Potentially Habitable Planet Found

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Potentially Habitable Planet Found

Pack your bags.  We may have a new vacation spot. 

 

Potentially habitable planet found 

 By SETH BORENSTEIN, AP Science Writer

 WASHINGTON - For the first time astronomers have discovered a planet outside our solar system that is potentially habitable, with Earth-like temperatures, a find researchers described Tuesday as a big step in the search for "life in the universe."

The planet is just the right size, might have water in liquid form, and in galactic terms is relatively nearby at 120 trillion miles away. But the star it closely orbits, known as a "red dwarf," is much smaller, dimmer and cooler than our sun. 

Rest of article:   http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20070424/ap_on_sc/habitable_planet;_ylt=AvUfvLVfQgkbJQTDzZ8mxyWs0NUE

 

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Very awesome Susan. I am

Very awesome Susan. I am always looking for another place to live, Wink.


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When's the next flight?

When's the next flight?Laughing


Wishkah311
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AWESOME... but I won't

AWESOME... but I won't travel that far without a replicator... what if I run out of food??? 


Iruka Naminori
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Wishkah311

Wishkah311 wrote:
AWESOME... but I won't travel that far without a replicator... what if I run out of food???

I'd need a holodeck, too...and a program that featured LeftofLarry, Mordagar and BGH.  I won't say what for.

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  Iruka Naminori

 

Iruka Naminori wrote:

Wishkah311 wrote:
AWESOME... but I won't travel that far without a replicator... what if I run out of food???

I'd need a holodeck, too...and a program that featured LeftofLarry, Mordagar and BGH. I won't say what for.

 

LoL, very nice Iruka. Wink

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Iruka Naminori

Iruka Naminori wrote:

Wishkah311 wrote:
AWESOME... but I won't travel that far without a replicator... what if I run out of food???

I'd need a holodeck, too...and a program that featured LeftofLarry, Mordagar and BGH. I won't say what for.

Cute Iruka, very sweet.

Maybe I would want to be on that ship too, then no holodeck would be needed. I would be running bat shit crazy through the halls of the cabin. LOL. 


Wishkah311
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Iruka Naminori

Iruka Naminori wrote:

Wishkah311 wrote:
AWESOME... but I won't travel that far without a replicator... what if I run out of food???

I'd need a holodeck, too...and a program that featured LeftofLarry, Mordagar and BGH. I won't say what for.

Nice... I want the holodeck... I'd write my own programs featuring Harry Potter... (I wanna be a wizard) and Shakespeare... and Spock... and Die Hard...

Sorry... I wanna Holodeck. I got off on a bit of a tangent. 

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It's only 120 trillion miles

It's only 120 trillion miles away.  Not only could I rack up tons of frequent flier miles but I could set the intergalactic masturbation record.


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Susan wrote: Pack your

Susan wrote:

Pack your bags. We may have a new vacation spot.

 

Potentially habitable planet found

By SETH BORENSTEIN, AP Science Writer

WASHINGTON - For the first time astronomers have discovered a planet outside our solar system that is potentially habitable, with Earth-like temperatures, a find researchers described Tuesday as a big step in the search for "life in the universe."

The planet is just the right size, might have water in liquid form, and in galactic terms is relatively nearby at 120 trillion miles away. But the star it closely orbits, known as a "red dwarf," is much smaller, dimmer and cooler than our sun.

Rest of article: http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20070424/ap_on_sc/habitable_planet;_ylt=AvUfvLVfQgkbJQTDzZ8mxyWs0NUE

 

 

Red Sun?

Planet with twice earth's gravity?

 

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todangst wrote: Red

todangst wrote:
Red Sun?

Planet with twice earth's gravity?

 

*blink* They just discovered Kryptonite as well!  Well, this stuff is one element off, but damned close.   

Quote:
LONDON (Reuters) - Kryptonite, which robbed Superman of his powers, is no longer the stuff of comic books and films.

A mineral found by geologists in Serbia shares virtually the same chemical composition as the fictional kryptonite from outer space, used by the superhero's nemesis Lex Luther to weaken him in the film "Superman Returns."

"We will have to be careful with it -- we wouldn't want to deprive Earth of its most famous superhero!," said Dr Chris Stanley, a mineralogist at London's Natural History Museum.

Stanley, who revealed the identity of the mysterious new mineral, discovered the match after searching the Internet for its chemical formula - sodium lithium boron silicate hydroxide.

"I was amazed to discover that same scientific name written on a case of rock containing kryptonite stolen by Lex Luther from a museum in the film Superman Returns," he said.

The substance has been confirmed as a new mineral after tests by scientists at the Natural History Museum in London and the
National Research Council in Canada.

But instead of the large green crystals in Superman comics, the real thing is a white, powdery substance which contains no fluorine and is non-radioactive.

The mineral, to be named Jadarite, will go on show at the London's Natural History Museum at certain times of the day on Wednesday, April 25, and Sunday, May 13.

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Not suprised. THere are

Not suprised. THere are probably billions of planets like Earth. That seems like a lot but most people dont realize that there are an estimated 5,000,000,000,000,000,000 planets in the known universe. That's a lot of fucking planets! Even if there were one billion Earth like planets, that would still only be 1/5,000,000,000 planets.

However, I am suprised. I always thought that any planets that could sustain life would orbit yellow dwarves. Our sun, for instance, is a perfectly ordinary yellow dwarf. Their heat, lifespan, and stability makes them good candidates for life-supporting systems.

A Red dward however, that sorta sounds like an ugly duckling to me. Red stars are underperformers in planet support. 

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One of the advantages of

One of the advantages of being in the field of astrophysics is that I can read the real science article. Here is the preprint:

http://obswww.unige.ch/~udry/udry_preprint.pdf

What will happen is that this article will go back and forth between the authors and referees a few times until the referees are happy. Then the paper will be accepted and probably put here:

http://arxiv.org/archive/astro-ph

So the preprint most likely isn't the actual article that will be published, but still worth reading.

 

The problem with red dwarfs isn't the life span (they live longer than our sun) or stability, it's their weak luminosity. Our sun is much brighter than a red dwarf such as Gliese 581. So to be in the zone with liquid water you have to be very close to the red dwarf, the planet they found is much closer to its parent star than Mercury is to the sun. If you're that close, tidal interactions will cause the planet to always face the same half towards the star (like the moon does to earth) and there will thus be a huge difference in temperature between the side facing the star vs the one that doesn't. Huge temperature differences like that are not thought to be the best environment for life.

 


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I'm quite surprised ya'll

I'm quite surprised ya'll haven't realized the implications this discovery could lead too.  If life is found on another planet, any kind of life, even a few single cell organisms, that is proof positive of the lack of god.  It would prove that life evolved here on earth only because the conditions were right for it.  Water, sunlight, and the right temp could be all that is, and was needed to eventually bring us to the life of today. 

 This discovery could potentially thrust us into the majority, that is if we can ever see if life is infact there or not.

I truely believe we will prevail because dammit common sense has to eventually!


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...

Arletta wrote:

I truely believe we will prevail because dammit common sense has to eventually!

I have a problem with common sense. In the electronics field I work in the last thing you want to use to stay alive is common sense. You need experience and logic. Common sense is for lay people to toss around. If something technical is not common to you how can you have any legitimate "common" sense of it.

I'm not attacking your post... it's just I have done a lot of potentially dangerous jobs in situations that you'd be buggered if you used  "common sense" 

 

Or perhaps your definition is different to mine.. sorry if that's so. 


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This is a huge discovery,

This is a huge discovery, and the implications are startling.

 

First, the technology only recently became available to discover a planet this small, and as soon as it did, the astronomers found a habitable planet virtually next door. this is exactly what happened when the technology became available to discover large planets, suddenly they were being found all over.

 

secondly, this planet was found near a star that is very different from the sun. this is just more evidence that suggests habitable planets may very well be ubiquitous in this galaxy, if not everywhere. The star in question also happens to be fairly dim, but extremely stable and long-lived. that sounds like a great recipe for complex life to evolve.

 

 

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Phil Plait bringing the

Phil Plait bringing the info with Bad Astronomy.

Astronomers have crudely mapped the first exosolar planet.

 

Astronomer make first map of extrasolar planet!

Artist’s conception of the planet HD189733b.

Wow, more cool extrasolar planet news.
Using the Spitzer Space Telescope, astronomers have been able to make, for the very first time, a (very crude) map of the super-Jupiter orbiting the star HD 189733, about 60 light years away. The planet was discovered in 2005 (note this is not the […]

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artist's conception of the planet HD189733b
Artist’s conception of the planet HD189733b.

Wow, more cool extrasolar planet news.

Using the Spitzer Space Telescope, astronomers have been able to make, for the very first time, a (very crude) map of the super-Jupiter orbiting the star HD 189733, about 60 light years away. The planet was discovered in 2005 (note this is not the new "Earthlike" planet found recently, this is a big gas giant like Jupiter) and is one of a handful that passes directly in front of its star as seen by us on Earth. In other words, it transits the star, making a little eclipse once per orbit.

Transiting planets are very useful: by measuring how much the starlight drops, we can measure the size of the planet! The bigger the planet, the more the light from the star dims. This gives us a direct measurement of the planet’s radius.

But it also allows a cool technique to measure features on the planet, too. Imagine there is a really bright spot smack dab in the middle of the planet. As it orbits the star, the planet gets blocked by the star. We see the total system brightness drop (because the planet contributes a little bit of light). But when the bright spot gets blocked, the brightness would make a sudden dip. And if instead of a bright spot, we had a dark spot, when it got covered by the star, the brightness would not drop as quickly.

So by very carefully measuring the way the brightness changes as the planet goes behind the star, we can actually make crude maps of planetary features, even though the planet itself is far too small to resolve into a disk. This technique has been used to make maps of Pluto and its moon Charon, in fact.

But doing it for an extrasolar planet is a bit tougher! They are incredibly dim, and the stars very bright. But it’s possible, and so Heather Knutson, a graduate student (!!) at the Center for Astrophysics and her team did just that using Spitzer! Voila:


map of the planet HD189733b

Like I said, the map is crude (yet it represents 33 hours of observations and a quarter million data points!), but it does show one obvious feature. Spitzer measures infrared light, so brighter objects in this case are warmer. That bright spot is a hot spot they found, which is roughly twice the size of Jupiter’s Great Red Spot (which itself is several times bigger than Earth!). As it happens, the planet spins once for every time it goes around the star, so it always shows the same face to its star (the same way the Moon always shows the same face to Earth). So you might expect the hottest part of the planet to be right under the star, where the star is always directly overhead. But that’s not the case; the hot spot is actually about 30 degrees away from the "substellar point". Knutson speculates that this is due to winds on the planet; a sort of alien jet stream. That sounds plausible to me.

At the moment this is the best map that can be made. But over time, as they make more observations, it is possible to improve on this map. Are there other warm spots? Are there cool spots? Can we learn more about the big spot? After all, all we know is its rough size and where it is, but not its shape. That might be possible to determine, though I can’t imagine how difficult the observations would be!

This is a fantastic step forward, and it makes me even more excited to think about what we might learn in the next few years. It takes advanced technology, but it also takes clever people to figure out how to use it to its best advantage. As it happens, we have both.

 


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I like reading those

I like reading those articles.