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stevestory



Posts: 8749
Joined: Oct. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 25 2006,07:55   

Quote
Astronomers on Wednesday announced the discovery of what is possibly the smallest planet known outside our solar system orbiting a normal star.

Its orbit is farther from its host star than Earth is from the sun. Most known extrasolar planets reside inside the equivalent of Mercury’s orbit.

The planet is estimated to be about 5.5 times as massive as Earth and thought to be rocky. It orbits a red dwarf star about 28,000 light-years away. Red dwarfs are about one-fifth as massive as the sun and up to 50 times fainter. But they are among the most common stars in the universe.
Story continues below &#8595; advertisement

So the finding suggests rocky worlds may be common.

"The team has discovered the most Earthlike planet yet,” said Michael Turner, assistant director for the mathematical and physical sciences directorate at the National Science Foundation, which supported the work.

The discovery is detailed in Thursday's issue of the journal Nature.


the full story

   
Stephen Elliott



Posts: 1754
Joined: Oct. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 25 2006,08:10   

steve,
One question from the full article.

Can you explain how the mass and orbital distance was calculated (as simply as you can please).

It (the article) states that the effect is caused by an order of magnitude depending on the planets mass and distance. How did they calculate both? Could it not have been a different mass planet at a different orbit?

  
stevestory



Posts: 8749
Joined: Oct. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 25 2006,08:30   

No, I don't know how they did it, except to say they used gravitational lensing somehow. I suspect you'll have to go to a more science-oriented site like Discover, Scientific American, Space.com, or even the papers themselves, for info about the methodology.

What I think is just gorgeous is that as we develop increasingly better detection capability, we're seeing what one would expect if the universe was just littered with planets. I don't think that within my lifetime we'll make contact with extraterrestrial intelligent life, but we might at least learn it exists.

   
MidnightVoice



Posts: 380
Joined: Aug. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 25 2006,10:31   

Try:

http://www.newscientistspace.com/article.ns?id=dn8633

--------------
If I fly the coop some time
And take nothing but a grip
With the few good books that really count
It's a necessary trip

I'll be gone with the girl in the gold silk jacket
The girl with the pearl-driller's hands

  
stevestory



Posts: 8749
Joined: Oct. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 26 2006,05:51   

I'm especially happy about what one astronomer from Princeton said about the results:

"The results suggest that rock-ice planets must be more common than gas giants."

Since over 170 extrasolar gas giants have been discovered already, Earth is starting to look a little less Privileged, isn't it.

btw, this is a good discussion of why Privileged Planet is crap anyway, courtesy of Mark Perakh's site:

http://www.talkreason.org/articles/Avalos.cfm

   
Lou FCD



Posts: 5353
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 27 2006,08:19   

Wow, I've read a little on this at a couple of sites.  This is the kind of stuff that really gets my interest and attention.  Frankly, I don't give a rat's ass about the shuttle, the moon, mars, or our cute yellow star for any other reason than getting to these places is the first step in getting someplace interesting.  I'm waiting for the day I (more likely my grand or great grand children) can get on a star ship and GO to some other rocky planet and talk to the locals.  (My first question would be "excuse me, are you the intelligent designer?") Of course, they'll all speak English.
Seriously, before I die, I just want to go to one place where life has evolved other than Earth, just to see what it looks like.  Every discovery like this brings us one step closer to doing just that.

--------------
Lou FCD is still in school, so we should only count him as a baby biologist. -carlsonjok -deprecated
I think I might love you. Don't tell Deadman -Wolfhound

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Richardthughes



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(Permalink) Posted: Nov. 05 2013,01:19   

not so privileged:

http://www.universetoday.com/106121....?

--------------
"Richardthughes, you magnificent bastard, I stand in awe of you..." : Arden Chatfield
"You magnificent bastard! " : Louis
"ATBC poster child", "I have to agree with Rich.." : DaveTard
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midwifetoad



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(Permalink) Posted: Nov. 05 2013,08:27   

Quote
I don't think that within my lifetime we'll make contact with extraterrestrial intelligent life, but we might at least learn it exists.


That seems like a bit of a stretch to me. Even if there were millions of planets having human equivalent intelligent life, they would develop on different time schedules.

Looking at the varieties of life on earth and the rather peculiar circumstances leading to hominids, I'd bet against finding anything equivalent, ever.

--------------
”let’s not make a joke of ourselves.”

Pat Robertson

  
Richardthughes



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(Permalink) Posted: Nov. 05 2013,09:48   

Quote (midwifetoad @ Nov. 05 2013,08:27)
Quote
I don't think that within my lifetime we'll make contact with extraterrestrial intelligent life, but we might at least learn it exists.


That seems like a bit of a stretch to me. Even if there were millions of planets having human equivalent intelligent life, they would develop on different time schedules.

Looking at the varieties of life on earth and the rather peculiar circumstances leading to hominids, I'd bet against finding anything equivalent, ever.

Distance is prohibitive to finding anything, I think.

One solution to the Fermi Paradox is that most civilizations wipe themselves out shortly after the technology to do so becomes available.

Intelligent Decline.

--------------
"Richardthughes, you magnificent bastard, I stand in awe of you..." : Arden Chatfield
"You magnificent bastard! " : Louis
"ATBC poster child", "I have to agree with Rich.." : DaveTard
"I bow to your superior skills" : deadman_932
"...it was Richardthughes making me lie in bed.." : Kristine

  
OgreMkV



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Joined: Oct. 2009

(Permalink) Posted: Nov. 05 2013,09:55   

One thing that a lot of people don't get (with the exception of a sub-group of science fiction authors) is the time involved.

Humans have these expectations of Vulcans and Mimbari and Asgardians that have roughly the same level of tech and exist at about the same time frame.

Human have been around for almost 200,000 years and had significant technology for less than 100 years.  The dinosaurs were around for 135 million years and, without an accidental asteroid strike, would probably still be dominant creatures.

Given the huge number of variables involved, two intelligent species existing in the same general area at the same general time and at tech levels that are similar enough to allow communication are astronomically small (get it?... nevermind).

I think that archeologists are going to be much more useful for studying alien intelligences than biologists.

--------------
Ignored by those who can't provide evidence for their claims.

http://skepticink.com/smilodo....retreat

   
midwifetoad



Posts: 3509
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(Permalink) Posted: Nov. 05 2013,12:00   

The other possibility is that we will replace ourselves with AI within a few hundred years. Even a few thousand years would be an eyeblink.

there's really no telling what our descendants will be interested in.

--------------
”let’s not make a joke of ourselves.”

Pat Robertson

  
OgreMkV



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Joined: Oct. 2009

(Permalink) Posted: Nov. 05 2013,12:17   

Quote (midwifetoad @ Nov. 05 2013,12:00)
The other possibility is that we will replace ourselves with AI within a few hundred years. Even a few thousand years would be an eyeblink.

there's really no telling what our descendants will be interested in.

Most depressing thought ever... "Mine will be the last generation where people die."

--------------
Ignored by those who can't provide evidence for their claims.

http://skepticink.com/smilodo....retreat

   
Doc Bill



Posts: 995
Joined: April 2007

(Permalink) Posted: Nov. 05 2013,17:37   

Quote (Lou FCD @ Jan. 27 2006,08:19)
Wow, I've read a little on this at a couple of sites.  This is the kind of stuff that really gets my interest and attention.  Frankly, I don't give a rat's ass about the shuttle, the moon, mars, or our cute yellow star for any other reason than getting to these places is the first step in getting someplace interesting.  I'm waiting for the day I (more likely my grand or great grand children) can get on a star ship and GO to some other rocky planet and talk to the locals.  (My first question would be "excuse me, are you the intelligent designer?") Of course, they'll all speak English.
Seriously, before I die, I just want to go to one place where life has evolved other than Earth, just to see what it looks like.  Every discovery like this brings us one step closer to doing just that.

This just in, Lou.

"Scientist able to quantum transport up to 300 grams of matter 1.6 billion miles."

So, it appears you'd be able to send your index finger on a trip to Uranus.

Send postcard, plz!

  
midwifetoad



Posts: 3509
Joined: Mar. 2008

(Permalink) Posted: Nov. 05 2013,17:44   

Quote (OgreMkV @ Nov. 05 2013,12:17)
Quote (midwifetoad @ Nov. 05 2013,12:00)
The other possibility is that we will replace ourselves with AI within a few hundred years. Even a few thousand years would be an eyeblink.

there's really no telling what our descendants will be interested in.

Most depressing thought ever... "Mine will be the last generation where people die."

That's the second most depressing thought.

The most depressing thought is that after you achieve immortality, you can look forward to the heat death of the universe.

--------------
”let’s not make a joke of ourselves.”

Pat Robertson

  
Soapy Sam



Posts: 474
Joined: Jan. 2012

(Permalink) Posted: Nov. 05 2013,18:37   

Quote (midwifetoad @ Nov. 05 2013,14:27)
Quote
I don't think that within my lifetime we'll make contact with extraterrestrial intelligent life, but we might at least learn it exists.


That seems like a bit of a stretch to me. Even if there were millions of planets having human equivalent intelligent life, they would develop on different time schedules.

Looking at the varieties of life on earth and the rather peculiar circumstances leading to hominids, I'd bet against finding anything equivalent, ever.

Yep. We've been sending out radio signals for a whole century. Maybe manage one more? An ever-expanding wavefront briefly sweeping dead civilisations or planets full of life but nothing particularly communicative. Or just planet after planet of prokaryotic sludge.

--------------
Evolutionists trust entropy for creation of life but are like men who horse a crocodile to get across a river - niwrad.

The organism could already metabolize citrus. Joe G

  
fnxtr



Posts: 2037
Joined: June 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Nov. 05 2013,19:55   

Quote (Soapy Sam @ Nov. 05 2013,16:37)
Quote (midwifetoad @ Nov. 05 2013,14:27)
 
Quote
I don't think that within my lifetime we'll make contact with extraterrestrial intelligent life, but we might at least learn it exists.


That seems like a bit of a stretch to me. Even if there were millions of planets having human equivalent intelligent life, they would develop on different time schedules.

Looking at the varieties of life on earth and the rather peculiar circumstances leading to hominids, I'd bet against finding anything equivalent, ever.

Yep. We've been sending out radio signals for a whole century. Maybe manage one more? An ever-expanding wavefront briefly sweeping dead civilisations or planets full of life but nothing particularly communicative. Or just planet after planet of prokaryotic sludge.


So the signal has swept a sphere of maybe 100 light years.

How wide is the galaxy, again? And how thick? And what portion of it is actually stellar systems as compared to vacuum?

:-/

--------------
"But it's disturbing to think someone actually thinks creationism -- having put it's hand on the hot stove every day for the last 400 years -- will get a different result tomorrow." -- midwifetoad

  
Henry J



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Joined: Mar. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Nov. 05 2013,22:44   

Quote
How wide is the galaxy, again? And how thick? And what portion of it is actually stellar systems as compared to vacuum?

IIRC, diameter is about 100,000 light years, thickness I'll guess between 5 and 10 thousand LY, and we're a bit closer to the edge than to the center, so the far edge is between 70 and 80 thousand LY away. (That thickness refers to "visible" matter, such as stars, not the dark stuff.)

Henry

  
Soapy Sam



Posts: 474
Joined: Jan. 2012

(Permalink) Posted: Nov. 06 2013,03:27   

O'course, there are reckoned to be about 100 earth-like planets within 30 ly, so we could easily have passed over 3700 in 100. But even if every one harbours a civilisation eventually, the chances of our ????-in-4 billion years technological histories coinciding are slim. 'They' are almost certainly out there ('they' being extraterrestrial organisms of some kind), but I doubt we will ever know.

--------------
Evolutionists trust entropy for creation of life but are like men who horse a crocodile to get across a river - niwrad.

The organism could already metabolize citrus. Joe G

  
Soapy Sam



Posts: 474
Joined: Jan. 2012

(Permalink) Posted: Nov. 06 2013,03:29   

...unless we find a way of detecting free oxygen, which would be a strong pointer.

--------------
Evolutionists trust entropy for creation of life but are like men who horse a crocodile to get across a river - niwrad.

The organism could already metabolize citrus. Joe G

  
fnxtr



Posts: 2037
Joined: June 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Nov. 06 2013,12:03   

Also assuming alien technology has some way to detect electromagnetic signals and distinguish them from noise.

--------------
"But it's disturbing to think someone actually thinks creationism -- having put it's hand on the hot stove every day for the last 400 years -- will get a different result tomorrow." -- midwifetoad

  
Richardthughes



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Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Nov. 06 2013,13:14   

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki....are_law

--------------
"Richardthughes, you magnificent bastard, I stand in awe of you..." : Arden Chatfield
"You magnificent bastard! " : Louis
"ATBC poster child", "I have to agree with Rich.." : DaveTard
"I bow to your superior skills" : deadman_932
"...it was Richardthughes making me lie in bed.." : Kristine

  
Richardthughes



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(Permalink) Posted: Nov. 06 2013,13:17   

Bonus ButHurt: http://www.uncommondescent.com/exoplan....omments

--------------
"Richardthughes, you magnificent bastard, I stand in awe of you..." : Arden Chatfield
"You magnificent bastard! " : Louis
"ATBC poster child", "I have to agree with Rich.." : DaveTard
"I bow to your superior skills" : deadman_932
"...it was Richardthughes making me lie in bed.." : Kristine

  
Henry J



Posts: 3964
Joined: Mar. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Nov. 06 2013,13:52   

Quote (fnxtr @ Nov. 06 2013,11:03)
Also assuming alien technology has some way to detect electromagnetic signals and distinguish them from noise.

And if those signals came from TV (or radio) stations on Earth, a large percentage of their content is noise.  :p

  
k.e..



Posts: 2815
Joined: May 2007

(Permalink) Posted: Nov. 09 2013,09:24   

Has anyone heard of the Frank Drake equation?

N = R* • fp • ne • fl • fi • fc • L

Bonus points for an estimate of the number of planets that Frank's equation suggests might be in the Milky Way that have intelligent life.

--------------
"I get a strong breeze from my monitor every time k.e. puts on his clown DaveTard suit" dogdidit
"Abbie Smith (ERV) who's got to be the most obnoxious arrogant snot I've ever seen except for when I look in a mirror" DAVE TARD
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Lou FCD



Posts: 5353
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Nov. 09 2013,11:19   

Quote (Doc Bill @ Nov. 05 2013,18:37)
Quote (Lou FCD @ Jan. 27 2006,08:19)
Wow, I've read a little on this at a couple of sites.  This is the kind of stuff that really gets my interest and attention.  Frankly, I don't give a rat's ass about the shuttle, the moon, mars, or our cute yellow star for any other reason than getting to these places is the first step in getting someplace interesting.  I'm waiting for the day I (more likely my grand or great grand children) can get on a star ship and GO to some other rocky planet and talk to the locals.  (My first question would be "excuse me, are you the intelligent designer?") Of course, they'll all speak English.
Seriously, before I die, I just want to go to one place where life has evolved other than Earth, just to see what it looks like.  Every discovery like this brings us one step closer to doing just that.

This just in, Lou.

"Scientist able to quantum transport up to 300 grams of matter 1.6 billion miles."

So, it appears you'd be able to send your index finger on a trip to Uranus.

Send postcard, plz!

lol!

--------------
Lou FCD is still in school, so we should only count him as a baby biologist. -carlsonjok -deprecated
I think I might love you. Don't tell Deadman -Wolfhound

Work-friendly photography
NSFW photography

   
blipey



Posts: 2061
Joined: June 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Nov. 10 2013,20:57   

Quote (Stephen Elliott @ Jan. 25 2006,08:10)
steve,
One question from the full article.

Can you explain how the mass and orbital distance was calculated (as simply as you can please).

It (the article) states that the effect is caused by an order of magnitude depending on the planets mass and distance. How did they calculate both? Could it not have been a different mass planet at a different orbit?

I was listening to NPR this past week (Morning Edition, I think) and they had a discussion about a new paper estimating the number of Earth-like planets in the Milky Way at between 10 and 40 billion.  This was defined as "planets between .5 and 2 Earth diameters and .5 and 2 AU".  I think the margin of error was 22%.

Anyway, they used the Kepler to look at a tiny region of space and look for dimming of Sun-like stars.  The amount of dimming gave a clue to the diameter of the planet and the period of the dimming gave a clue as to the orbital distance.

The lead author said they did not have a method to figure out the density.  I would think that you would have to be able to figure out the chemical composition or something.

--------------
But I get the trick question- there isn't any such thing as one molecule of water. -JoeG

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Driver



Posts: 502
Joined: June 2011

(Permalink) Posted: Nov. 11 2013,01:26   

Quote (k.e.. @ Nov. 09 2013,15:24)
Has anyone heard of the Frank Drake equation?

N = R* • fp • ne • fl • fi • fc • L

Bonus points for an estimate of the number of planets that Frank's equation suggests might be in the Milky Way that have intelligent life.

N>=0

--------------
The very idea of a “self-replicator” is nonsense anyways. - Mung

Why would I concern myself with evidence, when IMO “evidence” is only the mind arranging thought and matter to support what one already wishes to believe? - William J Murray

  
fnxtr



Posts: 2037
Joined: June 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Nov. 11 2013,01:32   

Quote (Driver @ Nov. 10 2013,23:26)
Quote (k.e.. @ Nov. 09 2013,15:24)
Has anyone heard of the Frank Drake equation?

N = R* • fp • ne • fl • fi • fc • L

Bonus points for an estimate of the number of planets that Frank's equation suggests might be in the Milky Way that have intelligent life.

N>=0

Assuming we don't kill ours somehow (N>=-1).

--------------
"But it's disturbing to think someone actually thinks creationism -- having put it's hand on the hot stove every day for the last 400 years -- will get a different result tomorrow." -- midwifetoad

  
midwifetoad



Posts: 3509
Joined: Mar. 2008

(Permalink) Posted: Nov. 11 2013,08:33   

Some of Drake's numbers are becoming real, but the percentage of earthlike planets that would produce human equivalents is unknown.

Considering the contribution of plate tectonics and asteroid impacts to evolution, I would put it as close to zero.

Unless the fine tuners are right, and humans really are inevitable.

--------------
”let’s not make a joke of ourselves.”

Pat Robertson

  
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