If you can read this, either the style sheet didn't load or you have an older browser that doesn't support style sheets. Try clearing your browser cache and refreshing the page.

(io9)   With all these exoplanets, where the hell is the alien life?   (io9.com) divider line 181
    More: Interesting, aliens, kepler space telescope, history of life, complex form, organic compounds, planetary habitability, Kepler, New Scientist  
•       •       •

5027 clicks; posted to Geek » on 25 Jun 2012 at 7:57 PM (2 years ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



181 Comments   (+0 »)
   
View Voting Results: Smartest and Funniest

Archived thread

First | « | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | » | Last | Show all
 
2012-06-25 07:19:49 PM
Hiding.
 
2012-06-25 07:30:55 PM
They're stuck at sub-light speeds, too.
 
2012-06-25 07:32:19 PM
The last time an alien visited us, we thought he was our god and we nailed him to a tree. Would YOU come back after that?
 
2012-06-25 07:56:00 PM
They got into the Internet and found /b/. Who can blame them?
 
2012-06-25 07:59:19 PM

vygramul: They're stuck at sub-light speeds, too.


False.

They're more like hoagie speeds.
 
2012-06-25 07:59:40 PM
Too far away to detect, yet?

/Reality is not Star trek
 
2012-06-25 08:02:55 PM
Most exoplanets discovered so far are gas giants.

vygramul: They're stuck at sub-light speeds, too.


This is also true. Odds are also that even in the exceptionally unlikely event that another civilization develops in our galactic neighborhood, we'd probably miss each other by at least a few hundred thousand years.
 
2012-06-25 08:03:17 PM
Aren't most of these exoplanets pretty huge Jupiter sized affairs with lots of gravity?

I thought we had only just begun to find earth sized planets.
 
2012-06-25 08:03:59 PM

yanceylebeef: The last time an alien visited us, we thought he was our god and we nailed him to a tree. Would YOU come back after that?


To be fair Odin did ask for it.
 
2012-06-25 08:04:06 PM

doglover: vygramul: They're stuck at sub-light speeds, too.

False.

They're more like hoagie speeds.


Po-boy speeds.
 
2012-06-25 08:05:01 PM
Possibilities:
1: We're the first.
2: They're already dead.
3: They're simply too far away.
4: We haven't found the right planets yet.
5: They've seen our old TV broadcasts and want nothing to do with us.
6: They're sea-dwellers and don't have electrical technology.

Life may be as common as sand, but it still took 3 billion years for tool-using sentient life to arise of earth. And we have no idea how long such a species can last before it goes extinct.
 
2012-06-25 08:06:08 PM
At that range we wouldn't be able to tell there was life on our own planet. What a useless ungrateful complainer.
 
2012-06-25 08:06:20 PM

Jubeebee: Most exoplanets discovered so far are gas giants.

vygramul: They're stuck at sub-light speeds, too.

This is also true. Odds are also that even in the exceptionally unlikely event that another civilization develops in our galactic neighborhood, we'd probably miss each other by at least a few hundred thousand years.


Well, they did blue shift up into plaid.
 
2012-06-25 08:06:44 PM
Whatever they are, they walk near Sigma 957, and they must walk there alone.
 
2012-06-25 08:06:56 PM

RoyBatty: Aren't most of these exoplanets pretty huge Jupiter sized affairs with lots of gravity?

I thought we had only just begun to find earth sized planets.


Because there's an xkcd for everything:
imgs.xkcd.com
/hot link-ed
 
2012-06-25 08:09:07 PM

RoyBatty: Aren't most of these exoplanets pretty huge Jupiter sized affairs with lots of gravity?

I thought we had only just begun to find earth sized planets.


I think the idea of the article wasn't that we'd be able to detect life on a planet we spot, but just that if there are as many planets as we think (particularly since we're only spotting the low hanging fruit right now) they why aren't there aliens or their signals everywhere?

Regardless of if we would be able to spot them or not, I actually tend to agree with what the guy they were quoting, that life just doesn't start that easily, and even if you do get it, complex life is another major hurdle on top of that.

/of course I didn't read the part you had to register for..
 
2012-06-25 08:09:51 PM

Jubeebee: Most exoplanets discovered so far are gas giants.

vygramul: They're stuck at sub-light speeds, too.

This is also true. Odds are also that even in the exceptionally unlikely event that another civilization develops in our galactic neighborhood, we'd probably miss each other by at least a few hundred thousand years.


This pretty much sums it up.

Speed of light is a cruel mistress, alien life may be likely, but being temporally contiguous with anything reasonably close is very highly UNlikely.
 
2012-06-25 08:14:44 PM

Torqueknot: yanceylebeef: The last time an alien visited us, we thought he was our god and we nailed him to a tree. Would YOU come back after that?

To be fair Odin did ask for it.


I lulz'd
 
2012-06-25 08:16:40 PM
Erix: I think the idea of the article wasn't that we'd be able to detect life on a planet we spot, but just that if there are as many planets as we think (particularly since we're only spotting the low hanging fruit right now) they why aren't there aliens or their signals everywhere?

justsayin.ca
 
2012-06-25 08:16:59 PM
i53.photobucket.com

They're already here!!!
 
2012-06-25 08:19:45 PM
fastcache.gawkerassets.com

Hi
 
2012-06-25 08:21:36 PM
If you looked at Earth from one of those planets, would you see life? Cripes! We just got the ability to see planets in other solar systems... be patient.
 
2012-06-25 08:28:53 PM
Another incredibly idiotic article brought to you by the nitwits at Gawker Media!
 
2012-06-25 08:32:32 PM
Calvin: Do you think there is intelligent life out there?

Hobbes: Yes

Calvin: Why haven't they come to visit?

Hobbes: They are intelligent.

Or something like that.
 
2012-06-25 08:32:44 PM

Ed Grubermann: 5: They've seen our old TV broadcasts and want nothing to do with us.


That only covers the folks within 60 light years or so... a bit more if you count radio.. and that's assuming they're
1. Civilized at the same time as us, on roughly the same level (i.e., have the capability to build really sensitive radio receivers, but not so advanced that they're on some new shiat and completely ignore the part of the spectrum we're noisy on in favor of something else and assume everyone else is using it too because it's the obvious choice, obviously.)
2. Curious about the possibility of other species (not completely xenophobic or in religious denial of the possibility)
3. Have the spare resources to dedicate to searching for other civilizations
4. Have a relatively unobstructed view of us
and 6. Are lucky enough to have a sensitive enough receiver pointed in exactly the right direction to notice our extremely attenuated fuzz of radio noisiness.

That's some pretty steep odds to overcome in the 100-light year radius, and even if someone has noticed already, it might still be a bit before their "Hi there fellas" gets back to us.... presuming we're lucky enough to have a sensitive enough receiver pointed in the right direction when it arrives.
 
2012-06-25 08:35:19 PM

incendi: Ed Grubermann: 5: They've seen our old TV broadcasts and want nothing to do with us.

That only covers the folks within 60 light years or so... a bit more if you count radio.. and that's assuming they're
1. Civilized at the same time as us, on roughly the same level (i.e., have the capability to build really sensitive radio receivers, but not so advanced that they're on some new shiat and completely ignore the part of the spectrum we're noisy on in favor of something else and assume everyone else is using it too because it's the obvious choice, obviously.)
2. Curious about the possibility of other species (not completely xenophobic or in religious denial of the possibility)
3. Have the spare resources to dedicate to searching for other civilizations
4. Have a relatively unobstructed view of us
and 6. Are lucky enough to have a sensitive enough receiver pointed in exactly the right direction to notice our extremely attenuated fuzz of radio noisiness.

That's some pretty steep odds to overcome in the 100-light year radius, and even if someone has noticed already, it might still be a bit before their "Hi there fellas" gets back to us.... presuming we're lucky enough to have a sensitive enough receiver pointed in the right direction when it arrives.


I particularly liked point #5.
 
2012-06-25 08:37:43 PM

RoyBatty: Aren't most of these exoplanets pretty huge Jupiter sized affairs with lots of gravity?

I thought we had only just begun to find earth sized planets.


We're finding lots of rocky planets, but yes, finding planets smaller than earth-sized has been difficult.

Just finished an Astronomy class at UVA on this. Well, on life in the universe. But this was covered in depth. Lots of papers on these planets coming out in the next couple of years.
 
2012-06-25 08:38:40 PM
Short answer:

Life is incredibly abundant and everywhere. However, the universe is so incomprehensibly big that it's unlikely we'll actually find it for the duration of the existence of the human race.
 
2012-06-25 08:38:58 PM
They are too busy with this
www.klwines.com
 
2012-06-25 08:40:30 PM
They figured out what is lurking in the Great Dark before the advent of radio and were smart enough to hide. They're now watching us in bitter, helpless horror - for they know what is coming for us, and there is not a thing they can do to warn or help us without bringing the same doom upon thier species.

Pleasant dreams!
 
2012-06-25 08:47:57 PM

Erix: I particularly liked point #5.


It's similar to phase 2.

mypetjawa.mu.nu
 
2012-06-25 08:48:50 PM
Here's my theory:

There are three points in all civilizations, birth of the civilization, life of the civilization and death of the civilization. We are in the second part of our civilization, and we have to hit them not just at the life point of their civilization, but at the point where they can receive, translate the message and send the reply and we have to get it back before the end of our civilization. Not too hard most of you will say!

Space is vast. Here on Earth we use miles and kilometers because we really don't need a bigger unit of measurement for earth based measurements. In space, we use the distance that light travels in a year to measure distance. We use sub light technology to send our messages into space via radio. We sent out two space probes over 30 years ago and they stil haven't made it a full light year. Not even a half light year. So, we send out a message via radio, it could take 20,000 years for that signal to reach the planet that we suspect life to be on. If we manage to hit that planet during the life part of civilization, they have to respond the same way we sent the message. So it could take another 20,000 years to get that message back. 40,000 years to get a response back from "Hey, Earth here, how are you, A/S/L?" our civilization could be around or gone by that point. Furthermore, we might figure out warp drive or space folding or something and beat our own message to said planet to find out it's the planet of the Space Emos.

Also, for all we know, there could be aliens trying to signal us, but we don't have the ability to get the message. Kind of like sending a text message to a guy with an old rotorary phone, only not getting any reply back telling you that they can't accept text messages.

Now, just because a star system is found doesn't automatically mean that there is a life there. But with there being 300 billion stars in the Milky Way Galaxy, even if just one half of a percent of those stars contain life, that's 1.5 billion planets with life. So there is no reason to stop looking.
 
2012-06-25 08:48:59 PM
We know that sentient life exists in the universe, because we exist. Given this, at some point in spacetime there must be a "First" sentient species: a species (or maybe a group of species, but the odds of that are vanishingly small) that obtained sentience before any others. But in any event, whether it's one species or several, logic demands that there be a First.

I bring this up because for all we know, the First could be us. As far as I'm aware, the possibility is not terribly popular in science-fiction circles, because the idea of meeting alien life is seen as more exciting than making alien life. But it is a possibility that I'm not so sure we should be ignoring.
 
2012-06-25 08:49:33 PM

RoyBatty: Aren't most of these exoplanets pretty huge Jupiter sized affairs with lots of gravity?

I thought we had only just begun to find earth sized planets.


Dunno if I'm restating what you're saying, but our methods to find planets require observing long enough to detect "a few" orbits -- the Kepler Observatory only started looking a little over 3 years ago, which means the big, close planets have already orbited their stars enough times for us to have enough confidence that they exist. Smaller and more distant planets will take longer. (Our Saturn orbits every 29 of Earth's years)
 
2012-06-25 08:50:27 PM
With all these exoplanets, where the hell is the alien life?

/Gee, it's almost as if the size of the universe has no correlation with its contents...
 
2012-06-25 08:51:29 PM

incendi: Ed Grubermann: 5: They've seen our old TV broadcasts and want nothing to do with us.

That only covers the folks within 60 light years or so... a bit more if you count radio.. and that's assuming they're
1. Civilized at the same time as us, on roughly the same level (i.e., have the capability to build really sensitive radio receivers, but not so advanced that they're on some new shiat and completely ignore the part of the spectrum we're noisy on in favor of something else and assume everyone else is using it too because it's the obvious choice, obviously.)
2. Curious about the possibility of other species (not completely xenophobic or in religious denial of the possibility)
3. Have the spare resources to dedicate to searching for other civilizations
4. Have a relatively unobstructed view of us
and 6. Are lucky enough to have a sensitive enough receiver pointed in exactly the right direction to notice our extremely attenuated fuzz of radio noisiness.

That's some pretty steep odds to overcome in the 100-light year radius, and even if someone has noticed already, it might still be a bit before their "Hi there fellas" gets back to us.... presuming we're lucky enough to have a sensitive enough receiver pointed in the right direction when it arrives.


Perspective:

i.dailymail.co.uk
 
2012-06-25 08:51:55 PM
tomWright: Too far away to detect, yet?

/Reality is not Star trek


Also, interstellar space is FRAKING HUGE.

If it's two thing's people don't realize, it's:
1) Tsize of their ass
2) The size and distances that make up the universe.
 
2012-06-25 08:53:02 PM
 
2012-06-25 08:55:27 PM
Exactly how far out have we been detecting these planets? Take that distance in light years, and compare us to that many years ago. There could easily be intelligent life on those planets, but they aren't in a state that can be easily detected hundreds of years ago. Remember, when you are looking at the sky, you are looking into the past.
 
2012-06-25 08:55:53 PM

Millennium: I bring this up because for all we know, the First could be us. As far as I'm aware, the possibility is not terribly popular in science-fiction circles, because the idea of meeting alien life is seen as more exciting than making alien life. But it is a possibility that I'm not so sure we should be ignoring.


I'd wager this is extraordinarily unlikely, given our solar system is only ~4.5 billion years old. Given the universe is ~14 billion years, that's an extra 10 billion years that a sextillion planets (possible far more... that's assuming the lower end of estimates. Oh and a sextillion is 1 followed by 53 zeroes) had to develop life.
 
2012-06-25 08:56:09 PM

Erix: incendi: Ed Grubermann: 5: They've seen our old TV broadcasts and want nothing to do with us.

That only covers the folks within 60 light years or so... a bit more if you count radio.. and that's assuming they're
1. Civilized at the same time as us, on roughly the same level (i.e., have the capability to build really sensitive radio receivers, but not so advanced that they're on some new shiat and completely ignore the part of the spectrum we're noisy on in favor of something else and assume everyone else is using it too because it's the obvious choice, obviously.)
2. Curious about the possibility of other species (not completely xenophobic or in religious denial of the possibility)
3. Have the spare resources to dedicate to searching for other civilizations
4. Have a relatively unobstructed view of us
and 6. Are lucky enough to have a sensitive enough receiver pointed in exactly the right direction to notice our extremely attenuated fuzz of radio noisiness.

That's some pretty steep odds to overcome in the 100-light year radius, and even if someone has noticed already, it might still be a bit before their "Hi there fellas" gets back to us.... presuming we're lucky enough to have a sensitive enough receiver pointed in the right direction when it arrives.

I particularly liked point #5.


No poofters?
 
2012-06-25 08:58:08 PM
Supes: Short answer:

Life is incredibly abundant and everywhere. However, the universe is so incomprehensibly big that it's unlikely we'll actually find it for the duration of the existence of the human race.


Shorter answer, we don't care enough.

If we shifted our priorities to getting off his rock and colonizing space we might have a chance. But our priorities revolve mostly around wealth creation and resource extraction, ie divvying up scarcity. We're only starting to look towards space for resources, and the one outfit doing so is being humiliated by the press and by wallstreet.

Not that communism is good, but i always sort of felt the leaders of the enlightenment would be disappointed that Capitalism and modern economics as a means to an end hadn't ended yet. We should be 30-40 year's into interplanetary mission's and exploration, and we kinda stalled once the cold war took away military budgets slated for NASA.

SCIENCE might have got us to the moon, but ICBM's paid for it.
 
2012-06-25 09:00:34 PM

TyrantII: Supes: Short answer:

Life is incredibly abundant and everywhere. However, the universe is so incomprehensibly big that it's unlikely we'll actually find it for the duration of the existence of the human race.

Shorter answer, we don't care enough.

If we shifted our priorities to getting off his rock and colonizing space we might have a chance. But our priorities revolve mostly around wealth creation and resource extraction, ie divvying up scarcity. We're only starting to look towards space for resources, and the one outfit doing so is being humiliated by the press and by wallstreet.

Not that communism is good, but i always sort of felt the leaders of the enlightenment would be disappointed that Capitalism and modern economics as a means to an end hadn't ended yet. We should be 30-40 year's into interplanetary mission's and exploration, and we kinda stalled once the cold war took away military budgets slated for NASA.

SCIENCE might have got us to the moon, but ICBM's paid for it.


THIS.
 
2012-06-25 09:03:21 PM
The call is coming FROM INSIDE THE SOLAR SYSTEM!

Maybe we're the aliens who have already traveled here but just forgot because we were so busy taking baths and waiting for people more important than us lowly telephone cleaners.
 
2012-06-25 09:04:09 PM

vygramul: They're stuck at sub-light speeds, too.


They are staying as far away from us as possible. There are probably Interdict Cruisers preventing anyone from messing around in this sector of the New Republic.
 
2012-06-25 09:05:18 PM
Life that isn't ridiculously exotic, ie composed of atoms, is going to need to evolve in a solar system with a 2nd generation star. Then we'll need to allow for a period of planetary formation, and a few eons after that we might be lucky enough to find slime. Complex life following sometime after that. Then who knows on the wait for life intelligent and long lived enough to make tools to make other tools like radios, and afford enough leisure time to ponder the possibilities of what else is out there. If we factor in the importance of avoiding the ionizing radiation of galactic cores, and there's a case to be made that we appeared on the scene about as early as we could.
 
2012-06-25 09:06:37 PM
FTA "Living things consume an extraordinary amount of energy, just to go on living. The food we eat gets turned into the fuel that powers all living cells, called ATP. This fuel is continually recycled: over the course of a day, humans each churn through 70 to 100 kilograms of the stuff. This huge quantity of fuel is made by enzymes, biological catalysts fine-tuned over aeons to extract every last joule of usable energy from reactions."

Did he just write that people metabolize their own body mass or more in ATP every day?

I don't get it.
 
2012-06-25 09:07:24 PM

ArcadianRefugee: Perspective:

[i.dailymail.co.uk image 640x636]


Maybe this is retarded, but i've always wondered... How do we have pictures of our own galaxy when we're sort of in the middle of it...

Not as if we borrowed a telescope in another galaxy to snap those pictures....
 
2012-06-25 09:07:26 PM
All of the cool aliens are hanging out in the "dark matter" realm. Baryonic matter is so last-epoch.
 
2012-06-25 09:07:52 PM
Something out there is finding alien life...and eating it.
 
Displayed 50 of 181 comments

First | « | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | » | Last | Show all

View Voting Results: Smartest and Funniest


This thread is archived, and closed to new comments.

Continue Farking
Submit a Link »






Report