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    We Are Not Alone- Study: Billions of Earth-Size Planets in Milky Way
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    U-matic Member groveChuck's Avatar
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    Some pretty cool theories, considering how recently the first planets outside our solar system were discovered...
    So all you need is a 1/17,000,000,000 chance of life, just in our galaxy? What are the odds???

    http://abcnews.go.com/Technology/wir...milky-18152982

    By ALICIA CHANG AP Science Writer

    Our Milky Way is home to at least 17 billion planets that are similar in size to Earth, a new estimate suggests. That's more than two Earth-size planets for every person on the globe.

    Just how many are located in the sweet spot where water could exist is "simply too early to call," said Francois Fressin of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, who presented his work at an astronomy meeting Monday.

    It's the first reliable tally of the number of worlds outside the solar system that are the size of Earth, but the hunt for our twin is far from over.
    Despite the explosion of exoplanet discoveries in recent years, one find remains elusive: A planet that's not only the right size but also in the so-called Goldilocks zone where it's not too hot or too cold for water to be in liquid form on the surface.

    The sheer number of Earth-size planets gives astronomers a starting point to narrow down which ones are in the habitable zone.



    Fressin and his team came up with their figure by conducting a fresh analysis of data collected by NASA's Kepler spacecraft, which was launched in 2009 to track down other Earths. They estimated at least one in six stars in the galaxy hosts a planet the size of ours, translating to at least 17 billion Earth-size worlds.

    Using a different method, a team from the University of California, Berkeley and University of Hawaii separately came up with a similar estimate. They calculated 17 percent of distant stars have planets that are the same size as Earth or slightly larger.
    The findings were presented at the American Astronomical Society in Long Beach, Calif.

    Meanwhile, the Kepler spacecraft continues to spot planets as they pass between Earth and the star they orbit. It found 461 new candidate planets, bringing the total to 2,740 potential planets, said mission scientist Christopher Burke at the SETI Institute.
    Most of the new Kepler finds were driven by discoveries of Earth-size planets and super-Earths. Four of those are thought to reside in the Goldilocks zone, but more observations are needed.

    Fressin said it's clear that rocky planets abound outside the solar system.
    "If you look up on a starry night, each star you're looking at almost each one of them has a planetary system," Fressin said.


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    Awesome.


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    Sound Modulator MattinSTL's Avatar
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    What's always blown me away is just how recent our expanded view of the universe is. Not long ago scientists (and everybody else) thought it was roughly a billionth the size we now know (think?) it is... (so far... and expanding with our knowledge).
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    I am by no means a scientist, but I don't understand how the size of a planet would be related to whether it supports life or not. Isn't it just about what the planet is made of, proximity to it's star, a magnetic shield to repel radiation, etc?
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    U-matic Member groveChuck's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MattinSTL View Post
    What's always blown me away is just how recent our expanded view of the universe is. Not long ago scientists (and everybody else) thought it was roughly a billionth the size we now know (think?) it is... (so far... and expanding with our knowledge).
    An expanding universe and expanding knowledge... sounds like a match made in heav... er, space!!!

    Quote Originally Posted by jghenderson View Post
    I am by no means a scientist, but I don't understand how the size of a planet would be related to whether it supports life or not. Isn't it just about what the planet is made of, proximity to it's star, a magnetic shield to repel radiation, etc?
    I'm no scientist either, but I would guess it's something to do with gravity and a similar composition and density of a nitrogen/oxygen atmosphere like ours?
    This would be for carbon-based life. Silicon-based life, that's a whole 'nother story...


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    dont care, ill be long time dead when it will affect peoples lives in any way, it wont affect mine so... besides whats so great about planet with human beings, we have one here and people arent great to each other.only reason to look for planet with life is to take over hi tech.
    That question" where we come from" dont matter at all, its not where you come from its who you are and we are hostile explorators, look up columbus in history book.
    Theres still undiscovered animals on our own planet and nobody is excited about that when we discover new ones so i dont get that fascination, fake.
    Last edited by bwwd; 01-12-2013 at 11:46 PM.


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    This stuff depresses me. We're gathering all this knowledge on space, my head literally hurts when I'm trying to grasp the notion of universe being this infinite, shapeless space...whatever...and yet we still act, generally, as mindless buffoons here on Earth.

    Not to mention camera manufacturers who deliberately won't crank up the bitrates and sensor capabilities on their products because they have a "improved" model lined up 6 months ahead and they don't want to impede the level up product line, probably because they've agreed on it at a huge round table, all while we take sides for their brands. We race to the bottom every day - and we talk about infinite space.

    I hope we never get out there. I won't be able to cope with the daily influx of news about disputes and tensions between East Space and West Space...we don't deserve to move from this place.



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    Still "Senior Member" Gord.T's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by groveChuck View Post
    ... Silicon-based life, that's a whole 'nother story...
    Well, it's been around for awhile and yes it is scary.
    For reference but take it for what it is, it's off the web (could be a complete fabrication which I suspect it is unless announced by Nasa which the headlines proclaim....
    Maybe I have not searched enough to find an official Nasa post on this so until then I will assume it's a fraud.

    http://gizmodo.com/5704158/nasa-finds-new-life
    "Remember To Dip the Right End of the Cigar in your $250.00 dollar glass of Brandy." -Doc Bernard.


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    Sound Modulator MattinSTL's Avatar
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    Gotta' throw out another bit of logic... I've always had to laugh at the people who think we're going to encounter intelligent life and have anything to teach them... or, for some reason, WE(?) will be the superior beings? Let me put it this way... on a timeline representing several billion years... scaled to the length of a football field... ALL of human experience would fit in a hair's width (not length)... at the very very end (there's nothing more recent than today).

    Look at electricity... flight... the transistor... the odds are that we're the new kids in the universe... most likely by, at the very least, hundreds of thousands of years... if not millions.

    And the funny thing is we'll fight over what computer platform somebody chooses... and kill each other over things not much more significant than that. So... yeah... let's mix it up by introducing ourselves to something with a few million years more advancements... and hope that they'll somehow see us as equals... instead of using the exact same socioeconomic and/or food-chain logic that we use to determine how other living things that live here are treated.

    Go SETI! I'm sure that IF there were any success in it... that it would work out great for us.
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    It's all moot anyway. When looking at these things, it's not just about whether or not there is life out there, it's all about distance. Most galaxies are millions of light years away, and even places in our own galaxy are tens of thousands of light years away. So unless it is possible to go even faster than the speed of light (something that seems very unlikely), the chances of us actually having any contact with other living organisms is extremely small. That is of course unless humanity manages to survive for millions of years and systematically pushes further and further out into space. But for the foreseeable future, we are the top of the food chain for our tiny corner of space.
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