Earth 2?

Discussion in 'The Powder Keg' started by AllAlaskan, Sep 30, 2010.

  1. I saw this this morning and thought I would share....im skeptical of if its what they really think.....wouldnt be the first time they thought they found a planet like earth but here it is.

    Could 'Goldilocks' planet be just right for life? - Yahoo! News






    Could 'Goldilocks' planet be just right for life?

    [​IMG]
    AP Photo/Zina Deretsky, National Science Foundation
    An artist rendering by Lynette Cook, National Science Foundation, shows the new planet on the right. More photos »

    [​IMG] AP – This undated handout artist rendering provided by Lynette Cook, National Science Foundation, shows a …



    By SETH BORENSTEIN, AP Science Writer Seth Borenstein, Ap Science Writer – Wed Sep 29, 7:19 pm ET
    WASHINGTON – Astronomers say they have for the first time spotted a planet beyond our own in what is sometimes called the [COLOR=#366388! important][COLOR=#366388! important]Goldilocks [COLOR=#366388! important]zone[/COLOR][/COLOR][/COLOR] for life: Not too hot, not too cold. Juuuust right.
    Not too far from its star, not too close. So it could contain liquid water. The planet itself is neither too big nor too small for the proper surface, gravity and atmosphere.
    It's just right. Just like Earth.
    "This really is the first Goldilocks planet," said co-discoverer R. Paul Butler of the [COLOR=#366388! important][COLOR=#366388! important]Carnegie [COLOR=#366388! important]Institution[/COLOR][/COLOR][/COLOR] of Washington.
    [Related: Seven best places to sleep under the stars]
    The new planet sits smack in the middle of what astronomers refer to as the habitable zone, unlike any of the nearly 500 other planets astronomers have found outside our solar system. And it is in our galactic neighborhood, suggesting that plenty of [COLOR=#366388! important][COLOR=#366388! important]Earth[/COLOR][/COLOR]-like planets circle other stars.
    Finding a planet that could potentially support life is a major step toward answering the timeless question: Are we alone?
    Scientists have jumped the gun before on proclaiming that planets outside our solar system were habitable only to have them turn out to be not quite so conducive to life. But this one is so clearly in the right zone that five outside astronomers told The Associated Press it seems to be the real thing.
    "This is the first one I'm truly excited about," said Penn State University's Jim Kasting. He said this planet is a "pretty prime candidate" for harboring life.
    Life on other planets doesn't mean E.T. Even a simple single-cell bacteria or the equivalent of shower mold would shake perceptions about the uniqueness of life on Earth.
    But there are still many unanswered questions about this strange planet. It is about three times the mass of Earth, slightly larger in width and much closer to its star — 14 million miles away versus 93 million. It's so close to its version of the sun that it orbits every 37 days. And it doesn't rotate much, so one side is almost always bright, the other dark.
    Temperatures can be as hot as 160 degrees or as frigid as 25 degrees below zero, but in between — in the land of constant sunrise — it would be "shirt-sleeve weather," said co-discoverer Steven Vogt of the University of California at Santa Cruz.
    It's unknown whether water actually exists on the planet, and what kind of atmosphere it has. But because conditions are ideal for liquid water, and because there always seems to be life on Earth where there is water, Vogt believes "that chances for life on this planet are 100 percent."
    The astronomers' findings are being published in Astrophysical Journal and were announced by the National Science Foundation on Wednesday.
    The planet circles a star called [COLOR=#366388! important][COLOR=#366388! important]Gliese [COLOR=#366388! important]581[/COLOR][/COLOR][/COLOR]. It's about 120 trillion miles away, so it would take several generations for a spaceship to get there. It may seem like a long distance, but in the scheme of the vast universe, this planet is "like right in our face, right next door to us," Vogt said in an interview.
    That close proximity and the way it was found so early in astronomers' search for habitable planets hints to scientists that planets like Earth are probably not that rare.
    Vogt and Butler ran some calculations, with giant fudge factors built in, and figured that as much as one out of five to 10 stars in the universe have planets that are Earth-sized and in the habitable zone.

    With an estimated 200 billion stars in the universe, that means maybe 40 billion planets that have the potential for life, Vogt said. However, Ohio State University's Scott Gaudi cautioned that is too speculative about how common these planets are.
    Vogt and Butler used ground-based telescopes to track the star's precise movements over 11 years and watch for wobbles that indicate planets are circling it. The newly discovered planet is actually the sixth found circling Gliese 581. Two looked promising for habitability for a while, another turned out to be too hot and the fifth is likely too cold. This sixth one bracketed right in the sweet spot in between, Vogt said.
    With the star designated "a," its sixth planet is called Gliese 581g.
    "It's not a very interesting name and it's a beautiful planet," Vogt said. Unofficially, he's named it after his wife: "I call it Zarmina's World."
    The star Gliese 581 is a dwarf, about one-third the strength of our sun. Because of that, it can't be seen without a telescope from Earth, although it is in the Libra constellation, Vogt said.
    But if you were standing on this new planet, you could easily see our sun, Butler said.
    The low-energy dwarf star will live on for billions of years, much longer than our sun, he said. And that just increases the likelihood of life developing on the planet, the discoverers said. "It's pretty hard to stop life once you give it the right conditions," Vogt said.
     
  2. Bigfoot

    Bigfoot G&G Evangelist Forum Contributor

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    Thanks for posting Alaskan. Makes you wonder don't it.
     

  3. CrazyIvan

    CrazyIvan G&G Enthusiast

    Interesting.

    I been saying for a long time that it would be ignorant of us to say that we are the only planet full of life in this endless universe with trillions of masses of rock.
     
  4. PAPA G

    PAPA G G&G Evangelist Forum Contributor

    20 light years away, its only an assumption, no real proof of that has all the elements of earthlike.

    imagine going there and find it was not as advertised.
     
  5. Thats why Im skeptical. Because it is SOOO far away that you cant tell whats on it just because its in a "sweet spot" doesnt meen it has water or supports life, just meens it has the capability too. It very well could...but untill they actually send some kind of a probe or something then its kinda beyond them to say "yes theres life''.
     
  6. 338RUM

    338RUM G&G Evangelist

    but the people that say Earth is the only planet with life can be grouped with the same people that said the Earth was flat, it is a mathematical certainty that there are planets with life on them. I hope they find out in my lifetime...
     
  7. BigElkCanoe

    BigElkCanoe G&G Addict Forum Contributor

    Wonder what kinda guns the got?
     
  8. Mooseman684

    Mooseman684 G&G Newbie

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    It is a Fairy Tale....
     
  9. Martian Mausers?
     
    Last edited: Sep 30, 2010
  10. Dragunov

    Dragunov G&G Evangelist

    ^+1^ Interesting to think about though.
     
  11. Paul T

    Paul T G&G Newbie

    Martian Nagant.
     
  12. jmp8927

    jmp8927 G&G Evangelist

    I doubt there are any sentient beings on other planets. That's not to say that other planets can't be inhabited though. Just not anytime soon.
     
  13. NRAJOE

    NRAJOE YOU TALKIN' TO ME!? Forum Contributor

    Be our luck its full of liberals...all rayguns banned! ;)
     
  14. CrazyIvan

    CrazyIvan G&G Enthusiast

    I don't subscribe to that way of thinking.

    Anything is possible, especially in an endless space full of trillions of planets.

    That's like saying: "There's not a single instance of bacteria in my entire home, cause I clean good."
     
    Last edited: Sep 30, 2010
  15. Cyrano

    Cyrano Resident Curmudgeon Forum Contributor

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    I love the line "... it would take several generations for a spaceship to get there." If you could manage to produce 1 G of thrust and sustain it, you could get there in about a generation and a half. A good nuclear reactor could probably do it with mostly water vapor as the reaction mass. But this is why I keep having to explain to people why the Warp Five engine that powered the NX-01 USS Enterprise in Star Trek: Enterprise is so significant.

    Using the original Roddenberry cube-of-lightspeed rule for defining warp factors, let's look at the nearest star system to Earth, Alpha Centauri. It's 4.7 light years away. Or, to put it in Star Trek terms, at Warp 1 (lightspeed) it's as far away as a caravan on foot going from Shanghai to Amsterdam in the Dark Ages - if such a thing had been done.

    Warp 2 is 8 times the speed of light. That means Alpha Centauri is 214 days away from Earth, or a tad more than 7 months. That's about how long it would have taken a sailing ship to travel from San Francisco to London, going around the Horn.

    Warp 3 is 27 times the speed of light. At Warp 3, Alpha Centauri is 63 days from Earth. That's about as long as it took a sailing ship to go from London to New York in the Eighteenth Century.

    Warp 4 is 64 times the speed of light. At that speed, Alpha Centauri is about 27 days away. That's as long as it took the early steamships to travel between London and New York around the time of the American Civil War.

    Warp 5 is 125 times the speed of light. It would take a starship capable of maintaining Warp 5 about 2 weeks to travel from Earth to Alpha Centauri. That's about as good as some of the early holders of the Blue Riband of the Atlantic managed in the post-Civil War period. That's about the point at which settlements and trade between Earth and Alpha Centauri would become practical.

    So now let's look at this "Goldilocks Planet" 20 light-years away from Earth.

    At Warp 5, the Goldilocks Planet is 58 days from Earth. We're back to the comparison of Eighteenth Century sailing ships traveling between London and New York again.

    At Warp 6, it would be 34 days away from Earth. We're up to the pre-Civil War steamships between New York and London, more or less.

    At Warp 7, that planet would be 21 days away from Earth. We're up to the post-Civil War voyage durations between New York and London of the post-Civil War period.

    And at the standard speed James T. Kirk's Constitution-class USS Enterprise could sustain, Warp 8, the Goldilocks Planet is 2 weeks away from Earth. That's about as good as a pre-World War II freighter could manage between New York and London.

    So for trade between the Goldilocks Planet and Earth to become practical, we would need a warp drive capable of sustaining at least Warp 6. Considering we can't even make a 1 G spaceship engine, much less a warp drive, I don't think we will need to worry about sending pioneers to the Goldilocks Planet any time soon!
     
  16. kansascoyote

    kansascoyote G&G Newbie

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    I believe that moleculer warp jumping is the way to span such distances . Transporting through time is a much easier feet than warp 8 .
     
  17. Midas

    Midas Chief Troll B' Gone Forum Contributor

    Even if it is a bust, it still turns the attention towards the exploration of outer space, and earth like planets that exist within our galactic backyard, very interesting stuff.
     
  18. I have been saying the same thing for a long time. I hope they actually discover some form of life in the future.
     
  19. PAPA G

    PAPA G G&G Evangelist Forum Contributor

    warp drive, so tell me at them speeds whats keeping the crew from being crushed on the bulkheads while the ship tears apart.

    the concept of faster than light is beyond what Einstiens said, there is nothing faster than the speed of light. and what mechanism wold adjust for the time it takes to travel???

    10,000 years afer SHTF we may solve the problem. until then i am watching 1950's space movies.:icon16:
     
  20. lynxpilot

    lynxpilot Constitutionalist Forum Contributor

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    I just shot my Weatherby in that direction. I know them bullets go warp something or other. It oughta be getting there any time now. Hope I didn't start a war.