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(Discover)   Nearby star found to have nine planets. Pluto seen filling out adoption papers   (blogs.discovermagazine.com) divider line 85
    More: Cool, astronomy and astrophysics, statistical methods, Pluto, radial velocities, Doppler shift, transit method, twin, light-years  
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6141 clicks; posted to Geek » on 06 Apr 2012 at 3:50 PM (2 years ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2012-04-06 04:01:36 PM
What are you talking about, Subby?

Bill Nye told me it was a planet when I was growing up in the 90s.

Therefore, Pluto is a farking planet, because Bill Nye the motherfarking Science Guy said so. And Bill is the coolest man to have ever walked the earth.

/Bill Nye vs. Neil DeGrasse Tyson in boxing
//who wins?
 
2012-04-06 04:05:59 PM

Marine1: /Bill Nye vs. Neil DeGrasse Tyson in boxing
//who wins?


We do.
 
2012-04-06 04:13:25 PM

Marine1:
/Bill Nye vs. Neil DeGrasse Tyson in boxing
//who wins?


Creationists.
 
2012-04-06 04:13:26 PM
Pluto is still a planet. Modern scientists are just idiots.
 
2012-04-06 04:19:20 PM
My GF argues with me on Pluto being a planet all the time, her stance is "what gives scientists the right to say its not a planet?"

To which I usually say, probably the same right that scientist had to declare it one to begin with...
 
2012-04-06 04:20:20 PM

Marine1: What are you talking about, Subby?

Bill Nye told me it was a planet when I was growing up in the 90s.

Therefore, Pluto is a farking planet, because Bill Nye the motherfarking Science Guy said so. And Bill is the coolest man to have ever walked the earth.

/Bill Nye vs. Neil DeGrasse Tyson in boxing
//who wins?


Of course then Bill Nye said this about Pluto: Link (new window)
 
2012-04-06 04:21:43 PM

blacksharpiemarker: Pluto is still a planet. Modern scientists are just idiots.


Did the mean ol' scientists steal your favorite planet? You poor widdle baby!
 
2012-04-06 04:22:48 PM
imgs.xkcd.com

/oblig
 
2012-04-06 04:45:58 PM
Has anybody told the Pentagon there's a planet gap yet?

We mustn't allow that. We must destroy them!
 
2012-04-06 04:52:17 PM
You know everyone talks about the goldilocks zone: where a rocky planet sits close the area that could contain liquid water. Invariably in these observerations, the determiniation is made that though a planet is in the goldilocks zone, it is too larg (i.e. a gas giant) to support life. That is probably true. What I want to know is if scientist have consider that the gas giant could have moons with an atmosphere of their own (i.e. Titan) such that the moons, not the planets, would be conducive to life. Seems to me that increases the likelihood somewhat.
 
2012-04-06 05:05:16 PM

blacksharpiemarker: Pluto is still a planet. Modern scientists are just idiots.


Pluto is a Kaipur Belt Object, just like the 7000+ other similar bodies out there. Ceres is a better candidate for planethood than Pluto.

/yeah, I know you're kidding
 
2012-04-06 05:07:02 PM

RyansPrivates: You know everyone talks about the goldilocks zone: where a rocky planet sits close the area that could contain liquid water. Invariably in these observerations, the determiniation is made that though a planet is in the goldilocks zone, it is too larg (i.e. a gas giant) to support life. That is probably true. What I want to know is if scientist have consider that the gas giant could have moons with an atmosphere of their own (i.e. Titan) such that the moons, not the planets, would be conducive to life. Seems to me that increases the likelihood somewhat.


It's possible, though there are other factors associated with being close to a gas giant that could preclude complex life. Radiation and massive tidal forces, for starters. You might get moons like Europa with life in an under-ice ocean, but Earth-like moons could be rare/impossible.
 
2012-04-06 05:12:03 PM

RyansPrivates: You know everyone talks about the goldilocks zone: where a rocky planet sits close the area that could contain liquid water. Invariably in these observerations, the determiniation is made that though a planet is in the goldilocks zone, it is too larg (i.e. a gas giant) to support life.


That's only because of the limitations of the current observation methods. Planets get harder to spot the smaller or further from the star they are, so Earth-sized planets in Earth-sized orbits are still invisible to us. Once we improve the technology enough to see them, it's expected that we'll find plenty of them out there.

That is probably true. What I want to know is if scientist have consider that the gas giant could have moons with an atmosphere of their own (i.e. Titan) such that the moons, not the planets, would be conducive to life. Seems to me that increases the likelihood somewhat.

Certainly. But until we have the capability to find those moons (which is even harder than finding equal-sized planets), it's pure speculation. There's plenty we don't know about how those gas giants formed, including whether or not they'd be likely to acquire rocky moons big enough to hold an atmosphere, so we don't even know how many useful moons to expect out of a given population of gas giants.
 
2012-04-06 05:12:07 PM

RyansPrivates: You know everyone talks about the goldilocks zone: where a rocky planet sits close the area that could contain liquid water. Invariably in these observerations, the determiniation is made that though a planet is in the goldilocks zone, it is too larg (i.e. a gas giant) to support life. That is probably true. What I want to know is if scientist have consider that the gas giant could have moons with an atmosphere of their own (i.e. Titan) such that the moons, not the planets, would be conducive to life. Seems to me that increases the likelihood somewhat.


Problem is, we haven't confirmed any moons with life on them yet. A few good candidates, but no solid proof.

Which raises a question i've had for a while: How do we classify those, taxonomy wise? Do we add something above 'Kingdom' to designate world of origin, and then work down from there?
 
2012-04-06 05:18:08 PM
Should Pluto be a planet is the gay marriage argument for the basement dwellers of America.
 
2012-04-06 05:18:11 PM

Professor Science: There's plenty we don't know about how those gas giants formed, including whether or not they'd be likely to acquire rocky moons big enough to hold an atmosphere, so we don't even know how many useful moons to expect out of a given population of gas giants.


To me, this is probably the best reason. We can detect earth class planets, but the real question is aquistion of rocky satellites. Many think one of the reasons we have the asteroid belt is because of Jupiter distrupting acretion that otherwise would take place. Couple that with the muliple gas giants and I could see how we wouldn't have a good statistical baseline for estimating rocky moons that are capable of supporting an atmosphere.
 
2012-04-06 05:18:22 PM

KellyX: My GF argues with me on Pluto being a planet all the time, her stance is "what gives scientists the right to say its not a planet?"

To which I usually say, probably the same right that scientist had to declare it one to begin with...


U dont get laid after you say that.... Do you?
 
2012-04-06 05:24:04 PM
And just how can you be sure that this star there has nine planets and not eight planets plus one dwarf planet?
 
2012-04-06 05:33:28 PM

traylor: And just how can you be sure that this star there has nine planets and not eight planets plus one dwarf planet?


From the article, all the planets are bigger then the Earth.
 
2012-04-06 05:40:41 PM

DORMAMU: KellyX: My GF argues with me on Pluto being a planet all the time, her stance is "what gives scientists the right to say its not a planet?"

To which I usually say, probably the same right that scientist had to declare it one to begin with...

U dont get laid after you say that.... Do you?


Probably not, but I don't usually back down from an ignorant comment =)
 
2012-04-06 05:48:52 PM

Uncle Tractor: blacksharpiemarker: Pluto is still a planet. Modern scientists are just idiots.

Pluto is a Kaipur Belt Object, just like the 7000+ other similar bodies out there. Ceres is a better candidate for planethood than Pluto.

/yeah, I know you're kidding


blog.geeksaresexytech.netdna-cdn.com

Pretty much mandatory in any Pluto thread. :D

/they didn't so much as say "Pluto ain't a planet" as say "Planets are a very restricted class of bodies orbiting around stars, and Pluto is technically in a different class of bodies orbiting around stars that we refer to as dwarf planets"
//which pretty much had to be done, otherwise there was the very real possibility there would be thousands of planets--there are a number of Pluto-sized objects found in the Kuiper Belt and at least one (Eris) that's actually BIGGER than Pluto
///If you have issues with this, you can take it up with Eris, who will promptly lob a golden apple at your forehead. Hail Eris; science friggin' evolves.
 
2012-04-06 05:51:18 PM
Wow, that's fascinating. Too bad it's impossible for us to get there.
 
2012-04-06 05:59:03 PM
ashepp.squarespace.com
 
2012-04-06 06:06:57 PM
idiotflashback.files.wordpress.com
 
2012-04-06 06:14:41 PM
 
2012-04-06 06:16:09 PM
I'm impressed that this system is actually stable. Nine super-terrestrial planets squished inside the orbit of Jupiter? That's a pretty crazy n-body problem right there.
 
2012-04-06 06:38:03 PM

Yaxe: Wow, that's fascinating. Too bad it's impossible for us to get there.


Precisely. If a science doesn't immediate uses, then you must abadon it forever and never mention it again.

/People actually believe this.
 
2012-04-06 06:38:49 PM
Was just thinking about vvvv flipped inside out so the huge equatorial ring is built up on the inner surface of the crustal (sp?) "shell". The outer surface would have to be continually heated by solar or maybe tidal forces while the core and mantel first warm up and out gas most of their mass onto the surface increasing the outer diameter and adding a thicker layer of surface insulation while hollowing out the core.
Probably no 'day light' inside but if there is any kind of atmosphere and a stable heat source your going to get black smokers or liquid/gas geysers utilizing what ever is available to do chemical reactions at the pressure/temperature extremes at the very least.
/meteor strikes that pass through the outer shell would be a real biatch though.
//continually heating the inner void would/could result in some awesome pressure differentials IF the inner atmosphere rarely vented to the surface and when it did the leaks sealed relatively quickly.
//could see the boundary layer in the crust between the molten outer surface and the semi-solid to solid inner surface as a potential resource sink providing new (well, recycled) material to fuel the internal reactions.
///probably should have saved the last two Happy Easter brownies till after lunch
///Happy Easter Good Friday folks!
 
2012-04-06 06:45:07 PM

Antimatter: RyansPrivates: You know everyone talks about the goldilocks zone: where a rocky planet sits close the area that could contain liquid water. Invariably in these observerations, the determiniation is made that though a planet is in the goldilocks zone, it is too larg (i.e. a gas giant) to support life. That is probably true. What I want to know is if scientist have consider that the gas giant could have moons with an atmosphere of their own (i.e. Titan) such that the moons, not the planets, would be conducive to life. Seems to me that increases the likelihood somewhat.

Problem is, we haven't confirmed any moons with life on them yet. A few good candidates, but no solid proof.

Which raises a question i've had for a while: How do we classify those, taxonomy wise? Do we add something above 'Kingdom' to designate world of origin, and then work down from there?


I've wondered about that too. Presumably we would add more domains and work our way down but perhaps our cellular structure is similar on account of convergent evolution. The whole goldilocks zone is a messed up idea too. It's pretty humbling when you think about how unlikely complex life is on other planets. It sort of throws Drake's equation on it's head as well. I don't know whats weirder to think about...there being billions of other intelligent life forms out there or there being few enough that we may never met any of them because of the huge distances involved.
 
2012-04-06 06:53:41 PM
"A nearby star may have more planets than we do!"

Those bastards!

/don't get the need for the exclamation point.
 
2012-04-06 06:55:04 PM

Boatmech: ///probably should have saved the last two Happy Easter brownies till after lunch


That might have been the smarter move.
 
2012-04-06 07:09:55 PM

SN1987a goes boom: Yaxe: Wow, that's fascinating. Too bad it's impossible for us to get there.

Precisely. If a science doesn't immediate uses, then you must abadon it forever and never mention it again.

/People actually believe this.


Well I shouldn't say impossible - It's just impossible to get there within a reasonable time scale.
 
2012-04-06 07:10:45 PM
Now we have to get a picture of the 3rd planet to see if it has a goatee so we know which planet is the evil twin.
 
2012-04-06 07:22:05 PM

Great Porn Dragon: Hail Eris; science friggin' evolves.


Her Golden Apple Corps is strong!
 
2012-04-06 07:23:03 PM

Yaxe: SN1987a goes boom: Yaxe: Wow, that's fascinating. Too bad it's impossible for us to get there.

Precisely. If a science doesn't immediate uses, then you must abadon it forever and never mention it again.

/People actually believe this.

Well I shouldn't say impossible - It's just impossible to get there within a reasonable time scale.


We won't get there in our lifetimes but humans have been around for eons so we've got lots of time. It's inevitable that we get there eventually, if we don't destruct and provided the laws of physics allow it. It would take 430 years to get to the nearest star at a tenth of the speed of light though so it's gonna take a shiatload of advancements.
 
2012-04-06 07:23:56 PM
Wow, there are rocks out there. Who would have guessed. Maybe we should spend eleventy billion dollars putting people in space to take pictures of them and shiat, because hey, that money's not going to spend itself.
 
2012-04-06 07:25:23 PM

Marine1: What are you talking about, Subby?

Bill Nye told me it was a planet when I was growing up in the 90s.

Therefore, Pluto is a farking planet, because Bill Nye the motherfarking Science Guy said so. And Bill is the coolest man to have ever walked the earth.


static.guim.co.uk

Doesn't recall ever saying that.
 
2012-04-06 07:41:51 PM

ordinarysteve: Yaxe: SN1987a goes boom: Yaxe: Wow, that's fascinating. Too bad it's impossible for us to get there.

Precisely. If a science doesn't immediate uses, then you must abandon it forever and never mention it again.

/People actually believe this.

Well I shouldn't say impossible − It's just impossible to get there within a reasonable time scale.

We won't get there in our lifetimes but humans have been around for eons so we've got lots of time. It's inevitable that we get there eventually, if we don't destruct and provided the laws of physics allow it. It would take 430 years to get to the nearest star at a tenth of the speed of light though so it's gonna take a shiatload of advancements.


The nearest star is 4.3 light years away. At 10% of c, wouldn't it take 43 years, not 430? 430 would be for 1% of c, right?

Of course, these are from the PoV of an outside observer and don't take relativity into account (which probably wouldn't make much difference anyway until you got to higher percentages of c).
 
2012-04-06 07:54:38 PM

COMALite J: ordinarysteve: Yaxe: SN1987a goes boom: Yaxe: Wow, that's fascinating. Too bad it's impossible for us to get there.

Precisely. If a science doesn't immediate uses, then you must abandon it forever and never mention it again.

/People actually believe this.

Well I shouldn't say impossible − It's just impossible to get there within a reasonable time scale.

We won't get there in our lifetimes but humans have been around for eons so we've got lots of time. It's inevitable that we get there eventually, if we don't destruct and provided the laws of physics allow it. It would take 430 years to get to the nearest star at a tenth of the speed of light though so it's gonna take a shiatload of advancements.

The nearest star is 4.3 light years away. At 10% of c, wouldn't it take 43 years, not 430? 430 would be for 1% of c, right?

Of course, these are from the PoV of an outside observer and don't take relativity into account (which probably wouldn't make much difference anyway until you got to higher percentages of c).


Yup, my bad, it's 43 years. Still a long ass time at a speed we don't even know how to achieve yet. It'd take 50,000 years in a space shuttle apparently .And yeah, the whole time slowing and becoming heavier part of relativity is why I went with a tenth. I read something (no citation) that used it as the "benchmark" speed for us to get other stars or something.
 
2012-04-06 07:55:34 PM
theorellior
Boatmech: ///probably should have saved the
last two Happy Easter brownies till after lunch
That might have been the smarter move.
Yea, preview is your friend
The '.... vvvvv' should have been 'Was just thinking about Iapetus being flipped inside out so the equatorial ring is built up on the
inner surface of'
etc.
I think my starting point was that just because the surface is not conductive to 'life' the interior may be. Then I went stream of conscience or something. tangent
Now quit harshing my high
/
 
2012-04-06 08:30:11 PM

ordinarysteve: And yeah, the whole time slowing and becoming heavier part of relativity is why I went with a tenth


That's why you should want to go as fast as possible. At a high enough fraction of c, we could reach the center of the galaxy in a human lifetime, easily. At least for the people on the ship, anyway. For an observer on Earth, it'd be 20-30,000 years or so.
 
2012-04-06 08:44:37 PM

t3knomanser: ordinarysteve: And yeah, the whole time slowing and becoming heavier part of relativity is why I went with a tenth

That's why you should want to go as fast as possible. At a high enough fraction of c, we could reach the center of the galaxy in a human lifetime, easily. At least for the people on the ship, anyway. For an observer on Earth, it'd be 20-30,000 years or so.


From Wikipedia
A significant factor contributing to the difficulty is the energy which must be supplied to obtain a reasonable travel time. A lower bound for the required energy is the kinetic energy K = ½ mv2 where m is the final mass. If deceleration on arrival is desired and cannot be achieved by other means than by engines of the ship then the required energy is considerably higher. The velocity for a manned round trip of a few decades to even the nearest star is thousands of times greater than those of present space vehicles. This means that due to the square law, millions of times as much energy is required. Accelerating one ton to one-tenth of the speed of light requires at least 450 PJ or 4.5 ×1017 J or 125 billion kWh, not accounting for losses. This energy has to be carried along, as solar panels do not work far from the Sun and other stars. There is some belief that the magnitude of this energy may make interstellar travel impossible. It has been reported that at the 2008 Joint Propulsion Conference, where future space propulsion challenges were discussed and debated, a conclusion was reached that it was improbable that humans would ever explore beyond the Solar System.[1] Brice N. Cassenti, an associate professor with the Department of Engineering and Science at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, stated "At least 100 times the total energy output of the entire world would be required for the voyage (to Alpha Centauri)"
/Basically the faster we go, the more fuel we need which makes the craft becomes heavier which means you need more fuel. Also, with relativity an object becomes heavier as it approaches the speed of light so that means even more fuel needed and expended. That's with current knowledge, who knows though, maybe worm holes and shiat are possible.
 
2012-04-06 08:53:28 PM

ordinarysteve: Also, with relativity an object becomes heavier as it approaches the speed of light so that means even more fuel needed and expended.


Not exactly true. An object becomes more massive relative to other objects. If I'm on a ship traveling at a high percentage of c, and I measure my mass using a balance, I will have the same mass then as I would on Earth. But if you tried to measure the mass of my starship, you'd notice it had gotten significantly more massive.

I'm not really talking about the energy costs, though. If you want to travel anywhere in the galaxy in a reasonable period of time, you could- if you had enough energy. Realistically, though, you aren't. The most likely options would be things like this:
1) You just take your goddamn time. Once you've built a stable ecosystem that can stay stable without much energy input over long periods of time, you can simply drift between stars and refuel off the ISM.
2) Star wisps. Instead of even bothering with canned monkeys, you send digitized versions of said monkeys (reducing the mass you need to send my many orders of magnitude). Blast them to neighboring star systems using lasers powered by our own sun, let nanoassemblers put them back together at the destination out of local matter.
3) Use an array of powerful electromagnetic satellites, in orbit around the sun, to vector the stellar winds, thus turning our entire solar system into a pilot-able space vehicle.
 
2012-04-06 09:01:28 PM
ssqq.com
 
2012-04-06 09:01:33 PM

ordinarysteve: Yup, my bad, it's 43 years. Still a long ass time at a speed we don't even know how to achieve yet. It'd take 50,000 years in a space shuttle apparently .And yeah, the whole time slowing and becoming heavier part of relativity is why I went with a tenth. I read something (no citation) that used it as the "benchmark" speed for us to get other stars or something.


Still... 43 years is not outside the realm of possibility for a government project. Voyager 1 has been operating for 34 years. And it's not like the probe would be doing nothing the entire time. It wouldn't be switched off for 42 years and only activate itself when it got close to its destination. It would be sending back all sorts of interesting data throughout the journey. Even if it's only measuring/confirming astronomical distances through parallax, that's useful.

Sure, it may take the space shuttle 50,000 years... but the space shuttle is big and heavy and has to transport humans, who place their own physiological limitations on its maximum acceleration. A probe could be a lot smaller and lighter, and go a lot faster. And sure, we don't know how to get up to 1/10th the speed of light today... but there's nothing that says that speed is impossible. Alpha Centauri A and B are in the same neighborhood as Proxima Centauri, so if we can do it, we could visit three stars for, essentially, the price of one. Why not try?
 
2012-04-06 09:10:10 PM

Yaxe: Wow, that's fascinating. Too bad it's impossible for us to get there.


It depends what you mean by "get there." If you're talking about an Apollo style mission, or something out of Star Wars, yeah, that probably won't happen. If a habitable planet was discovered there, however, it's close enough that colonization would be possible. Immensely difficult, but possible, even without major scientific advances.
 
2012-04-06 09:16:18 PM
Vega's only 25 light years away. We should all simultaneously shine a laser pointer in some fashion at it one day and then 25 or so years later we should get a reply.
 
2012-04-06 09:20:36 PM

ordinarysteve: COMALite J: ordinarysteve: Yaxe: SN1987a goes boom: Yaxe: Wow, that's fascinating. Too bad it's impossible for us to get there.

Precisely. If a science doesn't immediate uses, then you must abandon it forever and never mention it again.

/People actually believe this.

Well I shouldn't say impossible − It's just impossible to get there within a reasonable time scale.

We won't get there in our lifetimes but humans have been around for eons so we've got lots of time. It's inevitable that we get there eventually, if we don't destruct and provided the laws of physics allow it. It would take 430 years to get to the nearest star at a tenth of the speed of light though so it's gonna take a shiatload of advancements.

The nearest star is 4.3 light years away. At 10% of c, wouldn't it take 43 years, not 430? 430 would be for 1% of c, right?

Of course, these are from the PoV of an outside observer and don't take relativity into account (which probably wouldn't make much difference anyway until you got to higher percentages of c).

Yup, my bad, it's 43 years. Still a long ass time at a speed we don't even know how to achieve yet. It'd take 50,000 years in a space shuttle apparently .And yeah, the whole time slowing and becoming heavier part of relativity is why I went with a tenth. I read something (no citation) that used it as the "benchmark" speed for us to get other stars or something.


We do know how to achieve such a speed, and we have for decades. Difficulty: the ship would be propelled by dropping nuclear bombs out the back and riding the explosion. Link (new window)And even if the probability of death was greater than 90% there is literally nothing I wouldn't do to ride in such a ship.
 
2012-04-06 09:22:16 PM

plaidhat: ordinarysteve: Yup, my bad, it's 43 years. Still a long ass time at a speed we don't even know how to achieve yet. It'd take 50,000 years in a space shuttle apparently .And yeah, the whole time slowing and becoming heavier part of relativity is why I went with a tenth. I read something (no citation) that used it as the "benchmark" speed for us to get other stars or something.

Still... 43 years is not outside the realm of possibility for a government project. Voyager 1 has been operating for 34 years. And it's not like the probe would be doing nothing the entire time. It wouldn't be switched off for 42 years and only activate itself when it got close to its destination. It would be sending back all sorts of interesting data throughout the journey. Even if it's only measuring/confirming astronomical distances through parallax, that's useful.

Sure, it may take the space shuttle 50,000 years... but the space shuttle is big and heavy and has to transport humans, who place their own physiological limitations on its maximum acceleration. A probe could be a lot smaller and lighter, and go a lot faster. And sure, we don't know how to get up to 1/10th the speed of light today... but there's nothing that says that speed is impossible. Alpha Centauri A and B are in the same neighborhood as Proxima Centauri, so if we can do it, we could visit three stars for, essentially, the price of one. Why not try?


I totally think we should invest more in space exploration. I was just making the point that sci-fi space travel looks like it will remain fiction. There's lots of more realistic things that we can do around our solar system for now. It costs something like 10, 000 bucks a pound to get shiat into orbit right now, so I'd start flinging "pods" or something of extremophiles or some other hardy life to near-by planets, provided we know that are dead. We could start terra-forming a bit for a tiny amount of money (by national standards). And yeah, the technology will get better as we go along and we'll discover cool perks like jetpacks and shiat. Probably not in our lifetimes though.
 
2012-04-06 09:23:34 PM

theurge14: Vega's only 25 light years away. We should all simultaneously shine a laser pointer in some fashion at it one day and then 25 or so years later we should get a reply.


50 years or so. 25 for the light to get there, 25 for light from there to come back.
 
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