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Water found in atmosphere of planet beyond our solar system

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8 hours ago, Mickc said:

At a point in time, people knew of Thailand but getting there was not viable due to travel times and distance. Now you have the opportunity to live here and return home for holidays. Everything is relative to it's current point in time, without progress we would all still be living in the trees.

Ahh...the religion of progress. The world's most popular contemporary religion. It dwarfs Christianity in size, but is just as much based in faith as any of them.

 

Just because we have evolved consciousness because it is better adapted to our current environment, does not imply that we are better or improving vs. the past. There is no inherent direction to adaption. Over millenia the environment will likely change, and it is very possible that consciousness and this simian form we inhabit today could actually become a liability. Our species might then die out, being less well suited to the environment. and maybe rats will rule the world.

 

There is no such thing as a direction of evolution. It is just constant change that always adapts to its environment.  There is no reason to believe tomorrow will be better or worse, just different. Progress is a short term illusion, just like believing the stock market will continue to go up because it has in the recent past. You are correct that everything is relative, but there is no guarantee that things have to advance. It foolish to think that we will ever be able to travel to this new planet except in our imagination. It might happen for our descendants, but it very well might not.

 

The question of why something like this matters is well worth asking. and there is no guarantee that it will benefit anyone. The truth is, as a curious species, we simply want to explore for exploration sake, and it may very well be an incredible waste of resources and "no big deal" as Bert says. I think going to a church on Sunday is useless, but millions of people still expend resources doing it. Any attempt to make science more than that is hubris, and is no different from any other kind of religious fundamentalism.

 

Maybe Bert is right and we shouldn't be wasting tax money on it. Do we waste tax money on other religions? Something to think about...

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Many of these new planet detecting satellites work by simply analyzing the light being blocked and unblocked as the planets orbit the stars they are in.  They can measure the slight, very slight drop in the star's brightness as the planet passes in front of the star and then the slight increase in star brightness as the planet goes behind the star.  About 20 years ago I was reading an article that was looking to detect asteroids within or near our solar system that would do a similar body detecting thing by analyzing the variations in star brightness as the body passed in front of the stars.  One of my co workers laughed at the idea.  Well, sensors really are incredibly sensitive and detectors incredibly stable enough now to make such observations and detections possible and even to estimate orbital parameters of these extra solar planets.  I have worked in the area of satellite spotting and orbit prediction and calculation over the years so I find this fascinating

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1 hour ago, Monomial said:

but is just as much based in faith as any of them.

God didnt  build you an aeroplane, science did but feel  happy to test  the god  theory at the nearest cliff/balcony and report  back........if  able, Ill stick with the "scientific faith" thanks.

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5 hours ago, gk10002000 said:

Many of these new planet detecting satellites work by simply analyzing the light being blocked and unblocked as the planets orbit the stars they are in.  They can measure the slight, very slight drop in the star's brightness as the planet passes in front of the star and then the slight increase in star brightness as the planet goes behind the star.  About 20 years ago I was reading an article that was looking to detect asteroids within or near our solar system that would do a similar body detecting thing by analyzing the variations in star brightness as the body passed in front of the stars.  One of my co workers laughed at the idea.  Well, sensors really are incredibly sensitive and detectors incredibly stable enough now to make such observations and detections possible and even to estimate orbital parameters of these extra solar planets.  I have worked in the area of satellite spotting and orbit prediction and calculation over the years so I find this fascinating

Although this is their best method for detecting exoplanets, it only works when the planets orbital plane is edge on from the observer and only a small percentage of star systems are in this line of sight. Hopefully the new generation of space telescopes such as the 'James Webb Telescope' will be able to detect the exoplanets directly, including the ones with orbital planes that are face on from our vantage point.

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21 minutes ago, Elad said:

Although this is their best method for detecting exoplanets, it only works when the planets orbital plane is edge on from the observer and only a small percentage of star systems are in this line of sight. Hopefully the new generation of space telescopes such as the 'James Webb Telescope' will be able to detect the exoplanets directly, including the ones with orbital planes that are face on from our vantage point.

Yes, well stated.  Does not have to be exactly edge on, it just has to be inclined in such a way so that some of the orbit occults the planet.  The more direct the better.  I actually work with Northgrum Grumman who is the prime on the Webb telescope, although I work on a different project

Edited by gk10002000
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What!  The Earth is flat and we have never been to the moon.

  There are still a few people who think like that.

Geezer

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22 hours ago, Radar501 said:

What is so incredibly presumptuous?   The article does not claim evidence for life beyond our solar system, only that a key ingredient for life (liquid water) does.

 

Exciting times ahead for astronomy geeks as scientific techniques improve exponentially.

 

21 hours ago, ballpoint said:

How radically?  It's highly probable that any extra terrestrial life, should it exist, would:

 

Be carbon based - there really isn't any other element that can form the long chains and complex molecules that even single celled organisms require, let alone multiple celled ones.  The next possibility would be silicon, but that is nowhere near as versatile as carbon.

 

Require a self replicating molecule to encode and preserve genetic information for future generations, such as DNA.  It may not actually be DNA, but must be similar.  Having molecules that just replicate randomly each generation wouldn't produce any viable life, and having molecules that always split to identical copies would not allow evolution to occur.

 

However, even within these constraints, Earth itself has many life forms that differ greatly, in appearance, from our own human ones, so discovering a planet of, say, intelligent squid like creatures wouldn't be so radically different from what we already know.

 

 

First and foremost, many thanks to all who have posted on this thread; it is really nice to see people interested in issues such as this. And, I have to ask; is there anyone who posted who is NOT a Star Trek fan? :cheesy::cheesy::cheesy:

 

There are many great, fascinating issues raised, but I want to argue (respectfully and without any rancor!) about the concept of life presented.

 

Simply put, I reject the idea that we need to find water in order to find life; I think this is a very limiting concept, and if we stick to it, we'll likely miss seeing what is right in front of our eyes. Does any life we may find need to be carbon based? I can't think of a reason why (but am willing to be convinced). Does any life we may find need water to survive and thrive? I can't think of a reason why (but am willing to be convinced). Does any life we may find need to have oxygen? I can't think of a reason why (but am willing to be convinced). I find the idea that we will need to have water/oxygen/carbon-based life very Terran-centric, and would urge that people expand their thoughts.

 

What if the first extra-terrestrial life-form we discover (I am happy to stipulate that we will until such a time as evidence is presented) 'breathes' methane through osmosis of the 'skin', communicates by excreting enzymes in a non-rhythmic pattern and has a fatal 'allergy' to carbon?

 

What if the first extra-terrestrial life-form we discover is a super intelligent 'slug' from a high-gravity world who is light-years ahead of us in theoretical science but who never had the ability/means to test their theories?

 

What if the first extra-terrestrial life-form we discover is a highly developed plant who can't communicate in a manner we recognize, and we start eating them in salads?

 

My point is simply that we do not know what form life might take if it evolved on a world other than our own, and we need to be open to the idea that it may well be so radically different that we don't even recognize it as a life-form.

 

One of my favourite passages from the Hitch-Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy is the story where human words passed through a rift in the time/space continuum and were heard over the negotiating table of a great war. The words re-ignited the war and after years of destruction, it was discovered what had happened; Fleets were sent to punish Earth and earth-people, but on arrival they fleets were eaten by a small dog (I assume that anyone posting on this thread knows the story and has read the Hitch-Hikers Guide to the Galaxy).

 

What can I say? I genuinely await the deployment of the next generation of space telescopes and genuinely await the next generation of research which expands our knowledge of the universe. While I have my doubts about humanity, as long as we are pushing the proverbial envelope, I suspect that we will be okay.

 

Go Space Exploration! Go Science!

 

 

Edited by Samui Bodoh
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On 9/12/2019 at 1:12 PM, BritManToo said:

You're assuming the universe is real, and we aren't just living in a simulation.

Which explains away a lot of the big questions, like why doesn't Newtons laws apply to the Universe and why haven't we had signals from the Universe?

 

One would have to be digesting hundreds upon hundreds of hours of reality TV, to even consider such a possibility. Time to begin the weaning process. There is a lot of content out there these days, that has an educational component to it. 

 

From my point of view, any civilization that was advanced enough to be aware of our existence, would deliberately stay very far away, and would have no need to make contact. For an advanced civilization to visit earth, would be like us trading our homes, for a dwelling in the sewer. We are a very low civilization. Not advanced, at all. We may think we are advanced. But, that I suspect is pure ego, and pure self absorption, and that presumption exists completely within a total lack of universal perspective.

 

We have been given a planet that is so incredible. Great climates, good oxygen, unbelievably gorgeous mountains, lakes, oceans and rivers, and super fertile soil. And what have we done with it? What have we done to protect our precious and very delicate atmosphere? What have we done to protect our precious and amazing oceans and seas? Think about it. Are we really as highly evolved as some think?

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Before, we have country tour, now , we have world tour. In the future, universe tour will come one day.

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