back to article Latest exoplanet discovery is a virtual CLONE of Earth

Astroboffins poring through data from NASA's Kepler telescope have spotted what they think might be the most Earth-like planet yet discovered. The object has a radius 1.5 times that of Earth, which lumps it into the class of extrasolar planets known as "super Earths." That's not so unusual, in and of itself; scientists estimate …

COMMENTS

This topic is closed for new posts.

Page:

Silver badge

Thanks

> slightly longer than Venus's 225-day year but shorter than our own 365-day one.

Ta for the reminder of how many days there are in a terran year - I can NEVER remember!

7
1
Silver badge
Headmaster

Re: Thanks

Ta for the reminder of how many days there are in a terran year - I can NEVER remember!

It's closer to 365.256 ;-)

2
0
Silver badge
Coat

Well, while we're being pedantic...

...365.256 days is only true if you're measuring the sidereal year (fixed star to fixed star). And it's 365.256363004 as of epoch J2000.0 to be precise... a ten-millionth of a second's accuracy is still a measurable period of time after all! And what about the tropical (equinox to equinox) year of 365.24219 days, or the anomalistic (aphelion to aphelion, or more generally any apsis to apsis) year of 365.259636 days? Which "year" are we referring to exactly?

No wonder Pen-y-gors can't remember! ;-)

7
0

Re: Well, while we're being pedantic...

Well, if pedantry is the game, how about the fact that this planet is 3 times larger than earth? Since when was 3 times bigger "similarly sized"? If my clone was 3 times larger than me, someone would say the cloning process had failed fundamentally.

1
0
Silver badge
Joke

Re: Well, while we're being pedantic...

> 365.256 days is only true if you're measuring the sidereal year

What? You'll be telling me that the Earth doesn't revolve about its axis in 24 hours next!

0
0

Re: Well, while we're being pedantic...

"You'll be telling me that the Earth doesn't revolve about its axis in 24 hours next!"

It doesn't revolve around its own axis at all. It *rotates* around its axis and *revolves* around the Sun!

0
0

Re: Well, while we're being pedantic...

continuing in that vein ...

It's more like 3.375 times as big, thus 2.375 times bigger, hardly 3 times, wouldn't you say?

What do they teach in schools these days?

0
0

just call me picky

but how far away is it? doesn't appear to be mentioned in the article or links, and it kind of makes a difference between "oh, that's nice to know" and "book me a flight, I'm there"

2
0
Silver badge
WTF?

Re: just call me picky

Book you a flight? Please tell me which kind of craft you have in mind, I'd love to know!

2
0
Angel

Re: just call me picky

I'll take the first General Contact Unit that's headed in the right direction.

9
0

Re: just call me picky

I'd rather the comfort of a GSV, myself.

2
0
Happy

Re: just call me picky

But there could be nasties out there. I think I'll borrow a GOU.

1
0

Re: just call me picky

>>I'd rather the comfort of a GSV, myself.

Just try to avoid the Sleeper Service. That's my advice.

5
0
Silver badge
Alert

Re: just call me picky

And if you fancy a trip in a GCU I think avoiding Meatfucker née Grey Area would be wise. I think it might be in league with Teresa May.

0
0
Alien

May I be the first

To welcome our new Kepler based clever dolphin earth overlords

1
0
Silver badge
Alien

Re: May I be the first

Dasorians?

1
0
Anonymous Coward

Re: May I be the first

Alah is gonna be pissed

0
0
Silver badge
Coat

So long, and thanks...

There must also be fish there if there are very clever dolphins there. There might even be bowls of petunias. Definitely mice.

3
0
Coat

"there must also be fish there"

A Koi pond, perhaps?

4
0
Silver badge
Coat

Re: So long, and thanks...

I Wonder in which direction "science" is moving with sentence like "but perhaps very clever dolphins", I bet they are red with green stripes, revealing this just to help science in the new and so interesting direction.

1
2
MrT
Bronze badge

I scan-read...

...'Mario Livio' and momentarily thought it was a Nintendo Broadway show...

1
0
Silver badge

Re: So long, and thanks...

Presumably the PR people thought "clever sharks" didn't sound as good, so went with dolphins - and to hell with the science of how dolphins evolved.

A water world would be a fish world, unless it had a significantly dry period for land-based animals to evolve. Milk is difficult in water.

0
0
Thumb Up

Re: So long, and thanks...

And a decomposing sperm whale! and some hotdog satellites

0
0
Silver badge

Re: So long, and thanks...

"Presumably the PR people thought "clever sharks" didn't sound as good, so went with dolphins."

Yeah, and probably realised that clever sharks are a hell of a lot scarier, having watched that documentary presented by Sammuel L Jackson, "Deep Blue Sea"

1
0

Re: So long, and thanks...

Are they using their own smartphone browser?

0
0
Silver badge
Boffin

How old is the star?

Is the star old enough for life to have evolved on the planet? I can't see any information on that

And is it anywhere near the 4.5 billion years that Earth needed to have a technology using species?

0
0

Re: How old is the star?

Earth could have had technology-using species several times over by now. We can barely tell what was going on in classical Greek / Roman times, and anything further back that 10,000 years is purely speculation. Any remains of a now-dead advanced civilisation from say, half a billion years ago (a mere 11% of the planet's lifetime) will be long gone, probably swallowed up by the actions of plate tectonics, and buried in molten magma.

11
2

Re: How old is the star?

was just going to write something similar (but instead of buried i was gonna say recycled), thumbs up :)

and what kind of materials (buildings/machines) would survive ages under such a pressure and heat.

i havent really given a thought on how long it takes satelites/exploration craft like those on mars to disappear/disintegrate completely. i guess much less than 500my

0
0
Thumb Down

Re: How old is the star?

Nonsense, there is plenty of fossil evidence of what life was like 500 million yeas ago, and that's because there is plenty of rock at the planets surface that is 500 million years old. In fact there are rocks in Australia that are older than 3 billion years. The surface of earth is not 100% recycled in any given time frame, so if there ever was a previous "advanced civilisation" it would have left an indelible mark somewhere.

5
0
Silver badge

Re: How old is the star?

"And is it anywhere near the 4.5 billion years that Earth needed to have a technology using species?"

If it wasn't for religion we could have been a lot more technologically advanced well beyond what we are now.

Perhaps the aliens weren't so stupid which explains why they can make spacecraft capable of flying between stars.

The aliens who did invent religion are most likely still at home killing each other with rocks...

13
2
Boffin

Re: How old is the star?

Both the Grandparent and the respondents are kind of right in this argument it seems to me...

Yes it took 4.5 billion years for US to evolve as a technology using specied, but that is primarily down to the random disatsers that overtook, (brought to a dramatic end!) the evolutionary development of the previous series of dominant species that had climbed that far up the slope.

If left to themselves, (as opposed to bing mericlessly crushed back into primordial forms by a hurtling chunk of space rock), who is to say that the first technological speiced to evolve on THIS planet might not have been more closely related to iguana's than humans...

4
0
Facepalm

Re: How old is the star?

And with their more dexterous hands their typing might have been a lot less inclined to random error than mine....

Apologies for typo's in previous post...

3
0
Silver badge
Holmes

Re: How old is the star?

"would have left an indelible mark somewhere" - really? The chances of an individual becoming fossilised are generally pretty small, and the same would be true of most of our technology. That iron oxide stain next to your newly discovered velociraptor fossil? Maybe it was driving a car. Maybe a large building could survive, but the Lighthouse of Alexandria didn't, and the Pyramids are looking a bit tatty after only a few thousand years. You could easily miss them if you're not looking in the right place.

5
0
Bronze badge

Re: How old is the star?

Ah, but, what if that "now-dead advanced civilisation" sported sentient-being-satellites? Hopefully, they would have avoided excessive world wars, and hopefully they even managed to have"their-a-world-a-formed" (since they probably would not have called themselves Terrans) one or more of their moons or nearby planets. If they did that, even if they are extinct, and even ifffff they have not links to us a la Battlestar Galactica (TRS), it would be Earth-shattering a find if something creature-made were discovered operating as a beacon.

GODS, this is so exciting. Unfortunately, I feel that we will not in the next 45 years or so uncontrollably discover nor publicly be told of such a discovery. Still, finds such as these get me all giddy.

0
0
Silver badge
Thumb Up

Re: How old is the star?

"The aliens who did invent religion are most likely still at home killing each other with rocks..."

Sentence of the week, well played that person!

5
1
Facepalm

Re: How old is the star?

" ... primarily down to the random disatsers ..."

Do you mean like the re-election of Obama?

1
14
Thumb Up

Re: How old is the star?

You miss the point a little. Something 500 million years ago only comes to the surface if plate tectonics move it nearer the surface or human messing with mines and buildings dig one up. Perhaps a natural erosional process brings them to the front such as coastal erosion.

Given the way the world works we are having to dig tens of feet down to uncover roman remains from 2000 years ago (if you watch the time team at work). So it all depends on where you are talking about as to whether the earths surface is recycled.

If they built there mark at the bottom of the med it would have gone when the alps were formed and the med filled in after it was cut off and dried out.

It is was built in the himalayas it would be destroyed when India hit the Asian continent and formed the himalayas. (and still does)

Nothing is indellible.

0
0

Re: How old is the star?

Any evidence of human existence on earth may well be gone after a few hundred thousand years, but any visiting aliens will still be able to find the lunar rover, still up on the moon. It's up there. After all, we did visit the moon. No really we did. Honest.

Actually, assuming (pretending) there are things like lunar rovers on the moon, and they survive many million years, while evidence of human existence here on earth all but disappears, the next intelligent species to inhabit the earth will get a bit of a shock, when they final land on the moon. "Hang on, I thought we were first?"

2
0
Silver badge

Re: How old is the star?

surely human civilization will leave a highly anomalous layer in the geological record that prove we existed. Plenty of natural systems are being perturbed unnaturally. Eg the carbon cycle, the nitrogen cycle. Loads of gases being emitted that are artificial and have never existed before on earth like CFCs. There's too much to not leave a trace.

2
0
Anonymous Coward

Re: How old is the star?

lannorthhants - Donald Trump, is that you?!

1
0
Bronze badge

Re: How old is the star?

"Perhaps the aliens weren't so stupid which explains why they can make spacecraft capable of flying between stars."

woah, what'd I miss? or was your unprovoked graunia zeolotry just starting to turn into a little bit of a rant?

I'm not a religious man myself, but a lot of good science came from muslimism back in t'day (there was a series of documentaries on it on tv not long back) and christianity hardly excommunicates me for typing this on the devil's box

0
0
Silver badge
Thumb Up

Re: How old is the star?

I agree. I doubt anything we've built on the surface of the Earth will last more than a few hundreds of thousands of years. The fossil record might point to a curious mass extinction event though and perhaps the geographic record would show a subtle layer of radioactivity and/or other pollutants.

No what would most likely survive as a monument would be the artefacts left on the Moon. Presumably they will last as long as the Moon itself.

0
0

Re: How old is the star?

Even when everything about the exoplanet is perfect, I wonder what the chances are of life getting started and surviving long enough to evolve into something that can thrive under normal conditions. Is this inevitable or are we just very very very very lucky? BTW, I've no problem with intelligent life evolving from slime (given time), I think that is inevitable. I just worry about where the slime could come from in the first place.

0
0

Re: How old is the star?

Or, far more easily traced, that wee layer of radioactive matter we managed to scatter into the atmosphere while we were testing bombs out in the open like that.

That tends to be a pretty good marker for intelligent and technologically advanced - albeit highly destructive - civilization. And it's not going anywhere either. There've been asteroid impacts that have shown up in geological layers just the same way, just not as radioactive.

0
0
Silver badge
Alien

"Hang on, I thought we were first?" Re: How old is the star?

@toof4st - that sounds like the abandoned first draft of 2001 - A Space Odyssey . An ancient, mysterious technological artefact is found on the moon, it does nothing when discovered because it was created by an entirely extinct species, and nothing happens for the remainder of the film (in the book, an insane AI deletes all the research papers based on the artefact, because of a numeric overflow in the dates).

0
0

Re: How old is the star?

One would hope not or surely the planets native ecosystem is quickly crumbling much as our own!! :))

0
0

Fine, but does it have a large moon?

And a reasonable magnetic field?

Might make a difference. Or not. It would be interesting to find out.

2
0
Pirate

Re: Fine, but does it have a large moon?

Yes, it does. Oh wait, that's no moon.

Where'd the planet go?

1
0
Bod

Magnetic field / shield

From what I understand, a magnetic shield is essential for life to survive even if it's in the right location. How they can prove the planet would have one, considering the majority are nothing more than a tiny blip of data, I'm not sure.

1
0

Re: Magnetic field / shield

Well, you can determine that a planet has life-as-we-know-it if there's free oxygen in the atmosphere (you can have life without oxygen, but in our data sample of one, we've found that an element as reactive as oxygen is necessary for multi-cellular life). And that's something we can detect by photometry, especially with transiting planets like those found by Kepler. Any other conditions that exist on the planet friendly to life can be assumed or speculated on, but they'd be irrelevent anyway. Find free oxygen, and you've got a bang-on case for life elsewhere in the universe.

Also, we've noticed in our own solar system that any planet of significant size (larger than Mars, for example) has a suitably strong magnetic field, so it's reasonable to expect that one exists for this planet.

1
0

Page:

This topic is closed for new posts.

Forums