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In The Search For Earth Like Planets .....


Realist
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That is an exciting article. I wonder if we will be able pick up any "historical documents" being broadcast from the planets?

 

More seriously, does anyone know how sound the method for measuring the sizes of earth-sized orbs is from that distance?

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That is an exciting article. I wonder if we will be able pick up any "historical documents" being broadcast from the planets?

 

More seriously, does anyone know how sound the method for measuring the sizes of earth-sized orbs is from that distance?

 

It's sound in principle, but it's a pretty hard measurement to make in practice. Basically, it's a measurement of the doppler effect on the light from the distant star as it is nudged ever so slightly backward and forward as the exoplanet orbits around it. The experts in the field (of which I'm not one) accept it, so I guess we can do it nowadays with reasonable accuracy.

 

Slightly off topic, but it's also interesting to note that the estimated age of the Gliese system is about 7 - 11 billion years, twice as old as our own. And considering that the mass of it's star is ~0.3 solar masses, it's estimated lifetime is 370 billion years (estimated lifetime = 1/M^3 * 10^10 years where M = solar mass fraction). Compare that with our own sun's estimated life of 10 billion years (of which 4.5 are already gone). The Gliese system will continue on just as it is now, long after our own sun dies. I think looking for habitable planets around red dwarfs (M-class stars like Gliese) is where we ought to be looking to go when we finally get the ability (assuming no one else is already there). They would be a very stable place for civilization for a LONG time.

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Here's another news link about the discovery. Apparently Gliese d is well within the habitable zone, whereas before it was thought that it was at the very edge. It's very exciting news.

 

LA Times Article

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Planets appear to be common. There is even a possibility that life itself might be common, though over 99% of it may be lichens, fungi and bacteria. I'm not sure if this article meant nucleotides

 

http://www.dailygalaxy.com/my_weblog/2009/...of-physics.html

 

but we know water, amino acids, tholins and long chain carbon molecules can occur in space outside our solar system.

 

There is almost certainly bacterial life under the surface of Mars which would account for the methane gassing off there every "summer". Scientists can think of no other reason for it. We have found liquid water on Mars at -50.c (with natural anti-freeze chemicals in it) and we have recently found bacterial life in a brine pool 1,300 feet below the surface of the Antarctic where there is no air and it "breathes" iron for energy.

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Next question: how the fuck do we get there? :eek:

 

Come up with a way and I'll totally fucking go.

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Next question: how the fuck do we get there? :eek:

 

Come up with a way and I'll totally fucking go.

 

I'm working on that. :) That's why I'm currently double majoring in Physics and Applied Mathematics...

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Man, I'd chop off both my legs if It meant I'd live to see it. I watch sci-fi such as Star Wars or Serenity Firefly and wish to hell that we could planet-hop like that. :(

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