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(Telegraph)   Astronomers find first planet in the sweet spot of the habitable zone, capable of supporting intelligent life   (telegraph.co.uk) divider line 123
    More: Misc, planets, habitable zones, red dwarf stars, radial velocity, astronomers, extrasolar planets, planetary habitability, light-years  
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6968 clicks; posted to Geek » on 27 Apr 2012 at 12:58 PM (2 years ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2012-04-27 11:25:29 AM
Myth.
 
2012-04-27 11:34:42 AM
Shouldn't that be the second?
 
2012-04-27 11:37:05 AM

deffuse: Shouldn't that be the second?


LOL. Good one.
 
2012-04-27 11:51:02 AM
I'd settle for capable of supporting complex life.
 
2012-04-27 11:54:03 AM
for all we know, that planet blew up 10 years ago.
 
2012-04-27 11:57:16 AM
Around a red dwarf? Yeah, it's tidally locked. Maybe life in a little ribbon between daytime and nighttime.
 
2012-04-27 11:57:25 AM

ManateeGag: for all we know, that planet blew up 10 years ago.


Fark you, Tarkin!
 
2012-04-27 12:06:37 PM
Capable of supporting Earth-like life, perhaps. I'm tired of the assumption that any form of life that occurs in the universe will look anything like what it does here.
 
2012-04-27 12:12:31 PM

Cagey B: Capable of supporting Earth-like life, perhaps. I'm tired of the assumption that any form of life that occurs in the universe will look anything like what it does here.


Perhaps since it will be the easiest to identify as life, then it would be the type of life we should be looking for.

Plus, if we can confirm there's another kind of life almost identical to our own, the likelihood of which is so small, then we can almost guarantee there MUST be other kinds of life out there.
 
2012-04-27 12:13:33 PM
Only 22 light years away... I'll load up the car.
 
2012-04-27 12:16:32 PM

GAT_00: Around a red dwarf? Yeah, it's tidally locked.


I'm no astrophysicist, so I need to ask... from what does 'in orbit around a red dwarf' necessarily imply 'tidally locked'?
 
2012-04-27 12:16:51 PM
FTA:
Astronomers have discovered their "holy grail" - a planet capable of supporting life outside our solar system.

www.squidmobile.com

Oh, naughty, naughty Zoot!
 
2012-04-27 12:21:46 PM

deffuse: Shouldn't that be the second?


Have you seen the Politics tab?
 
2012-04-27 12:25:15 PM
FTA: Red dwarf stars are the most common stars in the neighbourhood of the sun

i105.photobucket.com

What Red Dwarf stars might look like.
 
2012-04-27 12:26:04 PM

Cagey B: Capable of supporting Earth-like life, perhaps. I'm tired of the assumption that any form of life that occurs in the universe will look anything like what it does here.


Me too. What if there's some alien scientists in another galaxy checking out our system saying "Hey everyone, that 7th planet from the system's sun is in a habitable zone!"
 
2012-04-27 12:26:38 PM

gameshowhost: GAT_00: Around a red dwarf? Yeah, it's tidally locked.

I'm no astrophysicist, so I need to ask... from what does 'in orbit around a red dwarf' necessarily imply 'tidally locked'?


I'm guessing here, but maybe because the habitable zone around a red dwarf is so close to the star that any rocky planet would necessarily be so deep in the gravity well that it would have to be tidally locked.
 
2012-04-27 12:32:44 PM

deffuse: Shouldn't that be the second?


so you really didnt get the headline
lol
 
2012-04-27 12:50:05 PM

Cagey B: Capable of supporting Earth-like life, perhaps. I'm tired of the assumption that any form of life that occurs in the universe will look anything like what it does here.


well, earth does have a lot of weird looking stuff.
 
2012-04-27 01:00:51 PM

FloydA: FTA: Red dwarf stars are the most common stars in the neighbourhood of the sun


Quagaars discovered?
 
2012-04-27 01:02:16 PM

Jubeebee: gameshowhost: GAT_00: Around a red dwarf? Yeah, it's tidally locked.

I'm no astrophysicist, so I need to ask... from what does 'in orbit around a red dwarf' necessarily imply 'tidally locked'?

I'm guessing here, but maybe because the habitable zone around a red dwarf is so close to the star that any rocky planet would necessarily be so deep in the gravity well that it would have to be tidally locked.


Ya, some Googling confirms that such w/ liquid water are highly likely to be tidally locked... not 'necessarily implies' but close enough. IT'S LEGIT TO ME
 
2012-04-27 01:03:19 PM
I've been praying that there's intelligent life somewhere up in space.
 
2012-04-27 01:08:55 PM

4.5 times earth mass?
Bring in the Hoffmanites.

www.thugdome.com
 
2012-04-27 01:09:31 PM
Awright, I'm packing Finland up in my bag and we are MOVING.
 
2012-04-27 01:11:12 PM
FTA: as 20 years ago scientists were still arguing about the existence of planets beyond our solar system.

Really? I'm having a hard time believing that any credible scientist 20 years ago thought that other suns wouldn't have bodies of rock or gas orbiting them.
 
2012-04-27 01:13:12 PM

I_Am_Weasel: I've been praying that there's intelligent life somewhere up in space.


subspecies.files.wordpress.com
 
2012-04-27 01:16:20 PM
Sweet! Another planet to rape.
 
2012-04-27 01:16:37 PM

I_Am_Weasel: I've been praying that there's intelligent life somewhere up in space.


Cuz there's bugger all down here on Earth.
 
2012-04-27 01:18:55 PM
3 more questions need to be answered now.

1a) Does it have a magnetic field?
1b) How fast is it rotating?


2a) What is the atmosphere composed of?
2b) What kind of pressure are we looking at on the surface?

3) Is water available?

/science is fun
 
2012-04-27 01:19:19 PM
From personnel experience I find that the better you are at finding the sweet spot the more likely you are to get into the hitable zone.

/jet lagged and on sinus meds sorry
 
2012-04-27 01:19:20 PM
Yeah, it's all fine and dandy until you realize this is the native life on that planet.
 
2012-04-27 01:30:13 PM
Class M?
 
2012-04-27 01:41:35 PM

Cheron: From personnel experience I find that the better you are at finding the sweet spot the more likely you are to get into the hitable zone.


If you work in HR, you should really stay away from that kind of stuff...
 
2012-04-27 01:44:00 PM
many of you are way way smarter than me, but if a bunch of these meteorites are flying around there is a chance that there is life somewhere in the universe, or the chance that life could start somewhere if one these land on the right planet.

Am I right in thinking this?

/love thinking about this stuff
 
2012-04-27 01:45:40 PM

Cagey B: Capable of supporting Earth-like life, perhaps. I'm tired of the assumption that any form of life that occurs in the universe will look anything like what it does here.


It's easy to day there could be alternative biochemistry involved, but when you start looking into the details of how those biochemistries would function you start running into problems where the chemical bonds formed by silicon are too strong for it to make a good alternative to carbon, and ammonia makes a crappy substitute for water due to weak hydrogen bonds and a low surface tension. Plus you have the fact that hydrogen, oxygen, and carbon are among the most common elements in the universe, so it isn't an accident that they are used for biological processes.

We'll see what happens when we look more closely at moons like Titan in the outer solar system where methane-based life might work, but it's possible that the basic chemistry just doesn't work out on forms of life that are too far removed from our own. I'd love to see some really exotic life, but reading about some of the problems with alternative biochemistry gives me some cause to think it just isn't as easy getting life started with those building blocks.
 
2012-04-27 01:47:33 PM
I won't believe this until I hear confirmation from BadAstronomer
 
2012-04-27 01:48:22 PM

Jekylman: I_Am_Weasel: I've been praying that there's intelligent life somewhere up in space.


I'm guessing you haven't seen The Meaning of Life.
 
2012-04-27 01:51:26 PM

busy chillin': many of you are way way smarter than me, but if a bunch of these meteorites are flying around there is a chance that there is life somewhere in the universe, or the chance that life could start somewhere if one these land on the right planet.

Am I right in thinking this?

/love thinking about this stuff


better yet....the asteroid that hit the earth that kill off the T-rex put a lot of earth material (which had life in it) into space. That stuff could be landing on habitable planets right now seeding life.
 
2012-04-27 01:52:05 PM

gameshowhost: Jubeebee: gameshowhost: GAT_00: Around a red dwarf? Yeah, it's tidally locked.

I'm no astrophysicist, so I need to ask... from what does 'in orbit around a red dwarf' necessarily imply 'tidally locked'?

I'm guessing here, but maybe because the habitable zone around a red dwarf is so close to the star that any rocky planet would necessarily be so deep in the gravity well that it would have to be tidally locked.

Ya, some Googling confirms that such w/ liquid water are highly likely to be tidally locked... not 'necessarily implies' but close enough. IT'S LEGIT TO ME


Yeah, that's it. That takes time too, so if it's a young red dwarf, it still may be rotating. But basically when a planet is close to the sun it tends to rotate slower. There's a fair bit of math behind that, but for example, you know Venus and Mercury rotate exceptionally slowly, so their days are nearly as long, or longer in Mercury's case, than their year. That's an effect due to proximity to the sun. Red dwarfs are much cooler, so a habitable zone is very close to the sun. However, red dwarfs don't mass much less, so it's likely to be tidally locked.
 
2012-04-27 01:54:35 PM
All they need to do to be sure is to scan their spectrum for bacon.
 
2012-04-27 01:55:43 PM

Cheron: From personnel experience I find that the better you are at finding the sweet spot the more likely you are to get into the hitable zone.

/jet lagged and on sinus meds sorry


iseewhatyoudidthere.jpg
 
2012-04-27 02:00:22 PM

GAT_00: gameshowhost: Jubeebee: gameshowhost: GAT_00: Around a red dwarf? Yeah, it's tidally locked.

I'm no astrophysicist, so I need to ask... from what does 'in orbit around a red dwarf' necessarily imply 'tidally locked'?

I'm guessing here, but maybe because the habitable zone around a red dwarf is so close to the star that any rocky planet would necessarily be so deep in the gravity well that it would have to be tidally locked.

Ya, some Googling confirms that such w/ liquid water are highly likely to be tidally locked... not 'necessarily implies' but close enough. IT'S LEGIT TO ME

Yeah, that's it. That takes time too, so if it's a young red dwarf, it still may be rotating. But basically when a planet is close to the sun it tends to rotate slower. There's a fair bit of math behind that, but for example, you know Venus and Mercury rotate exceptionally slowly, so their days are nearly as long, or longer in Mercury's case, than their year. That's an effect due to proximity to the sun. Red dwarfs are much cooler, so a habitable zone is very close to the sun. However, red dwarfs don't mass much less, so it's likely to be tidally locked.


I dig.

RoyBatty: Class M?


GTFO, replicant. -_o
 
2012-04-27 02:05:09 PM
DOOLITTLE
Well... now what? What do, you have
for us now. Boiler?

BOILER
(checking his readouts)
Not much. Nothing at all in this
sector.

DOOLITTLE
Find me something, I don't care
where it is.

BOILER
Well, I show a 95% probability of
sentient life in the Horsehead
Nebula...

DOOLITTLE
fark that shiat.

BOILER
Well, it is kind of a long shot...

DOOLITTLE
It's a goddamn wild goose chase.
Remember when Commander Powell found
that 99 plus probability of sentient
life in the Magellanic Cloud?

BOILER
Well, there's the possibility of...

DOOLITTLE
Remember what we found? Fourteen
light years for a farking mindless
vegetable that looked like a limp
balloon and went squawk and let a
fart when you touched it. Remember?

BOILER
All right, then...

DOOLITTLE
So don't give me any of that
sentient life crap. Find me
something I can blow up.
 
2012-04-27 02:10:43 PM

GAT_00: gameshowhost: Jubeebee: gameshowhost: GAT_00: Around a red dwarf? Yeah, it's tidally locked.

I'm no astrophysicist, so I need to ask... from what does 'in orbit around a red dwarf' necessarily imply 'tidally locked'?

I'm guessing here, but maybe because the habitable zone around a red dwarf is so close to the star that any rocky planet would necessarily be so deep in the gravity well that it would have to be tidally locked.

Ya, some Googling confirms that such w/ liquid water are highly likely to be tidally locked... not 'necessarily implies' but close enough. IT'S LEGIT TO ME

Yeah, that's it. That takes time too, so if it's a young red dwarf, it still may be rotating. But basically when a planet is close to the sun it tends to rotate slower. There's a fair bit of math behind that, but for example, you know Venus and Mercury rotate exceptionally slowly, so their days are nearly as long, or longer in Mercury's case, than their year. That's an effect due to proximity to the sun. Red dwarfs are much cooler, so a habitable zone is very close to the sun. However, red dwarfs don't mass much less, so it's likely to be tidally locked.


venus' day is longer than its year. think you have them transposed.
 
2012-04-27 02:11:41 PM

Diogenes: deffuse: Shouldn't that be the second?

LOL. Good one.


Well, subby did say intelligent life.
 
2012-04-27 02:13:53 PM

SpikeStrip: venus' day is longer than its year. think you have them transposed.


I may. I'm having trouble giving a fark today.
 
2012-04-27 02:15:48 PM
I think that, if we are to boost our space exploration programs worldwide, we're going to need a farking huge incentive. For example, migration would be one (see Firefly), another one would be either finding, or inventing, a space enemy that wants to blow us up (and who gets more money than defense?).
 
2012-04-27 02:19:09 PM

Mad_Radhu: Cagey B: Capable of supporting Earth-like life, perhaps. I'm tired of the assumption that any form of life that occurs in the universe will look anything like what it does here.

It's easy to day there could be alternative biochemistry involved, but when you start looking into the details of how those biochemistries would function you start running into problems where the chemical bonds formed by silicon are too strong for it to make a good alternative to carbon, and ammonia makes a crappy substitute for water due to weak hydrogen bonds and a low surface tension. Plus you have the fact that hydrogen, oxygen, and carbon are among the most common elements in the universe, so it isn't an accident that they are used for biological processes.

We'll see what happens when we look more closely at moons like Titan in the outer solar system where methane-based life might work, but it's possible that the basic chemistry just doesn't work out on forms of life that are too far removed from our own. I'd love to see some really exotic life, but reading about some of the problems with alternative biochemistry gives me some cause to think it just isn't as easy getting life started with those building blocks.


Additionaly given the same conditions on the planet(I.E. gravity, atmospheric pressure, carbon based life blah blah blah). I wouldn't think life from another planet would be all that much different in appearance than life on earth.
 
2012-04-27 02:21:09 PM

Mad_Radhu: We'll see what happens when we look more closely at moons like Titan in the outer solar system where methane-based life might work, but it's possible that the basic chemistry just doesn't work out on forms of life that are too far removed from our own. I'd love to see some really exotic life, but reading about some of the problems with alternative biochemistry gives me some cause to think it just isn't as easy getting life started with those building blocks.


Yes, but... I think that a lot of the confusion comes from people meaning different things when they say "similar to us". People like yourself mean having essentially the same basic chemistry, i..e carbon-based; and from that a good likelihood of sugars, proteins, and other basic building blocks; but not making any assumptions about anything more specific than that.

But for many people, what they mean by "similar to us" is expecting alien life to have essentially the same body plan that we are familiar with from mammals and reptiles here on Earth, i.e. like the population of a George Lucas-designed cantina. And when those people say that aliens won't be similar to us, they simply mean unlikely to resemble any animal we have seen, not that their body chemistry isn't funneled by same fundamental constraints as ours. Often, they may not be thinking about the chemistry at all.
 
2012-04-27 02:28:07 PM

I alone am best: Mad_Radhu: Cagey B: Capable of supporting Earth-like life, perhaps. I'm tired of the assumption that any form of life that occurs in the universe will look anything like what it does here.

It's easy to day there could be alternative biochemistry involved, but when you start looking into the details of how those biochemistries would function you start running into problems where the chemical bonds formed by silicon are too strong for it to make a good alternative to carbon, and ammonia makes a crappy substitute for water due to weak hydrogen bonds and a low surface tension. Plus you have the fact that hydrogen, oxygen, and carbon are among the most common elements in the universe, so it isn't an accident that they are used for biological processes.

We'll see what happens when we look more closely at moons like Titan in the outer solar system where methane-based life might work, but it's possible that the basic chemistry just doesn't work out on forms of life that are too far removed from our own. I'd love to see some really exotic life, but reading about some of the problems with alternative biochemistry gives me some cause to think it just isn't as easy getting life started with those building blocks.

Additionaly given the same conditions on the planet(I.E. gravity, atmospheric pressure, carbon based life blah blah blah). I wouldn't think life from another planet would be all that much different in appearance than life on earth.


arealiensreal.org
 
2012-04-27 02:30:14 PM

CygnusDarius: I alone am best: Mad_Radhu: Cagey B: Capable of supporting Earth-like life, perhaps. I'm tired of the assumption that any form of life that occurs in the universe will look anything like what it does here.

It's easy to day there could be alternative biochemistry involved, but when you start looking into the details of how those biochemistries would function you start running into problems where the chemical bonds formed by silicon are too strong for it to make a good alternative to carbon, and ammonia makes a crappy substitute for water due to weak hydrogen bonds and a low surface tension. Plus you have the fact that hydrogen, oxygen, and carbon are among the most common elements in the universe, so it isn't an accident that they are used for biological processes.

We'll see what happens when we look more closely at moons like Titan in the outer solar system where methane-based life might work, but it's possible that the basic chemistry just doesn't work out on forms of life that are too far removed from our own. I'd love to see some really exotic life, but reading about some of the problems with alternative biochemistry gives me some cause to think it just isn't as easy getting life started with those building blocks.

Additionaly given the same conditions on the planet(I.E. gravity, atmospheric pressure, carbon based life blah blah blah). I wouldn't think life from another planet would be all that much different in appearance than life on earth.

[arealiensreal.org image 283x343]


Captain's log, star date..... aw screw it. I got lucky last night with a chick that had three boobs!
 
2012-04-27 02:40:21 PM
With 4.5 times earth mass, I think it's probably inhabited by creatures with more than two legs. See, eight legs would be ideal to withstand the gravity of this planet.

We should declare war just to be sure.
 
2012-04-27 02:43:06 PM
I alone am best

Additionaly given the same conditions on the planet(I.E. gravity, atmospheric pressure, carbon based life blah blah blah). I wouldn't think life from another planet would be all that much different in appearance than life on earth.


I don't know, so I am asking....but isn't it a bit naive or easy to think the gravity, atmospheric pressure would be similar? It seems to me that the gravity could be so much different that the life there could be much larger or much smaller than we are. And if we visited we would be instantly crushed?

Also, if the days were 37 hours long and a year 421 days long wouldn't that change things quite a bit? Especially if we were to actually interact with them on their planet?

Again, I am just asking to get more educated....
 
2012-04-27 02:43:40 PM

traylor: With 4.5 times earth mass, I think it's probably inhabited by creatures with more than two legs. See, eight legs would be ideal to withstand the gravity of this planet.

We should declare war just to be sure.


That could boost the space exploration funds.

/Also, if we find oil there
 
2012-04-27 02:44:42 PM
or what if the days were 16 hours long and the year was 156 days? Would that effect evolutionary processes?
 
2012-04-27 02:55:09 PM
oh jeez, not this planet again.
 
2012-04-27 02:56:27 PM
More absurdity:

What if the planet is only 4,200 miles around so the life forms are much smaller and when we land in peacefully our huge space craft destroys entire "countries" of their inhabitants and they shoot tiny lasers at us as we unknowingly continue to come to a stop on top of their most valued buildings and national treasures. We're like "Oh sorry, didn't see you there?"


Or the planet is even smaller so it the days are like 14 minutes long and as we are communicating with them they take a bunch of naps! And we get dizzy because the sun is like a damn strobe light.


That's the sh*t that I want to see in a movie! Come on Hollywood.
 
2012-04-27 02:58:08 PM
but I digress...
 
2012-04-27 03:02:28 PM
@buckler

Thanks, I've thought about "Dark Star" in awhile

buckler: DOOLITTLE
Well... now what? What do, you have
for us now. Boiler?

BOILER
(checking his readouts)
Not much. Nothing at all in this
sector.

DOOLITTLE
Find me something, I don't care
where it is.

BOILER
Well, I show a 95% probability of
sentient life in the Horsehead
Nebula...

DOOLITTLE
fark that shiat.

BOILER
Well, it is kind of a long shot...

DOOLITTLE
It's a goddamn wild goose chase.
Remember when Commander Powell found
that 99 plus probability of sentient
life in the Magellanic Cloud?

BOILER
Well, there's the possibility of...

DOOLITTLE
Remember what we found? Fourteen
light years for a farking mindless
vegetable that looked like a limp
balloon and went squawk and let a
fart when you touched it. Remember?

BOILER
All right, then...

DOOLITTLE
So don't give me any of that
sentient life crap. Find me
something I can blow up.

 
2012-04-27 03:02:37 PM

traylor: With 4.5 times earth mass, I think it's probably inhabited by creatures with more than two legs. See, eight legs would be ideal to withstand the gravity of this planet.

We should declare war just to be sure.


smithicus.files.wordpress.com
 
2012-04-27 03:07:21 PM
Until we get FTL it dosen't matter.
 
2012-04-27 03:11:04 PM

busy chillin': Or the planet is even smaller so it the days are like 14 minutes long and as we are communicating with them they take a bunch of naps! And we get dizzy because the sun is like a damn strobe light.


images3.wikia.nocookie.net
 
2012-04-27 03:11:31 PM
Let me fire up my portal gun, and in 22 years, it should open up there, and we can save a LOT of money on gas.
 
2012-04-27 03:13:28 PM
"..and pray that there's intelligent life somewhere out in space, because there's bugger-all down here on earth"
 
2012-04-27 03:16:42 PM
"Currently, they can detect planets which are 3-5 times the mass of the Earth but, in the future, they could detect planets which are smaller than twice the mass of Earth."

okkkkkkkkkkkkayyyy
 
2012-04-27 03:19:41 PM

GAT_00


I have mixed emotions posting this:

What is that from?
 
2012-04-27 03:21:09 PM
i.telegraph.co.uk

i think i see it, down and to the right, kind of between those two little white specs.
 
2012-04-27 03:23:04 PM

busy chillin': GAT_00

I have mixed emotions posting this:

What is that from?


ST: VOY
 
2012-04-27 03:28:40 PM
www.demotivationalposters.org

lick?
 
2012-04-27 03:29:28 PM

I alone am best: Additionaly given the same conditions on the planet(I.E. gravity, atmospheric pressure, carbon based life blah blah blah). I wouldn't think life from another planet would be all that much different in appearance than life on earth


I don't think that it would be that much of a stretch to think that god would make all life in it's image.
 
2012-04-27 03:42:12 PM
the fark planet is this from?

i780.photobucket.com
 
2012-04-27 03:46:09 PM

SpikeStrip: the fark planet is this from?

[i780.photobucket.com image 640x480]


Those would be Jovian Whales.
 
2012-04-27 04:08:25 PM

traylor: With 4.5 times earth mass, I think it's probably inhabited by creatures with more than two legs. See, eight legs would be ideal to withstand the gravity of this planet.

We should declare war just to be sure.


farm1.static.flickr.com

Then I guess you learned a valuable lesson. Don't mess with Earth! Now, get the hell off my planet.
 
2012-04-27 04:09:45 PM
Scientists just found Earth? Are these people being paid?
 
2012-04-27 04:11:45 PM

srhp29: Scientists just found Earth? Are these people being paid?


Oh I get it now.

I was just trying to hammer home the point of the headline.
 
Bf+
2012-04-27 04:54:41 PM
...a mote of dust suspended in a sunbeam.
 
2012-04-27 05:11:51 PM
At first I though that we should send Superman to check it out. Then, I realized that it is a red Dwarf and Superman gets his powers from our yellow sun. I guess we'll never know.
 
2012-04-27 05:28:21 PM

MindStalker: FTA: as 20 years ago scientists were still arguing about the existence of planets beyond our solar system.

Really? I'm having a hard time believing that any credible scientist 20 years ago thought that other suns wouldn't have bodies of rock or gas orbiting them.


The arguments about plate tectonics/continental drift didn't really settle down til the late 60's, early 70's.
 
2012-04-27 05:58:47 PM
www.tatoos-tattos.com
 
2012-04-27 06:48:56 PM
Call me when they find a planet inhabited mostly by hot blue alien women.

mmomfg.com
 
2012-04-27 06:52:48 PM

deffuse: Shouldn't that be the second?


Hey guys? I think I found something!
www.contentping.com
 
2012-04-27 06:54:44 PM

BigLuca: deffuse: Shouldn't that be the second?

Hey guys? I think I found something!
[www.contentping.com image 327x250]


lulz
 
2012-04-27 06:59:41 PM
If there aren't green women there to fark then who cares?
 
2012-04-27 07:43:46 PM
Even if it fell in the habitable zone, wouldn't it also need a similar rotation for temperature regulation as well as a moon to control the tides, so the ocean(if there is any)remains in a motion to keep it constantly swirling, so life can happen, versus being a huge stagnant bucket of water?

Not to mention needing the component elements for life?
 
2012-04-27 07:48:03 PM

Omahawg: If there aren't green women there to fark then who cares?


Avoid the green ones. They're not ripe yet.
 
2012-04-27 07:49:36 PM
Astronomers are hailing the plant as the 'Holy Grail' of discoveries,
`
Obscure Monty Python reference?
 
2012-04-27 08:16:03 PM
Quick, let's send up the missionaries to provide assistance and support to our possible new brethren.
 
2012-04-27 08:18:13 PM

CygnusDarius:
/Also, if we find oil there


One of Jupiters moons (maybe it's Saturn) has sea's of liquid hydrocarbons (i.e. Oil or at least something we can use) that far outweigh Earth's total reserves even before we started exploiting them.

Why bother going multiple light YEARS when there's stuff light MINUTES away; we'll just pretend there are brown aliens living there... much like Iraq and WMD's.
 
2012-04-27 08:32:19 PM

abb3w: 4.5 times earth mass?
Bring in the Hoffmanites.

[www.thugdome.com image 400x623]


Hi!
 
2012-04-27 08:37:52 PM

deffuse: Shouldn't that be the second?


i.ytimg.com

The universe itself keeps on expanding and expanding
In all of the directions it can whizz
As fast as it can go, at the speed of light, you know,
Twelve million miles a minute, and that's the fastest speed there is.
So remember, when you're feeling very small and insecure,
How amazingly unlikely is your birth,
And pray that there's intelligent life somewhere up in space,
'Cause there's bugger all down here on Earth.

/We only pretend we're intelligent
 
2012-04-27 08:41:19 PM
Telegraph, eh? I'll wait for the BA article, thanks.
 
2012-04-27 08:45:03 PM
Only 22 light years away. Hell, why speculate? We should start spamming it with transmissions non-stop and see if we get anything back in 44 years. It's a long shot, but a trivial investment against the potential to find extraterrestrials close enough to for actual dialogue to be possible. A team made of people who had long-lived ancestors should be designed for high odds that several members might live long enough to experience two exchanges.
 
2012-04-27 08:57:13 PM

BigLuca: deffuse: Shouldn't that be the second?

Hey guys? I think I found something!
[www.contentping.com image 327x250]


staged.

i hope.
 
2012-04-27 09:43:28 PM

StoPPeRmobile: [www.tatoos-tattos.com image 350x191]


Smart! Funny!
 
2012-04-27 09:44:30 PM

traylor: With 4.5 times earth mass, I think it's probably inhabited by creatures with more than two legs. See, eight legs would be ideal to withstand the gravity of this planet..


If the planet is the same composition as Earth, then the surface gravity will only be 1.65G. 2 or 4 legs is still sufficient. I believe higher gravity will mean smaller creatures rather than beefier ones. Many of the planets being discovered have significantly lower densities than Earth. If this planet were closer in density to the water rich planets and moons in our solar system, the surface gravity could be as low as 0.8G, and would potentially have a very thick atmosphere, leading to increased buoyancy and might be able to fly by flapping our arms.
 
2012-04-27 10:07:51 PM

BigLuca: Omahawg: If there aren't green women there to fark then who cares?

Avoid the green ones. They're not ripe yet.


If there's grass on the field, play ball.
 
2012-04-27 10:16:41 PM

Mixolydian Master: Even if it fell in the habitable zone, wouldn't it also need a similar rotation for temperature regulation as well as a moon to control the tides, so the ocean(if there is any)remains in a motion to keep it constantly swirling, so life can happen, versus being a huge stagnant bucket of water?

Not to mention needing the component elements for life?


As an lame and ignorant person, I'm not sure needing tides or rotation or being tidally locked is all that relevant. If an atmosphere exists, the constant heating of one side and cooling of the other would create a circulation system in the air. It may be possible for life to develop that way, using bladder systems, rather than our more familiar water-based development of life.

Likewise...

Mad_Radhu: It's easy to day there could be alternative biochemistry involved, but when you start looking into the details of how those biochemistries would function you start running into problems where the chemical bonds formed by silicon are too strong for it to make a good alternative to carbon, and ammonia makes a crappy substitute for water due to weak hydrogen bonds and a low surface tension. Plus you have the fact that hydrogen, oxygen, and carbon are among the most common elements in the universe, so it isn't an accident that they are used for biological processes.

We'll see what happens when we look more closely at moons like Titan in the outer solar system where methane-based life might work, but it's possible that the basic chemistry just doesn't work out on forms of life that are too far removed from our own. I'd love to see some really exotic life, but reading about some of the problems with alternative biochemistry gives me some cause to think it just isn't as easy getting life started with those building blocks.


I would argue that this sort of logic is still basing itself too much on what we know about life. Now, that's a fine place to start, and certainly it is logical to assume that life would develop around abundant elements (especially since we have evidence of it already happening once). But, the argument is looking at what alternative elements might support an otherwise similar or even identical biochemistry to what we know. Silicon's chemical bonds may preclude it functioning as a substitute to carbon, but that does not preclude a silicon-based chemistry completely different from what we know of our carbon-based chemistry. This hypothetical chemistry may not even need a liquid to function, as our life needs water, so what does it matter that ammonia's hydrogen bonds are too weak?

We are on the cusp of creating this sort of thing ourselves. Electricity can function as much simpler carrier of energy, acting as creature's lifeblood. If we could create artificial life - a machine that can function without instruction, can replicate or even produce offspring (regardless of the extent of work required, e.g. having to mine and refine materials, and manufacture components, rather than simply nutrients in->grow) we could easily produce a lifeform that is completely unique from what we are, having only the most shallow of similarities. This stretches the definition of "organic", but then, in the scientific sense, organic only extends to carbon-based chemistry anyway.

I'm not saying we should expect* to find something akin to robots naturally evolving in place of carbon-based life. But the mere possibility of living machines indicates we should not confine** ourselves to looking at alternative elements that could function as a substitute for our carbon-based chemistry.

*Going deeper, one could argue that artificial constructs would actually be more likely to be found, since they theoretically function on a much longer time span, and aren't necessarily as limited, as organic life.

**As I mentioned earlier, yes, it is much easier to use our selves as a model for life elsewhere, because we know that this, at least, works. And if we find something that functions like us, it is much easier to define it as "life." Just saying that, provided the wealth of resources exists to pursue multiple avenues, we should not limit ourselves only to life as we know it.
 
2012-04-27 10:26:12 PM

uttertosh: StoPPeRmobile: [www.tatoos-tattos.com image 350x191]

Smart! Funny!


I sometimes appear smart, don't let me fool you.
 
2012-04-27 10:40:30 PM

Niveras: **As I mentioned earlier, yes, it is much easier to use our selves as a model for life elsewhere, because we know that this, at least, works. And if we find something that functions like us, it is much easier to define it as "life." Just saying that, provided the wealth of resources exists to pursue multiple avenues, we should not limit ourselves only to life as we know it.


So...
cache.io9.com

Kidding aside it seems we are stuck.
faculty.washington.edu

Flow theory applied to artificial intelligence is an interesting approach.

/flow
 
2012-04-27 11:40:31 PM

SnarfVader: I'd settle for capable of supporting complex life.


That would be preferable, that way we won't have to murder all the natives of this New World when we move there. I mean, if we did something like that Kevin Costner or James Cameron might make another shiatty movie about it, and where would we be then?
 
2012-04-27 11:47:44 PM

mr lawson: busy chillin': many of you are way way smarter than me, but if a bunch of these meteorites are flying around there is a chance that there is life somewhere in the universe, or the chance that life could start somewhere if one these land on the right planet.

Am I right in thinking this?

/love thinking about this stuff

better yet....the asteroid that hit the earth that kill off the T-rex put a lot of earth material (which had life in it) into space. That stuff could be landing on habitable planets right now seeding life.


There is absolutely zero chance it has reached any habitable planet, nor will it for many millions of years.
 
2012-04-27 11:55:12 PM

GAT_00: gameshowhost: Jubeebee: gameshowhost: GAT_00: Around a red dwarf? Yeah, it's tidally locked.

I'm no astrophysicist, so I need to ask... from what does 'in orbit around a red dwarf' necessarily imply 'tidally locked'?

I'm guessing here, but maybe because the habitable zone around a red dwarf is so close to the star that any rocky planet would necessarily be so deep in the gravity well that it would have to be tidally locked.

Ya, some Googling confirms that such w/ liquid water are highly likely to be tidally locked... not 'necessarily implies' but close enough. IT'S LEGIT TO ME

Yeah, that's it. That takes time too, so if it's a young red dwarf, it still may be rotating. But basically when a planet is close to the sun it tends to rotate slower. There's a fair bit of math behind that, but for example, you know Venus and Mercury rotate exceptionally slowly, so their days are nearly as long, or longer in Mercury's case, than their year. That's an effect due to proximity to the sun. Red dwarfs are much cooler, so a habitable zone is very close to the sun. However, red dwarfs don't mass much less, so it's likely to be tidally locked.


Venus isn't really a good example; it's the only planet with a retrograde rotation, which suggests that it was hit by an object so massive that it's rotation was reversed. Its current motion may not be a function merely of gravitational forces.
 
2012-04-28 02:37:59 AM
Cracked had something on this not long ago...

Here it is
i.crackedcdn.com
So to summarize: red skies, black plants, gale winds, never-ending twilight and a step too far in one direction could lead to either freezing to death or incineration.
So it's probably best to check with MapQuest before even going down the block.
And yet, rather than tiptoeing around that planet and looking for life somewhere a little less terrifying, we're doing our best to wake up whatever nightmare might be living there already. In October 2008, we sent a message from Earth directly at Gliese 581 c, and it should reach the devil planet around 2029.


/that's 581C though, I'm sure this one is much safer...
 
2012-04-28 03:13:47 AM
Venus, Mars, the Moon, and Ceres are also in the habitable zone.


But this is awesome.
 
2012-04-28 04:30:35 AM

MindStalker: FTA: as 20 years ago scientists were still arguing about the existence of planets beyond our solar system.

Really? I'm having a hard time believing that any credible scientist 20 years ago thought that other suns wouldn't have bodies of rock or gas orbiting them.


20 years ago, there was no evidence to support the idea. Science isn't about what scientists think (except for climate science).
 
2012-04-28 04:43:22 AM

Brainsick: /that's 581C though, I'm sure this one is much safer...


Gliese 436b is where you want to be. It has ice-ten, one worse than ice-nine.
 
2012-04-28 08:10:53 AM

deffuse: Shouldn't that be the second?


"intelligent"
 
2012-04-28 09:40:03 AM
 
2012-04-28 10:54:51 AM
Did they also discover time travel? Because I know I've seen this at least six times now. Gliese, too, no less.
 
2012-04-28 11:46:51 AM
Astronomers find new planet capable of supporting hype

It's evolving!
 
2012-04-28 01:25:36 PM
malaktaus

Venus isn't really a good example; it's the only planet with a retrograde rotation, which suggests that it was hit by an object so massive that it's rotation was reversed. Its current motion may not be a function merely of gravitational forces.

Well, that explains women.
 
2012-04-28 02:01:14 PM

malaktaus: mr lawson: busy chillin': many of you are way way smarter than me, but if a bunch of these meteorites are flying around there is a chance that there is life somewhere in the universe, or the chance that life could start somewhere if one these land on the right planet.

Am I right in thinking this?

/love thinking about this stuff

better yet....the asteroid that hit the earth that kill off the T-rex put a lot of earth material (which had life in it) into space. That stuff could be landing on habitable planets right now seeding life.

There is absolutely zero chance it has reached any habitable planet, nor will it for many millions of years.


*basic math time*
Earth's escape velocity= ~25,000 mph
24 hr day* 25,000= 600,000 miles a day

time ago that asteroid that killed off "Barney"= 65 million years or 23,725,000,000 days
600,000* 23,725,000,000=***************14,235,000,000,000,000 miles
one light year=**************************************5,878,499,810,000 miles
really Big number/big number=~2454.31 light years stuff could have traveled
 
2012-04-28 02:03:40 PM

busy chillin': malaktaus

Venus isn't really a good example; it's the only planet with a retrograde rotation, which suggests that it was hit by an object so massive that it's rotation was reversed. Its current motion may not be a function merely of gravitational forces.

Well, that explains women.


Venus isn't really a good example; it's the only
planet
with a retrograde rotation,
`
Ahm, Uranus would like a word with you
 
2012-04-28 04:08:00 PM

Bevets: Astronomers find new planet capable of supporting hype


FTA: "Currently, they can detect planets which are 3-5 times the mass of the Earth but, in the future, they could detect planets which are smaller than twice the mass of Earth."

So yes, it's a holy grail because it shows that other planets do exist within the habitable zone around other stars even though that was an assumption it's now been shown via evidence. Of course the anti science creationist website you quoted failed to mention any part of that.
 
2012-04-28 04:51:03 PM

Cagey B: Capable of supporting Earth-like life, perhaps. I'm tired of the assumption that any form of life that occurs in the universe will look anything like what it does here.


Dear gods, this.

One of the things I did like about the Chanur Saga series of sci-fi novels is--despite the Space Furries along with the Not-Really-Greys--they DID have some species, largely methane-breathers, that were TRULY alien...and probably closer to what we'd encounter upon such time that we ever ran into sophont life.

(For example--the least alien methane-breathers in that sci-fi-verse are the T'ca, which are basically a race of giant sandworm-looking things that functionally have five brains and speak in five-part harmonic matrices with multiple levels of meaning depending on if the translated text is read across, down, or diagonally--and all are equally valid. They pretty much act as translators for the OTHER methane-breather races which are pretty much completely and utterly incomprehensible to the others in this trade alliance in the books.)

The Space Hospital series is also fairly decent in trying to portray non-humanoid alien sophonts (very often non-bilaterian alien sophonts) in a non-nightmare-fuel context (there's always Lovecraft, but I think we can all agree that's nightmare fuel :D).

/if we ever find non-carbon-based sophont life, I seriously doubt we'll ever recognise it as life, much less as intelligent life
//hell, we have issues talking with the quite-possibly-intelligent-life on our OWN planet in the form of delphiniform cetaceans--you know--Flipper and Shamu and the like
 
2012-04-28 05:04:53 PM

I alone am best: Mad_Radhu: Cagey B: Capable of supporting Earth-like life, perhaps. I'm tired of the assumption that any form of life that occurs in the universe will look anything like what it does here.

It's easy to day there could be alternative biochemistry involved, but when you start looking into the details of how those biochemistries would function you start running into problems where the chemical bonds formed by silicon are too strong for it to make a good alternative to carbon, and ammonia makes a crappy substitute for water due to weak hydrogen bonds and a low surface tension. Plus you have the fact that hydrogen, oxygen, and carbon are among the most common elements in the universe, so it isn't an accident that they are used for biological processes.

We'll see what happens when we look more closely at moons like Titan in the outer solar system where methane-based life might work, but it's possible that the basic chemistry just doesn't work out on forms of life that are too far removed from our own. I'd love to see some really exotic life, but reading about some of the problems with alternative biochemistry gives me some cause to think it just isn't as easy getting life started with those building blocks.

Additionaly given the same conditions on the planet(I.E. gravity, atmospheric pressure, carbon based life blah blah blah). I wouldn't think life from another planet would be all that much different in appearance than life on earth.


I'd be careful in assuming even life on an earth-like planet with similar biological processes would be similar to us, at least on the macro-level.

For example, there's a shiatload of fossils from the Ediacaran era (pretty much the dawn of multicellular life and where it's thought the ancestors of modern kingdoms of life originated from) that are so friggin' alien to us--we can't even really classify them other than saying "OK, this is definitely multicellular life. We can't even tell if this is unikont or bikont multicellular life, much less classify it as an animal or plant or type of fungi, though". Many, if not most, Ediacaran life forms may as well be from another planet...as much as we can tell about them, anyways.

It's entirely possible if the Ediacaran-Cambrian extinction event had gone a bit differently...much less if the Cambrian-Ordovician extinction had gone differently...if sophont life had evolved (never a guarantee) it might not even be bilaterial or animal life, much less anything humanoid. Hell, if early chordates might not have made it, the dominant form of life with a POSSIBILITY of evolving into intelligence would be closer to octopi than anything else. :P
 
2012-04-28 07:38:44 PM

mr lawson: really Big number/big number=~2454.31 light years stuff could have traveled


Basically this. Except that we don't know for sure if life didn't arrive here on one of these rocks. If it did then the abiogenesis could have happened anywhere in the galaxy, billions of years ago. The whole thing could be contaminated by now.
 
2012-04-28 07:39:41 PM
I had to look up "sophont"...

/Thanks for the lexicon addition. Not that I'm likely to ever use it, but it could come in handy for a crossword puzzle someday.
 
2012-04-28 10:53:11 PM
Having just arranged to start doing some work on Planetary detection using gravitational micro-lensing (many yays were had), I should probably be getting a kick out of this.
 
2012-04-29 12:21:10 AM

babtras: traylor: With 4.5 times earth mass, I think it's probably inhabited by creatures with more than two legs. See, eight legs would be ideal to withstand the gravity of this planet..

If the planet is the same composition as Earth, then the surface gravity will only be 1.65G. 2 or 4 legs is still sufficient. I believe higher gravity will mean smaller creatures rather than beefier ones. Many of the planets being discovered have significantly lower densities than Earth. If this planet were closer in density to the water rich planets and moons in our solar system, the surface gravity could be as low as 0.8G, and would potentially have a very thick atmosphere, leading to increased buoyancy and might be able to fly by flapping our arms.


I think your math is off, but I could be wrong too. Let me bounce this off you:

F = G*m1*m2/r^2, where F on earth is 9.8N, which is 1g.

Assuming both planets have the same density, the exoplanet has a mass of 5*m1.

But the volume (assuming both planets are spherical, is 4/3πr^3) increases by a factor of 5 if the densities are the same, which means the radius increases by the cubic root of 5. So instead of 1 Earth radius, it is 2.2457 Earth radii, which, when squared, equals 5.

Plug that into the original equation, and gravity doesn't change.

Right?
 
2012-04-29 02:52:51 AM
By any chance is it named Polyphemus with a moon orbiting it named Pandora?
 
2012-04-29 09:58:52 AM

mainstreet62: means the radius increases by the cubic root of 5. So instead of 1 Earth radius, it is 2.2457 Earth radii, which, when squared, equals 5


Bzzt. The square of the cube root of 5 is not 5.

So, the gravity should be 5 over (cube root of 5 squared) times earth, or cube-root-5 time earth, or about 1.71 earth-g.

It's also assuming nickel-iron planet stuff is incompressible. It's not particularly compressible, admittedly, but with the weight of a planetary mass, it might do so enough to have a noticeable impact on the gravity -- maybe a couple percent?.
 
2012-04-29 11:07:04 AM

mr lawson: malaktaus: mr lawson: busy chillin': many of you are way way smarter than me, but if a bunch of these meteorites are flying around there is a chance that there is life somewhere in the universe, or the chance that life could start somewhere if one these land on the right planet.

Am I right in thinking this?

/love thinking about this stuff

better yet....the asteroid that hit the earth that kill off the T-rex put a lot of earth material (which had life in it) into space. That stuff could be landing on habitable planets right now seeding life.

There is absolutely zero chance it has reached any habitable planet, nor will it for many millions of years.

*basic math time*
Earth's escape velocity= ~25,000 mph
24 hr day* 25,000= 600,000 miles a day

time ago that asteroid that killed off "Barney"= 65 million years or 23,725,000,000 days
600,000* 23,725,000,000=***************14,235,000,000,000,000 miles
one light year=**************************************5,878,499,810,000 miles
really Big number/big number=~2454.31 light years stuff could have traveled


Great, except escape velocity is the speed it's going right after impact. What you're interested in is how much *faster* than that it was going initially. That will tell you the surplus kinetic energy it still has after escaping Earth's gravity well. So your calculation is great, if the ejected material happened to be going twice escape velocity. but I don't see any reason to believe that it wasn't instead going 1 mm/year over escape velocity.
 
2012-04-29 12:42:14 PM

Boatmech: busy chillin': malaktaus

Venus isn't really a good example; it's the only planet with a retrograde rotation, which suggests that it was hit by an object so massive that it's rotation was reversed. Its current motion may not be a function merely of gravitational forces.

Well, that explains women.

Venus isn't really a good example; it's the only
planet with a retrograde rotation,
`
Ahm, Uranus would like a word with you



Pshaw. If I wanted to hear from Uranus, I'd [***CARRIER LOST***]
 
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