Is it possible for us to discover habitable planets close to us?

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Jun 1, 2020
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Here is a table that pulls the G-Class star exoplanets and M-Class star exoplanet counts.

The "Lyr. Inc." shown here is 50 light years per increment. So the last row (i.e."1000"), for instance, is the no. of exoplanets (55) from 900 lyrs. to 1000 lyrs. Total of all the exoplanets to 1000 lyrs. is the 1807 number.



[I'm having fun with VBA Excel, obviously. :)]

Hope everyone has a great Good Friday!!
 
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Feb 23, 2020
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hey thanks Helio, you have a top one too
-also appreciate the collated info

I had read that the first exoplanet discovered was recent, so here is the brief:-

On 9 January 1992, radio astronomers Aleksander Wolszczan and Dale Frail announced the discovery of two planets orbiting the pulsar PSR 1257+12. This discovery was confirmed, and is generally considered to be the first definitive detection of exoplanets
 
Mar 21, 2021
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I’m a writer and currently writing a book that involves space travel to a potentially habitable planet. I’ve done lots of research of potentially habitable planets that we are already aware of and I am aware that scientists believe there to be billions of planets in the Milky Way alone.

What I’m curious about is how likely it would be to find one or more of these potentially habitable planets in proximity closer to the ones we have already found?

Is it possible that scientists haven’t discovered everything near us? Or would I have to be setting my book somewhere much further afield?

I essentially want to create a planet so as to not get too deep into technical issues of impossibilities with already known existing planets.

And yes I am aware that we can’t reach those planets as of now, but I’m setting the book in the future and will invent technology advances to accommodate this issue.

Hope to hear from someone who might have an answer for me.

Thanks,

Malibu.
Malibu,

As others have noted, FTL is a big issue if you are trying to have a story that is at least technically believable. Of course, a lot of the best Sci-fi I've read assumes FTL :cool:, and it's easier to make a good story that doesn't have to explain away either the 10's of thousands of years of travel given near-term technologies, or theorize what magic engine is going to get you up to 0.5C+ (and then slow down again, as noted by Cat). The energies are enormous. Getting a mass to 1% the speed of light takes roughly ~70,000 times the energy that it takes a Falcon Heavy to get a mass to ~7 miles per second to escape earth gravity.

If sticking to "normal" space travel technologies that would require thousands of years to travel between star systems, the real life question that I'd ask as a reader is "why?" What is the possible benefit to humanity on earth that it would be worth the vast sums of resources to reach a nearby star system? Especially since the return on investment would take thousands of years. However, we don't always do things for economic reasons. A few examples come to mind:

Religion. Like building the pyramids or the Hagia Sophia. Huge resources that a spent not for economic reasons but because of a religious theory.

Cultural / Political competition. The Saturn V was developed more for political reasons than the need to return a bag of moon rocks.

To allow our culture or way of life to expand through the universe, using self-replicating machinery to grow exponentially, to make sure the future is OUR culture. (e.g., Bobiverse by Dennis Taylor)

Because this is the last of the human race. If our planet faces some grave danger such that building our starship is the only way to save the remnants of humanity. ....

Of course, being almost immortal helps with those pesky centuries of travel. :cool: Like the Golden Age by John C. Wright.
Good luck with the book!
 

Catastrophe

Approaching asteroid? Is this THE one?
Feb 18, 2020
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From post #44

"That leaves us with the word close, which may have implied reachable by space travel, or perhaps wihin communication distance (and I mean close enough to communicate in real time - minimum delays so small distance)."

Cat :)
 
Jun 1, 2020
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Perhaps Malibu is lurking, and if so, perhaps she would find the following table useful. I hope she elects to "jump back in the water" with us. :)

Regardless, here is the latest in my attempt to tweak the Excel VBA program to reveal more and more the exciting results from exoplanet observations.

Much of the exoplanet.eu catalog data, that Rod refers to regularly (it's the one I have always used), gives the following information necessary in determining the HZ (habitable zone): [Here is a website that explains the equations.]

1) Apparent magnitude
2) Distance
3) Type (class) of star (e.g. M5)
4) Exoplanet orbital distance (AUs)

Since most of the exoplanet data includes all four terms, then it was worth tweaking the code to reveal how many are in the HZ for the various distance increments.




The "Unstated" col. counts all those that have a problem in one of the first three terms stated above.
 
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Catastrophe

Approaching asteroid? Is this THE one?
Feb 18, 2020
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Excellent work, but does it tell us . . . . . . . . .

Does discover imply visit or communicate or both or neither?

Excluding FLT, can we as a species ever visit another star system?

Easier to answer . . . . . . . . . will it ever be possible to comminicate?
Whilst possibly forget the SF films - not all the Universe speaks English.

Cat :)
 
Jun 1, 2020
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Does discover imply visit or communicate or both or neither?
"Discover and visit" will be restricted to what we see for a very long time.

There is reason to hope that the telescopes being built now could present strong evidence for life activity for a few of these. I am one that is very doubtful that intelligence will be found elsewhere in this quadrant of the galaxy. The Fermi Paradox makes a big point.

But finding a planet that could conceivably be habitable should we get evicted off this planet due to who knows what is a worthy goal for that reason alone.

Excluding FLT, can we as a species ever visit another star system?
"I'm absolutely sure this could possibly work!" - Cayde (in Destiny 1) We already have the ability to send something to the nearest star in just over 20 years using light sails.

Sending people safely will require centuries unless safe FTL is found.

Whilst possibly forget the SF films - not all the Universe speaks English.
We have math and physics in common. That could be used to create or copy a language, no doubt. :)
 
Feb 11, 2021
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I`ve read on the website of space industry news about the Ariel space telescope mission and about James Webb Space Telescope- the most expensive telescope ever. I guess that such missions will open us some more information about these exoplanets or will open some new
I have high hopes for James Webb Space Telescope, but I never thought about discovering habitable planets. Astronomers continue finding new exoplanets and other objects never known before, but habitable... I don't think it's possible.
 
Jun 1, 2020
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Astronomers continue finding new exoplanets and other objects never known before, but habitable... I don't think it's possible.
I expect more surprising science from astronomers because they almost always deliver. :)

With greater telescopes, they can tickle-out the exoplanet atmosphere data and look for those molecules that strongly indicate life at work below. This can potentially be done for any transiting planet with an atmosphere.
 
Oct 23, 2020
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I have high hopes for James Webb Space Telescope, but I never thought about discovering habitable planets. Astronomers continue finding new exoplanets and other objects never known before, but habitable... I don't think it's possible.
With the help of a teloscope we cannot define a habitable planet. But such telescope James Webb Space Telescope can give us a hint at the place where some forms of life can exist or find some Earth-alike planets.
 
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Mar 7, 2021
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Experts say such a nearby habitable planet has already been found - it happened in 2016. The closest star to our sun is Proxima Centauri, and the exoplanet now called Proxima Centauri b is said to be about 1.25 times the mass of planet Earth

There is a video on youtube that discusses what the James Webb telescope will be able to ascertain about that planet. See
"Abraham 'Avi' Loeb - Alien Intelligences" (at the 6 minute point of the video.)

Journalists refer to Proxima Centauri b as a "super Earth", but IMO it would be super difficult to keep breathing, to walk, or even to put your socks on, get out of bed and stand up in gravity as strong as that.

And Day 2 would be even worse..!
 
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Catastrophe

Approaching asteroid? Is this THE one?
Feb 18, 2020
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Wiki gives:

Quote
Proxima Centauri b orbits the star at a distance of roughly 0.05 AU (7,500,000 km; 4,600,000 mi) with an orbital period of approximately 11.2 Earth days, and has an estimated mass of at least 1.2 times that of Earth. It is subject to stellar wind pressures of more than 2,000 times those of Earth from the solar wind, and its habitability has not yet been definitively established.[9][10][11]
Quote

"The red dwarfs (e.g. Proxima Centauri) are known for their flares and are likely not suitable candidates for hosting habitable planets" See next post #69 by Helio - thanks Helio.

Cat :)
 
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Jun 1, 2020
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There are about 65 exoplanets currently known that would qualify as being in a habitable zone. About 32 are hosted by a more Sun-like (G-class) star. The red dwarfs (e.g. Proxima Centauri) are known for their flares and are likely not suitable candidates for hosting habitable planets.
 
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