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Life on planet Gliese?

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

  1. El_Machinae

    El_Machinae Colour vision since 2018 Retired Moderator

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    I don't think that we'll be ever needing a 'habitable' planet outside of our solar system. To reach another system, we'll so have to master space living that it won't even matter. The desirables in another system are going to be completely different than what we currently consider important: hydrogen streams & heavy metals will likely be all that we need to thrive in other systems, by the time we're capable of getting there.
     
  2. J-man

    J-man Deity

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    I don't think humanity will ever be able to travel to other star systems with manned spacecraft.
     
  3. Xanikk999

    Xanikk999 History junkie

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    Why not? It does not need to be fast though the technology to travel to the closest star besides our own within a 100 years is within reach. Generation ships could be the answer.
     
  4. Bluemofia

    Bluemofia F=ma

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    Careful with "ever".

    You can travel to other galaxies within your lifetime with long enough accelerations, with the classic "x years accelerating at 1g, x year deceleration at 1g". Special relativity makes distances shrink at higher velocities.

    The problem is engineering. We've got time to work on it. So long as we don't destroy ourselves, and I'm rather optimistic about that.
     
  5. Xanikk999

    Xanikk999 History junkie

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    Ive heard ideas about space sails and similar modes of travel that would build up momentum and speed over time to eventually travel at a fraction of the speed of light.

    Does friction and drag not slow things down in space the same way it would on earth if you kept accelerating. I know almost nothing about physics so i'm just asking.
     
  6. ParadigmShifter

    ParadigmShifter Random Nonsense Generator

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    Space is nearly a vacuum and friction and drag are both caused by interaction with molecules so it's hardly an issue.

    Newton's 1st law I think says you have to apply a force to change your acceleration.
     
  7. illram

    illram Moderator Moderator

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    One of the coolest books I ever read (Year Million) had an interesting chapter by some scientist dude (technical term) talking about seeding systems as opposed to the Star Trek travel around the universe in a giant tin can model. Basically, humans don't go anywhere. Instead we send seeds to other systems that seek out planets, take root, create factories and so on to mine everything, and if possible either a) grow people from genetic materials in manufactured vats (created by the nanorobots we sent there already) or b) we figure out a way to fax our molecules there. (Seriously.)
     
  8. Bluemofia

    Bluemofia F=ma

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    Well, how are you going to keep accelerating far away from the star?

    Light pressure drops a lot when you are really far away. Also, the area must be huge to catch enough light.

    Within a solar system, it's acceptable. Interstellar not so much.
     
  9. TheLastOne36

    TheLastOne36 Deity

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    Evolution also occurs to gain an advantage over other lifeforms(predatory is bound to evolve on any planet with competing life, and we all know the evolutionary result of predator vs prey), or for the lifeform to gain more benefits/be more productive at whatever.

    Plus if there are tectonics on this planet, over the hundreds of thousands of years the plates will move away from the twilight zone and into the two sides of the planet. If the lifeform was green stuff, it will have to evolve to survive. Although life beyond anything microbial surviving on the colder part of the planet does seem very improbable, compared to Earth life anyway.

    Then again as BlueMofia pointed out, if water on this planet exists in large quantities, and plate tectonics do exist, I would assume the planet goes through supercontinental cycles like Earth does, allowing oceans to exists, which may through currents, allow life in the cold side of the planet to exist easily.

    Also, it is possible for only the surface to be frozen with the potential of an under-surface ocean such as in Europa.

    Nitpick, the continent you were thinking of is Rhodina, not Rhodesia. (which as far as I know, was never a continent?)

    Anyway, you are right, Rhodina covered most of the planets equator at the time, which didn't allow for any warm water to flow to the north and southern regions of the planet, which allowed glaciers to grow and ultimately caused Snowball Earth. (Snowball earth in term ended when Rodina started to fracture up and disperse into various continents, allowing water to re-enter the equatorial regions)

    Our bird friends say Hi!

    That'd actually be a pretty cool idea and plausible in the future with nanobots.

    Although I do want Humans to actually colonize systems and possibly terraform them.
     
  10. El_Machinae

    El_Machinae Colour vision since 2018 Retired Moderator

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    We're starting to learn how ecosystems can go onto affect the climate (which then modifies ecosystems): so even if the climate looks like it should be stable, we still might be finding that life will create perturbations that would be interesting.

    Of course, it's exceedingly unlikely that there's life there. The fact that we found a 'Goldilocks' planet so close to us is what's truly exciting.
     
  11. warpus

    warpus In pork I trust

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    @illram I think you are talking about Von Neumann probes.

    Anyone ever play Star Control II? A "race" of Von Neumann probe descendents is one of your enemies in that game... it also outlines potential problems with such a setup.
     
  12. TheLastOne36

    TheLastOne36 Deity

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    If there is water and our calculations of the planets mass and other things are correct, I don't see why life might not develop there. If you meant intelligent life, than I find it unlikely as well.
     
  13. PiTiFUL

    PiTiFUL Warlord

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    You have to be careful about THAT line of reasoning. Just because we have broken barriers we thought impossible in the past doesnt mean all barriers are breakable... we will at some point reach unbreakable barriers and intersteller travel may be just such a barrier.

    I said 'earth like' and everything else aside, there is one key requirement that we cannot do without, an atmosphere, and more specifically a light element atmosphere. That requires a strong magnetic field, no if and or buts, and a strong magnetic field requires an active core, which quite possibly may require a large orbiting moon.

    Again I said 'earth like' and I am suggesting that intelligent life can only evolve on a planet with a very large selection of life, it must have a complex animal life and plant life, complex animal life is NOT possible without an oxygen atmosphere.
    WHAT!?! We are only here because an oxygen atmosphere allowed the development of complex animals, we only have an oxygen atmosphere because of plant life AND a strong magnetic field to stop it from blowing away.

    Scientific estimates are 1 million stars within 1000LY... Drake himself estimated one civilization per million stars, that would be us, and IMO Drake was over estimating, I doubt the odds are that good.

    Most binaries are elliptical and cannot support stable orbits, a planet without a stable orbit will not have time to evolve life and will more then likely get sucked into a star or ejected from the system.

    No, how long a civilization will survive is exactly what it means, how long a civilization broadcasts is only relevant to SETI.

    Independence Day :) Could be possible, though why becomes a question, why would people want to stay in a ship for ever and ever with no end goal. Maybe some offshoot scientific community, but then whats the incentive for Earth to commit so much for such an endeavor... to build a ship to spread humanity to the stars is one thing, but to build a ship thats just going to cruise around forever.

    But is there anything inside of 100ly worth going too?

    Must not watch the news or keep up to date on whats going on on or little planet, because the outcome right now is definatly leaning towards destruction.

    What they are thinking right now is using lasers, not the Star, to power the sails.

    Definatly, predator prey evolution also happens faster then say climate evolution, but you have to evolve just to get to predator prey. Also as I pointed out, complex animal life requires oxygen and with half the planet frozen and dark, and half the planet baked dry I doubt, even if the planet has a sufficient magnetic field, that the amount of vegetation that could possibly survive in the twilight zone would be enough to create a sufficient oxygen atmosphere.

    Two very cool sci-fi books that take relativity into account. Tau Zero by Poul Anderson and The Forever War by Joe Haldeman.
     
  14. TheLastOne36

    TheLastOne36 Deity

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    Your talking about Earth-Like life.

    Remember, life adapts to the planet, not the other way around. Life may develop differently on different planets, planets where a rich oxygen atmosphere is less present.

    Earth itself over it's history has had many different levels of oxygen content in it's atmosphere, and through all those times has supported life.

    Meh, the news care more about random people dieing in Afghanistan and Iraq, as well as same sex marriage rather than the raping and destruction we are doing to our planet. We will most likely fall due to environmental(and the social consequences that follow, IE war) reasoning's than anything else.

    Predator vs Prey isn't exactly something exclusive to animals as far as I know. (Atleast I think smaller life prey on each other as well)

    The planet is also much bigger than Earth, and thus has a bigger twilight zone surface for vegetation to do it's thing. (Don't know if that would matter though..)

    Anyway, according to this; the Planet isn't as Baked-Dry and Frozen as we think:

    I don't know if these numbers are peaks of temperature or averages but...

    71 Celsius certainly isn't that "bad". Water is still liquid, and plants could evolve to live in these conditions.

    Likewise, -34 Celsius isn't all that cold. If oceans exist with currents, the sea's won't even be frozen outside of maybe the poles.

    If Oceans with currents exist, it along with winds as the article states, would also move the temperatures around the planet. The result would be the so called "Twilight Zone" having comfortable temperate Earth-like temperatures, with areas outside the Twilight Zone having harsher, but still quite comparable to Earth temperatures.

    If the article and whatever source it got it's info from is correct, than this Planet could potentially be Earth like after all.

    Also a cool artist impression of the planet:
     
  15. civ_king

    civ_king Deus Caritas Est

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    wait, if the temperature difference is 105 C° isn't that 0.6 C° per degree (of longitude)

    Human life is preferably between 32 C° and -20 C° right?

    if we assign -34 as 0 and 71 as 180 wouldn't life be possible between 23° and 125°?
    Isn't that over half the planet?

    Wouldn't this point to a good possibility of life? (I probably screwed up somewhere, if found please correct)
     
  16. Bluemofia

    Bluemofia F=ma

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    Bah, close enough, Rodinia, Rhodesia, one of them the continent of doom, the other Cecil Rhode's personal country of chaos. :p (and it was parked on the South Pole, not on the Equator, and the run away snowball effect started from polar land not retaining heat as well as water, and the increased albedo from the snow caused the increased cooling which lead to more snow and more albedo)


    I did not say all barriers can be broken. I am merely saying that assuming barriers cannot be broken and therefore never try is doomed to failure.

    Assuming something is impossible and not trying is different from assuming something might be possible and trying until told otherwise.


    First off, you can have an atmosphere without a strong magnetic field (Venus). You just need volcanism to replace what you lose. Without volcanism is what makes a strong magnetic field essential, and that only increase the duration which your atmosphere lasts.

    Secondly, a strong magnetic field only requires flowing charges. Flowing charges means a liquid conductive core, which is independent of whether or not a large moon is present. A large liquid conductive core only requires iron, and a large enough mass to retain heat, and rotating fast enough to maintain the magnetic field. I'm not entirely sure once every 38 days is fast enough, but it's within the realm of possibility. (Mercury has a weak magnetic field because it rotates fast enough around the sun, and has a large iron core that is probably stretched and pulled by its orbit around the sun to be partially liquid.)

    Because this is a 3 earth mass planet, it certainly has the necessary mass.

    Regardless, you can have settlements in an enclosed environment and ignore whatever the planetary surface conditions are, akin to Biosphere 2. Or even a space station if you are going to argue Biosphere 2 was a failed experiment, just that you need to include your food growing within the dome as well. It may be technologically prohibitive now, but most likely it won't be forever. (space tourism already exists today, but not widespread)

    You arguing that you must be able to breathe the atmosphere unprotected to make it a feasible settlement is the same as arguing Scandinavia is uninhabitable because you cannot live outside exposed to the elements.


    Why must you have oxygen as a oxidizing agent? It is entirely possible using alternative chemistries, so don't discount them simply because they haven't been explored. It may not be as efficient as oxygen, but it is entirely possible.

    We've got highly intelligent animals (octopus; they can't be more intelligent than they are now because they are plagued by short life spans and partially autonomous limbs, and they aren't particularly selected for intelligence) using highly inefficient circulatory systems compared to other animals, not to mention living in water which has less dissolved oxygen than air in the first place.


    If you say "we" as in humans, we are only here because long ago our bacterial ancestors adapted to an atmosphere created by life that killed off the vast majority of life that required the absence of oxygen. The Oxygen Catastrophe forced an "survive oxygen or die" situation on life. Even now, oxygen is rather toxic in high concentrations. It is not required for oxygen to have advanced life, but it is one of the most efficient, so easiest to form advanced life with it.

    Atmospheres depend more on the presence of volcanoes (which the period of volcanic activity primarily depends on its mass) for outgassing rather than magnetic fields for retention. Magnetic fields are great at retaining atmospheres, but if it's not being replenished, it's a losing battle.

    Venus has a very thick atmosphere of CO2 at 90 bars. It also has no magnetic field.



    Well, agree to disagree. I believe it was an underestimate, considering how rapidly life came into existence on earth (nearly instantly after the Late Heavy Bombardment period), how there are tons of intelligent animals already existing on earth simultaneously as humans, how common extrasolar planets are, and how Europa within our own solar system also shows the possibility of life existing elsewhere in our own solar system.


    How eccentric are these elliptical stars? And their maximum separations? And what kind of binaries are these? The top 3% of mass O-G stars because they are the most easily seen (and the O-A stars not have enough time to evolve life anyways), or the more common K-M stars? (Research has indicated that most binaries are O-G stars anyways, so most of the time you are dealing with K-M stars which are found as single stars)


    How long a civilization will survive is far longer than expected with the original Drake Equation. Should they survive the initial development of high energy technology, and spreads to multiple star systems, their lifetimes are virtually unbounded.

    Really, can you explain an adequate mechanism for a civilization that has spread beyond a single solar system to be destroyed?

    Asteroids or natural disasters can't destroy them, for they have spread to multiple systems, and are unlikely for both to suffer disasters to wipe them both out in quick succession.

    Wars do not work at long distances at sub-light travel, as the defender is heavily favored, especially since there is no stealth in space, and the advancement of technology would enable the defender to almost always be technologically more advanced than the attacker.

    The only reason we suspect there is a way to destroy a level III civilization is the Fermi Paradox. (it takes 10 million years for a civilization to fully colonize a galaxy assuming spreading outwards at .1% the speed of light; a blip in evolutionary scales) However, another solution is that they simply do not broadcast blindly for us to see (even we don't do that much anymore), have no interest in contacting us, ignored this planet because there are more profitable ones elsewhere, or simply philosophical reasons.



    Meh, you've got to take first steps. Such as catalogue everything within 100 LY first, and then decide which are worth. Not decide which ones are worth going to first before looking.


    Cold war's over. We're not going to wipe ourselves out anytime in the foreseeable future.




    I'm not entirely certain that would work.

    If you stick the laser on the Earth, that's got to be a huge laser to span the distance. X-ray lasers and gamma ray lasers will be the only feasible option, and that is... Not the best choice. (too easy rotating the thing 180 and firing at a city...)

    Sticking it on the spaceship is useless, because of conservation of momentum. The laser firing from the ship will produce a small reaction backwards, exactly canceled out by the momentum gained by the light hitting the sail. Unless if you want to point it in the other direction, but that's a photon rocket, not a solar sail.


    Complex animal life does not *require* oxygen. Oxygen simply makes it the easiest.

    Convection is enough to dispel vast temperature extremes. Just we need to know how much water is on there, continent placement, and/or how thick the atmosphere is to determine how well distributed the energy is.

    The magnetic field would not be incredibly strong because of slowish rotation, but it should exist, and it should be stronger than Mercury's at the very least. We are more concerned about volcanism than the magnetic field for atmospheres anyways.
     
  17. classical_hero

    classical_hero In whom I trust

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    That picture is pure fantasy since we do not even know what is on the planet, just that it exists in the habitable zone, nothing else.
     
  18. TheLastOne36

    TheLastOne36 Deity

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    Don't know if the math is correct, but I guess it's something like that.

    And even more seeing as winds and currents(if any) would circulate the air and warm water onto the cooler side.

    Plus that is Earth Life, life on this planet may have adapted to living on the extreme's of this planet's temperatures. (Which is certainly possible as these extreme's aren't all that extreme after all)
    Quite aware. That's why I put in "An Artist impression of the planet"
     
  19. El_Machinae

    El_Machinae Colour vision since 2018 Retired Moderator

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    Oh, it might, but we have no idea the odds.
    I'm under the impression that the star itself isn't that old, which really cuts down on the odds of life having developed there.

    Of course, it's only 20 ly away, so it's likely that this 'experiment' is being run multiple times. The best we can do is to keep on supporting the development of space exploration (implicitly & explicitly) and cast a wider or more sophisticated net.
     
  20. PiTiFUL

    PiTiFUL Warlord

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    Yes, according to the experts, it does. Life on earth was simple for over 2 billion years, life without oxygen, it was flourishing and abundant but never amounted to anything. If complex life could have taken without oxygen it would have. Then oxygen took over, killed off most of the pre-O2 life and sent the world into snowball earth, once the earth thawed and life could flourish again, an oxygen based life, you get the Cambrian explosion... in 500 million years life has exploded to what it is now, pre-oxygen 2.5 billion years of goo. Oxygen is an accepted requirement for complex life.

    Original Drake equation was only concerned with how long a Civilization broadcasts radio waves, which was my point.

    Well my point is that a civilization cant spread beyond thier home system so your point is moot ;)

    I got that information from NASA, and they state that binary star systems with elliptical orbits cannot support planetary bodies, long term, and that most binaries have elliptical orbits. Binaries with non-elliptical orbits can support planets, in tight to a star, or way out orbiting the binaries.

    Venus atmosphere is also made up of heavy elements, because it has no magnetic field all its lighter elements, required for life, got blown out into space. Magnetic fields are required to keep a life supporting atmosphere.

    Venus is clearly an unfreindly enviroment for life, you may as well claim the gas giants, after all they all have atmospheres. Magnetic fields are required to support an atmosphere capable of supporting complex life. I did say a moon 'MAYBE' required... Mars has an earthlike spin and a weak magnetic field, Venus has almost no spin and has weak magnetic field, Venus has active volcanism so clearly has a liquid core... so what earth got thats different, well offhand they have spin + liquid core, Mars has the spin but not the core and Venus has the core but not the spin. Also why did Mars lose its liquid core? it had one at some point, maybe its the tidal effects of the moon on earth causing enough internal friction to keep our core hot. Venus is a living hell, literaly, so possibly its core has been unable to shed off heat. BTW this is MY thought, at least I have no memory of scientific research on the moon being responsible for keeping our core active.

    I never said anything about not trying, just that I doubt its possible... even if it is impossible we may discover other things, that help us in other ways, during our research.

    Not even comparable, you plant a man in Scandinavia and he has a chance of finding a way to keep warm before being overcome, you plant a man in an unbreathable atmosphere and he is dead. A man anywhere on earth is hours away from safety, a man on another planet no so much, hes dead. People always like to compare space exploration to exploring the dangerous places on earth, there is no comparison not even remotely, leaving our planet is an entirely new ballgame.
     

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