Jump to content



Photo

Billions Of Earth-Like Planets Near Earth

nasa exoplanet kepler space telescope goldilocks zone science

  • Please log in to reply
49 replies to this topic

#1 Hum

Hum

    totally wAcKed

  • 62,895 posts
  • Joined: 05-October 03
  • Location: Odder Space
  • OS: Windows XP, 7

Posted 07 February 2013 - 14:43

An Earth-like alien planet may reside right in our solar system's backyard, just 13 light-years or so away, astronomers announced today (Feb. 6).

That number is just an estimate, though, and not based on an exoplanet discovery.

The researchers used data from NASA's prolific planet-hunting Kepler space telescope, which is staring at more than 150,000 stars simultaneously. Kepler detects planets by measuring the temporary brightness dips caused when the worlds pass in front of, or transit, their stars' faces from the instrument's perspective.

The team pulled out a sample of 3,897 red dwarfs — stars dimmer and smaller than our own sun — and determined that Kepler has identified 95 exoplanet candidates circling them. Three of these candidates are roughly Earth-size and orbit within their stars' "Goldilocks zone," where liquid water (and possibly life as we know it) can exist.

Kepler isn't able to detect every planet circling every star that it's watching, researchers noted. Many worlds don't orbit in the right plane for Kepler to observe transits, and the signals of others may be masked by brightness variations inherent to red dwarfs.

Taking this into account, about 6 percent of red dwarfs in the Milky Way galaxy should host Earth-like planets, the astronomers said.

Since about 75 percent of the galaxy's 100 billion stars are red dwarfs, this translates to an estimated 4.5 billion "alien Earths" spread throughout the galaxy.

The closest red dwarf to Earth is Proxima Centauri, which is 4.2 light-years away in the three-star Alpha Centauri system.

more


#2 C-Squarez

C-Squarez

    ARE YOU IN THAT MOOD YET?!?!

  • 5,163 posts
  • Joined: 26-May 05
  • Location: Celebration, Florida

Posted 07 February 2013 - 20:36

If ET phones home today, his long distance charge might not be as much as people believed when Steven Spielberg's classic film came out three decades ago.

That's because recent data from NASA's Kepler space telescope suggests that billions of Earth-like planets are much closer than ever before imagined.

"The information we presented today will excite the general public because we now know that the nearest potentially Earth-like world is likely within 13 light years of the sun," astronomer Courtney Dressing said in an email to The Huffington Post.

"Astronomically speaking, 13 light years is practically next door."

While we don't know if intelligent life exists on any of these planets, it raises the chances of that possibility.


But I understand, any scientist that even thinks intelligent life exists anywhere else in this universe loses all credibility. Still an interesting read tho.

Source

#3 Davo

Davo

    Neowinian

  • 1,397 posts
  • Joined: 15-September 06

Posted 07 February 2013 - 20:40

Honestly, I'd be worried if there weren't "aliens" as Sci-Fi has portrayed them. It would either mean we're the first beings in the universe which means we'd die out eventually or we're the last and the universe itself will just cease to exist.

#4 AR556

AR556

    Neowinian Senior

  • 5,646 posts
  • Joined: 07-August 03

Posted 07 February 2013 - 20:44

Honestly, I'd be worried if there weren't "aliens" as Sci-Fi has portrayed them. It would either mean we're the first beings in the universe which means we'd die out eventually or we're the last and the universe itself will just cease to exist.


Either way, we could all disappear tomorrow and the Universe would go on just fine.

#5 spacer

spacer

    I'm awesome

  • 6,554 posts
  • Joined: 09-November 06
  • Location: Connecticut, USA
  • OS: Windows 7
  • Phone: Nexus 4

Posted 07 February 2013 - 20:46

But I understand, any scientist that even thinks intelligent life exists anywhere else in this universe loses all credibility. Still an interesting read tho.


I think you have that backwards. Any scientist that doesn't think there is intelligent life elsewhere loses all credibility. It's not a question of "if", it's a question of "where".

#6 FloatingFatMan

FloatingFatMan

    Resident Fat Dude

  • 15,909 posts
  • Joined: 23-August 04
  • Location: UK

Posted 07 February 2013 - 20:48

I think you have that backwards. Any scientist that doesn't think there is intelligent life elsewhere loses all credibility. It's not a question of "if", it's a question of "where".


Definitely has it backwards. Statistically, there HAS to be extra-terrestrial life. Whether it's intelligent or not remains to be seen, but there's a significant positive possibility that there is, somewhere.

#7 Yusuf M.

Yusuf M.

  • 21,358 posts
  • Joined: 25-May 04
  • Location: Toronto, ON
  • OS: Windows 8.1 Pro
  • Phone: OnePlus One 64GB

Posted 07 February 2013 - 21:15

Honestly, I'd be worried if there weren't "aliens" as Sci-Fi has portrayed them. It would either mean we're the first beings in the universe which means we'd die out eventually or we're the last and the universe itself will just cease to exist.

We'll never truly know the fate of the universe but one possible scenario is a big crunch (opposite of the big bang) and another big bang. As for aliens, chances are microbial life would be abundant in the universe on planets that contain water in liquid form. Of course, that's assuming there's nothing to prevent life from being spontaneously created like radiation.

13 light years may seem close to a scientist but it's still 1.23 x 1014 km. That's a huge distance. Assuming a probe, like Voyager 1, travels at 17 km/s (61,200 km/h), it would take 229,258 years for it to reach the nearest Earth-like planet.

#8 C-Squarez

C-Squarez

    ARE YOU IN THAT MOOD YET?!?!

  • 5,163 posts
  • Joined: 26-May 05
  • Location: Celebration, Florida

Posted 07 February 2013 - 21:17

I think you have that backwards. Any scientist that doesn't think there is intelligent life elsewhere loses all credibility. It's not a question of "if", it's a question of "where".


Definitely has it backwards. Statistically, there HAS to be extra-terrestrial life. Whether it's intelligent or not remains to be seen, but there's a significant positive possibility that there is, somewhere.


I love you both. I've just dealt with so many people on here that think I'm a nut because I believe in like elsewhere. Glad to see that there are other rational people that understand the statistical impossibility that we are the only ones.

#9 FloatingFatMan

FloatingFatMan

    Resident Fat Dude

  • 15,909 posts
  • Joined: 23-August 04
  • Location: UK

Posted 07 February 2013 - 21:21

13 light years may seem close to a scientist but it's still 1.23 x 1014 km. That's a huge distance. Assuming a probe, like Voyager 1, travels at 17 km/s (61,200 km/h), it would take 229,258 years for it to reach the nearest Earth-like planet.


Meh. We'll figure out shortcuts eventually. We're humans dammit! We're smart and getting smarter! All we have to do is stay alive long enough to work it out!

I love you both. I've just dealt with so many people on here that think I'm a nut because I believe in like elsewhere. Glad to see that there are other rational people that understand the statistical impossibility that we are the only ones.


Fear not. You are not alone! :) (Though I cannot guarantee you're not a nut! After all. I'm clearly nuttier than a Snickers bar. ;) )

#10 TPreston

TPreston

    Neowinian Senior

  • 2,590 posts
  • Joined: 18-July 12
  • Location: Ireland
  • OS: Windows 8.1 Enterprise & Server 2012R2/08R2 Datacenter
  • Phone: Nokia Lumia 1520

Posted 07 February 2013 - 21:23

But I understand, any scientist that even thinks intelligent life exists anywhere else in this universe loses all credibility. Still an interesting read tho.


No just the ones that claim they flew billions of miles from another star system... and crashlanded in America.

#11 Perfect72

Perfect72

    Neowinian Senior

  • 2,168 posts
  • Joined: 29-January 04
  • Location: Miss., US
  • OS: Win7 64bit
  • Phone: Nokia Lumia 920

Posted 07 February 2013 - 21:31

Honestly, I'd be worried if there weren't "aliens" as Sci-Fi has portrayed them. It would either mean we're the first beings in the universe which means we'd die out eventually or we're the last and the universe itself will just cease to exist.



Q: What is your favorite fact about the Universe?

A: That is will never end. That it's on a one way trip of expansion. Something that many find to be philosophically unsettling. My view is that if your philosophy is not unsettled daily then you are blind to all the universe has to offer.
-Neil deGrasse Tyson

#12 2xSilverKnight

2xSilverKnight

    Neowinian Master

  • 2,088 posts
  • Joined: 07-August 01

Posted 07 February 2013 - 21:32

No just the ones that claim they flew billions of miles from another star system... and crashlanded in America.


Sure ... :rolleyes:

What make you think that they ''flew'' here ? That would take more than a life time to get here.

#13 ILikeTobacco

ILikeTobacco

    Neowinian Senior

  • 4,789 posts
  • Joined: 08-July 10

Posted 07 February 2013 - 21:32

13 light years may seem close to a scientist but it's still 1.23 x 1014 km. That's a huge distance. Assuming a probe, like Voyager 1, travels at 17 km/s (61,200 km/h), it would take 229,258 years for it to reach the nearest Earth-like planet.

Yes but Voyager 1 was launched when? Helios 2 traveled at a speed of around 241,350 km/h. We are only getting faster. If we get to 50% of the speed of light, its a 26 year trip.

#14 LUTZIFER

LUTZIFER

    Resident Evil

  • 2,666 posts
  • Joined: 09-January 02
  • Location: Vancouver Island, BC CANADA
  • OS: Windows 8.1 Pro
  • Phone: Google Nexus 4

Posted 07 February 2013 - 21:46

I'd imagine there'd have to be at least that many planets similar.

One thing people do seem to not think about when it comes to life on other planets,
just cuz we couldn't live there, doesn't mean some other species can't.

Earth's space program is a joke, we can hardly get to the moon let alone anywhere else.
So moving to another planet in my lifetime isn't going to happen.
Personally I think the earth will be gone long before we'd even be able to get anywhere.

#15 Skin

Skin

    Neowinian

  • 1,135 posts
  • Joined: 11-April 07

Posted 07 February 2013 - 21:53

I believe that there WAS life (not totally like ours) everywhere at one point, but due to a universe wide war/uprising/destruction, it was ended and/or moved to other planes of existence.

There are way too many similar stories backing that in civilization (from cultures that are so far removed and not in contact) for that to be a coincidence - or even campfire stories passed by a passerby one night.

The universe is pretty inhospitable as far as the eye (telescope) can see, which is a good way for scientists to always point to some FARRRR off place and say, it COULD be there. Well heck, I suppose nearly anything could happen at some place and time.