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(CNN)   What is cool and infuriating at the same time? An earth sized planet, in the habitable zone, that very possibly supports life. But it's 490 light years away   (cnn.com) divider line 122
    More: Interesting, planets, Earth, NASA, habitable zones, light-years away, ETs, SETI, light-years  
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2084 clicks; posted to Geek » on 17 Apr 2014 at 5:31 PM (49 weeks ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2014-04-17 03:59:49 PM  
It's also very possibly a barren dry rock with basically no atmosphere, subby.  just sayin'

BA's article.
 
2014-04-17 04:19:30 PM  
If you land on a planet in this solar system that lies in the habitable zone, you have a 1 in 3 chance of finding liquid water on the surface.  1 in 4 if you count minor planets.  1 in 5 if you count moons of habitable size.
 
2014-04-17 04:59:17 PM  
I just want to know that answer before I die: are we alone? I bet you our ancestors asked the same thing about the old world before they found America.
 
2014-04-17 05:06:27 PM  

cman: I just want to know that answer before I die: are we alone? I bet you our ancestors asked the same thing about the old world before they found America.


no.  it completely short sighted to think that out of the infinite number of planets out there, ours is the only one to develop life.

They may not all be hot Orion slave girls, but I'm certain there is some form of intelligent life beyond our solar system.
 
2014-04-17 05:24:29 PM  

ManateeGag: cman: I just want to know that answer before I die: are we alone? I bet you our ancestors asked the same thing about the old world before they found America.

no.  it completely short sighted to think that out of the infinite number of planets out there, ours is the only one to develop life.

They may not all be hot Orion slave girls, but I'm certain there is some form of intelligent life beyond our solar system.


And the real proof of that is that they haven't contacted us yet.

/we're a hot mess
 
2014-04-17 05:34:08 PM  

ManateeGag: cman: I just want to know that answer before I die: are we alone? I bet you our ancestors asked the same thing about the old world before they found America.

no.  it completely short sighted to think that out of the infinite number of planets out there, ours is the only one to develop life.

They may not all be hot Orion slave girls, but I'm certain there is some form of intelligent life beyond our solar system.


We're sure not going to find any inside our solar system
 
2014-04-17 05:37:09 PM  

ManateeGag: cman: I just want to know that answer before I die: are we alone? I bet you our ancestors asked the same thing about the old world before they found America.

no.  it completely short sighted to think that out of the infinite number of planets out there, ours is the only one to develop life.

They may not all be hot Orion slave girls, but I'm certain there is some form of intelligent life beyond our solar system.


The real question is "will we ever be able to meet any other life", which is far more likely to be "no". Distances suck, and the universe has a head-start on us moving everything out of our reach.
 
2014-04-17 05:44:04 PM  

Smeggy Smurf: ManateeGag: cman: I just want to know that answer before I die: are we alone? I bet you our ancestors asked the same thing about the old world before they found America.

no.  it completely short sighted to think that out of the infinite number of planets out there, ours is the only one to develop life.

They may not all be hot Orion slave girls, but I'm certain there is some form of intelligent life beyond our solar system.

We're sure not going to find any inside our solar system


Maybe there are intelligent fish in Europa's ocean.

Very unlikely since it isn't like they can make fire, but hell, who knows?
 
2014-04-17 05:45:25 PM  

ManateeGag: cman: I just want to know that answer before I die: are we alone? I bet you our ancestors asked the same thing about the old world before they found America.

no.  it completely short sighted to think that out of the infinite number of planets out there, ours is the only one to develop life.

They may not all be hot Orion slave girls, but I'm certain there is some form of intelligent life beyond our solar system.


And there is exactly zero chance that humanity will ever know this for certain -- humanity will go extinct long before we figure out a way to find (much less meet) them or they manage to contact us.
 
2014-04-17 05:45:38 PM  
The habitable zone really isn't the habitable zone. It's more of the WAG radius, where WAG stands for Wild Ass Guess.

All we know is a body was detected with these elements showing in spectroscopy and we assume it is this big and this distant from a certain star based on observation. Until we can actually travel to distant stars and bring back the data, we can't really know how accurate our equations really are over interstellar distances.
 
2014-04-17 05:46:48 PM  

machoprogrammer: Smeggy Smurf: ManateeGag: cman: I just want to know that answer before I die: are we alone? I bet you our ancestors asked the same thing about the old world before they found America.

no.  it completely short sighted to think that out of the infinite number of planets out there, ours is the only one to develop life.

They may not all be hot Orion slave girls, but I'm certain there is some form of intelligent life beyond our solar system.

We're sure not going to find any inside our solar system

Maybe there are intelligent fish in Europa's ocean.

Very unlikely since it isn't like they can make fire, but hell, who knows?


Nemo zugzug Dory?
 
2014-04-17 05:47:50 PM  
Even if it does have a developed ecosystem with perfect levels of oxygen, sans toxic gases, it will still include untold organisms which we have never developed a biological response/defense mechanism to.
 
2014-04-17 05:56:20 PM  
"Even if Kepler-186f is rocky, it's not necessarily habitable, scientists warned Thursday."

...so nobody go jumping in your rocket ship just yet.
 
2014-04-17 05:56:24 PM  

Uzzah:
And there is exactly zero chance that humanity will ever know this for certain -- humanity will go extinct long before we figure out a way to find (much less meet) them or they manage to contact us.


No, there is never an exactly zero chance, just a very, very, very small chance. I do know we will never stop trying to get there.

The problem is, if we do get there,,,

InterruptingQuirk: Even if it does have a developed ecosystem with perfect levels of oxygen, sans toxic gases, it will still include untold organisms which we have never developed a biological response/defense mechanism to.


THIS
 
2014-04-17 06:00:08 PM  

machoprogrammer: Smeggy Smurf: ManateeGag: cman: I just want to know that answer before I die: are we alone? I bet you our ancestors asked the same thing about the old world before they found America.

no.  it completely short sighted to think that out of the infinite number of planets out there, ours is the only one to develop life.

They may not all be hot Orion slave girls, but I'm certain there is some form of intelligent life beyond our solar system.

We're sure not going to find any inside our solar system

Maybe there are intelligent fish in Europa's ocean.

Very unlikely since it isn't like they can make fire, but hell, who knows?


But if they could, they'd be really intelligent fish.
 
2014-04-17 06:04:04 PM  

Jekylman: machoprogrammer: Smeggy Smurf: ManateeGag: cman: I just want to know that answer before I die: are we alone? I bet you our ancestors asked the same thing about the old world before they found America.

no.  it completely short sighted to think that out of the infinite number of planets out there, ours is the only one to develop life.

They may not all be hot Orion slave girls, but I'm certain there is some form of intelligent life beyond our solar system.

We're sure not going to find any inside our solar system

Maybe there are intelligent fish in Europa's ocean.

Very unlikely since it isn't like they can make fire, but hell, who knows?

But if they could, they'd be really intelligent fish.


More likely they'll be the source of the Babel fish
 
2014-04-17 06:24:30 PM  

That Guy Jeff: ManateeGag: cman: I just want to know that answer before I die: are we alone? I bet you our ancestors asked the same thing about the old world before they found America.

no.  it completely short sighted to think that out of the infinite number of planets out there, ours is the only one to develop life.

They may not all be hot Orion slave girls, but I'm certain there is some form of intelligent life beyond our solar system.

The real question is "will we ever be able to meet any other life", which is far more likely to be "no". Distances suck, and the universe has a head-start on us moving everything out of our reach.


foreveralone.jpg
 
2014-04-17 06:25:11 PM  
She hold my malachite so tight so...
 
2014-04-17 06:25:29 PM  

machoprogrammer: Smeggy Smurf: ManateeGag: cman: I just want to know that answer before I die: are we alone? I bet you our ancestors asked the same thing about the old world before they found America.

no.  it completely short sighted to think that out of the infinite number of planets out there, ours is the only one to develop life.

They may not all be hot Orion slave girls, but I'm certain there is some form of intelligent life beyond our solar system.

We're sure not going to find any inside our solar system

Maybe there are intelligent fish in Europa's ocean.

Very unlikely since it isn't like they can make fire, but hell, who knows?


do you think they could send some kind of report?
 
2014-04-17 06:29:19 PM  

cman: I just want to know that answer before I die: are we alone? I bet you our ancestors asked the same thing about the old world before they found America.


Yep. I want one or more of the following before I die, ranked in order of probability of happening:

1. We develop a unified theory of everything (i.e. we solve physics).
2. We develop human-level AI.
3. We develop a mechanism for simulating a human brain in software.
4. We detect strong evidence of life elsewhere in our solar system (e.g. single-celled organisms on Mars or Europa).
5. We detect strong evidence of life elsewhere in the Universe (e.g. planet in the habital zone with emission spectra indicative of a biosphere with water).
6. We detect strong evidence of intelligent life elsewhere in the Universe.
7. We make non-physical contact with intelligent life from elsewhere in the Universe.
8. We make physical contact with intelligent life from elsewhere in the Universe.
9. We have strong evidence of a real ghost, psi ability, etc.
10. We have strong evidence that we're living in a simulation.
11. The second coming of Christ, the coming of the Madhi, the building of the Third Temple, the coming of Kalki, or some other event proving some religion more-or-less true.

So yeah. As you can see, the chances of making contact with intelligent life from elsewhere in the Universe is only slightly more likely in my mind than seeing a real ghost. Either one would be awesome though.
 
2014-04-17 06:31:21 PM  

ManateeGag: cman: I just want to know that answer before I die: are we alone? I bet you our ancestors asked the same thing about the old world before they found America.

no.  it completely short sighted to think that out of the infinite number of planets out there, ours is the only one to develop life.

They may not all be hot Orion slave girls, but I'm certain there is some form of intelligent life beyond our solar system.



what about the chance that intellegent life only lasts a very brief amount of time once it aquires the technology to destroy itself? What are the chances that we will be around at the same time another species is around?
 
2014-04-17 06:35:50 PM  
Chock full of green alien chicks, hopped up on blue goofballs, and ready to ride yer crank all night!
 
2014-04-17 06:36:52 PM  

tinyarena: InterruptingQuirk: Even if it does have a developed ecosystem with perfect levels of oxygen, sans toxic gases, it will still include untold organisms which we have never developed a biological response/defense mechanism to.

THIS


Yup...no sane planet would ever permit ALFs from another planet, much less star, to physically land on their home world. The biological risk is simply too great. Heck, until the past 50 years humans could barely travel from the continent of their genetic origin without risking death by horrible disease.

- Diseases introduced to the New World around the year 1500 wiped out ~90% of the natives within 100 years.

- A hundred-fifty years before than the black plague arrived in Europe from Central Asia and within a single handful of years had killed up to 60% of Europe's population.

That isn't to say we won't find each other, though. We will, but there won't be any meatbags jetting off to Pandora to bang the local chicks.
 
2014-04-17 06:41:23 PM  
At 1G acceleration, that 490 light years could be traveled in 12 years, ship time.  We here on Earth would all be 450 years dead when they arrived, but the astronauts on board could live to see it.
 
2014-04-17 06:45:35 PM  
That is the problem with the universe. Everything is just too damn far away.
 
2014-04-17 06:49:07 PM  

ManateeGag: cman: I just want to know that answer before I die: are we alone? I bet you our ancestors asked the same thing about the old world before they found America.

no.  it completely short sighted to think that out of the infinite number of planets out there, ours is the only one to develop life.

They may not all be hot Orion slave girls, but I'm certain there is some form of intelligent life beyond our solar system.


Likewise, it's short sighted to think that other life is likely to exist in parallel to us, as in exist in this moment, out of an infinite timeline.
 
2014-04-17 06:50:40 PM  

Whodat: That is the problem with the universe. Everything is just too damn far away.


Yep, things were closer together when I was a kid.
 
2014-04-17 06:58:49 PM  

InterruptingQuirk: Even if it does have a developed ecosystem with perfect levels of oxygen, sans toxic gases, it will still include untold organisms which we have never developed a biological response/defense mechanism to.


But on the plus side, they will never have developed a method to overcome our biochemical barriers.

/this whole business of infection is rather more complex than it was believe to be in HG Wells' time
 
2014-04-17 07:01:56 PM  

sno man: It's also very possibly a barren dry rock with basically no atmosphere, subby.  just sayin'

BA's article.



Exactly!  While I the chances of us being the only life in the universe is slim, it is also slim that any particular spot in the universe has life.

ManateeGag: cman: I just want to know that answer before I die: are we alone? I bet you our ancestors asked the same thing about the old world before they found America.

no.  it completely short sighted to think that out of the infinite number of planets out there, ours is the only one to develop life.

They may not all be hot Orion slave girls, but I'm certain there is some form of intelligent life beyond our solar system.


The more interesting part isn't just "is there life" but "has there (or will there) been life."   What is some intlligent species 50,000 years ago was listening to earth, and heard nothing, and cuncluded there was no life here.   And now, they are gone and enough time has passed that when we listen to their system, we hear nothing.
 
2014-04-17 07:04:20 PM  
Come on warp drive team, you're way behind the finding planets team!
 
2014-04-17 07:04:33 PM  

Rent Party: At 1G acceleration, that 490 light years could be traveled in 12 years, ship time.  We here on Earth would all be 450 years dead when they arrived, but the astronauts on board could live to see it.


If you could travel faster than the speed of light.
Did you account for deceleration time as well?
 
2014-04-17 07:11:19 PM  

Ego edo infantia cattus: Rent Party: At 1G acceleration, that 490 light years could be traveled in 12 years, ship time.  We here on Earth would all be 450 years dead when they arrived, but the astronauts on board could live to see it.

If you could travel faster than the speed of light.


Time dilation accounts for the slow clock on the ship.  That's relativity.  No faster than light necessary.

Did you account for deceleration time as well?

Yes.  1 G constant acceleration to the mid point, and 1 G constant deceleration to the end point.  12 years ship time.

You can do the math in a spreadsheet.
 
2014-04-17 07:12:34 PM  
Local boys, eh?
 
2014-04-17 07:22:10 PM  

tinyarena: Uzzah:
And there is exactly zero chance that humanity will ever know this for certain -- humanity will go extinct long before we figure out a way to find (much less meet) them or they manage to contact us.

No, there is never an exactly zero chance, just a very, very, very small chance. I do know we will never stop trying to get there.

The problem is, if we do get there,,,

InterruptingQuirk: Even if it does have a developed ecosystem with perfect levels of oxygen, sans toxic gases, it will still include untold organisms which we have never developed a biological response/defense mechanism to.

THIS


[mutters something abstruse about chirality...]
 
2014-04-17 07:27:38 PM  

Stone Meadow: Yup...no sane planet would ever permit ALFs from another planet, much less star, to physically land on their home world. The biological risk is simply too great. Heck, until the past 50 years humans could barely travel from the continent of their genetic origin without risking death by horrible disease.

- Diseases introduced to the New World around the year 1500 wiped out ~90% of the natives within 100 years.


See, but this is preciesly why we're not in too much danger stepping onto a completely new world. The arguement that we haven't evolved defense mechanisms against alien life forms is true, but it works against itself in the same way that alien life forms haven't evolved the ability to hijack our human bodies either. They just wouldn't know how to infect us. The main reason that the natives got wiped out so efficiently in the new world is that all the European diseases already "knew" how to infect humans. Most every other (non-delicious) life form in the new world got along just fine after we landed; at least until the bulldozers got there. Don't get me wrong, I wouldn't step out onto a new world without a biosuit either; better safe than sorry. But the chances of those worlds carrying the Klingon Spanish Flu are pretty low.
 
2014-04-17 07:29:18 PM  

Smeggy Smurf: machoprogrammer: Smeggy Smurf: ManateeGag: cman: I just want to know that answer before I die: are we alone? I bet you our ancestors asked the same thing about the old world before they found America.

no.  it completely short sighted to think that out of the infinite number of planets out there, ours is the only one to develop life.

They may not all be hot Orion slave girls, but I'm certain there is some form of intelligent life beyond our solar system.

We're sure not going to find any inside our solar system

Maybe there are intelligent fish in Europa's ocean.

Very unlikely since it isn't like they can make fire, but hell, who knows?

Nemo zugzug Dory?


Atook sees what you did there.

/ool?
 
2014-04-17 07:38:12 PM  
Infuriating?

i.imgur.com
 
2014-04-17 07:40:04 PM  
We cannot be alone in the Universe, It is just too vast for our Earth to be unique.    Mind other intelligent species may not look much like humans but they surely exist.
 
2014-04-17 07:45:24 PM  
Ok so habitable zone but then red dwarf so really no sunlight and unknown temperatures and also let's not forget 500 LY away so therefore
i1.squidoocdn.com
 
2014-04-17 07:47:09 PM  

Fano: machoprogrammer: Smeggy Smurf: ManateeGag: cman: I just want to know that answer before I die: are we alone? I bet you our ancestors asked the same thing about the old world before they found America.

no.  it completely short sighted to think that out of the infinite number of planets out there, ours is the only one to develop life.

They may not all be hot Orion slave girls, but I'm certain there is some form of intelligent life beyond our solar system.

We're sure not going to find any inside our solar system

Maybe there are intelligent fish in Europa's ocean.

Very unlikely since it isn't like they can make fire, but hell, who knows?

do you think they could send some kind of report?


That movie had potential, but the ending was pretty much like any other "found footage" film. Maybe Shamalamadingdong could make one where the twist is someone survives!
 
2014-04-17 07:48:55 PM  

Rent Party: Ego edo infantia cattus: Rent Party: At 1G acceleration, that 490 light years could be traveled in 12 years, ship time.  We here on Earth would all be 450 years dead when they arrived, but the astronauts on board could live to see it.

If you could travel faster than the speed of light.

Time dilation accounts for the slow clock on the ship.  That's relativity.  No faster than light necessary.

Did you account for deceleration time as well?

Yes.  1 G constant acceleration to the mid point, and 1 G constant deceleration to the end point.  12 years ship time.

You can do the math in a spreadsheet.


Now find a thruster type that can give 1G constant acceleration for 12 years in space to the ammount of fuel it will require plus a lifetime's supply of stuff for the crew. They ain't comin' home.
 
2014-04-17 07:51:52 PM  
It would only take us about 5,000 years to get there with current technology.
 
2014-04-17 07:54:15 PM  
doglover
Now find a thruster type that can give 1G constant acceleration for 12 years in space to the ammount of fuel it will require plus a lifetime's supply of stuff for the crew. They ain't comin' home.


First, sleeper ships.
Second, home can be anything you want to make it. Until they find a strange planet filled with intelligent primate.
 
2014-04-17 07:54:42 PM  
Mega Steve:

That movie had potential, but the ending was pretty much like any other "found footage" film. Maybe Shamalamadingdong could make one where the twist is someone survives!

I think it is a tenet of found footage films that everyone has to die.

I dug Europa Report, though.   Wikus is a damn good actor.
 
2014-04-17 07:55:17 PM  

doglover: Now find a thruster type that can give 1G constant acceleration for 12 years in space to the ammount of fuel it will require plus a lifetime's supply of stuff for the crew. They ain't comin' home.


Maybe easier than you represent.  If we were willing to absolutely crush the economy here on earth.

Really, we'd only be able to do it as an end of earth scenerio, and even then it would take time to engineer and construct.
 
2014-04-17 07:57:18 PM  

doglover: Rent Party: Ego edo infantia cattus: Rent Party: At 1G acceleration, that 490 light years could be traveled in 12 years, ship time.  We here on Earth would all be 450 years dead when they arrived, but the astronauts on board could live to see it.

If you could travel faster than the speed of light.

Time dilation accounts for the slow clock on the ship.  That's relativity.  No faster than light necessary.

Did you account for deceleration time as well?

Yes.  1 G constant acceleration to the mid point, and 1 G constant deceleration to the end point.  12 years ship time.

You can do the math in a spreadsheet.

Now find a thruster type that can give 1G constant acceleration for 12 years in space to the ammount of fuel it will require plus a lifetime's supply of stuff for the crew. They ain't comin' home.


Of course they're not coming home.  Home would be almost 1000 years dead when they got back.

Bussard ram jets are designed specifically to provide the kind of acceleration I'm talking about.    Time isn't the problem with deep space exploration.  Technology is.  And we can solve technology problems.
 
2014-04-17 08:00:08 PM  
Fermi Paradox. They already farked themselves into oblivion. And then the universe will become dark again. Entropy. Ghosts of sadness and despair.

/Cut
//Cut
///Cut
////Slash

////I'm gonna listen to The Cure
 
2014-04-17 08:03:27 PM  
Then there is the small matter of decades of cosmic radiation exposure.
 
2014-04-17 08:04:39 PM  

doglover: The habitable zone really isn't the habitable zone. It's more of the WAG radius, where WAG stands for Wild Ass Guess.

All we know is a body was detected with these elements showing in spectroscopy and we assume it is this big and this distant from a certain star based on observation. Until we can actually travel to distant stars and bring back the data, we can't really know how accurate our equations really are over interstellar distances.


No, those are things we have directly measured. Kepler detects planets when they transit their host star and block out light. The amount of light blocked is directly related to the size of the planet, and orbital period is directly related to distance from the host star (which has a mass already known to reasonably high precision)- no spectroscopy needed.

Further observations will give us the mass of the planet, using spectroscopy to measure Doppler changes in the star as the planet yanks the host star around, and composition of the atmosphere based on what colors it absorbs as it transits the star (Again, spectroscopy).
 
2014-04-17 08:06:50 PM  
So at Warp Factor 6 it would take..just over 2 years to get there.

Great.

(old school WF)

http://www.waxingmoondesign.com/WarpFactorTech.html
 
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