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Old 07-28-2012, 08:06 AM
 
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I read this and though it may interest a few of you.

BBC News - A home from home: Five planets that could host life
Quote:
It's one of the big questions: Are we alone on this blue marble or is there life elsewhere in the cosmos? To shed light on this, astronomers are searching for habitable worlds circling far-off stars.
A team has now published updated evidence for a planet that could be the most Earth-like yet. According to the US Planetary Habitability Laboratory, it would be the fifth potentially habitable world known outside our Solar System.
So what do we know about these five Earth-like planets, and how likely is it that they could support life?
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Old 07-28-2012, 10:09 PM
 
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They should've stressed Earth-like life in the title more, as that's their focus.

Life itself could, indeed, exist closer to home. Sub-surface oceans of Europa or Ganymede, the hydrocarbon lakes of Titan or cellular life existing beneath the regolith of Mars?

It will be very excited when (I'll put my neck out and not say 'if') life elsewhere is found.

However, the search for Earth-like planets is fascinating in itself.
The more we focus our telescopes out into the cosmos, the more we also focus back on ourselves.
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Old 07-30-2012, 12:48 AM
 
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It's hard to guess if any the ones discovered so far would be necessarily suitable to call a home away from home. We don't know. Part of the problem is that there haven't been any rocky exoplanets that have actually been observed even as a blip. Most of the detection is based on how the star wobbles, or how the light from a star dims and brightens from a planet passing in front of it.

Eventually, we should have equipment powerful enough to see the light from some of the earth-like rocky exoplanets and be able to spectroscopically examine the composition of their atmospheres. Another thing is that even though a rocky planet may be orbiting in the sweet zone of its star, which wolld allow water to be in a liquid state, it doesn't automatically mean the planet is necessarily habitable. Still, it's certainly possible there could be a planet that's reasonable to be considered potentially habitable, maybe with life forms, although that might be stretching it at the moment.
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Old 07-30-2012, 09:47 PM
 
Location: Wasilla, Alaska
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I am certain that there is life on other worlds, just not complex life. I expect that we will find that microbial life is abundant throughout the universe, but nothing more complex than algae.
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Old 08-04-2012, 10:14 AM
 
Location: Fort Worth, Texas
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I'm sure there are other worlds that are perfectly capable of sustaining life and may very well be a future home. But even if we did find such a world, we lack the technology to get us there.

If you consider that the journey just to the edge of our Solar System is light-years away, I can only imagine how long such a journey to a new world would take
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Old 08-04-2012, 11:09 AM
 
Location: Wasilla, Alaska
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Trance750 View Post
I'm sure there are other worlds that are perfectly capable of sustaining life and may very well be a future home. But even if we did find such a world, we lack the technology to get us there.

If you consider that the journey just to the edge of our Solar System is light-years away, I can only imagine how long such a journey to a new world would take
While I am certain there are many exoplanets that are perfectly capable of sustaining life, I seriously doubt any will be a future home for humans, assuming we can get there. Humans require a very specific environment that is not easily duplicated. Life, in general, is far more resilient and adaptable to various environments than humans.

As far as the "edge" of our solar system is concerned that depends on where you place the "edge." If you place the "edge" at the Kuiper Cliff you are talking about ~55 AUs from Sol, or 0.0009 light years away. If you place the "edge" at the Heliopause you are talking about ~120 AUs from Sol, or 0.0019 light years away. In either case, it most certainly is not "light-years away."
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Old 08-08-2012, 06:32 PM
 
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With billions of suns and more planets out there, I'd like to think there's more life forms out there that are either less advanced and even more advanced than us. There's to many planets out there that have to of hit the habitable zone than just us. With so many the chance of this happening more than once has to be greater than only one. They're just to many light years away for us or them to see us and our small solar system. Hopefully one day before the Sun goes all Super Nova on us we find a way to bend space or invent a real life Stargate.
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Old 08-08-2012, 06:36 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Glitch View Post
While I am certain there are many exoplanets that are perfectly capable of sustaining life, I seriously doubt any will be a future home for humans, assuming we can get there. Humans require a very specific environment that is not easily duplicated. Life, in general, is far more resilient and adaptable to various environments than humans.

As far as the "edge" of our solar system is concerned that depends on where you place the "edge." If you place the "edge" at the Kuiper Cliff you are talking about ~55 AUs from Sol, or 0.0009 light years away. If you place the "edge" at the Heliopause you are talking about ~120 AUs from Sol, or 0.0019 light years away. In either case, it most certainly is not "light-years away."

I think he/she meant our Galaxy.
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Old 08-09-2012, 04:02 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by danieloneil01 View Post
With billions of suns and more planets out there, I'd like to think there's more life forms out there that are either less advanced and even more advanced than us. There's to many planets out there that have to of hit the habitable zone than just us. With so many the chance of this happening more than once has to be greater than only one. They're just to many light years away for us or them to see us and our small solar system. Hopefully one day before the Sun goes all Super Nova on us we find a way to bend space or invent a real life Stargate.
Some exoplanets do appear to be within habitable zones around their parent stars. However, just because a rocky planet may be within the habitable zone, even if microbial life has evolved there, there's no certainty that such microbial life would necessarily evolve to become a complex form of intelligent life.

I do think you're right, that there must be more life out there than just here on Earth. Even though the odds seem to greatly favor life elsewhere, so far we still have no real evidence to support it. We still don't know for sure if in fact there's life elsewhere. My own view agrees with Glitch, in that if there is indeed life elsewhere, the most abundant form of it is probably microbial. Intelligent life is probable, but most likely pretty rare. Even if we only find evidence of microbial life elsewhere, that in itself would be a remarkable discovery. At the present time though, and for the foreseeble future, we may have to remain content with seaching our own solar system. Who knows? We might find evidence that life once existed on Mars, or maybe still does.

The Sun is not the kind of star that will become a supernova. It isn't massive enough to do that. It is expected to blow off its mass in layers, sort of like layers of an onion, resulting in it swelling up to engulf the Earth, or close enough to it that the planet will lose its atmosphere and all water would evaporate away to be blown off into space as well. The planet, assuming it isn't consumed by the Sun, would be pretty much a dead lifeless cinder. It's possible that as the Sun swells (or puffs up), it could push Earth farther out, but it would still be a dead rock, most likely as dust. The Sun itself will be a dead star known as a white dwarf star. Fortunately, that scenario is several billion years away. Assuming there is still life on the planet well before the Sun swells up to the orbit of Earth, and assuming intelligent life on the planet hasn't become extinct, we will most likely have long abandoned the planet to live elsewhere.
The Sun as a White Dwarf Star
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Old 08-09-2012, 04:33 PM
 
Location: Whittier
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There is so much to think about in regards to other Earth-like and "habitable" planets.

I have watched WAY too much Star Trek, but maybe there is life out there very close to us, it just didn't want to violate it's own Prime Directive.

I refuse to believe we are all that's it in the form of intelligent life.

Given the fact we have only just scratched the surface of our 350+ years of space knowledge and space travel; that's absolutely nothing in the grand scheme of the universe.

Give humans 1000+ more years, and if we don't kill ourselves, I'm sure we will have laughed at how simple we were today...and possibly be included in a Federation of planets.
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