE: 20 light-years away is still a long way away
By Titanius on 10/1/2010 12:24:53 PM , Rating: 2
Nah, I'm not that childish to take it personally. And just for the record, there was nothing sarcastic about my last post, I meant it. But I agree it might have been a little on the border line between pessimism and realism. Sorry about that everyone.


By derricker on 10/3/2010 10:40:00 PM , Rating: 2
you have been upgraded.


"And boy have we patented it!" -- Steve Jobs, Macworld 2007














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