Does that mean it has beer?
NASA has discovered a mini solar system of seven Earth-sized planets orbiting a small cool dwarf star, including three within the Goldilocks zone where liquid water is possible. Last year, a telescope in Chile – dubbed the TRAPPIST aka the TRAnsiting Planets and PlanetesImals Small Telescope – spotted two planets orbiting an …
I tried the "travel poster" link and it shows the message "Web application could not be started" along with all sorts of info like the application root directory, environment variables, user and group info, ruby config settings, and load and library paths. To me that's like showing phpinfo() for a crashed php page. Why would it do this?
Well, this will be a very good test to see if that hypothesis holds up (and it is only a hypothesis). The interesting thing is that the planets are close enough together that Spitzer can detect variations in their orbits every time they pass in front of the star. There's a lot of interaction, yet they have very likely been in stable orbits for billions of years.
One thing's for sure. We're going to learn a ton of orbital mechanics and planetary science just from this one system alone, and now we know where to look, we're going to find a lot more like it.
They do have interesting resonant orbits.
The "goldilocks" zone might be too close to star, so planet(s) might be tidally locked or periodically hit by solar flares. Both mitigate against life.
The Talmud suggests there are 18,000 planets with life. Given number of stars in the Milky Way, that might be a serious under-estimate.
We are only at the beginning of this kind of search. The James Webb telescope will allow search for biological or industrial activity via better spectroscopic analysis.
It's very hard to put any meat on any hypothesis when you're working with a sample of one -- Earth. Those who favor the "rare earth hypothesis" will point to all the factors that created Earth's environment, from the large moon, plate tectonics, Jupiter's role in sweeping up the debris in the inner Solar System, the Sun's stability, and on and on.
But, in reality, it's all conjecture until we have more sample data to work with, since we don't yet even have a clear understanding of the events that led to abiogenesis here on Earth. We don't know which conditions are required, which conditions simply improve the chances, and which conditions have no impact. If life on Earth got started among the deep ocean fumaroles as some scientists propose, it could reduce the number of required conditions quite considerably, given the protective covering of miles of water.
That doesn't really help when considering the advent of intelligent life, but one step at a time...!
"Isn't part of the current theory of why advanced life evolved here "
Considering society today with the bigotry, wars, religious fanaticism and cults, "our" love of social media, reality TV shows, soap operas. Economic markets that are not economic. Leaders who can't lead, managers who can't manage. Politics worldwide that enables the incompetent to rise to the top and where ignorance is no barrier to bending policies and laws to your viewpoint.
The argument can be made that it still hasn't.
I always love the way people assume life evolved on earth. No prebiotic soup, inhospitable conditions and not enough time. Plus we can't actually make a cell WITH intelligent design let alone without it. Then we have the problem of how error correcting coding in DNA got there by chance. Philosophically those clinging to the Darwinian model are no better than someone observing a firing squad of a million shooters all missing the condemned man and insisting they did so by chance... and please before some Dawkins fanboy trots out the mantra ' but evolution is a fact' please remember that the only field tests of bacterial evolution show that any animal over 4kg will not produce enough beneficial mutations to explain the rapid speciation in the fossil record.
Really, a creationist?
Deny it all you like, but evolution *is* a fact. There is more than enough evidence for evolution for that fact to be non-controversial expect with people with a religious agenda. Your efforts -- and indeed, the efforts of the entire Creationist community -- are as effective as trying to demolish Mount Everest with a spoon.
By the way, not too long ago, people like you were poo-pooing the idea that there were billions of other planets in the galaxy. That turned out well...
Back to the subject in hand. It's way to early to know whether there is a chance life exists on these freshly discovered planets. First we have to detect and analyze the gases in their atmospheres (if any) and then we will have to figure out what we find could have been the byproduct of life as opposed to non-biological chemical processes.
This is an important discovery, but there is still a long way to go and a lot of hard work ahead for NASA scientists and other astronomers. Meanwhile Creationists will do what they do best -- remain armchair critics.
I'm not sure I'd give it 4/5, it's just not that original, but it's kind of exciting to come across a real live creationist in the comments of El Reg.
If we're all nice and quiet, and don't move about too much, he might not be scared away, and we can observe him to see how the Creationist lives in the wild.
"we can't actually make a cell WITH intelligent design"
"let alone without it"
If you provide an Earth sized laboratory and the funds to run it for a few dozen million years, then you can be pretty sure lots of those cells will be created, and without any Intelligent Design involved.
"Then we have the problem of how error correcting coding in DNA got there by chance"
In exactly the same way other characteristics of living beings got there, that is, through chance and Evolution. Pre-biotic evolution in this case.
"please remember that the only field tests of bacterial evolution show that any animal over 4kg will not produce enough beneficial mutations to explain the rapid speciation in the fossil record."
Citation required, and not a citation from some Creationist
hellholeecho room, please. While you are at it, please explain also how the Hell you translate "bacterial evolution over a few decades" into "any animal bigger than 4Kg over millions of years". TY in advance.
I know that educating the wilfully ignorant is impossible, but there is a small chance some young/innocent reader might be misled by your BS, so I'm posting this answer to your comment in order to minimize that risk.
Have a nice day.
Yup, all this scientific hypothesizing is waaaay less credible than this little jewel, straight outta the Good Book:
We are also told in Genesis 1:29-30 that Adam and Eve, and all the animals, were to have vegetarian diets. So T. rex was originally a herbivore!
I see you are in good company, Sir Ignoramus!
"The enormous power of the telescope will enable astronomers to see into the atmospheres of the planets and look for evidence of oxygen, ozone and methane – considered possible signs of life – and will also calculate their temperatures. [...]"
The planets' sun is a "cool" one (as in temperature) - so the telescope will have a clearer view of the planets than it would for a sun like ours.
The 12 colonies were spread out among 4 stars in the Cyrannus star system Helios Alpha, Beta, Delta and Gama
As with everything sci-fi, fans have made numerous elaborate and visually pleasing posters/infographics complete with shipping lanes moons, outposts etc.
Those planets must be rather uncomfortable, with one cooked side and one frigid side and craaazy winds.
We keep finding earth-sized planets in the goldilocks zone around various dwarf stars but they are necessarily always close to their star and therefore tidally locked. I think our best chance of finding alien life will be on planets orbiting larger stars, so that the planets are orbiting far enough out to be spinning. Unfortunately those ones are not so easy to spot.
If the planets in the goldlocks zone are rich in water, (and simulations indicate that may be the case for many planets orbiting red dwarf stars) there is a chance life could have evolved deep underwater close to fumaroles similar to those found on Earth. Such life might not be detectable, however.
A point in favor of red dwarfs is their sheer abundance - there are more of them than Sun-like stars so even if conditions suitable for life are much more rare around them, it's still worth investigating them, especially given the easier observing conditions they provide for the planets orbiting them.
On the downside, many red dwarfs are flare stars -- though too unstable to be conducive to life, but I don't know the numbers off hand.
Can anyone confirm the spectral type of the primary? Only source I've been able to find is Wikipedia, which claims it's an M8, whereas the Reg article says 'white dwarf' which is emphatically NOT the same thing (a white dwarf is a very hot white small star, whilst an M8 is a very cool red dwarf star). The spectral type could have quite an effect on the potential habitability. I'm presuming that because NASA is depicting an orangey looking star that Wikipedia is right on this one, anyone know for sure if that's so?
I feel so much better.....
Now I need to go down to my shed and build an intergalactic ARK and fill it full of SCI FI movies, multiple DNA sequences of every known animal on earth, a good recipe for Donna Kebabs on the go.
Also kidnap Milla Jovovich, invent Stasis booths, DNA re-sequencing technology, and buy a big broom (to twat any local predators at the destination).
With what Trump and May are doing, I will start tonight........ here Milla Milla.......
True, no harm in hedging the bets though..... could be a world full of tribbles...... gonna need something to keep them under control.
There are only so many BBQ'd tribbles you can eat in a day, my guess is 10, but at least we'd have fur coats pretty quicky, fur shoes, fur underwear (nice), fur toilet seats (not so nice).
Thats correct . The way you said it makes it sound wrong , hence your 3 so far downvotes.
but you're right.
Apart from the pure spirit of scientific enquiry, mans quest for knowledge etc . it dont matter
we certainly arnt going there for our holidays. Or even pilgrimaging on an ark to emmigrate.
I can see a planet under my feet thats far more habitable, definately supports life , has lots of water and oxygen , and the temperatures nice.
No matter how bored with it you might be , its convenient commute wise and is in fact , despite the pollution and overcrowding far easier to fix than to start from scratch on a rock thousands of light years away.
39 Light years.
Its a bit of a trek isnt it. Maybe galacticly speaking its on the doorstep , but that dosent in reality lessen the amount of furlongs between here and there.
The best we can hope for is a really slow radio conversation. Hopefully it started a couple of decades ago.
btw , there was plenty of fresh water falling on me from the sky all the way to work this morning.
Given that the planets are so far away, how come we have some fancy coloured pictures of them? I am supposing that we don't know enough, but NASA has generated some computerised coloured representations, but just how deceptive is that? And does it really matter since we aren't going there t check any time soon.......back to the crossword for me!
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