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Life on planet Gliese?

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

  1. uppi

    uppi Deity

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    If Panspermia was true, the fact that we're here could actually increase the chance of other life being nearby.
     
  2. Olleus

    Olleus Deity

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    Also, the first anthropic principle. By being here we know at the very least that life is possible. If we weren't here, one could be convinced that life is impossible.
     
  3. PiTiFUL

    PiTiFUL Warlord

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    Touche, though I do not seriously believe that just because there is one habitable planet that automatically eliminates any possibility of another in our neighborhood. I would even bet that somewhere in the vast universe there is even a system with two habitable planets orbiting a single star, and even intelligent species evolving on those planets.

    I was just pointing out the odds based on the Drake equation, which as I've said, I think are way over estimated. There are so many variables that make our planet habitable, and as we learn more those variables keep increasing and that in turn makes habitable planets more and more rare, and then the odds again of an intelligent species evolving, the odds are staggering. If you were to even look at our system at a different time frame you would even find our system uninhabitable and for the vast majority of earths time without any intelligent beings, and frankly given the modus operandi of our civilization its a good bet that in a few thousand years our system again will have no habitable planets, or intelligent beings.

    This notion that habitable planets are a dime a dozen is pure sci-fi, and the notion that in the vast universe there are millions or billions of habitable planets is meaningless when they are beyond our reach, and that doesnt even cover the odds of an intelligent species evolving. I really hope we do 'win the galactic lottery' and find something within our grasp, but I seriously doubt it, the odds are stacked against us, big time... and thats if we can even travel to another star which at this point in time is a definate no... and even if the realistic theories pan out, such an undertaking would take the cumulative effort of our entire civilization and probably most of the available resources in our system, sending a single colony ship to another star would be the pinnacle achievement of the human race... my bet is the best we will be able to do is make one of the other planets here habitable, but sadly the odds are better we will become extinct long before we can do even that.

    People have grown up with sci-fi movies, television, and the possibilities created out of our imaginations, they just cant accept the reality of the situation. I think the universe and light have got together to become the ultimate tease, so much to see, so many possibilities, but we cant touch.
     
  4. PiTiFUL

    PiTiFUL Warlord

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    Wont work, at best you can create a heavy CO2 atmosphere which would at least allow humans to walk on the surface with just an oxygen mask. Any oxygen you can get into the atmosphere would get blown into space and another problem is if you can heat up mars enough for liquid water you will start to lose that water to space too. Mars is too small to hold onto an atmosphere with gravity alone.

    I do have a thought on Mars, regarding making it a place for humans, but its real long term... What if we were to go out to the asteriod belt and the Kuiper belt and start redirecting asteriods and comets into Mars, we could build up Mars over time and increase its mass to match Earth. We could possibly even manage to redirect a large body into a Mars orbit so it has a decent sized moon too and possibly even create a magnetic field in the process. Of course the time scale is in the hundreds of thousands if not millions of years.
     
  5. Perfection

    Perfection The Great Head.

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    Sorry, you can't do that, too many petawatt hours...
     
  6. civ_king

    civ_king Deus Caritas Est

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    When people whine about money spent on preventing problems 20 years down the road what makes you think they will remotely consider even a 10,000 year investment?
     
  7. Gustave5436

    Gustave5436 Emperor

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    Also conservation of mass. The asteroid belt has far less mass than any terrestrial planet.
     
  8. Leifmk

    Leifmk Deity

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    It's too small to hold on to an atmosphere for billions of years, yes. Most folks who have done calculations on the subject agree that a terraformed Mars would gradually lose most of its atmosphere and water to space, over a period of millions of years.

    Now, "millions of years" is rather enough time for human civilizations to rise, thrive, fall, nuke themselves back to the stone age, rise again, re-invent World of Warcraft, etc. hundreds of times. Long enough to evolve into a different species or three. No, it wouldn't last until the Sun leaves the main sequence and toasts the inner system, at least not without periodic maintenance. But that's not the kind of timescale it has to meet in order to be useful to humans.
     
  9. El_Machinae

    El_Machinae Colour vision since 2018 Retired Moderator

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    Making Mars habitable very much only needs to be a short-term affair. While more expensive than "Marsifying humans" (brute force), it's probably much simpler to do. We could get started within the decade, if we wanted. But humans are going to be leapfrogging to asteroids and comets pretty soon after we become a space-faring species, and once cheap fusion is cracked, hydrogen is going to be the main interest anyway.

    Panspermia doesn't need to be true, even. Earth's life increases the odds of life being elsewhere in our solar system, because Earth can be the source. Scores of kilograms of rock are transferred between Earth and Mars each year, for example.
     
  10. Eran of Arcadia

    Eran of Arcadia Stormin' Mormon Retired Moderator

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  11. El_Machinae

    El_Machinae Colour vision since 2018 Retired Moderator

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    :yup:

    According to Natural Transfer of Viable Microbes in Space(2000), it's 'one or two orders of magnitude less' going from Earth to Mars
     
  12. Leifmk

    Leifmk Deity

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    Yah, Mars has a much lower escape velocity to begin with, and once a bit of matter is spaceborne it'd take much less perturbation for something beginning out by Mars to get an orbit that intersects Earth's, than the opposite.
     
  13. El_Machinae

    El_Machinae Colour vision since 2018 Retired Moderator

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    I wonder how much rock we're sending to the gas giant moons that have water in them?
     
  14. ParadigmShifter

    ParadigmShifter Random Nonsense Generator

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    Presumably it's easier to send debris towards the sun rather than away from it.

    Jupiter is a big gravity sink anyway.
     
  15. El_Machinae

    El_Machinae Colour vision since 2018 Retired Moderator

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    Man, that sucks.

    It would be cool if one of those ice moons had microbes from Earth.
     
  16. J-man

    J-man Deity

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    Exciting news! earth like exoplanets are likely to be very common.

    http://www.wired.com/wiredscience/2010/10/exoplanet-stats/

    The people who did the research looked at a lot of star (stars that did have planets and star that don't). They did a statistical analysis and although we can't earth size planets yet they concluded they must common.

     
  17. ParadigmShifter

    ParadigmShifter Random Nonsense Generator

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    Well it's probably saved us from a few comets in it's time, so it doesn't suck that bad ;)
     
  18. Bluemofia

    Bluemofia F=ma

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    Well, take it this way, because you clearly didn't get what I meant when I said quantity over quality.

    You (as a human) can either eat a lot of candy (high energy density food in terms of calories per gram, equivalent to high quality molecules for energy), or lots more food like vegetables, bread, fruit, etc. (low quality)

    Ignoring things like vitamins and minerals, (invoke vitamin pills w/e, the point is the calories) both do fine in terms of energy balance. The one eating the candy wouldn't have to eat as much or as often (that is technically detrimental to evolution, as they don't have as strong of a driving force to venture to dangerous places to eat food and have strong natural selection pressures) compared to the one eating fruit and vegetables, but both can fundamentally get enough energy via different approaches.

    The same argument can be made for non-oxygen utilizing life. Instead of having oxygen fueled, high yield per molecule reactions, they take in a lot of low yield molecules and metabolize those.
     
  19. PlutonianEmpire

    PlutonianEmpire Socially Awkward Goofball

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    Way, way, way, WAY overly over-optimistic, and way, way, WAY over-confident.

    I really don't think habitable planets are all that common as we'd like to believe.
     
  20. PiTiFUL

    PiTiFUL Warlord

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    I dont, and if you had read my posts you would realize that I belive we will self destruct, all for an extra ten percent profit margin (greed), we are doomed because we worship the almighty dollar... I was just pointing out what I thought was a theoretical possibility.

    Its too small to hold an atmosphere for less time then that. Also it has virtually no atmosphere right now, so we have to add an atmosphere, and that atmosphere we try to add will get blown away as we are trying to build it up. Its not like we can snap our fingers and give Mars an instant atmosphere to slowly get blown away over hundreds of thousands of years.

    ...and such lifeform will be very simple as all its energy and function will be totally devoted to surviving on low yield molecules, oxygen based lifeforms evolve into higher life forms because oxygen provides more energy then is needed to simply survive. Earth had billions of years for non-oxygen life to evolve and what happened, it stagnated, without the high energy oxygen system it hit an evolutionary wall.

    PS on your food analogy, did you know that the current theory on our evolotion as humans states that the high energy yield of meat and our domestication of animals for food is the reason our current civilization happened. They found that all humans who did not take that route and survived on low energy vegetables or hunting alone never advanced, and you know why, because all thier time was spent on simply surviving, they had no free time to contemplate and advance thier society so it stagnated.

    QFT, seems the need to blow things way out of proportion, from poor judgement or the desire to be heard, has permeated our whole society.
     

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