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[Merged] Giant habitable exoplanet discovered


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#1    Eldorado

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Posted 08 November 2012 - 02:31 PM

'Super-Earth' exoplanet spotted 42 light-years away

Astronomers have spotted another candidate for a potentially habitable planet - and it is not too far away.
The star HD 40307 was known to host three planets, all of them too near to support liquid water.
But research to appear in Astronomy and Astrophysics has found three more - among them a "super-Earth" seven times our planet's mass, in the habitable zone where liquid water can exist.
http://www.bbc.co.uk...onment-20249753

Just thought I'd share.

Edited by Eldorado, 08 November 2012 - 02:33 PM.


#2    mfrmboy

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Posted 08 November 2012 - 02:50 PM

They discover these planets from time to time and more here recently. Why don't they send probes out to research these planets. It might take 100 yrs. or more to get there but then the our generations that follow will be able to obtain and use the knowledge.


#3    booNyzarC

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Posted 08 November 2012 - 03:05 PM

Coolest sentence in the article:

The planet would be a prime target for space telescopes being designed that are sensitive enough to directly image relatively nearby Earth-sized worlds.


Can't wait to see that in action! :tu:


#4    synchronomy

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Posted 08 November 2012 - 03:11 PM

View Postmfrmboy, on 08 November 2012 - 02:50 PM, said:

They discover these planets from time to time and more here recently. Why don't they send probes out to research these planets. It might take 100 yrs. or more to get there but then the our generations that follow will be able to obtain and use the knowledge.
Voyager 1, launched about 30+ years ago is, IIRC, the fastest outbound probe we have sent so far, is travelling about 1/18,000th of the speed of light.  Proxima Centauri, at 4.23 light years, is our closest star.  At this speed a spacecraft travelling that speed would take over 70,000 years to get there.  Once there, any discoveries made would take another 70,000 years to be transmitted back to us.
Might as well wait until we can send something with higher speed.

Edited by synchronomy, 08 November 2012 - 03:11 PM.

At the heart of science is an essential balance between two seemingly contradictory attitudes--an openness to new ideas, no matter how bizarre or counterintuitive they may be, and the most ruthless skeptical scrutiny of all ideas, old and new.
This is how deep truths are winnowed from deep nonsense. -- Carl Sagan

#5    Taun

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Posted 08 November 2012 - 03:15 PM

View Postmfrmboy, on 08 November 2012 - 02:50 PM, said:

They discover these planets from time to time and more here recently. Why don't they send probes out to research these planets. It might take 100 yrs. or more to get there but then the our generations that follow will be able to obtain and use the knowledge.

edit: synch beat me to it...

Edited by Taun, 08 November 2012 - 03:16 PM.


#6    joc

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Posted 08 November 2012 - 03:19 PM

http://www.unexplain...s.php?id=237360


Astronomers have discovered a star system with six planets, one of which could potentially support life.

The dwarf star known as HD 40307 is located 42 light years away and is home to at least six large planets including a terrestrial world which is believed to be at the right distance from its star to fall in to the 'Goldilocks zone' where liquid water can exist. This new world is approximately seven times the size of the Earth and has an orbital period of 320 days.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

I think this is huge.   Suppose this planet did have life on it.  Suppose that there was 'intelligent' life and suppose further that they had developed the ability to transmit and receive radio signals.

But...suppose that they are very new at it...that the discovery of radio waves is in it's infancy.
Let's continue supposing that they are incredibly excited on that planet because they are now listening to OUR transmissions...attempting to understand them and to make contact through transmissions of their own...and finally, let's suppose that in about 30 or 40 years...we begin hearing THEIR transmissions!  How exciting would that be.

I know...that is alot of supposing...but...just suppose anyway....

Edited by joc, 08 November 2012 - 03:20 PM.

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#7    ExoPaul

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Posted 08 November 2012 - 03:19 PM

MFRMBoy... I think you have to think in realistic terms. To get there in (your time frame) 100 years requires travel at half the speed of light which is not easy to do. Then you need to know how to send back the information (should it record any decent information) which is not easy, then you got the huge costs of working out the logisitics and mathematics and engineering involved to do it (for example, how do you keep a battery charged for over 100 years of space travel) before you even think about the costs of actually building and launching the probe. And on top of all that, any results (and it would have a huge chance of fail rate) would not benefit anyone for maybe 10 or more generations.
You then have to realize that the politicians who have the final say on the funding of these expensive probe missions, missions that will MAYBE benefit humanity in 100+ years time (most likely much, much longer) are unlikely to give it the go ahead as they are only interested in current issues such as jobs, healthcare, military funding etc, and not something that no living person on this planet will ever benefit from. It is hard enough for them to put up money towards eco-projects to save THIS planet in 200 years time, let alone fund money towards other planets in the same time frame.
And then you have the other consideration that we as a race are advancing at such exponential rate of knots that we can achieve much more in 50 years than we can now. Look back 100 odd years and we have gone from land people to flying people. In 50 years we have gone from fighting hand to hand in wars, to using robots. In just 20 years we have gone from sitting in quiet libraries to read books alone, to being like a hive network all connected to each other sharing information electronically across the internet. So what is to say that 100 years from now we advance to the stage where we can actually discover advancements such as warp technology or space bending or whatever and end up designing a 500 man spaceship to fly to this planet in mere minutes, colonize it and then 20 years later have our own probe crash land on the nicely laid back lawn and reporting back it has found humans!

Put simply, it costs too much, it will likely fail too easily, it benefits nobody living today to warrant the funding, and within 30 years we could have technologically advance it before its even travelled 20% of the distance.

Small steps with high rate of success will eventually lead to larger ones. Huge jumps with a 99% chance of failure will lead to nothing but projects being abandoned more and more often.

Edited by ExoPaul, 08 November 2012 - 03:21 PM.


#8    mfrmboy

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Posted 08 November 2012 - 03:34 PM

View PostExoPaul, on 08 November 2012 - 03:19 PM, said:

MFRMBoy... I think you have to think in realistic terms. To get there in (your time frame) 100 years requires travel at half the speed of light which is not easy to do. Then you need to know how to send back the information (should it record any decent information) which is not easy, then you got the huge costs of working out the logisitics and mathematics and engineering involved to do it (for example, how do you keep a battery charged for over 100 years of space travel) before you even think about the costs of actually building and launching the probe. And on top of all that, any results (and it would have a huge chance of fail rate) would not benefit anyone for maybe 10 or more generations.
You then have to realize that the politicians who have the final say on the funding of these expensive probe missions, missions that will MAYBE benefit humanity in 100+ years time (most likely much, much longer) are unlikely to give it the go ahead as they are only interested in current issues such as jobs, healthcare, military funding etc, and not something that no living person on this planet will ever benefit from. It is hard enough for them to put up money towards eco-projects to save THIS planet in 200 years time, let alone fund money towards other planets in the same time frame.
And then you have the other consideration that we as a race are advancing at such exponential rate of knots that we can achieve much more in 50 years than we can now. Look back 100 odd years and we have gone from land people to flying people. In 50 years we have gone from fighting hand to hand in wars, to using robots. In just 20 years we have gone from sitting in quiet libraries to read books alone, to being like a hive network all connected to each other sharing information electronically across the internet. So what is to say that 100 years from now we advance to the stage where we can actually discover advancements such as warp technology or space bending or whatever and end up designing a 500 man spaceship to fly to this planet in mere minutes, colonize it and then 20 years later have our own probe crash land on the nicely laid back lawn and reporting back it has found humans!

Put simply, it costs too much, it will likely fail too easily, it benefits nobody living today to warrant the funding, and within 30 years we could have technologically advance it before its even travelled 20% of the distance.

Small steps with high rate of success will eventually lead to larger ones. Huge jumps with a 99% chance of failure will lead to nothing but projects being abandoned more and more often.

Just an idea....Did'nt really put alot of thought into it. Thank you for explaining and it makes alot of sense.  I have often thought about where we will be technologically in a hundred + years seeing how far we have advanced in the last hundred.
.

Edited by mfrmboy, 08 November 2012 - 03:35 PM.

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#9    Grey14

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Posted 08 November 2012 - 03:36 PM

View Postmfrmboy, on 08 November 2012 - 02:50 PM, said:

They discover these planets from time to time and more here recently. Why don't they send probes out to research these planets. It might take 100 yrs. or more to get there but then the our generations that follow will be able to obtain and use the knowledge.

It would take much longer than that.

here is how far a light year is in au's = 63000AU/ly  (roughly)

Here is how far the farthest probe we have sent into space (Voyager 1) has travel since it was launched in 1977

121.836 AU

In about 40000 years this probe will pass within 1.6 ly of Gliese 445, which is only 17.5 ly from our sun.

So as you can see in is senseless to send any probes at this time to a place that is 42 light years away. We will either have destroyed ourselves or advanced to the point of intersteller travel long before the probe even made a dent into the distance it needed to travel.

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#10    OverSword

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Posted 08 November 2012 - 04:04 PM

Does anyone see where it says this planet is 7 times our mass?  If you were to set foot on this planet you would be crushed like an elephant stepped on a grape. Not habitable.  The conditions required for humans to exist on a planet are very specific to the planet we are on.  We are not built to exist anywhere else.  Imigrating to other planets is fantasy to be ranked with slaying dragons and fairies with wings like butterflies I hate to say.

Edited by OverSword, 08 November 2012 - 04:19 PM.


#11    synchronomy

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Posted 08 November 2012 - 04:43 PM

View PostOverSword, on 08 November 2012 - 04:04 PM, said:

Does anyone see where it says this planet is 7 times our mass?  If you were to set foot on this planet you would be crushed like an elephant stepped on a grape. Not habitable.  The conditions required for humans to exist on a planet are very specific to the planet we are on.  We are not built to exist anywhere else.  Imigrating to other planets is fantasy to be ranked with slaying dragons and fairies with wings like butterflies I hate to say.
In the second paragraph of the linked article in the OP:
...a "super-Earth" seven times our planet's mass, in the habitable zone where liquid water can exist.....

"Habitable", doesn't necessarily mean us...it means habitable for life as we know it.  i.e. bacteria or other life forms suitable to the high gravity.

Edited by synchronomy, 08 November 2012 - 04:44 PM.

At the heart of science is an essential balance between two seemingly contradictory attitudes--an openness to new ideas, no matter how bizarre or counterintuitive they may be, and the most ruthless skeptical scrutiny of all ideas, old and new.
This is how deep truths are winnowed from deep nonsense. -- Carl Sagan

#12    pallidin

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Posted 08 November 2012 - 05:00 PM

View Postsynchronomy, on 08 November 2012 - 03:11 PM, said:

Voyager 1, launched about 30+ years ago is, IIRC, the fastest outbound probe we have sent so far, is travelling about 1/18,000th of the speed of light.  Proxima Centauri, at 4.23 light years, is our closest star.  At this speed a spacecraft travelling that speed would take over 70,000 years to get there.  Once there, any discoveries made would take another 70,000 years to be transmitted back to us.
Might as well wait until we can send something with higher speed.

Actually, the craft need not return at all. So by transmitting back radio type information(which does travel at the speed of light) to earth, the scientific data would begin arriving in 4.23 YEARS. in your example.

But I would agree that "getting there" in the first place could take enormous amounts of time.


#13    OverSword

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Posted 08 November 2012 - 05:07 PM

View Postsynchronomy, on 08 November 2012 - 04:43 PM, said:

"Habitable", doesn't necessarily mean us...it means habitable for life as we know it.  i.e. bacteria or other life forms suitable to the high gravity.
True.  I guess I'm just preoccupied with getting the F out of here! :yes:


#14    pallidin

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Posted 08 November 2012 - 05:18 PM

View PostOverSword, on 08 November 2012 - 05:07 PM, said:

True.  I guess I'm just preoccupied with getting the F out of here! :yes:

No kidding. Beam me up Scotty!


#15    zenfahr

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Posted 08 November 2012 - 06:22 PM

large sun, large planet...... hmmm methinks Giants??

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