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Life on planet Gliese?

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

  1. PiTiFUL

    PiTiFUL Warlord

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    Yes earth had life and a lot of it without oxygen, but it wasnt until life developed in an oxygen enviroment that it exploded to what it is now, so it very well could be that life can only explode under an oxygen enviroment.

    Heh, I would say the news is more interested in who Tiger is screwing or who Paris flashed or who said what to who on american idle.

    Problem is twilight, vegetation does not thrive in those conditions. We have evidence for this on earth, in the canadian north vegetation drops off the furthur north you go, and cold isnt the only reason, its lack of sunlight... then again 'permanent twilight' is something else altogether, always being there could somewhat compensate for the weakness.

    Yes actually it is that bad, remember these are permanent conditions that never change, the sun side of the planet will be baked dry, think the Sahara Desert, and even the Sahara gets a chance to cool down every 24 hours and life is barely holding on by a thread. Cold side is even worse, life really hates the cold as we know from antarctica. That of course is land, water is another story, and another problem, if by chance this planet has a lot of water like earth, because its always facing the sun and one side is super hot you are going to have a hell of a lot of evaporation, if the planet is always under a heavy cloud cover then you will get runaway global warming, the oceans will get totally evaporated and you just end up with another Venus.
     
  2. PiTiFUL

    PiTiFUL Warlord

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    Just one problem I have with this, limited resources. No doubt as a scientific endeavor it is a fascinating subject, but it has no real world applications, we cant go there. Meanwhile here in our own system on our own planet we have things that do have real world, even end of world, applications. I would much prefer the limited resources being put to mapping our own system, so if there is a random earth shattering object heading our way well have time to do something. Once weve shored up our own neighborhood then by all means search away, its a question I'd love the answer to. Just a case of prioritys, IMO number one priority is ensuring the survival of the human race.
     
  3. TheLastOne36

    TheLastOne36 Deity

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    Not necessarily.

    Firstly, the temperatures are much more temperate than originally though, the areas in the hot half near the twilight zone will have sunlight and a reasonable temperature.

    Secondly, if the water evaporates rapidly in the sun half of the planet, it will fall in the cold half of the planet. The cold half of the planet isn't cold enough for ocean water to freeze, and with currents, the cold water will move towards the hotter part of the planet.

    If anything, it is very likely this planet isn't like Venus.

    Plus with winds and the aforementioned currents, water and air temperatures will migrate across the twilight zone into each other halves.

    The sun half being dry like the Sahara is not necessarily true either, if life exists on this planet, it will be able to migrate and adapt further as it goes to the sunny half, although I would imagine that percipitation would be an issue. (would rain still fall to the ground in the sun half at those temperatures?)
     
  4. Bluemofia

    Bluemofia F=ma

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    Citation please. (Complex life impossible without oxygen)

    You are assuming that early Earth has the potential to experiment with all the other the sub-optimal chemical systems other than oxygen.

    An example is the use of Sulfur as an oxidizing agent, instead of Oxygen. Species of bacteria on Earth do that already; they convert H2S to H2SO4, and another uses H2SO4 much like we use Oxygen. They are inefficient compared to Oxygen, yes. But also note that we have relatively little Sulfur.

    Therefore, it becomes impossible to do so on a large scale on Earth due to abundances of Sulfur, not because it is impossible to develop life based on it because it is too inefficient. Your conclusion was correct that alternate biochemistry life is not likely to develop, but for the wrong reasons.

    This being said, Oxygen is the most efficient, yes. And also the easiest to form complex life with. However, Oxygen also isn't this light whispy molecule that cannot be held onto without strong magnetic fields to keep out solar wind (which I will do math a few lines down to show you why)


    A post ago you were concerned about how long they survived, not how long their radio waves broadcast. If that is the case, we are nearing the end of our lifetimes ourselves because we don't wantonly broadcast Radio as much, and use more precise methods now.

    Regardless, one intelligent species per million stars is awfully low in my opinion.


    Well, seeing as you use the fact that we haven't detected any civilizations to state that they cannot spread beyond their home system is pretty much ignoring the far more likely options...

    Not all intelligent life must operate on a human mentality and scales. We only got our mentality by inheriting whatever we evolved from. Had we evolved from something else, we would have a far different thought process and physical attributes.

    A 100 year journey might be trivial for a particularly long lived species, and they will not mind the trip at all. Or a species which works very well in societies, and a generation ship might be extremely favorable. Etc. Etc.

    What is stopping those from leaving? All it takes is 10 million years to fully colonize the galaxy. Just saying "you can't" is far less likely considering how there are no physics preventing it from doing so.

    All orbits are mostly* elliptical. Circles are a special form of ellipses where the eccentricity is zero. How eccentric is elliptical is a very important question, for it determines how much of a deviation from circular they are. The maximum separation distance is also very important. If the maximum separation distance is very small, the eccentricity matters not, for you just orbit far out compared to the separation (which could even be as small as a single AU) and you are in a stable orbit.

    Also, most stars are single stars as shown to you in the article I linked to in the last post. Most luminous (and short lived) stars are binary. The sun is an average star by range of mass, but the top 3% by number of stars. The vast majority of the stars are single, red dwarf stars.

    *I said mostly, because when there are multiple objects, they affect each other and cause it to become non-elliptical slightly.

    So yes. *Technically*, any binary with a non-elliptical orbit can, and must support planets (or a third companion star, but those aren't binaries). But how precise we can measure the deviation from elliptical orbits is another question.



    CO2 is roughly 50% more massive than O2. The molecules are at twice the energy because of its temperature (in K) roughly double earth's. Kinetic energy is 1/2mV^2, so thus velocity of the CO2 is Sqrt(3)-Sqrt(2) percent higher. Or, roughly 32% greater velocity than Earth's O2 molecules.

    32% faster moving molecules, at a slightly smaller escape velocity, and yet it still has an incredibly dense atmosphere, combined with the solar winds being twice as strong (distance to sun is .7 AU, so by surface area of a sphere being (4*Pi*R(Earth)^2)/(4*Pi*R(Venus)^2), you get roughly twice the flux of solar wind than earth), Venus should have lost all of its atmosphere were it not for volcanism replenishing it.

    Magnetic fields are less important than volcanism for an atmosphere.

    I'm not sure what you mean by your first comment, but from what I understand, you have it backwards... You are looking at Earth, and then saying everything about Earth that makes it different from the other planets is a requirement for life. It's much like taking a millionaire from Germany and a poor person from France and saying that to be rich you must speak German. (Oh, and the Gas Giants have a *very* strong magnetic field. A combination of the Metallic Hydrogen core, and the fast spin rates)

    Anyways, you could go look up what is causing the magnetic field rather than speculate... You got it correct that you need a liquid core, but for the wrong reasons. (and it must allow free flowing charges; a fresh water core cannot generate a magnetic field. This is why we know Europa's oceans are salty)

    The tidal effects on the moon to the Earth are not the primary forces responsible for a liquid outer core. Tidal effects only play a major role in heating when the object is in a fairly elliptical orbit. It is the radioactivity decay combined with being earth mass. Outer space is a very good insulator, BTW because there is no convection. Only radiation, which depends on surface area (spheres are minimized surface areas, and they have large volumes) and temperature.

    Mind you, the primary reason why Venus has a molten core is because of its mass, not because of its inability to lose heat. (its interior cools off fine. 500 C is not enough to melt rocks, and there is still a temperature gradient.) And Venus has no magnetic field. Or at least one that is so weak, that the effect of the Sun's magnetic field interacting with the planet to create an induced one (much like sticking a magnet to a piece of iron causes it to have a magnetic field) is stronger than Venus' intrinsic magnetic field.


    Are you kidding me? Antarctica is not hours away from being safety. Neither is Siberia, most of the Sahara, most of the oceans, etc. Earth is very hostile to human life without technology. You plant a man in Scandinavia without technology (tools, clothing, transportation, etc.), and the vast majority of the time he dies. That lucky coincidence that he happens to find a cave may prolong his existence for a few hours, but without technology, they are going to die very quickly.

    Why must you demand exploring space to be done without technology, when you can't even survive on the majority of Earth without technology? Space stations exist. They exist in a void of space. Now take that same rigor of construction, and put it on a planet. Some things can be shifted around, but fundamentally keep the airtight construction. Are you trying to say a human cannot survive in those conditions?

    On that, why must you breathe the atmosphere? It's like saying fish cannot live away from a lake because they cannot breathe the atmosphere, and fish tanks shouldn't even be considered. Therefore pet goldfish living away from natural bodies of water should not ever be considered as a possibility.


    Stop using Earth life as an arbiter on what all life should be.

    Even then there are plants on Earth that grow best in shade, and actually do poorly in direct light, with the direct light raising the temperature too much and promoting too much evaporation for the plants to retain their water.


    ...

    You do know that this is average temperature, not energy per time, right?

    Also, this is the majority of Earth life that hates the cold (developing in non-cold environments), not all life hates cold. There exist bacteria that can only survive in sub-zero temperatures, and die if the temperature is brought a few degrees above zero.

    Heat certainly helps chemical reactions, but too much of it and your proteins get bent out of shape. Life is optimized to its environment, not the environment is optimized for life.


    Ocean currents distribute heat very efficiently. Water at the North Pole in winter is only -2 degrees at its coldest, near the surface, despite being in 6 months of winter (the water further down is at around 2 or 3 degrees). Meanwhile, the equator goes up to 30 degrees. What's more important, is that there are currents which bring the warm water and cool water around, so you often find warm water in weird places, such as Britain, and cool water in odd places, such as the Galapagos.

    Normally, currents play a far larger role in moving heat away from heat gradients. Even then, the evaporated water does not hang around the same spot when there is a concentration gradient to flow down. The evaporated water would move off to cooler regions (twilight zones) and condense into clouds, and continue onwards to the colder regions, releasing energy as they continue to cool. The energy would cause the surroundings to heat up, and also the clouds at the dark side will act as insulation there, further distributing the energy properly.

    The two combined will most likely do a very good job at mediating the temperature differences of the planet that you might not even have any permanent ice except at the very opposite side. However, it remains to be seen just how much water, and what the continent placement is before how well distributed the temperature can be determined.



    All species must go spacefaring or extinct. Therefore, it is imperative we develop spacefaring technology, and identify potential places to live.

    Just because you believe we can't go there, doesn't mean we actually can't. Let the Engineers and Physicists work on whether or not we can or can't go, not the politicians.

    And it's not like every telescope is trained on the heavens for extrasolar planets. Some physically cannot see them no matter how hard you tried, and those are used for other ventures. The large ones that are "powerful enough" usually can't be used for searching close things. The objects are either too bright and may damage the instruments, inefficient use of resources, or not enough funding.

    It is easier to get funding to detect extrasolar planets than it is for asteroids, partially because extrasolar planets are new and exciting and everyone wants to be one of the main players in it, and partially because people are more interested in it. More people work in a McDonalds than work at detecting NEOs world wide. It's exactly the same type of argument that gets billions spent in a war that gets us nowhere as opposed to feeding starving children in Africa (hate to be cliche about it).

    Also, just because something has no immediate "use", it isn't useless. It itself can serve as inspiration to promote new people going into the field. Sputnik and the Space Race most likely has inspired many people to become scientists and engineers. The greatest of discoveries are ones which have no real purpose to them. The Cathode Ray Tube was conceived as a toy, and nothing more when it was first invented.

    Another point is the law of diminishing returns. What new discoveries can you gleam from searching the inner solar system over and over again? A few hundred more asteroids/meteors a year, slowly diminishing until it asymptotes out. Why not use the same resources to apply it to an undiscovered area, and quickly make huge strides in discoveries, while the better known places can continue to refine themselves at their own pace.

    As a side note, that is almost exactly the same reasoning the most technologically advanced nation (China) was passed up by Europe. "Exploring other places may be fascinating, but it has no applications to the nation. Best concentrate on developing our own country than worry about outsiders who will potentially destabilize the country." Or something similar under those lines.
     
  5. cav scout

    cav scout The Continuum

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    Awesome game :) If you are feeling nostalgic and want to play again google "Ur-Quan Masters."
     
  6. Eran of Arcadia

    Eran of Arcadia Stormin' Mormon Retired Moderator

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    Okay, I only skimmed the thread but wanted to add my impressions of this discovery:

    I am not terribly concerned with its implications for human habitation. But what I did notice was what this means for the odds of more planets like this - pretty good, if this is only 20 ly away, there are no doubt plenty such planets in our galaxy. (And if we can figure out how to go 20 ly, going 100 or 500 ly to a more human-suitable planet might not be any harder anyways).

    But if this should prove to have life of any kind - well, the very idea gives me chills. That would be awesome, in the old school meaning of the word.
     
  7. warpus

    warpus In pork I trust

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    I wouldn't be surprised if there's tons of life out there.. just not too much intelligent life.
     
  8. El_Machinae

    El_Machinae Colour vision since 2018 Retired Moderator

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    The implications are astounding. But you know, the idea of ET life has been such a huge part of Western culture for so long that I expect that the societal reaction would be the equivalent of a *shrug*.
     
  9. TheLastOne36

    TheLastOne36 Deity

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    Well, we will see if there is life on Europa long before we can even get to Gliese system.
     
  10. Eran of Arcadia

    Eran of Arcadia Stormin' Mormon Retired Moderator

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    For most people, probably.

    But I promise to be astounded . . .
     
  11. ParadigmShifter

    ParadigmShifter Random Nonsense Generator

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    When we had a partial eclipse here in Liverpool (2000 or 2001 I think) there were people in the town centre afterwards saying "did you see the eclipse? - wasn't it rubbish!", so I think *shrug* is more likely.
     
  12. TheLastOne36

    TheLastOne36 Deity

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    I'd wonder how some of the more religious in our society will take that alien life being confirmed on other planets/moons.
     
  13. Eran of Arcadia

    Eran of Arcadia Stormin' Mormon Retired Moderator

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    For most it wouldn't affect their religious views at all.
     
  14. PiTiFUL

    PiTiFUL Warlord

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    Here you go... just a couple of links you should find enlightening.

    Oxygen required for complex life.

    http://www.astrobio.net/pressrelease/1910/the-oxygen-imperative

    Solar wind making planets without a magnetic field uninhabitable

    http://www.esa.int/esaMI/Venus_Express/SEM0G373R8F_0.html

    http://science.nasa.gov/science-news/science-at-nasa/2001/ast31jan_1/

    So Earths magnetic field is a result of the internal dynamo which is possible because of our spin. Gliese 581g, does not spin and therefore will not have a magnetic field. The solar wind will strip away an atmosphere that isnt protected by a magnetic field. As measured in our system, hydrogen, oxygen and helium get stripped away by the solar wind on planets without a strong magnetic field. Gliese will no longer have water and therefore will not have life, as has happened on both Venus and Mars. If Gliese is highly volcanic with its large gravity, it will end up like Venus, if it isnt volcanic it will end up like Mars.

    With my thought on the moon having a part in the process of our internal dynamo, I did some checking. The appearent energys involved could not possibly be accounted for by the tidal effects alone. So at best the moon could be a small contributing factor and could possibly extend the life of our core but thats about it. So it would seem the moon isnt much of a factor... but spin, and the resulting dynamo is.
     
  15. PiTiFUL

    PiTiFUL Warlord

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    Um where exactly did I ever state any such thing? Here I'll lay out why I dont think civilizations can spread out of thier own systems...

    Accelerating one ton to one-tenth of the speed of light requires at least 125 billion kWh. So guess on size a generation ship would need to be, lets say 100000 tons, about the size of the USS Nimitz. Thats 12.5 quadrillion kWh or 12500 PWh to accelerate the Nimitz to 1\10th light speed. The United States in 2005 used 29PWh in energy... so the energy requirement to accelerate the Nimitz to 1\10th light speed would be the entire power consumption of the USA for 431 years... this doesnt count slowing down at your destination, just doubled it... this doesnt count the wieght of the fuel needed to do the work, which increases mass, which increases power needed, which increases fuel needed... ok so lets say we manage that, we need somewhere to go, regardless of what you think nobodys investing that much to go to an inhabitable planet, so say we find a habitable planet say 100-1000ly away, 1000-10000 years travel time... ok we are still willing to make the effort... at any point during that 1000-10000 years, at 1\10th speed of light, if we hit a pebble sized object, game over.

    The engineers and physicists ARE the ones saying its impossible ;)
     
  16. Bluemofia

    Bluemofia F=ma

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    Eh, the article said nothing about doing any calculations on Oxygen being essential for complex life; just reverse engineering current complex life's enzymes and biochemicals, and finding that it absolutely requires oxygen, then making the general blanket statement that oxygen is required for complex life (after stating "life as we know it" prior to it near the beginning)

    Let me get this clear, for you don't seem to understand it.

    Oxygen is VERY likely to be used in complex life because it yields the most energetically favorable reactions and is incredibly common.

    HOWEVER, just because of this, does not make it essential for complex life. If an environment with little oxygen existed for example, (say an ammonia ocean rather than a water ocean, and life uses an ammonia solvent) life may find a way to use alternative methods rather than oxygen simply because there are other factors preventing it from utilizing it.

    There are usually more than one way to do things. If one method fails, the whole system is not doomed to fail, but rather depends on the efficiency and capabilities of alternative methods.



    Nice series of logical statements, however you messed up on two counts. The first stating it's lack of spin, and the second implicitly assuming the Gleise 581g is orbiting a G2V star, rather than a M star.

    Firstly, the planet in question does spin, a period of 37 days (If it doesn't, it won't be tidally locked so that different sides of it will see the star). Mercury, with a period of 59 days and with a very small amount of liquid core (caused by tidal effects with the sun), does generate a magnetic field at 1.1% strength of Earth's. A weak one, but it has one just the same. Presumably, with vastly more conductive liquid inherent with its larger mass, and a faster spin rate, Gliese 581g will have a magnetic field at the very least stronger than Mercury's. How strong has to be determined based on how much of it is liquid, but it most likely is strong enough (an older article from a previous planet when red dwarf planets were cropping up, and calculations were done http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=red-star-rising), or even unnecessary (as I will explain further down).

    Secondly, the main reason why hydrogen and helium is stripped away is primarily due to it being light enough to reach escape velocity on their own. Our own atmosphere contains very little of either for example.

    Looking up the exact processes of how the solar wind strips atmosphere, the solar wind affects charged particles far more than the neutral particles. CO2 requires some 20 eV to ionize, O2 needs 12 eV, and H2 about 15 eV, so CO2 is stripped slower from the atmosphere. Being easier to ionize O2 than CO2 will lead to them being stripped first. However, CO2 can still be stripped, requiring volcanism to replenish it periodically, else its atmosphere will be completely removed with (albeit more slowly) or without a magnetic field.

    Anyways, helium is generated by radioactive decay and the hydrogen and oxygen on Venus is generated by UV disintegration of water molecules high in the atmosphere, specifically by <320 nm light (at least 3-4 eV). However, Red dwarves peak in the infrared, and have virtually no UV light. This would mean very little, if any disintegration of water, let alone ionizing them and being lost due to the solar wind, meaning the vast majority of its water will be retained.


    Power consumption is not static. We aren't building one today, nor tomorrow, neither likely in even in a hundred years. Flat out saying its impossible is saying that no amount of technological advancement can make it possible.

    How many pebble sized objects are out in interstellar space? Virtually none. Occasional pockets of gas, but the most troublesome stuff you'll have to worry about is an occasional clump of dust. Space is mostly empty.


    Maybe for current technology, but any Engineer or Physicist who says it is impossible forever must be a damn good engineer/physicist to be able to predict all possible inventions and laws of physics. :rolleyes:
     
  17. PiTiFUL

    PiTiFUL Warlord

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    Oh I dunno, maybe the asteriod thats going to hit the earth and kill millions or even wipe out the human race all together, guess thats not as important as finding planets well never see.

    Sure that is a valid point, sort of, but wouldnt the 600 million dollars spent on just kepler alone have done much better if had been spent on actually educating the children?

    After telling me to leave politics out of it, you sure are a hypocrite to then use this argument, and in only eight lines :lol:

    We have quite a few billion years before our star packs it in, so we got the time, assuming we dont destroy our enviroment or some asteriod doesnt wipe us out while were looking for ET planets :)
     
  18. Bluemofia

    Bluemofia F=ma

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    So we should not look outwards until we have every single grain of dust in the solar system mapped?

    By that logic, we should spend zero time looking up in space. We have not even mapped the jungles of New Guinea adequately! And that place is on earth! Who knows if there is a super-virus lurking in the jungles?


    You can't educate the children without things to educate them with. Such as finding out whether or not the things we are teaching them are right or not for example.

    10 years ago I had people arguing Earth is special because we have discovered zero planets outside our solar system. (and therefore they don't exist) I still have people arguing comets cannot form because we have not seen one form. Not many people actually understand the whole concept of "absence of proof is not proof of absence".


    Umm, I told you not to have the politicians decide what is possible and what isn't. There's a *really* big difference between asking politicians for money and asking politicians how to build a rocket. :p


    Sloan not good enough? Sloan does lots of wide sky surveys, and whenever it picks up something that leaves a streak in its images, it's an asteroid, and they throw it off to the minor planet center. It's not like we have zero vested interest in it... (Mind you, I did a research project over the summer searching for asteroids myself.)

    And by your statements, we cannot leave our planet anyways, no matter how hard we tried. So we're doomed within a billion years (when the projected luminosity increase of the sun is supposed to push the earth out of the habitable zone) regardless. Everything else is just paperwork.
     
  19. PiTiFUL

    PiTiFUL Warlord

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    Yes and yes because these things are relevant to the survival of our species so they should have top priority, as opposed to looking outside of our solar system which is totally irrelevant to the survival of our speices.

    You cant educate children without funding either, and the state of education in the USA is doing far more damage, from lack of funding, then any misconceptions we have about things outside of our solar system, which have no bearing on whats going on here. We have time, we arent going anywhere anytime soon, so investing in here and now is far more important then investing in, what it really boils down to, galactic trivia.

    "Back here on Earth, are we doing enough to detect and track asteroids and comets that might even now be on a collision course with our planet? The answer, according to the National Research Council (NRC) of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States, is a resounding "No." "

    I found pretty much the holy grail on the subject, jury is still out, but it seems unlikely.

    http://www.liebertonline.com/doi/pdfplus/10.1089/ast.2006.0124

    Any technological advancement only changes how we get the power, it doesnt change how much power is required. My description of the power requirement is just a way to try and put into perspective the sheer scale of how much power is involved. Let me give you another example, a 100 megaton hydrogen bomb, thats twice the size of the largest weapon ever detonated, has 420PJ of energy. 12500PWh is 45000000PJ, so the power needed is equivalent to, assuming zero loss, 107142 megatons, or 214284 Tsar hydrogen bombs, x2 because we have to slow down, 428568 Tsar hydrogen bombs. If you release the equivalent power of one Tsar hydrogen bomb per hour, it will take 24.5 years to accelerate to 1/10th the speed of light. Science cannot change that fact, it is a fundamental law of nature, 1 Tsar hydrogen bomb worth of energy per hour for 24.5 years. The power of Tsar is even difficult to comprehend, so I'll scale it down even more, The Tsar hydrogen bomb released the same power as 3333 little boy atomic bombs. Using my previous analogy that works out to releasing the equivalent power of the little boy atomic bomb every single second for 24.5 years.

    Mostly empty, is not empty, and when you calculate the distance you need to cover the odds become greater, and you are covering a very very very large distance.

    I understand that life can exsist in many many different enviroments, what you dont understand is extremophiles cannot evolve into animals or anything as complex as an animal... show me one scientific study that says different.
     
  20. uppi

    uppi Deity

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    And yet, the energy output of the sun in one millisecond is greater than that. And in terms of fuel it would be about 500 tons of antimatter, which could be easily carried by a 100000 ton ship (And you could probably build a spaceship much lighter than an aircraft carrier).

    Very, very hard? Yes. Not possible now? Yes. Impossible? No.
     

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