Author Topic: Alien Planet 'Super-Earth' Called Best Candidate To Support Life  (Read 3975 times)

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Offline SkyTrekTower

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Alien Planet 'Super-Earth' Called Best Candidate To Support Life
« on: February 02, 2012, 06:03:35 pm »
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By: Denise Chow
Published: 02/02/2012 10:16 AM EST on SPACE.com

A potentially habitable alien planet — one that scientists say is the best candidate yet to harbor water, and possibly even life, on its surface — has been found around a nearby star.

The planet is located in the habitable zone of its host star, which is a narrow circumstellar region where temperatures are neither too hot nor too cold for liquid water to exist on the planet's surface.

"It's the Holy Grail of exoplanet research to find a planet around a star orbiting at the right distance so it's not too close where it would lose all its water and boil away, and not too far where it would all freeze," Steven Vogt, an astronomer at the University of California, Santa Cruz, told SPACE.com. "It's right smack in the habitable zone — there's no question or discussion about it. It's not on the edge, it's right in there."

Vogt is one of the authors of the new study, which was led by Guillem Anglada-Escudé and Paul Butler of the Carnegie Institution for Science, a private, nonprofit research organization based in Washington, D.C.

"This planet is the new best candidate to support liquid water and, perhaps, life as we know it," Anglada-Escudé said in a statement.

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Given the size of the Universe, it was only a matter of time before this happened. 

Offline MaybeNever

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Re: Alien Planet 'Super-Earth' Called Best Candidate To Support Life
« Reply #1 on: February 02, 2012, 06:11:01 pm »
Only 22 lightyears away? Great! We can be there in a mere 490,000 years!
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Offline SimSim

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Re: Alien Planet 'Super-Earth' Called Best Candidate To Support Life
« Reply #2 on: February 02, 2012, 07:05:28 pm »
You volunteering to go first, MN?

Offline Sigmaleph

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Re: Alien Planet 'Super-Earth' Called Best Candidate To Support Life
« Reply #3 on: February 02, 2012, 09:20:45 pm »
Is it me, or do we find a new ideal candidate planet for life every year?
Σא

Offline Igor

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Re: Alien Planet 'Super-Earth' Called Best Candidate To Support Life
« Reply #4 on: February 02, 2012, 09:34:45 pm »
Is it me, or do we find a new ideal candidate planet for life every year?
Seems like it, but if each new planet they find is more ideal than the last, eventually they'll find one that is pretty much another earth, and they'll send people there to colonize it, only to find that it's already inhabited, and then we get to deal with the joys of interplanetary war and history repeating itself.

...wow, that was more pessimistic than I thought it was going to be.


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Offline Radiation

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Re: Alien Planet 'Super-Earth' Called Best Candidate To Support Life
« Reply #5 on: February 02, 2012, 10:28:12 pm »
This is exciting. I hope some day that Star Trek life will come true. I wonder if there is intelligent life on that planet?


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Offline nickiknack

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Re: Alien Planet 'Super-Earth' Called Best Candidate To Support Life
« Reply #6 on: February 03, 2012, 12:17:41 am »
Only 22 lightyears away? Great! We can be there in a mere 490,000 years!

This is why we need some Star Trek/Star Wars technology.

Offline MaybeNever

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Re: Alien Planet 'Super-Earth' Called Best Candidate To Support Life
« Reply #7 on: February 03, 2012, 12:27:25 am »
You volunteering to go first, MN?

I already did the hard part of calculating how long it would take to go 22 lightyears at 30,000 miles per hour. The rest is up to the real heroes: people who will be crammed in automated cryonic tubes for a half-million-year journey. One way, of course.
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Offline Lithp

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Re: Alien Planet 'Super-Earth' Called Best Candidate To Support Life
« Reply #8 on: February 03, 2012, 12:42:25 am »
Did Star Wars ever bother to explain how they could travel those distances?

Offline nickiknack

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Re: Alien Planet 'Super-Earth' Called Best Candidate To Support Life
« Reply #9 on: February 03, 2012, 12:59:30 am »
Did Star Wars ever bother to explain how they could travel those distances?
Hyperdrives
http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/Hyperdrive

Offline MaybeNever

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Re: Alien Planet 'Super-Earth' Called Best Candidate To Support Life
« Reply #10 on: February 03, 2012, 01:04:10 am »
"Hyperdrive" is the science fiction word for "magic", pretty much.
"Great Britain's two most senior military officers added to the uneasiness. [...] Lord Wolseley, Adjutant General, thought that it might be possible for an enemy to invade without waiters and pastrycooks."
-Robert K. Massie, Dreadnought

Offline Lithp

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Re: Alien Planet 'Super-Earth' Called Best Candidate To Support Life
« Reply #11 on: February 03, 2012, 01:05:22 am »
I looked at that long-ass article & just went, "Zero-Space, got it."

Offline nickiknack

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Re: Alien Planet 'Super-Earth' Called Best Candidate To Support Life
« Reply #12 on: February 03, 2012, 01:12:04 am »
"Hyperdrive" is the science fiction word for "magic", pretty much.
Pretty much that, along with "The Force"

Offline Sylvana

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Re: Alien Planet 'Super-Earth' Called Best Candidate To Support Life
« Reply #13 on: February 03, 2012, 02:02:40 am »
Given that the habitable zone of a star constantly moves chances are that far more planets can be found where water is liquid. Of course, solar events can cause a planet to shift in its orbit resulting in a planet that was perhaps too close being dragged further out in into the habitable zone. On a planet like this it would be the ideal temperature for water to be liquid, but because of the water being boiled away earlier in the planets existence there would be no water now. Similarly, if our theories on autobiogenisis are correct a planet would have to start its existence in the outer edge of the stars habitable zone for it to possible create life.

All of these are factors concerning potentially habitable planets, Of course given the sheer enormity of the galaxy habitable planets are an inevitability as is finding a planet with life. Of course, that is all moot unless we actually figure out a way to travel fast enough for such things to matter.

Offline Random Dinosaur

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Re: Alien Planet 'Super-Earth' Called Best Candidate To Support Life
« Reply #14 on: February 03, 2012, 04:17:54 am »
Only 22 lightyears away? Great! We can be there in a mere 490,000 years!

Way to be a pessimist. Seriously, at Warp 7, you could get there in less than 13 days assuming you don't run across Klingons or starship-eating anomalies. 8)

EDIT: Radiation kind of beat me to it.
« Last Edit: February 03, 2012, 04:20:56 am by Random Guy »
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