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back to article Boffins find ALIEN WORLD orbiting the Sun's LONG LOST TWIN

Boffins have located an alien world orbiting a solar twin to our own Sun for the first time. Artist's impression of an exoplanet orbiting a star in the cluster Messier 67 Astronomers using the European Southern Observatory's HARPS planet hunter in Chile and other telescopes around the world have found three such planets in …

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Call me Mr Sceptical

We won't know for absolute certainty until we find a way to either communicate in real time with any potential life forms; or better still, travel there to see with our own eyes.

Surely, there are so many opportunities to advance human knowledge and so many opportunities to make the most of the talents of the whole human race, that this has to be a goal that we should all be looking towards.

(Yes; and don't call me Shirley!)

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jai
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Re: Call me Mr Sceptical

Communication might be difficult - water is believed to be one of the key requirements for life, no? And if you are hoping to communicate with non-water based lifeforms, then methods of communication could be extremely complicated.

unfortunately, it's far too close to its host for any liquid water to exist there.

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Re: Call me Mr Sceptical

Hello Mr Sceptical.

It would be great to travel to these far off solar systems but I think we should sort out human travel around our own solar system first before we start trying to get to other ones.

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Re: Call me Mr Sceptical

"water is believed to be one of the key requirements for life, no?"

No necessarily. All thats needed is some sort of medium that allows some sort of guided replication system to operate. That can be chemicals in water (or some other solvent), electrons in a machine or who knows, some sort of wierd plasma state in the centre of a star. I suspect in centuries to come the definition of "life" will turn out to be far broader than we ever imagined.

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JDX
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We won't know for absolute certainty

If you put it that way, we won't know for absolute certain that other planets exist until we send a man in a rocket to land on them. But then you mightn't believe it wasn't faked so the only way would be to send you to see for yourself.

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Re: Call me Mr Sceptical

"life" becomes irrelevant at a certain point (life as in "biological genetic survival machine"). whats important is self aware "control system". sufficiently sapient and sentient being isnt bound by a "lifeform" any more than you're bound by your car. of course monkeys will cling to their machines, following the genetic programming like the good little slaves they are.

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Re: Call me Mr Sceptical

"We won't know for absolute certainty until we find a way to either communicate in real time with any potential life forms [etc]"

Well, since we're not even seeing them in real time I rather doubt that is gonna happen.

Physics. It's the law.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Call me Mr Sceptical @Shrimpling 13:59

"It would be great to travel to these far off solar systems but I think we should sort out human travel around our own solar system first before we start trying to get to other ones."

That'd be part of the "looking towards".

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Ask the NSA

If life exists they would be spying on it already.

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Alien

"in centuries to come the definition of "life" will turn out to be far broader "

It already includes bronies. I don't think I want it to get any broader.

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> find a way to communicate in real time

Unfortunately this will reveal that there is no intelligent life on earth

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Meh

So so far away

why not look at stars much closer?

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jai
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Re: So so far away

i think they already have, but none of the closer ones have stars in this configuration AND signs of planets, so they've had to widen the search.

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Holmes

Re: So so far away

Because the stars that're closer aren't part of clusters.

A number of closer stars have known exoplanets, but if you want to find out about exos in clusters, well it makes sense you have to look at one of the nearer clusters, dunnit?

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WTF?

Re: So so far away

Why do people always assume research is mutually exclusive? Just because these people are investigating exoplanets in clusters, doesnt mean it stops other people investigating exoplanets on nearby star systems, And trust me there a lots of people looking at those.

So good work to the cluster researchers. More genuine science research is always good news....

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jai
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technically, not an alien world

a·li·en

'aly?n,'ale?n/

adjective

adjective: alien

1.

belonging to a foreign country or nation.

But - if there's no one living on the rock, then it doesn't belong to anyone.

So ripe for the picking - we claim it as our own - put a sign up that says "Twinned with Earth - please drive carefully" and maybe go there for a summer holiday.

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Facepalm

Oh dear

Q: Why did the Astroboffin dream up the M## nomenclature?

A: Because its Messier

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Lords of Kobol!

I hope you came up with this yourself.

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Re: Lords of Kobol!

I did, and imagine my pride.

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Holmes

Re: Lords of Kobol!

I say!

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It's not a long lost twin

we're just growing apart.

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Happy

They may be distant, but I'll give them a wave

The next time I look at M67 in binoculars (or through the scope).

It's the thought that counts

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Stop

Rigorous Logic vs. Methane Spirals from Uranus

Humans suffer from a chronic reliance upon childish "magical thinking" in many areas but most particularly when it comes to their hopes, an "emotion" that is a spider's nest of delusion, hallucination, gambling addiction and a willingness to plod on without maps or sense of orientation. All the above drives scientists to spend zillions of public cash in an emperor's new clothes game of "let's pretend".

Assuming, and it's a big assumption, that planets are formed via the disk accretion HYPOTHESIS rather than being ejected from stars or formed in plasma Z pinches (keep in mind kidz- the Universe is 99.9% matter in the plasma state), then one really needs to enumerate the ACTUAL requirements for coming up with a witches brew that supports life forms, let alone sentient life forms.

What must the necessary chemistry set contain other than a ratio of molecules in a liquid suspension that won't eat the paint off your Bently? Then there is the hideous apparition of sequence. In what order must all this occur? Then there is the ghastly specter of timing, how long must this molecule soup remain in each phase of development. Then comes a cornucopia of other requirements such as orbital distance and stability, quietude of the local galactic neighborhood (how many near extinction events has Earth miraculously survived? Let's do a crater count, shall we?), regularity of solar output, temperature fluctuations, a radiation shield atmosphere or medium favorable to metabolism, all of which have huge potential ranges that must all come together in a narrow band of possibility which, if all are RIGOROUSLY approached, equate to as close to zero as you can get without actually assuming an identity of zero..

The science fantasists should at least make the attempt to confront the eyeball spinning possibility that we are a freaking zero chance eruption of self-realization in a dead and destructive Universe. Philosophically, the implications of doing so are far, far more interesting. Feed this into your adding machines- in an infinite Universe of infinite duration, we may well be the ONLY life, let alone...etc., in this matter, energy, space and time basket. What that Zen realization might do to our computations of purpose, motivation and role on this ever so precious planet, might in itself, constitute the greatest revolution in human consciousness since the Clan of the Cave Bear matriculated from grunts of warning and pleasure to soap box oratory. of which I know absolutely nothing.

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Re: Rigorous Logic vs. Methane Spirals from Uranus

... apparently not much intelligence here in the forums, either. Stick that in your equation!

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Re: Rigorous Logic vs. Methane Spirals from Uranus

TCSBR*

*Too cranky - shouldn't (have) bothered reading.

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Re: Rigorous Logic vs. Methane Spirals from Uranus

Let's all give up and wait for the Messiah then shall we? Mmmkay? So we can all exalt in the glory of heaven...

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Rigorous Logic vs. Methane Spirals from Uranus

"in an infinite Universe of infinite duration, we may well be the ONLY life, let alone...etc."

But we already know that in an infinite universe there is no life...

"It is known that there are an infinite number of worlds, simply because there is an infinite amount of space for them to be in. However, not every one of them is inhabited. Therefore, there must be a finite number of inhabited worlds. Any finite number divided by infinity is as near to nothing as makes no odds, so the average population of all the planets in the Universe can be said to be zero. From this it follows that the population of the whole Universe is also zero, and that any people you may meet from time to time are merely the products of a deranged imagination."

I can tell you that I must be severely deranged to have conjured up some of the people I have to work with!

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Re: Rigorous Logic vs. Methane Spirals from Uranus

So you're saying that life just like us needs the conditions that we came from. So what would like NOT just like us need?

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Pint

Re: Rigorous Logic vs. Methane Spirals from Uranus

Ignore the down-voting fantasists sir.....I couldn't, really couldn't, have phrased that better meself.

Reminds me of some spectacular rants I made in the 1970s and 80's...lost my chance at more than one romantic interlude due to that point of view - which i still hold.

If you can't look up at a clear and starry night, and come to terms with the very distinct probability that you/we are all there is of so-called sentient life in this observable universe, then reconsider your claims to intelligence.

I salute you WalterAlter - have an upvote and a beer.

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Re: Rigorous Logic vs. Methane Spirals from Uranus

Messiah...Messier. Coincidence?

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Attribution...

... The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, Adams, D.

Of course.

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The lack of planets could be due to the fact the builders haven't got there yet ;)

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Joke

Damn straight! Try and get the builders to come outside the M25 and see how much trouble you have, getting them to come to another star system! No wonder there millions of years late!

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Lack of planets in star clusters

They're trying to figure out if there's something different about planet formation in clusters that would explain why so few worlds have been spotted in them.

Gravitational disturbances from the other relatively near-by stars?

Lack of material due to it being absorbed by the abundance of stars in the cluster?

Just my 2 cents' worth....

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Coat

Long Lost Twin...

... so is that Telos or Mondas...?

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Bah!

Give the angular velocity of these so-called "exoplanets" any message coming from them will probably go something like: "AAAAaaaaaAAAAAAaaaaaaAAAAAAAaaaaaaAAAAAAArgh!"

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Paris Hilton

Re: Bah!

Freddy Mercury?

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Come on, develop me a space ship

I could do with a new job and I'm up for an adventure. Definitely born a few hundred years to early

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Stop

It does not add up.

Quoting the article: "But HARPS and the other scopes managed to pick up the signatures of three planets, two of which are around a third of the mass of Jupiter and orbit stars similar to the Sun in seven and five days respectively. The third world is bigger than Jupiter and takes 122 days to get around its host star."

It takes planet Jupiter something over 4,333 days, almost twelve years to orbit our sun. How is it that gas giants that massive formed and still survive as such so near their system primary? They are gaseous; the heat of a Sol type star would drive off their atmospheres in a mere centuries. It simply is not possible.

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Re: It does not add up.

I think it's fair to say that most people were surprised when the first of these close-orbiting gas giants were found but they probably retain most of their gaseous atmospheres due to their gravity and magnetospheres.

Jupiter is a smidge under 318 times the mass of Earth, so even for the two very close gas giants we're still looking at planets with ~100x the gravity of Earth. At the same time, Jupiter's magnetosphere is ~14 times stronger than the Earth's, believed to be caused by convection currents in its liquid metallic hydrogen core, so it wouldn't be implausible for these close-orbiting gas giants to have even stronger magnetospheres due to their higher temperatures resulting in even more vigourous convection currents.

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Re: It does not add up.

Some possibilities:

The article does not claim they are gas giants. Simply that they have about a third of the mass of Jupiter. Perhaps they were much larger and this if what remains when the volatiles are driven off. Or they could be space whales working on their tans.

We've been looking at them for a few years. Perhaps it's the beginning of your centuries.

The orbits might be unstable. They could end up absorbed into the star. Or perhaps they could shift outwards (as the Nice theory suggests the giants in our system did) - though it seems very unlikely given how close they probably are to the star.

They could be tidally locked. gas near the star, cooler in the shaded areas.

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Re: It does not add up.

RE:I think it's fair to say that most people were surprised when the first of these close-orbiting gas giants were found but they probably retain most of their gaseous atmospheres due to their gravity and magnetospheres...

Jupiter's gravitational pull is roughly 2.5 times that of Earth, and, yes, it does have a much larger and much more intense electromagnetic field surrounding it. That means that it has that much more energy in its system and should be ionizing its gases much faster than the Earth does. That does not expain how such a planet could suruvive in such a small orbit around a star with an output similar to that of our sun. It simply makes the problem more puzzling. The nearer a planet is to a star, the greater the number of particles from that star the planet will have to absorb. That means the atmosphere of such a planet would be ionizing much faster than anything we have seen in this solar system.

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Re: It does not add up.

Okay, Bunbury. You do have a point. The article made no such claim about the detected planets. I inferred that from reading the article. However, I have read other articles that claimed there were extra-solar planets orbiting very near stars smaller than our sun. These extra-solar planets were projected as gas giants like Jupiter. So, again, what would make anyone think that such planets can exist in near proximity to a star of any kind, let alone one as hot as Sol? Something is wrong somewhere.

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Re: It does not add up.

I suppose the issue is whether there is evidence or not of the composition of the planet. If there is, and if there are lots of examples of gas giants, it suggests that those planets are in stable orbits. In which case it would seem that the theory does not agree with the observations.

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So in conclusion....

"The cluster lies around 2,500 light-years away in the Cancer constellation and contains around 500 stars."

There was a cluster of stars 2,500 years ago, some stars had Exoplants. By the time we get there, there's a chance they won't be there any more.

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Angel

Twin World?

Cybermen

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The NASA perpetrated myth of the Goldilocks planet, orbiting a Sun like ours with the mass and orbit distance of Earth is absolute statistical fantasy. There are far greater number of variables that have made life possible on this planet, and 'conscious' life is magnitudes greater probability. For those with an interest in astronomy see this new research on the solar system harmonics on Earth's fragile climate....

http://www.pattern-recogn-phys.net/2/1/2014/prp-2-1-2014.pfd

This a validation and AMPLIFICATION of the Milankovitch Cycle equations presented a century ago. We have been LIED to about everything. Visit the Cosmology tab at the FauxScienceSlayer site for some alternate views on the big bang hypothesis. Renounce the Climate Alchemy Chorus.

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Bad link.

You posted a dead link, Faux Science Slayer. Try again, please.

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Re: Bad link.

The suffix is wrong, try this:

http://www.pattern-recogn-phys.net/2/1/2014/prp-2-1-2014.pdf

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Re: Bad link.

Thank you, I think. It leads to an eighteen-and-one-half page article on gravitational harmonics and the effects it has on the climate of Earth and other planets. <sarcasm> I am thrilled to death with it. </sarcasm>

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