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Life on planet Gliese?

Discussion in 'Science & Technology' started by Disgustipated, Sep 29, 2010.

  1. Disgustipated

    Disgustipated Deity

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    http://www.foxnews.com/scitech/2010...und-earth-size-planet-percent-astronomer-say/

    I just think this is kinda cool. Let's go there. :). Okay that's a little difficult at this time. Who doesn't think earth-like planets are cool? Big huge gas giants are boring. We want to see Vulcans and such. I'll post the article for your entertainment.

     
  2. Mr. Dictator

    Mr. Dictator A Chain-Smoking Fox

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    Get a probe ready to go, now.
     
  3. ParadigmShifter

    ParadigmShifter Random Nonsense Generator

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    20 light years is rather a long way away though. How far has Pioneer travelled? Nowhere near a light year I'll wager.

    EDIT: October, 2009 - speed of the spacecraft indicates it is about to reach 100 AUs from our Sun - or approx 9.3 billion miles. [2] Another comparison is that the nearest star, trinary Alpha Centauri's Proxima companion, is of approx 271,000 AUs distance.[11]

    EDIT2: 1LY = about 63,241.1 astronomical units
     
  4. classical_hero

    classical_hero In whom I trust

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    Earth is not the only planet in our solar systems "habitable" zone, both Venus and Mars are in that region and yet we do not find any life on those planets.
     
  5. GoodGame

    GoodGame Red, White, & Blue, baby!

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    33% odds are still good odds though.
     
  6. Cutlass

    Cutlass The Man Who Wasn't There.

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    Now we just have to bring them democracy :scan:
     
  7. Mr. Dictator

    Mr. Dictator A Chain-Smoking Fox

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    better get to it quick then!
     
  8. J-man

    J-man Deity

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    This planet has one side always facing the sun and the other has always night. That's probably not good for life.
     
  9. Olleus

    Olleus Deity

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    That was my thought exactly J-man when I read about it. The astronomer in the article seems to think the opposite though - that stable conditions make it easier for life to adapt. My gut feeling is that having a near constant temperature is bad for the many chemical reactions needed to get life started.
     
  10. Hakim

    Hakim Parasocial

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    My thoughts too, and that picture with the Gliese planet's orbit imposed on our solar system puts it almost in the same orbit as Venus. However, this quote are present in some of the news reports

    (my bolding). The star's a red dwarf.
     
  11. peter grimes

    peter grimes ...

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    To be clear, we can't say for certain that life didn't arise on Mars or Venus, all we can say is that we don't think we see it there now. Not quite the same thing.
     
  12. SG-17

    SG-17 Deity

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    Venus is on the very front edge of the habitable zone, Earth in the center, and Mars about 3/4ths out. There would be life on Mars right now if the planet wasn't so small and the core didn't cool as fast as it did. Once it lost its magnetosphere, advanced life had no chance.
     
  13. Hakim

    Hakim Parasocial

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  14. Earthling

    Earthling Deity

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    There was informal-ish CFC discussion around here on the topic a while back, but it's a clear conclusion that we could build (unmanned) spacecraft far faster than the Voyagers or Pioneers or anything previous, if that was the actual aim (not going photographing/flybyes around our own solar system or anything). Now, it would take a lot of work, some newer tech, and we're not talking magical speeds here, so 20 light years still becomes 100+ years even at a fraction of c, but it'd be doable.

    Gliese system continues to be very interesting which is awesome though...couple years back with the other exoplanets discovered there it already was a major find and finding more is just great.
     
  15. Olleus

    Olleus Deity

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    How fast would a 1g space ship get there, from its own frame and from Earth's frame?

    My knowledge of special relativity only deals with frames moving at constant velocity.


    EDIT: I asked wolfram alpha but it only knows newtonian mechanics (boo). Will ask my professors next week when I get back.
     
  16. peter grimes

    peter grimes ...

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    At what fraction of c?
     
  17. Xanikk999

    Xanikk999 History junkie

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    Ok slightly off topic but how fast would a spacecraft have to go to escape the solar systems gravity and go into free space? I have almost no knowledge of physics so i dont know if thats possible.

    But if a spacecraft was traveling freely through space and another solar system was moving closer towards it wouldnt it make the trip faster?

    For that matter i dont know how fast a galactic year is, that is how long a star takes to revolve around the center of the galaxy. If its really long it might not make much of a difference.

    Sorry if what im saying doesnt make sense i really no next to nothing of space physics.
     
  18. Olleus

    Olleus Deity

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    Not sure what you mean peter grimes. A 1g spaceship starts at 0 velocity, accelerates for half the journey at 10ms-2 (which creates a perfect simulation of earth's gravity) and then slows down at 10ms^-2 until it lands softly at its intended target. The accelerations are, given in the frame which moves at whatever instantaneous velocity the spaceship has at that point.

    A galactic year is very very long, 1/4 a billion earth years or something like that. Not that it matters, because the spaceship has its own velocity, plus the velocity of the earth plus the velocity of the sun. You can easily ignore the centrifugal acceleration. Its the same idea as throwing a ball vertically up in a car - it just goes up and down from where you are, and doesn't go shooting to the back of the care at 70mph.
     
  19. El_Machinae

    El_Machinae Colour vision since 2018 Retired Moderator

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    I think the fact that it's a red dwarf increases the likelihood of life, because the system would be so much older than Sol. An older system increases the odds. Life could have started before the planet became tidally locked, too, and evolution would have allowed life to continue as the planet slowed.

    edit: my bad, the star is assumed to be about 2 billion years old.

    Obviously, odds are against there being life. But having a planet like this within 20 ly is pretty cool. It's the 82nd closest planet to earth, and the numbers involved are big. There're over 1200 stars within 50 ly of us, which is where some of our radio signals have reached.

    All I know is that if there's life, I'd want humanity to have as much tech as possible before we bump into it. Having tech always makes the difference. The best way to speed up tech development is to push for a more educated populace (at the personal level) and to focus consumer spending on R&D to create technological feedback cycles.
     
  20. J-man

    J-man Deity

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    Problem with red dwarfs is that their energy output vary enormously. Their activity can decrease a lot and they can also emit large flares. Not good for life.

    A problem with tidal lock is that the night side is really cold and that all the water the planet has could freeze up there.
     

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