New habitable planet only 20 lightyears away

Discussion in 'Science and Technology' started by Flopper, Sep 13, 2011.

  1. Flopper
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    Flopper Gold Member

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    As I'm sure you've heard by now, there may be a new kid on the liveable planet block, Gliese 581g. This is the first exoplanet that has the potential to have a solid surface and that is in the habitable zone around its star where liquid water can exist. We all immediately thought, "could there be life?" and one SETI researcher claims to have a possible signal.

    There really is no telling yet how many potentially habitable planets there are in the galaxy, though one could make an estimate based on the solar system and Gliese 581's system.

    However, just being in the "Goldilocks zone" is not enough to truly be habitable to life as we know it, as we can see from Mars in our very own solar system. But to find such a planet a mere 20 light-years away is still tantalizing. After all, if there was an intelligent civilization there, we could have a short conversation in a human lifetime!

    Ragbir Bhathal, an astronomer affiliated with the Australian SETI effort, says that he detected a blip of light, similar to what optical SETI projects might expect from an intelligent civilization, in the direction of Gliese 581 two years ago.

    Now, one blip does not a solid detection make, and for decades SETI researchers have been excited then disappointed by strange signals that never repeat. If Bhathal produces this data for scrutiny from other scientists, repeatability would still be needed before a detection of extra-terrestrial intelligence could be claimed. So don't get your hopes up just yet.

    Gliese 581g and the Question of Intelligent Life : Discovery News
     
  2. Baruch Menachem
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    Baruch Menachem '

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    Two darn close. If it is habitable, that means that there are folks living there. They have been subjected to 40 years of I love Lucy, Threes Company and game shows. They are probably pissed and on their way
     
  3. CrusaderFrank
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    CrusaderFrank Diamond Member

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    If there's an intelligent civilization out there in the Universe, the absolute last thing we'd want to tell them is that we believe manmade CO2 is melting the polar ice caps. We'll be shunned as a laughing stock and labeled dumbest species in the Milky Way
     
  4. Flopper
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    Flopper Gold Member

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    It's amazing how the press reports findings such as these. One said, "To think, we will be able to visit an inhabited planet and the trip will take just 20 years". This is provided we can travel the speed of light, just a bit over 669 million mph.
     
  5. Sallow
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    Sallow The Big Bad Wolf. Supporting Member

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    :lol:
     
  6. Sunni Man
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    Sunni Man Diamond Member

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    With our current technology we could visit them in about 2 or 3 billion years. :cool:
     
  7. Flopper
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    Flopper Gold Member

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    By that time any life that exist today may be gone. That's the problem with the universe. It's so damn big.

    I think our chances of finding extraterritorial life is pretty good. However, I think our chances of finding intelligent life is very remote. Even if our existence stretches out a millions years or so, which doesn't seem likely, it won't be enough time given the size and the life span of the universe.
     
  8. LAfrique
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    LAfrique VIP Member

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    But Percival Lowell told you there was civilization on Mars! Know ye not about Lowellville? Check-out Robert Sawyer's "Mind Scan."

    I know that most people are under the impression that science fiction is simply science fiction. Be hence known to you that some science fiction are hand-tipping: Some sci-fi writers are in fact hinting you, in a very politically correct manner, about current events in their era.
     
  9. uscitizen
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    uscitizen Senior Member

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    The entire planet is like Texas. Been there don't go.
     
  10. Montrovant
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    Montrovant Fuzzy bears!

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    And when I think on that too long, it depresses the hell out of me. :(

    I can only hope that someone invents or discovers some kind of FTL travel in my lifetime (I know, I know, there's really no chance) so we can explore at least a little larger portion of the galaxy.
     

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