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The debate on whether or not Osiris has water in its atmosphere continues

A new analysis again suggests that gas giant HD209458b currently has water in its atmosphere.  The planet -- nicknamed Osiris -- is 150 light years away from Earth, located in the Pegasus constellation.  The planet was first detected in late November 1999, with the help of astronomical spectroscopy.  

The hot, Jupiter-like gaseous planet has been the target of research once scientists believed water could be located somewhere on the planet.  Three teams of scientists previously believed there could be water in the planet's atmosphere, but those ideas were questioned after the NASA Spitzer Space Telescope was unable to provide evidence.

Travis Bartman, an astronomer working at Lowell Observatory, believes he has discovered the missing water after analyzing the light from a star when it passes through HD209458b's atmosphere.

Barman and researchers from Harvard University measured the light coming from Osiris as it reached the furthest part of the 3.5-day orbit it makes around the star.  With the help of the Hubble Space Telescope, it was possible to further study water absorption in the planet's atmosphere.  Each time the planet passes its parent star, it is possible to analyze how the atmosphere absorbs light passing from the star through the atmosphere.    

Scientists will continue to study and conduct research to either confirm or deny Barman's research.


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RE: Will that help?
By KaiserCSS on 4/12/2007 2:29:19 PM , Rating: 5
Ignorant comments like these really irritate me. I hate it when people criticize extraplanetary scientific endeavours simply because they aren't concentrating research on Earth. Here's another thought for you: Do you honestly believe that every single scientist on Earth is studying space? No, I didn't think so. So wouldn't it be reasonable to conclude that there are thousands, tens of thousands, even hundreds of thousands of scientists actively researching methods to solve Earthly problems? I would believe so.

Just because an already small group of researchers are actively exploring the secrets of the cosmos does not, in any way, indicate that there aren't others working on more obvious dilemas here.

The moral of this lesson is: "Think before you speak."


RE: Will that help?
By masher2 (blog) on 4/12/2007 2:41:19 PM , Rating: 5
Very true, and even more to the point, there is the fact that studying other planets helps us to better understand our own. When your statistical sample is just a single object, its very hard to draw valid conclusions.


RE: Will that help?
By Seemonkeyscanfly on 4/12/07, Rating: 0
RE: Will that help?
By masher2 (blog) on 4/12/2007 3:30:03 PM , Rating: 5
By your logic, we shouldn't study the surface of the sun, as no one will ever live there.

Studying any planet-- even Jupiter-- teaches us a great deal about the Earth. What processes are parallel, what ones are divergent...the list is endless. Without this, "Earth Science" is like trying to understand human psychology by examining just one person.


RE: Will that help?
By Seemonkeyscanfly on 4/12/07, Rating: 0
RE: Will that help?
By Ringold on 4/12/2007 7:56:37 PM , Rating: 2
I wouldn't be true to my form if I didn't chime in and say I, at least, look forward to research like this one day leading to commercial exploitation of Jupiter, its moons, and the other planets of similar composition in the solar system..

Plus, it might mean Jupiter and planets like it would not only be a good place to hide from the Cylon's, but maybe we can also pull water from the atmosphere! Valuable research indeed.


RE: Will that help?
By Seemonkeyscanfly on 4/13/2007 10:01:15 AM , Rating: 2
Doh! Forgot about the Cylon factor. How stupid of me. Now it's all clear.


RE: Will that help?
By Ringold on 4/13/2007 3:46:45 PM , Rating: 2
They're counting on your forgetting, of course. Just like the Buggers.

But the real point was, of course, that Jupiter and its entire little system could be commercially exploitable sooner or later. Once lunar operations become common enough I don't see what would stop commercial operations from Jupiter. Assuming, of course, there is something there valuable enough to be worth a round trip, and dealing with apparently wicked radiation.


RE: Will that help?
By Seemonkeyscanfly on 4/13/2007 4:13:43 PM , Rating: 2
Wicked radiation....Hmmmm
We could send people with cancer - get radiation treatment for free, actually get paid for treatment. There will not be anything left of your cancer cells after the visit, of course there might not be much left of any other cells. Hey, but what the hell you got to go to Jupiter, see the Giant red spot up close and avoid the Cylons. All in all I say a good deal.


RE: Will that help?
By Etsp on 4/12/2007 5:21:56 PM , Rating: 2
Are you confusing Jupiter's gravity with the gravity of a black hole? Cause if I remember correctly, Jupiter's gravity wouldn't do that to you.


RE: Will that help?
By Seemonkeyscanfly on 4/12/2007 5:44:35 PM , Rating: 2
Someone correct me if I'm wrong. The ratio x lbs to x + bls I no is wrong:
The Gravity on Jupiter is something like 1,500 to one (guessing but I know it up there). So, a 200 lbs man becomes 300,000 lbs. Your bones can not even handle a bite of 2,400 lbs from a pit bull, and so they break...So at 300,000 lbs you become like a liquid and are pulled as close to the ground as possible, which spreads your body all over the place, yuk.. In a black hole you are compacted together into a really, really, really small dot of space not a good thing if you are claustrophobic, or so one theory goes.


RE: Will that help?
By PlasmaBomb on 4/12/2007 6:23:04 PM , Rating: 2
Can I correct you?
If a man weighs 200lb (~91 kg) on the surface of the earth his mass would be ~91/9.81 = 9.267 kg. So assuming that he was on a spacecraft suitably equipped to fly along on the surface of Jupiter (~71,000 km from Jupiters’ core), the same man would weigh 9.267*24.79 = 229.73 kg or 505.4 lb, so whilst moving around would be an effort, he would be far from 1/10 mm thick (at least due to the gravity).
When pit bulls bite they apply a pressure of over 2000 psi which is very different to 2400 lb.
If you were to fall into a black hole you would end up as a very long string (think spaghetti) because of the massively different tidal forces on your head and feet.
If you were to fall into a black hole you would end up as a very long string (think spaghetti) because of the massively different tidal forces on your head and feet.


RE: Will that help?
By PlasmaBomb on 4/12/2007 6:24:04 PM , Rating: 2
Doh ignore the double last sentence


RE: Will that help?
By oTAL on 4/13/2007 10:11:46 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
If a man weighs 200lb (~91 kg) on the surface of the earth his mass would be ~91/9.81 = 9.267 kg.


I'm not sure about the rest of your post but this line was stupid enough for me (or maybe you're tired and you made a mistake).
Do you the difference between mass and weight? Mass is an absolute concept and you are confusing Kg with Newtons. You probably meant that if someone weighs 91KgF = ~910N, then his mass would be (pretty much anywhere) 91Kg.
The rest of your post kind of makes a good argument about the distance from the center of mass of a given object which is important when discussing gravitational pull.


RE: Will that help?
By plinden on 4/12/2007 7:22:38 PM , Rating: 2
Not quite - from Jupiter's wikipedia entry "... the equatorial surface gravity of 24.79 m/s2 ..." (m is meters, not miles). If you don't accept the accuracy of Wikipedia, try http://hyperphysics.phy-astr.gsu.edu/hbase/solar/j...

That's roughly 2.5g (Earth's surface gravity is 9.8m/s2, so a 200lb-on-earth man would weigh 500lb. Heavy, but considering the large numbers of large Americans I see every day, it's not extreme.


RE: Will that help?
By PlasmaBomb on 4/12/2007 5:59:15 PM , Rating: 2
The second paragraph says that the planet is Jupiter like it's an analogy. Therefore we don't need any volunteers...


RE: Will that help?
By namechamps on 4/12/2007 6:17:24 PM , Rating: 2
This is just a first step. Proof that another planet was water. They started with large planets because they are much easier to detect at a range of millions of miles. Now that they know a "jupiter like" planet has water we likely will find another earth like planet with water in the future. The first is always the hardest. It's like saying man that first CPU sucked because it only ran 3mhz and you can't play Quake on it. If it hadn't been created nothing after it would have come along.


RE: Will that help?
By Seemonkeyscanfly on 4/12/2007 7:31:36 PM , Rating: 2
Well thanks to: Masher2, PlasmaBomb, namechamps, and a point made by etsp, I feel a little wiser today. Either it's been to many years since I had a science class, guess near 17 years, or theories (back then) have changed or been corrected. Thanks for clarifying my question on the value of this study.


RE: Will that help?
By PlasmaBomb on 4/12/2007 8:10:07 PM , Rating: 2
Everyday you learn something new, and hopefully it makes you a better person and the world a better place. That is why people do research on numerous subjects.


RE: Will that help?
By JustinChase on 4/12/2007 3:21:18 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
So wouldn't it be reasonable to conclude that there are thousands, tens of thousands, even hundreds of thousands of scientists actively researching methods to solve Earthly problems? I would believe so.


Oh, if only that were true.

I agree that studying space is important; but calling someone ignorant because they believe more should be being done to solve our immediate and quite serious water (or lack thereof) problems here on Earth is not only uninformed, but unhelpful, and dare I say; ignorant.

Knowing if other planets have water, or intelligent life, or hot Amazon women will not provide water for the hundreds of millions/billions of people that will soon be without any if we don't start making big changes soon.

http://www.sciam.com/article.cfm?articleID=D8CBF79...

http://www.sciam.com/article.cfm?alias=warming-cou...

"The true extent of the impacts are only beginning to be understood, or even researched. The majority of studies on which this report relies were conducted in North America, Europe or Australia, and there is a paucity of data from the developing world where impacts are likely to be most severe. An additional one degree Celsius of warming—all but certain due to greenhouse gases already emitted—would make water scarce for an additional 1.2 billion people in Asia, according to fellow report lead author Gary Yohe, an economist at Wesleyan University in Middletown, Conn. And, it is also clear that rising CO2 levels contribute to increased acidity in the world's oceans, although those effects have not yet been documented, according to the report."

"Permafrost is melting, imperiling roads from Alaska to Patagonia. Mountain snowpacks thaw earlier in the year, imperiling water supplies in the southwestern U.S., China and India, among other places."

"Those droughts could diminish underground supplies like the Edwards Aquifer in Texas, which supplies 2 million people with water, by up to 40 percent, and cut levels of the Ogallala aquifer which underlies eight U.S. states, the report said."

I submit it is you being ignorant when you state that "hundreds of thousands of scientists [are] actively researching methods to solve Earthly problems"

That is simply not the case, and everyone seems to think that it is; which is really scary to say the least.

So I guess the moral might be more appropriately titled "do a little research before you start insulting those more informed than yourself"


RE: Will that help?
By masher2 (blog) on 4/12/2007 3:37:13 PM , Rating: 3
> " calling someone ignorant because they believe more should be being done to solve our immediate and quite serious water problems here on Earth..."

But that's not what he said. He said these particular scientists should be working on the problem. Sorry but-- it's not their field. Or do you think we should start a program of coercing researchers into government-mandated work assignments?

As for your SciAm links, you'll never find a shortage of people willing to cry the sky is falling. But the fact remains that billions of gallons of unused fresh water flow daily into the world's oceans....and even disregarding that, we have long had the capability to desalinate essentially unlimited water directly from the ocean.

Millions of small children die each year from easily-preventable diseases. How many people die from thirst each year? One or two lost in the desert somewhere? If you want to focus on problems, pick a real one.


RE: Will that help?
By giantpandaman2 on 4/12/2007 6:52:20 PM , Rating: 2
Speaking solely on the water comment: Potable water is a huge problem.

http://www.gatesfoundation.org/nr/public/media/ann...

It's not that people die of thirst, it's that they die of complications/diseases caused by a lack of clean water. Water from glaciers are often the cheapest, cleanest water available to very large tracts of people. It's for that reason why global warming will have a much greater impact on poorer areas and nations. Those that can afford such things as desalination plants won't have that much of a problem with it.


RE: Will that help?
By masher2 (blog) on 4/12/2007 9:35:52 PM , Rating: 2
> "it's that they die of complications/diseases caused by a lack of clean water."

Clean water, exactly. Not water itself. Which has been mankind's problem for thousands of years...and also explains why, a scant few hundred years ago, water contamination (primarily from human and animal feces) was the number one killer world-wide. It's a problem wherever people congregate, and wind up fouling their own water...and also explains the early popularity of beer and tea (boiled water is safe).

But its an economic problem at this time-- not something for which we need to pull thousands of scientists of their current research to search for a solution.


RE: Will that help?
By kitchme on 4/12/2007 8:25:12 PM , Rating: 2
By that logic, why should we have artists, musicians, philosophers, writers,...What practical use do we have from them in solving physical problems on Earth?


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