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(Fox News)   The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Habitable Zone   (foxnews.com) divider line
    More: Interesting, Extraterrestrial life, Life, Planet, Extrasolar planet, Carbon dioxide, Oxygen, Astrobiology, Carbon monoxide  
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810 clicks; posted to Geek » on 11 Jun 2019 at 8:18 PM (32 weeks ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2019-06-11 08:28:25 PM  
For those of you who like your science raw:

https://iopscience.iop.org/article/10​.​3847/1538-4357/ab1d52
 
2019-06-11 09:01:36 PM  
The Goldilocks Zone is for loading and unloading only.
 
2019-06-11 09:18:04 PM  
It's ridiculous to say aliens don't exist. Given how big the known universe is, the chances of it being just us is ludicrously small.

Of course, just because they exist, that doesn't mean we'll ever meet any. The size of the universe also means the distances between us are guaranteed to be astronomically vast, and finding each other will be like winning the lottery every day for a year; it's just not going to happen.
 
2019-06-11 10:00:13 PM  
Don't Panic
 
2019-06-11 10:17:10 PM  

Herr Morgenstern: It's ridiculous to say aliens don't exist. Given how big the known universe is, the chances of it being just us is ludicrously small.

Of course, just because they exist, that doesn't mean we'll ever meet any. The size of the universe also means the distances between us are guaranteed to be astronomically vast, and finding each other will be like winning the lottery every day for a year; it's just not going to happen.


I'm still going to keep my towel close.
 
2019-06-11 10:31:30 PM  
"To sustain liquid water at the outer edge of the conventional habitable zone, a planet would need tens of thousands of times more carbon dioxide than Earth has today," said Edward Schwieterman, the study's lead author, in the statement. "That's far beyond the levels known to be toxic to human and animal life on Earth."

Human and animal life on earth evolved on a planet where carbon dioxide has never been higher than about 4000 ppm. There's no reason for life here to be compatible with carbon dioxide levels that are wildly different from anything they could possibly ever encounter. If life evolved on a planet where carbon dioxide was typically 100,000 ppm, there would be a reason. Astrobiology is an enormously speculative field, where giant assumptions are commonplace, but this strikes me as a particularly obtuse point. If Precambrian microbes had somehow developed intelligence, they could have made exactly the same argument about oxygen, but here we are.

A quick google search informs me that Dr. Schwieterman is a postdoctoral fellow, which is to say he doesn't have a real job yet. He seems pretty well positioned to get a job in academia, but of course you need publications, even if they're stupid ones that don't actually contribute anything to the field.

This paper will be forgotten by the end of the week, never to be mentioned again.
 
2019-06-11 10:37:42 PM  
I feel like I've heard this one before.
 
2019-06-11 10:42:21 PM  

Johnny the Tackling Alzheimers Patient: The Goldilocks Zone is for loading and unloading only.


Oh really, Vernon? Why pretend, we both know perfectly well what this is about. You want me to have an abortion.
 
2019-06-12 12:03:42 AM  

fark'emfeed'emfish: I feel like I've heard this one before.


The previous studies were either too broad or too focused.  This one is just right.
 
2019-06-12 07:39:06 AM  

malaktaus: "To sustain liquid water at the outer edge of the conventional habitable zone, a planet would need tens of thousands of times more carbon dioxide than Earth has today," said Edward Schwieterman, the study's lead author, in the statement. "That's far beyond the levels known to be toxic to human and animal life on Earth."

Human and animal life on earth evolved on a planet where carbon dioxide has never been higher than about 4000 ppm. There's no reason for life here to be compatible with carbon dioxide levels that are wildly different from anything they could possibly ever encounter. If life evolved on a planet where carbon dioxide was typically 100,000 ppm, there would be a reason. Astrobiology is an enormously speculative field, where giant assumptions are commonplace, but this strikes me as a particularly obtuse point. If Precambrian microbes had somehow developed intelligence, they could have made exactly the same argument about oxygen, but here we are.

A quick google search informs me that Dr. Schwieterman is a postdoctoral fellow, which is to say he doesn't have a real job yet. He seems pretty well positioned to get a job in academia, but of course you need publications, even if they're stupid ones that don't actually contribute anything to the field.

This paper will be forgotten by the end of the week, never to be mentioned again.


Another point to make is that, as greenhouse gases go, CO2 is an absolute lightweight. Water vapor and methane leave it in the dust
 
2019-06-12 09:03:32 AM  
Extraterrestrial life (just like Earth's) could be scarcer than first thought, study says

Fixed that headline for Fox.

There most likely exists lots of "intelligent life" on other planets that is so completely different than life on Earth that we can't even comprehend how it might work.
 
2019-06-12 09:59:52 AM  

Herr Morgenstern: It's ridiculous to say aliens don't exist. Given how big the known universe is, the chances of it being just us is ludicrously small.

Of course, just because they exist, that doesn't mean we'll ever meet any. The size of the universe also means the distances between us are guaranteed to be astronomically vast, and finding each other will be like winning the lottery every day for a year; it's just not going to happen.


Which is why I interpret the question "Are we alone in the universe?" to mean "Is there a extant technological civilization close enough that our civilization will ever have a chance to actually discover or be discovered by them?"  If they are a billion light years away and not turning numerous star systems into Dyson swarms*, then we are alone.  If they are in our Galaxy then we are not alone.  I don't count microbes in this question.  I actually suspect that some kind of microbial life is "common" (in astronomical terms) but that technological civilizations are not.

*Dyson swarms (sometimes called by the misleading Dyson spheres) are one of the few ways a technological civilization could be detected in a distant galaxy.  They will be very bright in the IR and obviously dark in visible frequencies. Of course this assumes that they would do it which is not clear.  Also that light from distant galaxies is from the distant past might mean we need to wait a long time for this sort of detection.
 
2019-06-12 10:13:30 AM  
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So, risk of Vogon poetry revised downward then?

Along with von Neumann machines, come to think of it. At least you could flatter a Vogon.

/we are probably alone
//this is probably just as well
 
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