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Thread: NASA Telescope Finds Seven Earth-Size Planets That Could Sustain Life

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    NASA Telescope Finds Seven Earth-Size Planets That Could Sustain Life

    I had assumed that Phil would be all over this thread by now, and it's kind of old news at this point, but it's really an astonishing discovery. The basics:

    -The system is referred to as TRAPPIST-1, and there are seven Earth-size planets orbiting an ultra-cool dwarf star 39 light years away (the Milky Way is about 100,000 light years across).

    -They're much, much closer to their star than we are to our sun, but since the star is about 1/10 the diameter of our sun and burns with about 2000x less light, their proximity to it creates the ideal level of warmth and light required to create oxygen.

    -All seven of the exoplanets are within the range to sustain life, but three of them are firmly in the habitable zone.

    -If they discover (likely within the next decade) that there is oxygen in any of the planets' atmospheres, then that means there are probably oceans, and oceans mean life.

    -The craziest part is that we're still talking about just our galaxy, the Milky Way, and we haven't even come close to discovering everything in it, and we likely never will. But there's an infinite universe beyond the Milky Way that we have yet to tap in to. We've discovered over 300,000 planets in our galaxy alone over the past few decades.

    https://www.nasa.gov/press-release/n...planets-around

    If you're bored at work, read up on it a bit. It's really, really unbelievable. This is the closest we've come to finding life outside of Earth.
    Last edited by Ranger Lothbrok; 02-25-2017 at 01:05 PM.

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    It's an amazing discovery, but I think you're misunderstanding the vast distance here. The journey there would take hundreds of thousands of years. It's 40 light years, not 40 years. It's measured at the speed of light. At the speed Voyager 1 is going it would take 17,000 years to go just one light year. It would take 700,000 years to go 40 light years.
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    There is also another major mistake people make when calculating out space travel time, acceleration. You start at 0 and end at 0 unless your smashing into the target your talking about so you cannot use the top speed of a craft to calculate out the travel time you must use average speed over the entire journey. That is probably the biggest issue with "near light speed" travel. By near light speed I am talking about anything that is even close to the speed of light. 1% of the speed of light is ~6.7 million miles per hour(light speed is 186,000 miles per second), to accelerate to that speed there is a maximum number of G's you can pull during acceleration and deceleration(even for unmanned crafts), so yes light takes 40 years to get there but even if we could travel at the speed of light you would probably only be able to maintain that speed for a fraction of the journey because you need to speed up and slow down likely making that 40 year journey into several hundred if not thousand years.
    ___________LETS GO RANGERS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Phil in Absentia View Post
    It's an amazing discovery, but I think you're misunderstanding the vast distance here. The journey there would take hundreds of thousands of years. It's 40 light years, not 40 years. It's measured at the speed of light. At the speed Voyager 1 is going it would take 17,000 years to go just one light year. It would take 700,000 years to go 40 light years.
    You're right, I misinterpreted one of the articles I read in my attempt to summarize. My bad, I've removed the offensive non-factoid.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mentosman42 View Post
    There is also another major mistake people make when calculating out space travel time, acceleration. You start at 0 and end at 0 unless your smashing into the target your talking about so you cannot use the top speed of a craft to calculate out the travel time you must use average speed over the entire journey. That is probably the biggest issue with "near light speed" travel. By near light speed I am talking about anything that is even close to the speed of light. 1% of the speed of light is ~6.7 million miles per hour(light speed is 186,000 miles per second), to accelerate to that speed there is a maximum number of G's you can pull during acceleration and deceleration(even for unmanned crafts), so yes light takes 40 years to get there but even if we could travel at the speed of light you would probably only be able to maintain that speed for a fraction of the journey because you need to speed up and slow down likely making that 40 year journey into several hundred if not thousand years.
    Yup. Any hopes of this kind of interstellar travel requires another solution (like wormhole technology) unless we concede that generations upon generations upon generations of humans would need to live and die on a large spacecraft that would be traveling there. Effectively millions and millions of years.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ranger Lothbrok View Post
    You're right, I misinterpreted one of the articles I read in my attempt to summarize. My bad, I've removed the offensive non-factoid.
    No worries.
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    With how big the universe is, IMO likely there is life somewhere.... but probably too far to interact with. Any lifeforms that are capable of reaching Earth would be technically far superior than Earthlings, so we would have to hope they were peaceful
    "We're all f*cked. It helps to remember that." - George Carlin

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    I don't think there's any meaningful life out there. Almost certainly life, but not sentient like us.

    There's so many factors that make Earth what it is, it's not just a goldilocks zone question. You also need a big brother like Jupiter to absorb all the blows the cosmos deals out.

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    Given the vast, vast scale of the universe, I don't think we can say this with any confidence. It's our ignorance talking, assuming that sentient life looks and acts and exists like we do. There are planets and moons with vast oceans of methane, for example. It's quite possible some aspect of life lives in those, but it's chemical makeup is going to be radically different from our Terrestrial makeup given the chemical makeup of the planetary body.
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    Its hard to imagine we are the only sentient life in the universe considering the numbers we are talking about. 100 billion galaxies with 100 billion stars, these are estimates based on our actual observation and while they may end up being completely wrong, it is doubtful they are too high(it is likely the universe is much larger than we believe). Even if your talking about 1 in a billion or 1 in a trillion stars having a suitable situation such as our own your still ending up with a huge number of possible locations for life.

    Also while it is true that Jupiter has "absorbed" hits from asteroids and comets, it's massive gravity also has a slingshot effect on the ones that dont hit and it changes their trajectory. There is just as good of a chance of one of those asteroids or comets being thrown in our path as they are to be thrown away from us.


    Now the flip side is, I think even if there is other intelligent life in the universe the chances of them finding us or us finding them is subject to those large numbers as well. The adage of "like trying to find a needle in a haystack" doesnt even begin to describe the situation we are talking about. It might be something more along the lines of trying to find a single atom in the space occupied by our galaxy. That isnt even taking into account that what you observe in space is light from the past. The closest galaxy to our own is 2-3 million light years away, even if they had a telescope strong enough to see the Earth they would still be seeing dinosaurs roaming the Earth and that is just the closest galaxy, other galaxies would be seeing the molten Earth, or the formation of the solar system or nothing at all.
    ___________LETS GO RANGERS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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    All you need to presume life, likely sentient, in the universe, is the Drake equation.

    N = R* • fp • ne • fl • fi • fc • L

    N = The number of civilizations in the Milky Way galaxy whose electromagnetic emissions are detectable.
    R* =The rate of formation of stars suitable for the development of intelligent life.
    fp = The fraction of those stars with planetary systems.
    ne = The number of planets, per solar system, with an environment suitable for life.
    fl = The fraction of suitable planets on which life actually appears.
    fi = The fraction of life bearing planets on which intelligent life emerges.
    fc = The fraction of civilizations that develop a technology that releases detectable signs of their existence into space.
    L = The length of time such civilizations release detectable signals into space.
    http://www.space.com/25219-drake-equation.html
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dunny View Post
    I don't think there's any meaningful life out there. Almost certainly life, but not sentient like us.

    There's so many factors that make Earth what it is, it's not just a goldilocks zone question. You also need a big brother like Jupiter to absorb all the blows the cosmos deals out.
    Bro...

    Fun fact - he and I went to the same college and had the same major lol

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    Any thoughts on the possibility of us living in a giant simulation?

    I don't dismiss it offhand.

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    the thought of that has bugged me out before but what really bugs me out is this:

    __________________________________

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dunny View Post
    Any thoughts on the possibility of us living in a giant simulation?

    I don't dismiss it offhand.
    I don't give it any thought because there's no way to test it.


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