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[P]
Very Earth-like Body Discovered Close By

By circletimessquare in Science
Tue Apr 24, 2007 at 12:00:00 PM EST
Tags: new earth (all tags)

The most important event in human history so far just occurred. The obsession of all of human civilization has just been fixed for the next few centuries.

Assuming mankind doesn't off himself, and assuming a natural catastrophe doesn't wipe mankind out, our insurance policy is close at hand. ...If by close at hand you mean 20 light years, and a couple of centuries worth of technological innovation, away.


In the next few centuries, some sort of suicidal cult could get its hands on a supervirus or enough nuclear weapons or some sort of really nasty chemical or some sort of nanotechnology, and destroy human civilization. Or mother nature herself could fix her dull gaze at us with some supervolcanoes or a large asteroid, and effective wipe us out.

But if we make it pass that crucial period, and we bust our ass doing what we do best, innovate technologically, then mankind just found its insurance policy. By insurance policy I mean that even if a natural or manmade global civilization killing catastrophe should occur, the other celestial body, the original Earth or the new one, would still survive to carry on mankind's legacy.

That's why the discovery of this very Earth-like planet close by is the most exciting thing to happen in human history so far. We have discovered our life boat.

And we couldn't have hoped for a better candidate this close to us. Given random chance, it's easy that for a couple of hundred light years around us, no suitable orb for easy colonization could have been found. But mankind lucks out. We are charmed. Pat yourselves on the back, this dumb violent naked ape is blessed. Good news for all of us. The details are stunning:

  1. Only 20.5 light years away.
  2. Only 5 times as massive as Earth. That means its gravity is double that of Earth's. People can adapt to that, behaviorally and genetically, relatively easily. Work on your muscle tone and take your calcium supplements.
  3. Orbits a small weak red star... but orbits it very close, so as to be in the right temperature frame. Well, not in the right temperature frame, it just happens to lie smack in the middle of what is called the Goldilocks Zone. The Goldilocks Zone is the motherlode sweet spot for the existence of liquid water and ease of human existence. This is the most important thing, this temperature zone. Venus is too hot. Mars is too cold. But this planet is just right, just like Earth.

All technological innovation for the next few centuries should be fixed on the goal of colonizing this orb. At only 20 light years away, if we build a sort of interplanetary ark, the great grandchildren of the original astronauts could make it there given propulsion systems not too far out of what is in the realm of current technological possibility. The effort will be immense. The risks of failure are real. But the reward will be the immortality of our species.

Someone smarter than most of us summarizes the rewards and risks:

Hawking has made several comments suggesting that the human race may become extinct within the next thousand years. "unless we spread into space ... [as] there are too many accidents that can befall life on a single planet."[2] In the third week of June 2006, Stephen Hawking spoke in China and made the statement that humans might have already damaged the atmosphere and inadvertently reconnected the planet Earth with her dead neighbors.[16]

The China Daily asked Hawking about the environment, and he responded that he was "very worried about global warming." He said he was afraid that Earth "might end up like Venus, at 250 degrees Celsius and raining sulphuric acid."[17] In the light of this discussion Hawking asked an open question on Yahoo Answers "How can the human race survive the next hundred years?" and received well over 25,000 responses. The validity of the question was confirmed by Hawking himself and the Yahoo Answers staff.[3]

In an ABC News interview in August 2006, Hawking explained, "The danger is that global warming may become self-sustaining, if it has not done so already. The melting of the Arctic and Antarctic ice caps reduces the fraction of solar energy reflected back into space, and so increases the temperature further. Climate change may kill off the Amazon and other rain forests, and so eliminate one of the main ways in which carbon dioxide is removed from the atmosphere. The rise in sea temperature may trigger the release of large quantities of methane, trapped as hydrates on the ocean floor. Both these phenomena would increase the greenhouse effect, and so further global warming. We have to reverse global warming urgently, if we still can."

Hawking has also warned of the continued danger posed by nuclear weapons to human survival, saying that "Since Hiroshima and Nagasaki, no nuclear weapons have been used in war, though the world has come uncomfortably close to disaster on more than one occasion," and that "But for good luck, we would all be dead." Hawking concluded that "We foresee great perils if governments and society do not take action now to render nuclear weapons obsolete and prevent further climate change." Professor Hawking has expressed his opposition to plans to replace the Trident nuclear weapons system by the UK government, stating that "Nuclear war remains the greatest danger to the survival of the human race. To replace Trident would make it more difficult to get arms reduction. It would also be a waste of money because there are no circumstances in which we would use it independently."[18]

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Very Earth-like Body Discovered Close By | 163 comments (148 topical, 15 editorial, 1 hidden)
The most important discovery ever made! (3.00 / 3) (#1)
by United Fools on Tue Apr 24, 2007 at 10:17:04 PM EST

It can be only suppressed when we make first contact with aliens!

We are united, we are fools, and we are America!
And the Bush doctrine must be extended... (2.50 / 4) (#2)
by United Fools on Tue Apr 24, 2007 at 10:18:36 PM EST

All planets outside Earth that can support life must be American territory!

We are united, we are fools, and we are America!
The Earth is the best place to live (3.00 / 5) (#4)
by Big Sexxy Joe on Tue Apr 24, 2007 at 10:33:48 PM EST

Even after we destroy the environment, Earth will still be more the most hospitable environment for us.

This is an extraordinary discovery, particularly in terms of temperature, and a great hope for finding alien life.  But is an alien world really going to be anywhere near as easy to live on as the Earth itself?

What would we eat if we lived there?  Could we breath the air at all?  And what do you think double gravity would do to your body?  I doubt your cardiovascular could cope with it for more than a couple of weeks.  And how could we handle it's high radiation level?

It would probably be easier to colonize the ocean floor than this planet.

So, let's not have false hope.  We have to cut our greenhouse gases post-haste and cross our fucking fingers.

I'm like Jesus, only better.
Democracy Now! - your daily, uncensored, corporate-free grassroots news hour

agreed (3.00 / 3) (#7)
by guidoreichstadter on Tue Apr 24, 2007 at 10:44:40 PM EST

in the long term it makes more sense to technologically adapt the human substrate to new environments, rather than seek out the rare environments that match our original form


you are human:
no masters,
no slaves.
[ Parent ]
disagreed (none / 1) (#33)
by nostalgiphile on Wed Apr 25, 2007 at 05:15:23 AM EST

I don't like Borgish/Nazi/Transhumanist talk like "adapt the human substrate", and plus it's man's natural destiny to fuck, expand, and overwhelm new environments...like the bee guy said.

"Depending on your perspective you are an optimist or a pessimist[,] and a hopeless one too." --trhurler
[ Parent ]
an unaffordable luxury (none / 1) (#57)
by guidoreichstadter on Wed Apr 25, 2007 at 09:27:07 AM EST

the cost of biological stasis is extinction


you are human:
no masters,
no slaves.
[ Parent ]
wtf is this biological stasis about? (1.50 / 2) (#63)
by nostalgiphile on Wed Apr 25, 2007 at 10:38:05 AM EST

dunno about you but I'm evolving, dude, fast, and crossbreeding w/as many fineass ethnic bitches I can find. Their great beauty and my godlike intelligence should result in substantial increases in the overall comeliness/coolness of the gene pool, if they ever do decide to start poppin out teh mini-N0574s.

"Depending on your perspective you are an optimist or a pessimist[,] and a hopeless one too." --trhurler
[ Parent ]
then you are already adapting (2.00 / 2) (#66)
by guidoreichstadter on Wed Apr 25, 2007 at 11:43:17 AM EST

the human substrate


you are human:
no masters,
no slaves.
[ Parent ]
human substrate (none / 0) (#155)
by greenisagoodcolor on Wed May 09, 2007 at 01:44:45 PM EST

fascinating term.
do you think humans will really be the ones to propagate the galaxy?

[ Parent ]
how do you know it's the best place? (3.00 / 3) (#30)
by nostalgiphile on Wed Apr 25, 2007 at 04:46:09 AM EST

You've never been to Gliese 581c, you've never seen their women, never eaten their foods or experienced their gravity, and you've never breathed their air which is, most likely, far fresher than ours. So, on what are you basing your comparison? Theoretical notta is what. We should give Gliese 581c a chance, I say.

"Depending on your perspective you are an optimist or a pessimist[,] and a hopeless one too." --trhurler
[ Parent ]
Well... (none / 0) (#80)
by NoMoreNicksLeft on Wed Apr 25, 2007 at 06:28:02 PM EST

I'd weigh 360 there. There are fatasses that manage to waddle around at that weight, and somehow survive for years.

I might be able to hack it.

If I were there, I'd eat the other astronauts first. Hopefully that would be time enough for the first vegetables to be ripe.

--
Do not look directly into laser with remaining good eye.
[ Parent ]

But you're blood will be twice as heavy (none / 1) (#94)
by Big Sexxy Joe on Wed Apr 25, 2007 at 09:33:36 PM EST

You're blood simply won't circulate correctly.

You'll have something like the gout only far worse.  You won't get enough blood in your brain.  While you don't black out until 3g, living under 2g must cause significant problems.

By the way, you understand that you'd have to walk around in a space suit because of the atmospheric pressure right?

So all told, I think you'll be pushing 500 lbs. and you're heart will be pounding to circulate your blood.

I'm like Jesus, only better.
Democracy Now! - your daily, uncensored, corporate-free grassroots news hour
[ Parent ]

Good point. (none / 0) (#108)
by NoMoreNicksLeft on Thu Apr 26, 2007 at 03:19:48 PM EST

Didn't think about circulatory issues... and I hadn't heard what the atmostpheric pressure was. Maybe there are some nice mountains there to build the colony on though.

--
Do not look directly into laser with remaining good eye.
[ Parent ]
2X gravity (none / 0) (#106)
by Cro Magnon on Thu Apr 26, 2007 at 01:59:46 PM EST

On Earth, a 400 pound fatass didn't get there overnight. Their bodies gradually adjusted as their weight went up. Even at that, the weight often kills them.

My muscles, bones, and whole body is aclaimated for my 200 pound weight. I'd have serious trouble if I suddenly weighed 400.

OTOH, if I lived long enough to have kids on that world, they might become super-strong on Earth, with its lighter gravity.
Information wants to be beer.
[ Parent ]

Somewhat true. (none / 1) (#107)
by NoMoreNicksLeft on Thu Apr 26, 2007 at 03:18:43 PM EST

But if we did extreme liposuction on such a fatass, we wouldn't find the musculature of some greek god underneath the blubber.

And while I'm nothing special to look at, I've got some decent muscles, I think. Enough to huff and puff around on x2 gravity like the fatasses do here, I think.

--
Do not look directly into laser with remaining good eye.
[ Parent ]

How well do 400 pounders move? (none / 0) (#110)
by Cro Magnon on Thu Apr 26, 2007 at 05:33:01 PM EST

I know a guy who probably weighs over 300, and he's got serious health problems, including a leg that got messed up when he slipped and fell with that weight on it.

And it would be more than just your weight. I can easily imagine injuring myself picking up what I think is a moderately heavy object but forgetting that it's 2X as heavy as it looks.
Information wants to be beer.
[ Parent ]

You'll (none / 0) (#128)
by Ward57 on Fri Apr 27, 2007 at 11:24:37 AM EST

need some sort of ag on the ship that get's you there, so just slowly turn the g field up until you're used to it. Rotating wheel structure anybody? Better yet, do the adaption experiments in a rotating wheel structure on the earth's surface, much cheaper.

[ Parent ]
Exagerated by CTS. (none / 1) (#159)
by Dev X on Thu May 10, 2007 at 11:49:13 PM EST

Most remarkable discovery to date? No. This exoplanet as habital for us as earth? No. Preferable to mars? Maybe.

It is proof of the existance of exoplanets. VS theories or circumstantial evidance. It's the first proof we have of extraterestial life.

This planet in particular isn't preferable envirmonment but that doesn't mean more habitibal planets don't exist.

 
Lost in Unlasting Infinity.
[ Parent ]

First thing, control the population (none / 1) (#160)
by cdguru on Sat May 12, 2007 at 07:10:24 PM EST

The are some serious problems with continued human life on Earth, and greenhouse gases is not high on the list.

Probably the biggest problem is that 6+ billion people use a lot of resources.  Resources that can be recycled over time, but a long time.  Longer than we can wait right now.  This means that every time you pick up something, use it and throw it away it will take several generations before it can be replaced.  The current fad of making things from wastes ("recycling") isn't any form of recycling at all - it is just reusing garbage.  There is no continuous cycle.  It is just one cycle and then back into the ground.  We can try to extend this cycle, but the solution does not lie there.

One solution is gathering raw materials from off-Earth locations.  This pretty much eliminates the initial problem, but still we have a growing population.  Worse, as the article points out "all our eggs are in one basket."  Gathering resources would encourage establishing work camps off Earth, but this doesn't lead to permanent habitats.

Then we have the parent sort of wacko.  Sure, Earth seems pretty nice.  If you are of the religious flavor you might think it was custom made for humans.  It wasn't.  We are not in control of the climate.  We have no idea where the climate may go in the next 5,000 years.  And we're going to run out of everything eventually.

Yes, the planet can recycle wastes into raw materials.  All that urine and feces will eventually turn back into fresh water and food.  But it takes a long time.  With perhaps 100 million people in relatively primative conditions or 250 million people living with lots and lots of technology we could let natural resources recycle themselves.  With 6+ billion people we will drown in our own wastes long before they are dealt with by natural processes.

The answer is pretty simple.  Move lots and lots of people off planet is one solution.  The other is more practical and immediately achievable - kill people.  Get the population down to 100 million by 2025 and we're set.  And while we're at it, make sure the population cannot grow back to levels that will require moving off planet to survive.

Can you get behind a program like that?  Al Gore probably can and someone should ask him.  Because that is exactly what "sustainable life" means - no external inputs into resources.  I would suggest a religion dedicated to kicking the planet back to about 1200 AD and committed to this goal with violence and martyrdom.  With enough suicidal devotees, we should be able to kill enough people off to make sustainable life a reality.

[ Parent ]

no, that doesn't make sense (2.75 / 8) (#5)
by guidoreichstadter on Tue Apr 24, 2007 at 10:42:38 PM EST

it's much better to concentrate our efforts on achieving biological immortality within our lifetimes


you are human:
no masters,
no slaves.
dude, get over it (1.80 / 5) (#11)
by circletimessquare on Tue Apr 24, 2007 at 11:44:28 PM EST

you're going to die, the physical you, some way, some how

concentrate on achieving immortality through your ideas

jesus christ is immortal, he had a good idea. so is siddhartha gautama. so is eintstein, so is darwin. they all achieved immortality

leave your imprint on other humans, and you will be immortal

but if you go that route to immortality, you have to make sure that the species itself survives. thus the importance of this occurence of this planet


The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

it is a good idea (3.00 / 2) (#15)
by guidoreichstadter on Wed Apr 25, 2007 at 12:17:59 AM EST




you are human:
no masters,
no slaves.
[ Parent ]
where's the adventure in that? (none / 1) (#37)
by nostalgiphile on Wed Apr 25, 2007 at 07:07:09 AM EST

plus, you forget--human peoples do suck.

"Depending on your perspective you are an optimist or a pessimist[,] and a hopeless one too." --trhurler
[ Parent ]
suck is good (none / 1) (#52)
by guidoreichstadter on Wed Apr 25, 2007 at 09:22:19 AM EST

suck means you are not dead yet

suck can be cured, dead is for ever


you are human:
no masters,
no slaves.
[ Parent ]

not sure dead would be so bad (none / 1) (#64)
by nostalgiphile on Wed Apr 25, 2007 at 10:40:25 AM EST

man is pox on this planet, and we've known that since ca. 1939 at least, when we failed it big time.

"Depending on your perspective you are an optimist or a pessimist[,] and a hopeless one too." --trhurler
[ Parent ]
no take my word for it (none / 1) (#67)
by guidoreichstadter on Wed Apr 25, 2007 at 11:49:39 AM EST

it's better to be alive

don't you think consigning humanity to oblivion is kind of throwing the baby out with the bathwater? maybe there;s a less extreme recourse to fixing the human illness?


you are human:
no masters,
no slaves.
[ Parent ]

oh, if you meant (none / 1) (#70)
by nostalgiphile on Wed Apr 25, 2007 at 01:20:32 PM EST

killing off all the men and letting the women have a shot at it for once, sure, I'm for that.

"Depending on your perspective you are an optimist or a pessimist[,] and a hopeless one too." --trhurler
[ Parent ]
+1. Another planet to strip mine and poison. (3.00 / 7) (#6)
by xC0000005 on Tue Apr 24, 2007 at 10:43:27 PM EST

Good story. :)

Voice of the Hive - Beekeeping and Bees for those who don't
I like it (2.00 / 3) (#9)
by mybostinks on Tue Apr 24, 2007 at 10:53:31 PM EST

besides it is cts.

FP

Not so fast! (3.00 / 8) (#10)
by GreenYoda on Tue Apr 24, 2007 at 11:29:13 PM EST

What if this planet's atmosphere contains no oxygen?
What if there's no way of growing food there that we can eat?
What if it's inhabited by beings that are more powerful than we are, who squash us like pesky little bugs?
It's probably saner to concentrate on not wiping out life on earth than it is to bet that our species can survive elsewhere.
Even if everything goes according to your plan, it hardly guarantees immortality for our species, since we're still subject to natural catastrophes wherever we end up.


heh (none / 1) (#22)
by khallow on Wed Apr 25, 2007 at 02:43:46 AM EST

The point is that any natural catastrophe that can nail civilizations 20 light years apart are extremely rare on the galactic scale. You'd probably have to get a supernova or gamma ray burst in between to take out both.

It's probably saner to concentrate on not wiping out life on earth than it is to bet that our species can survive elsewhere.

Not really. We already have ready made ways to wipe out most of human civilization. There's no point to gambling that we won't destroy our civilization or even become extinct. Ie, you're betting the future of the human race that someone won't do us in. In comparison, what does the "bet" to settle space cost? Just some money and a few lives.

Stating the obvious since 1969.
[ Parent ]

Taking out both planets (none / 1) (#105)
by Cro Magnon on Thu Apr 26, 2007 at 01:54:28 PM EST

Suppose we send our best & brightest to the new planet and leave the idiots on Earth. The new planet could get flattened by a freak asteroid strike, while the idiots left on Earth blow themselves up with teh n00ks.
Information wants to be beer.
[ Parent ]
and? (none / 0) (#113)
by khallow on Thu Apr 26, 2007 at 07:29:06 PM EST

I suppose a large antimatter bomb (from hostile ETs, of course) could take out humans on Earth and a black hole just passing through could wipe out the other colony. So what? The odds are clearly better that someone somewhere survives.

Stating the obvious since 1969.
[ Parent ]

Golgafrincham (none / 0) (#149)
by Verteiron on Mon Apr 30, 2007 at 11:24:56 AM EST

Or send all the insurance salesmen, telephone sanitizers, and advertising executives to the new planet to be demolished in 2 million years, and have those of us who stay here killed by a plague contracted from a dirty telephone.
--
Prisoners! Seize each other!
[ Parent ]
I'm sick of earth (none / 1) (#28)
by nostalgiphile on Wed Apr 25, 2007 at 04:39:59 AM EST

and want desperately to have sex with other species of humanoids. I say we go asap.

"Depending on your perspective you are an optimist or a pessimist[,] and a hopeless one too." --trhurler
[ Parent ]
Aliens *might not* have vaginas though. $ (3.00 / 2) (#45)
by addictedToSky on Wed Apr 25, 2007 at 08:46:14 AM EST



"...now I've but rows of empty pockets and music and lyrics." -BottleRocket.
[ Parent ]
I only need big firm breasteses (2.00 / 2) (#46)
by nostalgiphile on Wed Apr 25, 2007 at 08:53:23 AM EST

and a romantic/exotic atmosphere.

"Depending on your perspective you are an optimist or a pessimist[,] and a hopeless one too." --trhurler
[ Parent ]
We can fix that (nt) (none / 0) (#114)
by khallow on Thu Apr 26, 2007 at 07:29:32 PM EST


Stating the obvious since 1969.
[ Parent ]

Fuck the species, it's about life (none / 1) (#154)
by mrogers on Mon May 07, 2007 at 03:39:37 PM EST

Shower the surface with seed pods. Each pod contains nitrogen-fixing bacteria, lichens, mosses and tough grasses. Wait a hundred years. Send some ferns and fungi. Wait another hundred years. Send some wind-pollinated trees. Die happy, knowing that we've created the place we always wanted to live: a planet without humans.

[ Parent ]
Well done cts. +FP (1.50 / 2) (#16)
by dakini on Wed Apr 25, 2007 at 12:28:24 AM EST



" May your vision be clear, your heart strong, and may you always follow your dreams."
cts (none / 1) (#17)
by SCORCHED zombie Private Papers on Wed Apr 25, 2007 at 12:37:58 AM EST

Seriously.

You really buy into fear mongering. A lot.


fear mongering? nt (none / 0) (#27)
by circletimessquare on Wed Apr 25, 2007 at 04:24:18 AM EST



The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]
YES FEAR MONGERING (none / 1) (#41)
by SCORCHED zombie Private Papers on Wed Apr 25, 2007 at 08:03:36 AM EST

THIS*IS*SPARTA


[ Parent ]
Armchair Trekkies Are Putzes (2.75 / 4) (#19)
by Peahippo on Wed Apr 25, 2007 at 02:02:43 AM EST

You must realize, of course, that it's quite simply too difficult to actually find an Earth-sized world in any other solar system. There may be one orbiting Barnard's Star or Alpha Centauri right now. We just don't see it.

So, don't make plans for a 20LY jaunt just yet, Trekkies! Make plans instead for detection devices out of Earth's atmosphere and much larger, so as to afford much greater resolution.

P.S. All said, it's a far more affordable project to terraform Mars, Venus, and even the Moon, than to make an interstellar trip with no recourse. Whacking Mars with mass-driver-diverted comets has a much greater ROI. Doesn't anybody really understand how far 6 trillion miles really is? And that's just ONE freakin' lightyear!


3 things (none / 1) (#25)
by circletimessquare on Wed Apr 25, 2007 at 04:23:41 AM EST

  1. mars and venus aren't really insurance policies. too close. anything that befalls earth can befall them too

  2. they can determine size, orbital speed, distance from star, and even molecular content (with the right telescope). so your wrong, we can figure out where the earths are out there

  3. and yes, it's VERY far away. no one said it wuld be easy. but there ar eno other options (see #1)


The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]
Did I Ever Mention That I Know Everything? (2.83 / 6) (#35)
by Peahippo on Wed Apr 25, 2007 at 06:41:11 AM EST

"mars and venus aren't really insurance policies."

Well, that's true as long as you draw the risk line at that point. If something nasty happens to Sol, then it won't matter much if you're anywhere within the expanded life zone of Sol (Venus to Mars). However, what's the real risk of that? By all accounts, Sol is a lot more reliable than a nastier cosmological event like a core flare or a neutron-star flare. (Ref. GRB (Gamma Ray Burst).) Those types of events can sterilize minor to major galactic volumes. In those cases, it won't matter if you're sitting in a mohole on some planet around Tau Ceti, or a similar mohole on Earth around Sol.

I'm just saying that being afraid of Sol is rather silly considering the strong evidence of the multi-billion-year stability of Father Sun. It's the galactic core that we should worry about ... and considering we'd have to travel thousands of LY to avoid that kind of catastrophe, the practical solution is to simply not worry about it.

"they can determine size, orbital speed, distance from star, and even molecular content (with the right telescope). so your wrong, we can figure out where the earths are out there"

No, I'm not wrong, and you're just betraying your ignorance of the state of the art in planet detection. The reason that we can't see any planets around Alpha Centauri is that it's still too damned bright for the truly tiny glimmer that we're looking for. If you'd bother to follow the literature on the matter, astronomers have been finding extrasolar planets on the basis of primitive methods that they nonetheless continue to refine. First, they deduced the existence of huge solar companions on the basis of wobbles in stellar motion. This method only found things like superjovians and black holes, which where the most massive, nonluminous things that could cause such large motion. Over time, the stellar-wobble method was able to find small superjovians, then jovians. Then, increasing skill in gravitational lensing, diffraction, and shading techniques started to reveal other superjovians and then jovians, on the basis of direct observation.

BUT STILL, astronomers are unable to see an Earth-sized world around the closest star (Alpha Centauri) using the Hubble Telescope, since such-sized worlds are still far too tiny to be seen in the glare of such stars. Remember, if our solar system is typical, the small, rocky worlds are likely to be very close to the parent star. Very. Close. And over interstellar distances, that's just much too close to allow them to be seen in the glare of the parent star. They're also far too small to find with current steller-wobble measurements.

So, to sum up, they can determine the approximate mass of a huge world around a nearby star. "Huge" means a large multiple of Earth's mass, up to the jovian, which is not useful to us. Their margin of error is large (often underestimating mass), and they know nothing about the world's surface or other composition. Other things like orbital parameters are not useful in determining the ultimate decision of sending a colony or declaring "Earthlikeness".

If these astronomers have actually found the surface composition of this x5 Earth world, I'll eat my hat. One day, however, I'll be wrong and I'll be glad to be so. The state of the art in astronomy keeps advancing despite our being chained to Earth's surface for most imaging. Adaptive optics and much larger mirrors and arrays are ever increasing our observation limits.


[ Parent ]
Almost direct observation (none / 0) (#122)
by QuickFox on Fri Apr 27, 2007 at 07:07:12 AM EST

Soon we may be able to analyze light reflected from exoplanets. Interesting new instruments are being developed.

Those who would give up essential liberty deserve Bush.
[ Parent ]
A Helical Light Filter? (none / 0) (#131)
by Peahippo on Fri Apr 27, 2007 at 06:58:06 PM EST

Fucking COOL. Soon, we might be able to have the reality that CTS falsely imagines is already standard practice. Har! Thanks for the links (note: the first didn't work).


[ Parent ]
Don't give up (none / 0) (#134)
by QuickFox on Sat Apr 28, 2007 at 07:48:50 AM EST

(note: the first didn't work)
Try again—both links worked for me twice, when I posted and now. The first is even cooler than the second, so maybe the entire web is pointing at it now, making it hard to access. But don't give up, it's worth the effort!

Maybe I should warn you beforehand that the image in that first article only shows a simulation test run. If you don't know that it's simulated, you may fall off your chair seeing that image.

Those who would give up essential liberty deserve Bush.
[ Parent ]

anywhere in the milky way isn't an (none / 0) (#157)
by newb4b0 on Wed May 09, 2007 at 10:38:35 PM EST

insurance policy by that line of thinking. Lol galactic collision.

http://www.netmoneychat.com| NetMoneyChat Forums. No Registration necessary. Ya'll.
[ Parent ]

you're assuming way too much (none / 1) (#32)
by nostalgiphile on Wed Apr 25, 2007 at 05:08:36 AM EST

a) we know how to terraform a planet (we don't), b) we cannot develop warp speed drives in the next few decades (we can, w/good ole fashioned American knowhow), and c) that we can't find people who'd be willing to be stuck in a tube and shot across 120 trillion light years for free (I bet you could find at least a thousand who'd pay for the experience).

"Depending on your perspective you are an optimist or a pessimist[,] and a hopeless one too." --trhurler
[ Parent ]
Ah! An Adherent! (2.00 / 2) (#34)
by Peahippo on Wed Apr 25, 2007 at 06:12:56 AM EST

A. Terraformation. Sure, we don't "know" how to do it, just like we don't "know" how to build a mile-high building. Of course we could TRY, and as the math suggests that a mile-high building can be built (although it would have no use whatsoever since elevators would consume all the upper floor space), so then terraformation would produce remarkable changes in a world like Mars. The KNOWING is in the DOING. We're hardly going to figure out how to terraform Mars, Venus and the Moon unless we act on a barren geosphere and attempt to change it to at least produce something that resembles a useful atmosphere and forms of surface water. Just bringing Mars up from a couple of millibars of pressure to a few hundred, would be quite a success and would not only allow Humans to walk Mars with minimal equipment, but would form the basis of an environment for liquid water and lichens ... all of which builds up to thicker atmosphere, a warmer surface, more liquid water, etc.

B.1. Warp Drive. Like I intimated, there is a problem with armchair Trekkies. Physics hasn't yielded up some magical secret that will allow such a thing (and in fact, modern physics is utterly lost in mathematical games that are only able to mint more PhDs, NOT build anything useful -- see Lee Smolin). Rather than become lost in extraordinarily unlikely fantasies (i.e. you betting on a warpdrive), the rest of us can work on terraforming Mars and therefore produce a new world for Humanity.

B.2. Planets, Anyway. Gerard K. O'Neill asked the question that our society shitcanned almost immediately, that being:

"Is a planetary surface the right place for an expanding technological civilization?"

The answer is NO. Terraformation is a nice idea but to actually expand Human civilization into the trillions of people, we'd have to make direct use of the asteroid belt, comets, and sunlight. Ref. Marshall Savage's Millennium Project, as well as the more well-researched elements in Bruce Sterling's SciFi Schismatrix series.

C. Snakes on a Plane. The issue with generational shipping across the lightyears is not the people willing to try it, but the chance of success they'd have in the first place. On math alone, a generational ship is likely to suffer so much loss of raw material from centuries-long outgassing, combined with other factors, that no Human generational ship is likely to survive such a transit. Such ships might make it to Alpha Centauri. Might.


[ Parent ]
your keen analysis convinces me; (none / 0) (#36)
by nostalgiphile on Wed Apr 25, 2007 at 07:05:24 AM EST

however, you cannot dissuade me from wanting to make love to the women of Gleise 581c, and thus willing to try it (said interstellar voyage) in some form or another--either with my own person or semi-willing volunteers.

"Depending on your perspective you are an optimist or a pessimist[,] and a hopeless one too." --trhurler
[ Parent ]
How would this be good news? (2.88 / 9) (#21)
by livus on Wed Apr 25, 2007 at 02:37:34 AM EST

"all of us are in luck" my ass, it only applies to the very very rich - and possibly a few labourers roped in from the third world. The rest of us and our lineages are stuck right here.

Basically if anything, it makes it worse that some of you are now running around thinking you have "a lifeboat" - and that those with the most power to fuck things up here on earth may have reason to think so. It just means you'll mess up my planet faster.

I also find nothing to rejoice in that some creatures that can trash an entire planet now think another one is in their reach.

Why are you people attached to "mankind's legacy"?

---
HIREZ substitute.
be concrete asshole, or shut up. - CTS
I guess I skipped school or something to drink on the internet? - lonelyhobo
I'd like to hope that any impression you got about us from internet forums was incorrect. - debillitatus
I consider myself trolled more or less just by visiting the site. HollyHopDrive

Don't worry livus (none / 1) (#23)
by tetsuwan on Wed Apr 25, 2007 at 03:18:08 AM EST

If we're all that destructive, we'll crumble before we get to destroy more life in cosmos.

Njal's Saga: Just like Romeo & Juliet without the romance
[ Parent ]

We have to be far-sighted assholes. $ (none / 1) (#124)
by skyknight on Fri Apr 27, 2007 at 08:01:17 AM EST



It's not much fun at the top. I envy the common people, their hearty meals and Bruce Springsteen and voting. --SIGNOR SPAGHETTI
[ Parent ]
I think for this comment (3.00 / 4) (#31)
by nostalgiphile on Wed Apr 25, 2007 at 05:01:32 AM EST

livus is doomed to the short bus to Gleise 581c, esp. after the Imperial Censorate discovers you besmirched Mankind's destiny with this anti-anthropocentric talk on K5.

"Depending on your perspective you are an optimist or a pessimist[,] and a hopeless one too." --trhurler
[ Parent ]
I'm first for the firing squad anyway. n (none / 0) (#88)
by livus on Wed Apr 25, 2007 at 08:28:38 PM EST



---
HIREZ substitute.
be concrete asshole, or shut up. - CTS
I guess I skipped school or something to drink on the internet? - lonelyhobo
I'd like to hope that any impression you got about us from internet forums was incorrect. - debillitatus
I consider myself trolled more or less just by visiting the site. HollyHopDrive

[ Parent ]
travelling at the speed (none / 1) (#40)
by anonymous-66714 on Wed Apr 25, 2007 at 08:03:07 AM EST

of the fastest man made object ever, it's still gonna take over 85,000 years to get there.



[ Parent ]

We could probably... (none / 0) (#79)
by NoMoreNicksLeft on Wed Apr 25, 2007 at 06:21:50 PM EST

Manage to send something there at a significant fraction of the speed of light if we used an orion drive.

--
Do not look directly into laser with remaining good eye.
[ Parent ]
It would be so cool if only kurons... (2.50 / 4) (#44)
by addictedToSky on Wed Apr 25, 2007 at 08:44:18 AM EST

were allowed to inhabit the new planet.

"...now I've but rows of empty pockets and music and lyrics." -BottleRocket.
[ Parent ]
only Kurons and select (none / 1) (#48)
by nostalgiphile on Wed Apr 25, 2007 at 09:07:15 AM EST

rigoursly vetted female love slaves of Kurons, since K5 is largely male and, while I strongly advocate interbreeding with the female population of Gliese 581c, we may one day get sick of them.

"Depending on your perspective you are an optimist or a pessimist[,] and a hopeless one too." --trhurler
[ Parent ]
NO. (2.00 / 2) (#50)
by addictedToSky on Wed Apr 25, 2007 at 09:12:57 AM EST

Just look at Smurfette. Only there would be like 4 or 5 Smurfettes, if you count dakini.)

"...now I've but rows of empty pockets and music and lyrics." -BottleRocket.
[ Parent ]
you're planning (2.00 / 2) (#51)
by nostalgiphile on Wed Apr 25, 2007 at 09:18:51 AM EST

to be Queen already, huh? But I'm afraid this won't work--it'd only backfire and homosexualize the entire planet with ghey Kurons, many of whom already have those leanings...(btw, watch out for dakini--she could be more cunning than she seems).

"Depending on your perspective you are an optimist or a pessimist[,] and a hopeless one too." --trhurler
[ Parent ]
Not necessarily 'Queen,' (2.00 / 2) (#53)
by addictedToSky on Wed Apr 25, 2007 at 09:22:31 AM EST

OK, Queen.

"...now I've but rows of empty pockets and music and lyrics." -BottleRocket.
[ Parent ]
Empress sounds better (2.00 / 2) (#55)
by nostalgiphile on Wed Apr 25, 2007 at 09:26:15 AM EST

because it's almost homophonous with 'impress'..."Titular Empress of Gliese 581c" might suit yuo but it sounds sorta too gaudy.

"Depending on your perspective you are an optimist or a pessimist[,] and a hopeless one too." --trhurler
[ Parent ]
OMG, ROR... (2.00 / 2) (#58)
by addictedToSky on Wed Apr 25, 2007 at 09:28:51 AM EST

Where's my inhaler???

"...now I've but rows of empty pockets and music and lyrics." -BottleRocket.
[ Parent ]
woe steady (none / 1) (#61)
by nostalgiphile on Wed Apr 25, 2007 at 10:32:43 AM EST

you have LilDeb Jr. to think about, please take it easy.

"Depending on your perspective you are an optimist or a pessimist[,] and a hopeless one too." --trhurler
[ Parent ]
How in the hell did hornysmurf manage to... (2.00 / 2) (#56)
by addictedToSky on Wed Apr 25, 2007 at 09:26:55 AM EST

do this, btw? I'm imagining all of you with little blue tails now, WTF?

"...now I've but rows of empty pockets and music and lyrics." -BottleRocket.
[ Parent ]
moreover, btw, etc (2.00 / 2) (#54)
by nostalgiphile on Wed Apr 25, 2007 at 09:22:34 AM EST

would you mind posting a diary so I don't have to talk about my manly desires inside CTS's story and the diary ghetto will have something interesting in it for once today? Plsthx.

"Depending on your perspective you are an optimist or a pessimist[,] and a hopeless one too." --trhurler
[ Parent ]
Smurfette? Damn, I hate the smurfs! :) (none / 1) (#60)
by dakini on Wed Apr 25, 2007 at 10:31:38 AM EST



" May your vision be clear, your heart strong, and may you always follow your dreams."
[ Parent ]
PHILISTINE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1111111111111$ (1.50 / 2) (#62)
by addictedToSky on Wed Apr 25, 2007 at 10:34:33 AM EST



"...now I've but rows of empty pockets and music and lyrics." -BottleRocket.
[ Parent ]
you need a good smurfing $ (2.00 / 2) (#90)
by horny smurf on Wed Apr 25, 2007 at 08:45:06 PM EST



[ Parent ]
good point, a sensible female would (none / 1) (#86)
by livus on Wed Apr 25, 2007 at 08:27:02 PM EST

sterilise herself first or die in her 18th childbirth.

---
HIREZ substitute.
be concrete asshole, or shut up. - CTS
I guess I skipped school or something to drink on the internet? - lonelyhobo
I'd like to hope that any impression you got about us from internet forums was incorrect. - debillitatus
I consider myself trolled more or less just by visiting the site. HollyHopDrive

[ Parent ]
I think I'd take my chances on earth (3.00 / 4) (#87)
by livus on Wed Apr 25, 2007 at 08:27:41 PM EST

rather than Planet of the Kurons. Too many nutjobs and libertarians.

---
HIREZ substitute.
be concrete asshole, or shut up. - CTS
I guess I skipped school or something to drink on the internet? - lonelyhobo
I'd like to hope that any impression you got about us from internet forums was incorrect. - debillitatus
I consider myself trolled more or less just by visiting the site. HollyHopDrive

[ Parent ]
hehehe (2.00 / 2) (#78)
by V on Wed Apr 25, 2007 at 05:05:00 PM EST

A vengeful little man, so sad.
You prefer that everyone dies just because someone with more power might have a chance to move his lineage to another planet.

A free hint: Seek power.

V.
---
What my fans are saying:
"That, and the fact that V is a total, utter scumbag." VZAMaZ.
"well look up little troll" cts.
"I think you're a worthless little cuntmonkey but you made me lol, so I sigged you." re
"goodness gracious you're an idiot" mariahkillschickens
[ Parent ]

how do you extrapolate that? (none / 1) (#85)
by livus on Wed Apr 25, 2007 at 08:22:24 PM EST

I'd prefer everyone live, here, than a few obese Americans (and that Mexican dude) live elsewhere while the rest die.

I am seeking power. U better hide.

---
HIREZ substitute.
be concrete asshole, or shut up. - CTS
I guess I skipped school or something to drink on the internet? - lonelyhobo
I'd like to hope that any impression you got about us from internet forums was incorrect. - debillitatus
I consider myself trolled more or less just by visiting the site. HollyHopDrive

[ Parent ]

our sun is approximately 5 billion years old (none / 1) (#38)
by horny smurf on Wed Apr 25, 2007 at 07:16:46 AM EST

in another 5 billion years, it will burn out. The article mentioned the other star (581) is older (and smaller) than ours, but there was no mention of a lifespan. When our sun burns out, we can just move the earth to orbit jupiter. They have no backup plan.

wrong, the other star is a dwarf (none / 0) (#39)
by circletimessquare on Wed Apr 25, 2007 at 07:39:14 AM EST

so it will burn very slow, very dim, for many many times the lifespan of our sun. the new planet is very close to its sun, so it can have the same level of brightness even though its star is so dim


The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]
Factually wrong. (none / 0) (#112)
by Roman on Thu Apr 26, 2007 at 06:29:51 PM EST

Our Sun won't just burn up.  It will go through a phase of becoming a Red Giant (which will reach our planet's orbit at about 3000K) and then, when there will be only Iron left for fusion, it will implode from lack of thermonuclear pressure (Iron doesn't fuse any further,) the corona will be ejected, there will be a nova explosion, which will almost certainly kill everything in this Solar system, and  then our Sun will become a white dwarf, dying for a TRILLION years into a brown and then black dwarf.

[ Parent ]
5 billion years = not a timescale that matters (none / 1) (#126)
by eraserewind on Fri Apr 27, 2007 at 10:37:53 AM EST

Mankind has the potential to make the planet a deeply unpleasant place to live anytime within the next few decades and centuries. There are real problems and real things we can do to understand them better and to tackle the ones we do understand.

The article's ideas had some minimal contact with reality, though personally I would put them on the far edge of what we should be considering.

The death of the sun 5 billion years away and the death of that backup sun however many 100 million years away on the other hand is simply not something we need be concerned about. That kind of timescale is simply several orders of magnitude outside of any parameter set we need to consider.

[ Parent ]

Hawking is over rated (3.00 / 3) (#42)
by emohiphop on Wed Apr 25, 2007 at 08:06:31 AM EST

Because of his physical ailment, and because he works in an area of theoretical physics that generally is very difficult to test experimentallly. There are thousands of scientists that are easily better able than him to talk about global warming, or space, or the sociology of technical advancement for chrisakes.

I imagine (3.00 / 5) (#69)
by raduga on Wed Apr 25, 2007 at 12:10:14 PM EST

that virtually all scientists active in their field are better able than him to talk.

Did you mean "more qualified to comment"?
Or do you want Stephen J. Gould's foot right up your ass?

[ Parent ]

About gravity (none / 0) (#47)
by bob6 on Wed Apr 25, 2007 at 09:03:22 AM EST

Work on your muscle tone and take your calcium supplements.
Why calcium supplements? If gravity is higher, we would need lighter bones.

Cheers.
I Don't Think So. (none / 0) (#101)
by LittleZephyr on Thu Apr 26, 2007 at 02:19:33 AM EST

Your bones would need extra strength to keep from breaking under the extra strain.
(\♥/) What if instead of posting that comment,
(0.-) you had actually taken a knife and stabbed
("_") me in the eye? You murderer. ~ Rusty

[ Parent ]
In any case (none / 0) (#163)
by vectro on Sun May 13, 2007 at 06:04:20 PM EST

The issue is not bones, but rather heart. You'd need to have blood pressure of at least 180/100 and more likely 240/160 just to get adequate blood flow to the brain, and even if you could get pressure up that high in time, it's unlikely a standard human heart can pump against such force for very long without going into congestive failure.

It is concievable that children grown under such high-gravity circumstances would develop a circulatory system adapeted to such an environment, however. One such adaptation is that they'd be shorter, thus requiring lower blood pressure to maintain brain perfusion.

For a mission to be successful, you'd probably have to do some eugenic and/or GE experiments under centrifuged high gravity, to ensure a preadapted gene pool. The final (arriving generation) would additionally need to be raised under high gravity, but that can be accomplished with a spaceship rotating at the right pace, 2001-style.

“The problem with that definition is just that it's bullshit.” -- localroger
[ Parent ]

more k5 talk on this: (3.00 / 5) (#65)
by zenofchai on Wed Apr 25, 2007 at 10:54:49 AM EST

http://www.kuro5hin.org/story/2007/4/24/222817/186
--
The K5 Interactive Political Compass SVG Graph
Hawking's no expert on this subject. (none / 1) (#71)
by mr strange on Wed Apr 25, 2007 at 02:54:25 PM EST

I've not heard any serious suggestion that human induced global warming is an existential threat to humankind. Why should Hawking be right when thousands of climate scientists don't agree?

intrigued by your idea that fascism is feminine - livus
14 year old astronomers rejoice! (1.25 / 4) (#72)
by fluxrad on Wed Apr 25, 2007 at 03:15:54 PM EST

If I hear you say "This is the most important development in human history!" one more time, I'm going to go all Cho on your ass.

Methinks you need to settle down and realize that this isn't that huge of a find yet.

1. It's still 20 light years away. Even if we could get the technology in a few hundred years (and it's not clear that we will, considering our current attitude towards space travel), there would have to be both water and an atmosphere on 581c. It's not clear that this planet has either. If not, we'd have to terraform it, which would likely take thousands of years to make the planet habitable.

2. You, um, you forgot about things like opposable thumbs, the wheel, and the printing press. But hey, "ZOMG!!! WE FOUND TEH NEXT ZION!!1eleven"

3. What does Hawking's beliefs on the species killing itself have to do with this? I highly doubt that, with six billion people on the planet, we could off everyone. People are like roaches.

4. This comes across as half-troll/half-serious.

--
"It is seldom liberty of any kind that is lost all at once."
-David Hume
Cho? (none / 1) (#77)
by FattMattP on Wed Apr 25, 2007 at 04:51:21 PM EST

If I hear you say "This is the most important development in human history!" one more time, I'm going to go all Cho on your ass.
Like Margaret Cho?

[ Parent ]
Trolling? (none / 1) (#81)
by some nerd on Wed Apr 25, 2007 at 06:38:45 PM EST

No, not that one.

The confusion is understandable however since ALL LOOK SAME

--
Home Sweet Home

[ Parent ]

Thanks (none / 0) (#143)
by FattMattP on Mon Apr 30, 2007 at 01:48:24 AM EST

My comment was tongue-in-cheek since Margaret Cho was the first thing to pop into my head. I hadn't read up on the VT thing since the morning that it happened so I didn't know the perpetrator's name. At the time I last read the VT news items the identity of the gunman wasn't known.

[ Parent ]
It's almost certainly tidally locked (3.00 / 4) (#73)
by localroger on Wed Apr 25, 2007 at 03:20:48 PM EST

The Rare Earth authors ruled out dwarf stars as suitable hosts for earthlike worlds for this reason. Because one side faces the star all the time it's not goldilocks, it bakes. Because the other side faces the interstellar darkness all the time it freezes. The only "goldilocks zone" is at the terminator.

If the planet turns even slowly, like Mercury or Venus with their very long days, there might be some permanent atmosphere (with permanent hurricane force winds at the terminator as gases boil off the dawn side and are sucked into the vacuum of the dusk side) but this planet is so close to its star that this is very unlikely. Consider how many of Jupiter's moons have days different from their periods of revolution.

The problem with tidal locking is that once a molecule of atmosphere freezes solid on the night side, it has no reason to ever boil off again. So there isn't an oasis girdling the planet, because the entire atmosphere eventually ends up frozen solid on the dark side. So what you would likely have, even if the world was once habitable when it was still rotating, would be something very similar to the surface of Luna, only with a lot of frozen gas on the night side.

I am become Death, Destroyer of Worlds -- J. Robert Oppenheimer

And a caveat (3.00 / 3) (#74)
by localroger on Wed Apr 25, 2007 at 03:23:29 PM EST

The system has a couple of other larger worlds, and it might be possible that tidal action keeps the proto-Earth warm, just as tidal action keeps Io warmer than it has any right to be. This could keep the atmosphere from freezing out, but taken a look at any pictures of Io lately? I'd rather not trade Earth for a world that sports a Krakatoa every other month, thanks.

I am become Death, Destroyer of Worlds -- J. Robert Oppenheimer
[ Parent ]
I'm not sure you need to invoke other worlds (none / 0) (#140)
by toulouse on Sun Apr 29, 2007 at 09:05:51 AM EST

From wikipedia ...

Gliese 581 c (the planet)
Semimajor axis: 0.073 AU
Mass: >5 Earth mass
Radius: Approx 1.5 Earth radius

Gliese 581 (the star)
Mass: 0.31 Solar mass
Radius: 0.38 Solar radius

Pay particular attention to the semimajor axis measurement (roughly 6,789,000 miles). There's the potential for some serious tidal action there anyway; locking, other planets, higher gravity or not.


--
'My god...it's full of blogs.' - ktakki
--


[ Parent ]
2 things (2.00 / 2) (#76)
by circletimessquare on Wed Apr 25, 2007 at 04:12:27 PM EST

  1. you could be right. but there are dozens of other reasons why this find might not pan out (no water, too much radiation, acid atmosphere, etc.)

  2. you should still exult. because we've barely started looking and we've found a good candidate really close by. the significance of this is that earth-like bodies may be incredibly common. so you should exult at this find not because of the actual find, but because of what it could indicate in how easy it is finding near earth planets close by

it could be that earth isn't some weird aberration that allowed life to develop here. it could be that earths are a dime a dozen throughout the galaxy. that would be incredibly awesome for mankind's future

and some people would be happy at that for indicating the possibility of little green man. me, i could care less about aliens, i really couldn't. fuck aliens. i just want somewhere else for humans to live so the species survives, that's job #1. i'd be willing to exterminate the little green suckers too without a second thought if they interfered with our colonization efforts. i'm not in any way joking. people love aliens. i could care fucking less about them


The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

What I'd find really exciting (3.00 / 4) (#82)
by localroger on Wed Apr 25, 2007 at 07:02:11 PM EST

...would be a circular Jupiter in the habitable zone in a system with a couple of other Jupiters in harmonically tuned circular orbits, none hot. That would indicate a stable system like ours in which the habitable-zone Jupiter might have actual habitable moons, since they would be locked to the Jupiter instead of the star.

That, however, wouldn't be picked up by CNN since it would be too hard to explain.

I think there is enough to the Rare Earth theory to be pretty certain that Earthlike worlds aren't "a dime a dozen." I just find it annoying that this new exoworld has a huge strike against it, which when it is mentioned at all is played down in an "oh and some people are pessimistic as usual" sense.

The location of the "goldilocks zone" is itself a bit fluid, because it depends on the planet having life in the first place, and it moves as the star matures (less of a problem for red dwarfs admittedly). If Earth didn't have its oceans and atmosphere it would look like Luna. Remember, Luna is in Sol's "goldilocks zone." And it isn't even tidally locked to Sol.

If Earth didn't have its magnetic field it would look like Mars (maybe less red, but still no atmosphere). If it didn't have Jupiter out there to sweep up the debris of early Solar System formation Earth would be getting pelted with KT-level space junk every few hundred years. If it had more than one Jupiter it would probably have been swallowed by one of them or flung into Sol or interstellar space as the Solar System gained its early equilibrium, and one of the Jupiters would probably be in Mercury's current orbit. Which is what we observe in a lot of exosystems, though in fairness it's at least partly because those are the easiest to find.

Also, in a different vein, it's worth mentioning that any potential Earths will only be potential Earths because they already harbor life. Life created the Earth as much as Earth harbors life. Life is why Earth doesn't look like Luna. And when we show up at these Earthlike worlds wanting to move in, that life will probably have something to say about it. Imagine a whole world full of insects and potential disease organisms our immune systems have never seen! What fun!

I am become Death, Destroyer of Worlds -- J. Robert Oppenheimer
[ Parent ]

I hope the aliens aren't as murderous as you. $ (none / 1) (#123)
by skyknight on Fri Apr 27, 2007 at 07:55:24 AM EST



It's not much fun at the top. I envy the common people, their hearty meals and Bruce Springsteen and voting. --SIGNOR SPAGHETTI
[ Parent ]
i AM the murderous alien (none / 1) (#133)
by circletimessquare on Sat Apr 28, 2007 at 07:21:10 AM EST

if we found a suitable habitat for us, and it was already inhabited, a little extermination is in order according to me. the survival of mankind is far more important than some fucking aliens

in those old alien movies, the aliens come to earth to wipe out mankind for colonization. i am exactly the reverse. i am homo sapiens centric to the core. wipe the fuckers out i say. taking up our breathing room


The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

life is not important (1.50 / 2) (#135)
by Roman on Sat Apr 28, 2007 at 06:12:59 PM EST

Why do you care whether life (beside you anyway) makes it to the next round at all?  Why bother with this species even?

Life is overrated, it will be gone within the next 2^30 years from proton decay, just like everything else.  There is no purpose of life, but to spread it around, it's not a meaningful purpose, nothing is.

[ Parent ]

prove what you just said you nihilist fuck (none / 1) (#138)
by circletimessquare on Sun Apr 29, 2007 at 01:19:18 AM EST

and kill yourself

if you resist this suggestion, then you must crave life

in which case, shut the fuck up, because then you're a lying sack of shit

your choice: you brought up the subject by saying life is meaningless: so choose death, proving you have belief in your own words, or shut the fuck up, because you're a lying sack of shit and you crave life

you either mean what you said, in which case, you should eat a shotgun, or you're a lying pussbag

either way, take your pick you stupid cretin

i hate nihilists. they are either complete morons who don't even know what they really believe or they aree suicidals wasting all of our time with their inability to JUST GET ON WITH IT LOSER AND OFF YOURSELF

someof us believe in life, and are not nihilists

a real nihilist is dead, or silent. every other type of nihilist is a lygin pussbag or a suicide about to happen

i hate nihilists

if you have lack of willpower to off yourself, might i volunteer my steel tipped boot for your dumb useless cranium you asswipe?

fucking nihilists

DIE

OR SHUT THE FUCK UP

your choice losers!

xoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxox

The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

You are trolling of-course (none / 1) (#141)
by Roman on Sun Apr 29, 2007 at 05:27:28 PM EST

Since I did say this:
Why do you care whether life (beside you anyway) makes it to the next round at all?  Why bother with this species even? - where do you see nihilism, you pathetic little cunt?  It is not nihilism, I am selfish, selfish, selfish, not nihilistic, you useless ass-wipe.

Why would I care about the species?  I don't.  I don't care about your life and I would gladly end yours given the chance, but I am not going to bother ending mine, it's useful to me personally, because I like what I do.  But my point stands absolutely untouched, the life in principle doesn't matter at all in the universe, your life in principle doesn't matter to me at all.  You are useless to me and the life after me is useless to me.

Life after me does not matter to me at all, you are a fly on the pile of shit that comes from a horses ass.  The life of the species doesn't matter to me, that's the difference.

I don't care about life after me, and that's that.

[ Parent ]

(snicker) (none / 1) (#146)
by circletimessquare on Mon Apr 30, 2007 at 09:26:04 AM EST

are you proud of yourself? are you proud of embracing the lowest rung of human existence? there actually is more to human life than what you speak of, but if you are content with the lowest iq method of life, enjoy yourself. be proud. homeless bums are happy too

The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]
stupid (none / 1) (#150)
by Roman on Mon Apr 30, 2007 at 11:52:30 AM EST

As far as I am concerned you are too stupid to actually propose a good explanation to my original question: why do YOU care?

You did not have enough intelligence to figure out that there was nothing nihilistic about it, it was something else, which you missed, thus your opinions don't matter anymore.  I do hate stupid people.

[ Parent ]

Why would it be? (none / 0) (#104)
by slaida1 on Thu Apr 26, 2007 at 04:38:57 AM EST

I read wikipedia about tidal locking and it said it's more likely when celestial bodies orbit close to each other. Dwarf stars are so cool that habitable zone is close enough to cause strong bulge dragging effect.

I don't know much math but intuition tells me rotational energy goes into friction of morphing celestial body. Wiki article doesn't mention it or heat as a result, though. Instead it goes on about how bulges rotate this way and cause torque that way, etc.

Ok, so maybe it is tidally locked and when we get there, we must settle on... The Twilight Zones. Heat on the other side, cold on the other, how large does heat pipe technology scale? Maybe we could dig gigantic heat pipes under our settlements and make habitable area larger that way?

At least energy there will be abundant because of the extreme temperature differences



[ Parent ]
Most important event? When we get "I Love... (3.00 / 2) (#75)
by claes on Wed Apr 25, 2007 at 03:31:59 PM EST

Lucy" from a radiotelescope and Lucy's green, 18 feet tall, with 4 arms and 6 legs.

Uh, mars (3.00 / 2) (#83)
by nightfire on Wed Apr 25, 2007 at 07:51:54 PM EST

Mars is a much more suitable target.  Regardless of how much terraforming is required, it would still be far cheaper and more practical than sending ships out 20 lightyears.

Realistically fusion powered colonies on Mars with food growing facilities would be more practical than flying a large number of people 20 lightyears away.

plus when Sol goes giant (none / 1) (#91)
by thankyougustad on Wed Apr 25, 2007 at 08:46:33 PM EST

Mars will be in the goldilocks zone.

No no thanks no
Je n'aime que le bourbon
no no thanks no
c'est une affaire de goût.

[ Parent ]
It doesn't matter. (none / 0) (#84)
by dissonant on Wed Apr 25, 2007 at 07:58:11 PM EST

The people with the money and power to do anything useful with this find (even assuming it's habitable, which is FAR from being determined yet) are too fat, happy, and clueless.

paper (none / 0) (#89)
by jsnow on Wed Apr 25, 2007 at 08:30:22 PM EST

From the European Southern Observatory webpage, there was this article, with a link to a preprint of the actual paper:

This research is reported in a paper submitted as a Letter to the Editor of Astronomy and Astrophysics ("The HARPS search for southern extra-solar planets : XI. An habitable super-Earth (5 MEarth) in a 3-planet system", by S. Udry et al.) The paper is available from http://obswww.unige.ch/~udry/udry_preprint.pdf. The team is composed of Stéphane Udry, Michel Mayor, Christophe Lovis, Francesco Pepe, and Didier Queloz (Geneva Observatory, Switzerland), Xavier Bonfils (Lisbonne Observatory, Portugal), Xavier Delfosse, Thierry Forveille, and C.Perrier (LAOG, Grenoble, France), François Bouchy (Institut d'Astrophysique de Paris, France), and Jean-Luc Bertaux (Service d'Aéronomie du CNRS, France)

Also interesting:

The discovery was made thanks to HARPS (High Accuracy Radial Velocity for Planetary Searcher), perhaps the most precise spectrograph in the world. Located on the ESO 3.6-m telescope at La Silla, Chile, HARPS is able to measure velocities with a precision better than one metre per second (or 3.6 km/h)! HARPS is one of the most successful instruments for detecting exoplanets and holds already several recent records, including the discovery of another 'Trio of Neptunes'

So, I presume they're using doppler shift to measure the sun's speed towards or away from earth? Very impressive. I suppose dwarfs are easiest, since their motion is affected more by small planets. I wonder to what extent quantity of light is a limitation. Perhaps this works equally well on small, dim, far away stars as it does on close ones? (On the other hand, they probably wouldn't be using a 3.6 m telescope if they didn't have to.)

Nope. (none / 0) (#129)
by Ward57 on Fri Apr 27, 2007 at 02:09:18 PM EST

dwarves and supergiants accelerate at the same rate in an identical gravity field. Don't you know any physics at all?

[ Parent ]
it depends... (none / 0) (#145)
by jsnow on Mon Apr 30, 2007 at 02:39:00 AM EST

Assuming the mass of a supergiant is greater than the mass of a dwarf (there may be exceptions to that), a planet orbiting a supergiant will have a much faster orbit than a planet in an orbit a similar distance from a dwarf. Thus, even though the acceleration may be the same for either star, the actual physical displacement and maximum speed attained will be much less for the supergiant because the planet's gravitational field doesn't have such a long time to act before being flung around to the other side of the star.

If the instrument used was sensitive to acceleration rather than velocity, you would be correct. If, on the other hand, it was more accurate at measuring velocity, then it would in fact be more difficult to detect a planet orbiting a supergiant.

In the future, please refrain from insulting my (or anyone else's) understanding of physics. It doesn't make your arguments any more convincing.

[ Parent ]

There are better options (none / 1) (#92)
by Roman on Wed Apr 25, 2007 at 08:47:18 PM EST

This planet is not as useful for our civilization survival in the short (4 billion year short) time frame.

This planet is too close to a star, likely it gets too much dangerous radiation that cannot be survived by humans for too long.  The best thing to do if we go there is to dig into the planet, but we would have to go very deep, also if we go deep enough the gravity pull to the center of mass will decrease.

But the real problem is that this planet is too far away.  Even at 20 l.y. it is still beyond our reach for all practically useful purposes anyway (but it is great for observation of different phenomena that we don't have here.)

The best bet for us to survive very large natural catastrophies such as volcanoes, huge meteors and even flying stars (i.e. Nemesis) is to start here, in our Solar system by working towards colonization of Jupiter and Saturn moons.

CTS, once again you show us that you are a Neocon (1.33 / 3) (#93)
by Social Democrat on Wed Apr 25, 2007 at 09:26:33 PM EST

CTS, I know that you and the rest of the Neocons want to make this planet the "obsession of all of human civilization".  After all, I am sure Bush, Cheney, Clinton, etc. came in their pants like you did when they heard about this planet.  From your Neocon perspective, this planet is perfect since you Neocons can go there, keep your loot that you stole from the rest of us, and not have to worry about the enviornmental damage that you caused here on Earth.

CTS, you have blood on your hands, and I don't just mean the 650,000 who have died in Iraq due to the Neocon invasion.  You have the blood on your hands of everyone in the future who dies due to a lack of healthcare, a lack of basic drinking water, a lack of a clean enviornment, and/or other basic human needs.  Every dollar/euro/yen/etc. spent on this planet is stolen from the poorest among us, and it is you Neocons who are doing the stealing.

Those of us who care about our fellow human beings will fight you every step of the way.  We are going to try to make caring about your fellow human being the "obsession of all of human civilization".

------
The US is fucked up, diseased, mentally unstable & psychologically unhealthy. Its food supply is tainted, polluted, & full of chemical crap. Even worse, the US is trying to ruin the rest of the world.

you have to work on your troll fu (none / 0) (#97)
by circletimessquare on Wed Apr 25, 2007 at 10:31:13 PM EST

not so obvious and earnest next time, then maybe i'll bite

The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]
dude, i'm not a neocon nt (none / 1) (#102)
by circletimessquare on Thu Apr 26, 2007 at 03:56:53 AM EST



The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]
zzz... who i am: (none / 0) (#119)
by circletimessquare on Thu Apr 26, 2007 at 09:46:24 PM EST

http://www.kuro5hin.org/story/2006/9/5/172111/7190

The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]
what i wrote specifically says no to invading iran (none / 1) (#121)
by circletimessquare on Fri Apr 27, 2007 at 03:02:47 AM EST

you can hate me, i don't care, please do. i'm not very fond of you, and someone like you hating me would be a plus in my life

however, if you are going to hate me, you have to find a way of hating me that actually involves who i am and what i actually stand for

your current approach: label me "X" and attack "X" when i am not "X" speaks more about your breaks with reality and inflexibilty of mind in dealing with the people around you other than in retarded movie stereotypes

when you come attacking me, it has the mental effect of some loud hoarse drunk guy coming up to you but then yelling at the wall besides both of you instead of at you. ii's kind of humorous. he's very angry, very pointed and passionate, but he doesn't know how to engage with a real human being

stop yelling at the wall dude. familiarize yourself with someone and then atack what they stand for

but if you just throw a label at them and then attack the label, it has the disabling effect of making your target amused and making you look silly. because what you have labeled them doesn't apply, and you look dumb for not familiarizing yourself with someone before attacking them

that has been my intellectual charity for you today. run along child and try again sometime. there is adelightful world out there. it's called "communication". try it sometime (snicker). your current approach of putting blinders on and flailing out at anything you hear move is entertaining at first but just embarassing after awhile


The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

i believe that iranians should determine their (none / 1) (#139)
by circletimessquare on Sun Apr 29, 2007 at 01:26:31 AM EST

destiny

however, it is not me preventing them from doing that, it is a theocracy in tehran preventing them from doing that

you know, theocracy, not a democracy? theocracy means some grumpy old men interpret the will of god and tell you how to live your life. you understand what that means, right? and you know democracy, the ability to determine your own government, right?

you'll figure it out someday: you don't prove that neocons are wrong by embracing something far worst than a neocon

this is my beliefs:

http://www.kuro5hin.org/story/2006/2/20/3858/45254

http://www.kuro5hin.org/story/2005/12/21/21244/723

i am not a neocon. neocons are assholes. but i know enough about the real world that you apparently don't to know that there are far worse things out there. and embracing those worse things in the name of opposing neocons is  not exactly a demonstration of intelligence, compassion, or morality. it's just naive blind and stupid


The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

You Social Democrud (1.00 / 3) (#109)
by FEKLAAR on Thu Apr 26, 2007 at 04:47:55 PM EST

Are a tard, nothing but a delusional tard. You wear coke bottle glasses and knee socks don't you sissy boi?
I AM MIGHTY!!!! BEWARE THE GAZE OF FEKLAAR'S ONE ALL SEEING EYE OR POWER! ALL HAIL FEKLAAR!
[ Parent ]
twice earth's gravity? (3.00 / 3) (#95)
by nlscb on Wed Apr 25, 2007 at 10:01:43 PM EST

Christ, as if we don't have enough fat chicks as it is.

Comment Search has returned - Like a beaten wife, I am pathetically grateful. - mr strange

One problem (none / 1) (#96)
by codejack on Wed Apr 25, 2007 at 10:16:05 PM EST

We will not have time to colonize other planets if we don't fix the problems we have now; global warming, other pollution, and of course, the dreaded WMD's.

Nuclear weapons are a danger, but I think not as great as Dr. Hawking believes. The possibility of a full-scale nuclear war is remote, but it is only a matter of time before some terrorist group, or a government wanting everyone to think it was a terrorist group, gets their hands on a black-market Bomb. If I were a betting man, I'd say that the old soviet satellite states are the most likely targets, especially the oil-rich ones, with Russia taking the opportunity to re-assert authority and reigniting (refreezing?) the cold war. Next in line is Venezuela, obviously.

Pollution is another problem, and the heart of it is this: There are too many of us. Those of us with a bent for science know the dangers of fucking with nature, and the "die-off" curve in the graph (you know, where the population gets too high and they all starve to death?) is within most of our expected lifetimes. Who here wants to watch your children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren starve to death, along with 15 or 20 billion other people? That won't really happen, of course; We'll run out of fresh water and die of thirst, instead.

Science can fix all of this, we hope, but if you're not working on it, quit fucking whining about taxes for education and let those of us who are trying to save the world get on with it.


Please read before posting.

do you believe what you write? (2.50 / 4) (#111)
by Roman on Thu Apr 26, 2007 at 06:09:30 PM EST

We will not have time to colonize other planets if we don't fix the problems we have now; global warming, other pollution, and of course, the dreaded WMD's. - oh, please, we will never fix all problems on this planet, if we had to fix all the ills of this world to colonize others, the colonization would never happen.

If instead of taking on a journey, Columbus decided to fight poverty in his own country the US would still be in the hands of the natives.

Pollution is another problem, and the heart of it is this: There are too many of us. - this is a stupid argument.  There are not too many of us as long as we find ways to support our population size.

Besides, there is a very good reason to grow population in size: we need critical mass to produce new technologies, we need critical mass to produce those rare geniuses that push the science forward.  Like Einstein, you couldn't have Einstein appear in a very small population.  There are many reasons for that, one is that in small population, most of the population is busy growing food and noone has time for activities like science.  Another reason is that we need intellectual mutants, and the possibility of mutations that produce extremely smart people goes up, as the general population goes up.  Even when we do produce very smart people, the chances of them actually using their extreme intelligence in productive manner are very small.  They need education, they need opportunities, this is what the rest of us are providing them with.

That's how our species will survive and establish itself in the Universe, by multiplying and producing intellectual mutants and environment where those mutants will thrive and achieve the levels of understanding of the Universe that a 'normal' today's person cannot have.

Those of us with a bent for science know the dangers of fucking with nature, and the "die-off" curve in the graph (you know, where the population gets too high and they all starve to death?) - those of us with a bent for science know the dangers of NOT fucking with nature, and the 'die-off'.  You know, like what happened with the dinosaurs.  They didn't fuck with nature, so nature fucked with them.

You can't accept it, but the reason why we continue to survive and in such large numbers is exactly because we fuck with nature.  We defy nature at every step and will continue to do so.  

However I personally do not see this as fucking with nature.  Making fire, the first wheel, the first knife, the first septic tank, the first city, the first nuclear weapon, the first airplane and the first rocket, the first heart transplant.  Then the first virus killing nanobiotic, the first fusion reactor, then the first off-planet colony etc.  All of this is not defying nature, it is all natural, we are natural creatures doing what nature allows us to do - mutate to a point where we define our own environment and the rules.  That is the only way to survive in the long run and not to die-off like the dinosaurs did a few times before us.

is within most of our expected lifetimes. Who here wants to watch your children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren starve to death, along with 15 or 20 billion other people? - oh, yeah, think of the children.  Fuck the children, think of yourself.  As long as you are thinking of yourself, your children will be just fine, this hasn't ever changed and will continue to work always.

That won't really happen, of course; We'll run out of fresh water and die of thirst, instead. - you are saying you are bent for science?  You are bent for popular scare mongering and ignorance.  That is what we, humans, are good at - taking a problem and solving it.  There is no fresh water?  We'll distill it.  There is no liquid water at all?  We'll find H and O atoms and will fuse it.

[ Parent ]

Look (none / 1) (#115)
by codejack on Thu Apr 26, 2007 at 08:56:38 PM EST

That link in my sig? It's not there just for shits and giggles, it's there to keep people from posting stupid shit. You have managed to demonstrate your ignorance of history, chemistry, biology, human nature, logic, and ethics all at the same time.

The last part, though, that was artistic stupidity;

There is no fresh water? We'll distill it. There is no liquid water at all? We'll find H and O atoms and will fuse it.


Our desperate need for energy is driving our world to an environmental crisis, and your solution is to use more energy?!?! Just to clue you in to one of the dark secrets of freshman chemistry, most hydrogen and oxygen is already fused as water, and it takes a hell of a lot of energy to get them apart. Most of the rest of the H is in oil, coal, natural gas, etc, all hydrocarbons; and most of the rest of the O is in the air, and the most common way of putting them together is by burning the hydrocarbons!

Next you'll try to tell me that if we can't find the O atoms, we'll just use a fusion reactor to make them. Please don't, I've already had to explain why that's so difficult once this week.


Please read before posting.

[ Parent ]
Dumb (none / 1) (#118)
by Roman on Thu Apr 26, 2007 at 09:26:18 PM EST

That link in my sig? It's not there just for shits and giggles, it's there to keep people from posting stupid shit. - you are making a strawman argument yourself here, this has nothing to do with my reply, which is serious.

You have managed to demonstrate your ignorance of history, chemistry, biology, human nature, logic, and ethics all at the same time. - this is a ridiculous generalization and a failure to state.  You need to read that text attached in your sig more carefully, you are using quite a few of those fallacies you are blubbering about.  You can mesh all the things together all you want, it doesn't mean or prove anything.

The last part, though, that was artistic stupidity; - the last part was hand waving about some means of achieving a goal.  I am not going to argue specifics of making fresh water in some uncertain conditions here.

Our desperate need for energy is driving our world to an environmental crisis, and your solution is to use more energy?!?! - oh, please, more fallacies from an anti-fallacy proponent.  We are not in an environmental crisis, that's one.  We are not desperate for energy, that's two.  There is plenty of energy that we can use, that's three.  We are moving through energy stages to the higher energy levels and this requires that we grow population to large size, which will both force our hand and provide a solution.

Just to clue you in to one of the dark secrets of freshman chemistry, most hydrogen and oxygen is already fused as water, and it takes a hell of a lot of energy to get them apart. - this is a stupid argument, because it had nothing to do with the point I was making.  If there is no liquid water at all, BUT there is some way of getting O and H, we'll fuse it, or whatever.  How the hell do you know what is on that far away planet, maybe all of the oxygen is in CO2 form and all of the Hydrogen is in NH3.  Big deal, that was not the point anyway, I am saying that we will find a technical solution to a technical problem.  

You are an idiot, but it is not an argument against you, I won't use it to diminish whatever points you are making, it is just an observation, so don't worry about Ad Hominem.


[ Parent ]

This is like... (none / 0) (#144)
by BJH on Mon Apr 30, 2007 at 02:33:42 AM EST

...watching two 4-year-olds trying to beat each other to death with Nerf balls.
--
Roses are red, violets are blue.
I'm schizophrenic, and so am I.
-- Oscar Levant

[ Parent ]
Yes. (NT) (none / 0) (#162)
by vectro on Sun May 13, 2007 at 05:48:33 PM EST



“The problem with that definition is just that it's bullshit.” -- localroger
[ Parent ]
There are better options (none / 1) (#98)
by Roman on Wed Apr 25, 2007 at 10:41:56 PM EST

This planet is not as useful for our civilization survival in the short (4 billion year short) time frame.

This planet is too close to a star, likely it gets too much dangerous radiation that cannot be survived by humans for too long.  The best thing to do if we go there is to dig into the planet, but we would have to go very deep, also if we go deep enough the gravity pull to the center of mass will decrease.

But the real problem is that this planet is too far away.  Even at 20 l.y. it is still beyond our reach for all practically useful purposes anyway (but it is great for observation of different phenomena that we don't have here.)

The best bet for us to survive very large natural catastrophies such as volcanoes, huge meteors and even flying stars (i.e. Nemesis) is to start here, in our Solar system by working towards colonization of Jupiter and Saturn moons.

Millions of M class planets (none / 1) (#103)
by 53cards on Thu Apr 26, 2007 at 04:33:15 AM EST

If we can find an earth like planet that close, it probably means there are (at least) millions of them in our galaxy.

First contact is near :) That is, with bacteria or some other non-intelligent life form.

Re: Millions of M class planets (3.00 / 3) (#125)
by drsmithy on Fri Apr 27, 2007 at 09:23:12 AM EST

If we can find an earth like planet that close, it probably means there are (at least) millions of them in our galaxy.

Right. In the same sense that getting the first two lottery numbers right mean you're sure to get the next four.

The last thing anyone with a reasonable education in history wants is "first contact" - because the most likely end result is going to be either them or us on the edge of extinction.

[ Parent ]

I have an education in History. . . (none / 0) (#142)
by thankyougustad on Sun Apr 29, 2007 at 09:23:02 PM EST

and I don't recall any examples of first contact with extrasolar species. Please provide citations.

No no thanks no
Je n'aime que le bourbon
no no thanks no
c'est une affaire de goût.

[ Parent ]
Historically (none / 0) (#148)
by Cro Magnon on Mon Apr 30, 2007 at 10:58:05 AM EST

when people with advanced tech/weapons came into contact with people with less advanced tech/weapons, the latter got enslaved or exterminated.
Information wants to be beer.
[ Parent ]
thank you doctor (none / 0) (#151)
by thankyougustad on Mon Apr 30, 2007 at 12:31:54 PM EST

That really was begging to be spelled out to me.

No no thanks no
Je n'aime que le bourbon
no no thanks no
c'est une affaire de goût.

[ Parent ]
Well, not THAT close (none / 0) (#127)
by eraserewind on Fri Apr 27, 2007 at 10:56:13 AM EST

I mean, we have no feasible way of traveling there. s far as I am aware, we don't even have useful theories that would make travel there a possibility. Bad Science Fiction however, he have aplenty.

Even communication is next to impossible. 40 year ping times at best.

We really are very small and insignificant. I wish it were otherwise. I want a starship.

[ Parent ]

but... (none / 1) (#130)
by Ward57 on Fri Apr 27, 2007 at 02:19:54 PM EST

generation ships. With nuclear propulsion.

[ Parent ]
sign. (none / 0) (#136)
by zenofchai on Sat Apr 28, 2007 at 10:24:37 PM EST

me.

the.

fuck.

up.

-z
--
The K5 Interactive Political Compass SVG Graph
[ Parent ]

Bah, wake me when they find (2.50 / 2) (#137)
by a boy and his bike on Sat Apr 28, 2007 at 10:36:19 PM EST

a Ringworld.

Electrical Field (none / 0) (#147)
by jforan on Mon Apr 30, 2007 at 10:30:17 AM EST

I remember reading somewhere that the electrical field of our planet was pretty important to sustain life on the surface...

Is this true?  Caused by molten lead/iron/core or something, right?  Can we detect this on distant planets?

Jeff
I hops to be barley workin'.

Magnetic field, you mean? (none / 0) (#153)
by jwdb on Wed May 02, 2007 at 12:33:52 PM EST

The magnetic field definitely protects us by being part of what shields us from radiation. There are theories as to what generates it, but none conclusive as far as I know.

There aren't significant electric fields radiating from the earth in standard theory. There is an alternate - the electric universe - that says that electric forces are just as significant as gravitational forces at solar/galactic scales, but I'm not sure how widely accepted it is. In any case, don't believe they do much shielding.

[ Parent ]

one would be tempted to mark it with an X (none / 0) (#156)
by newb4b0 on Wed May 09, 2007 at 10:34:24 PM EST

said Xavier

http://www.netmoneychat.com| NetMoneyChat Forums. No Registration necessary. Ya'll.

Fascinating (none / 0) (#158)
by Dev X on Thu May 10, 2007 at 11:25:22 PM EST

http://www.space.com/scienceastronomy/blazing_speed_050118.html

Also interesting.

I was impacted by this information. It's disapointing that we probably won't even have a probe there within my natural life. At least it will eventualy get on tv and there will be good images and info about. It's even possible(unlikely?) that there is a closer one.

New avenues were definatley opened in my imagination, one hell of a discovery.

 
Lost in Unlasting Infinity.

Very Earth-like Body Discovered Close By | 163 comments (148 topical, 15 editorial, 1 hidden)
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