• We hope all of you have a great holiday season and an incredible New Year. Thanks so much for being part of the Space community!

20 light years away, the most Earthlike planet yet

Status
Not open for further replies.
L

lukman

Guest
British bookmakers wasted no time slashing the odds on aliens being discovered after astronomers announced Wednesday that they had discovered an Earth-like planet. William Hill cut the odds on proving the existence of extra-terrestrial life from 1,000-1 to 100-1.<br /><br />Wanna bet anyone? <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> </div>
 
H

heyscottie

Guest
Not old news, exactly, but there's a long thread in Space Science and Astronomy about it since yesterday...
 
V

vladimage

Guest
of course they will quickly dismiss the idea of ET lifeforms ...<br />but as oppose to finding life, i wonder what the odds are of us NOT finding alien life out there. are the possibilities somehow proportional...<br /> <br />*edit: i didnt see the old thread on this. my mistake. <br />
 
C

chyten

Guest
<b>William Hill cut the odds on proving the existence of extra-terrestrial life from 1,000-1 to 100-1. </b><br /><br />Does this bet have a time limit? Or will a pound placed today will return 100 pounds no matter when extra-terrestrial life is found? If the latter, then I think Hill is being rather foolish. If former (and the time limit is sufficiently short), he makes a lot of easy money.
 
B

Boris_Badenov

Guest
<font color="yellow"> Does this bet have a time limit? Or will a pound placed today will return 100 pounds no matter when extra-terrestrial life is found? </font><br /><br /> Gulf Daily News <br /><br />For William Hill to pay out on an aliens bet, the prime minister has to confirm officially the existence of intelligent extra-terrestrial life within a year of the bet being placed.<br /><br /> <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <font color="#993300"><span class="body"><font size="2" color="#3366ff"><div align="center">. </div><div align="center">Never roll in the mud with a pig. You'll both get dirty & the pig likes it.</div></font></span></font> </div>
 
J

JonClarke

Guest
<i>of course they will quickly dismiss the idea of ET lifeforms</i><br /><br />Who are "they"? <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p><em>Whether we become a multi-planet species with unlimited horizons, or are forever confined to Earth will be decided in the twenty-first century amid the vast plains, rugged canyons and lofty mountains of Mars</em>  Arthur Clarke</p> </div>
 
V

vladimage

Guest
-Who are "they"?<br /><br />whomever that's been doing it and convincingly up until now.<br />is it that they prefer the odds of us not actually finding life for the rest of our existence....
 
L

lukman

Guest
I dont know, because there are no prior experience on this situatuion, how long normally does it take for scientist or official to announce thier finding? <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> </div>
 
H

heyscottie

Guest
vladimage:<br />whomever that's been doing it and convincingly up until now. <br />is it that they prefer the odds of us not actually finding life for the rest of our existence....<br /><br />Me:<br />It is that "they" are being realistic.<br /><br />For instance, even on a seemingly benign world like Gliese 581c, there are many problems for life developing, at least as we know it:<br /><br />1) The planet is probably tidally locked (though this is certainly not known). This means one side would be fairly hot and the other fairly cold, unless there is great atmospheric convection. Either side would be somewhat inhospitable for life.<br />2) Gliese 581 is a variable star. The planet has to put up with changing intensities of solar radiation.<br />3) Gliese is a red dwarf, radiating most of its energy in infrared. This is not a problem for life per se, but would be a problem for earth-style plant life.<br /><br />Now, lets assume that Gliese 581c DOES have life. Great. Does it have intelligent life? It gets harder and harder. If it has intelligent life, is their civilization advanced enough to try to talk with us over radio? Do they have the curiosity to want to do it in the first place? Can we handle the 40 year latency between each side of a conversation?<br /><br />So maybe I am part of "they"...
 
J

JonClarke

Guest
<i>whomever that's been doing it and convincingly up until now.</i><br /><br />Who is doing this?<br /><br /><i>is it that they prefer the odds of us not actually finding life for the rest of our existence.</i><br /><br />Who thinks this way?<br /><br />Jon <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p><em>Whether we become a multi-planet species with unlimited horizons, or are forever confined to Earth will be decided in the twenty-first century amid the vast plains, rugged canyons and lofty mountains of Mars</em>  Arthur Clarke</p> </div>
 
Q

qso1

Guest
lukman:<br />I dont know, because there are no prior experience on this situatuion, how long normally does it take for scientist or official to announce thier finding?<br /><br />Me:<br />This is a good question and one that I will try to answer this way.<br /><br />Short answer for exoworlds, typically one would observe the star in question to record variability in the stars redshift (The basis for radial velocity measurements) as well as its visible light emissions (The basis for transit photometry measurements). I would say an average period from initial sighting to announcment for these short orbital period exoworlds could be as little as a year. Gliese581c orbits its parent star every 13 days which means the drop in the stars redshift and light emission will change according to the position of the planet every 13 days. When confidence is high that there is no other reasonable explanation for the observed regular variability in the stars redshift...it can then be inferred a planet orbits that star.<br /><br />Transit photometry measures the drop in regular light emission from a star. A drop resultijng from the passage of a planet across the face of the star which will of course, cause a corresponding in that stars light output as viewed from our perspective.<br /><br />Longer answer:<br /><br />First it depends on what the field of research is. Fusion power is still promising fusion power in 20 years just as it did 20 years ago so no announcment of fusion power being ready to come online has occured in over four decades.<br /><br />But this particular field, exoplanets is just getting underway relatively speaking. There was at least one noteable false starts prior to the 1990s. This was the well known search by Astronomer Peter van de Kamp of a possible exoplanet around Barnards star. Barnards may still yet prove to have planets but Van De Kamps findings were found to be the cause of telescope facility reconstruction which he either failed to account for or did not do a good <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p><strong>My borrowed quote for the time being:</strong></p><p><em>There are three kinds of people in life. Those who make it happen, those who watch it happen...and those who do not know what happened.</em></p> </div>
 
Q

qso1

Guest
vladimage:<br />of course they will quickly dismiss the idea of ET lifeforms.<br /><br />Me:<br />I'd say its the other way around. Astronomers are so anxious to announce the discovery of an earthlike world, with the implications of life that they do so with little consideration for what the world in question may really be like.<br /><br />I suspect if Gliese581c has life on it at all, its microbiological. All we know so far that makes this planet earthlike in any way...is that its rocky, and orbits a zone thought to be conducive to development of liquid water and therefore life.<br /><br />I don't see an awful lot of dismissal of life so far except in the case of advanced human like beings. But then, if scientists started jumping to conclusions and suggesting that human level intelligent ETs are everywhere based on the discoveries made with our limited technology so far...that wouldn't be science.<br /><br />Ultimately, this search is really all about the eventual discovery of ETs but its a search that does so within scientific methodology rather than wishful thinking. <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p><strong>My borrowed quote for the time being:</strong></p><p><em>There are three kinds of people in life. Those who make it happen, those who watch it happen...and those who do not know what happened.</em></p> </div>
 
L

lukman

Guest
Thank, it was very comprehensive. Maybe one day, if OWL telescope is available, maybe the largest one can scan the detail of a distant exoplanet atmosphere. <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> </div>
 
Q

qso1

Guest
Considering the difficulties of getting NASA space telescopes budgeted, I'm betting on ground based scopes imaging the first exoplanets and OWL is an excellent candidate to be that scope. Assuming Hubble does'nt deliver such an image before it is retired. <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p><strong>My borrowed quote for the time being:</strong></p><p><em>There are three kinds of people in life. Those who make it happen, those who watch it happen...and those who do not know what happened.</em></p> </div>
 
A

alokmohan

Guest
huge ring of warm dust encircling a sun-size star 424 light-years away may well be molded into an Earth-like planet in the next 100 million years, astronomers reported this week. A team that examined infrared light hailing from the star HD 113766 discovered a belt of powdery dust and probably rock—the raw material for a planet—in the star's habitable zone, the sweet spot where water can stay liquid. <br />The composition of the dust suggests it is also just right for forming a rocky or terrestrial planet instead of a gaseous one, the group reports in a paper set to be published in The Astrophysical Journal. "It's sitting damn, bang-smack in the middle of the habitable zone," says astrophysicist Carey Lisse of Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory (APL) in Laurel, Md., a co-author http://sciam.com/article.cfm?articleID=6BB66C08-E7F2-99DF-31D62995B90ADB96&sc=WR_20071009<br />
 
A

alokmohan

Guest
Stargazers have yet to lay eyes on any of the nearly 240 planets detected outside our solar system. These so-called exoplanets are too faint for current telescopes to distinguish from the stars they orbit*; instead astronomers rely on indirect methods to infer their existence. Yet popular news accounts, supplied by space agency press services, overflow with bold, almost photo-realistic images of distant worlds. <br />Naturally, people can get confused. When San Francisco artist Lynette Cook painted a particularly striking image of a newly discovered planet passing in front of the star HD 209458 for a 1999 NASA press release, she received e-mail asking what kind of amazing image processing software she had used. "A lot of people didn't understand that it was a rendering," she sahttp://sciam.com/article.cfm?chanID=sa004&articleID=FB77F014-E7F2-99DF-37E95D5497B875BE&sc=WR_20071009<br />
 
Q

qso1

Guest
Thanks for the links...One of the things I noticed was the comment about someone who didn't realize the planet image is a 3D computer rendering. This is a common problem when these types of reports are issued. They always get someone to do a CGI of whatever is discovered. Usually the CGI is explained as an artist concept but sometimes it isn't which leads to confusion among laypersons.<br /><br />Even if we could image earthlike planets around other stars, it would be more likely that we would be imaging only the relatively close candidate stars rather than stars 200 plus light years out. <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p><strong>My borrowed quote for the time being:</strong></p><p><em>There are three kinds of people in life. Those who make it happen, those who watch it happen...and those who do not know what happened.</em></p> </div>
 
Status
Not open for further replies.

ASK THE COMMUNITY