Just something interesting.
Post Reply
 
Thread Rating:
  • 0 Votes - 0 Average
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
29-09-2010, 07:25 PM
Just something interesting.
http://www.theglobeandmail.com/video/ast...om=1733476

Just visiting.

-SR
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
29-09-2010, 09:21 PM
 
RE: Just something interesting.
I'm hoping (fingers crossed) for marshmallow creme.
Quote this message in a reply
29-09-2010, 09:45 PM
RE: Just something interesting.
I thought we already located just under a hundred planets like earth out to a distance of 50 light years? Huh

Jesus Jumping Christ on a traction engine wearing a kilt and eating a marmite sandwich!!!
Visit this user's website Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
30-09-2010, 01:49 AM
RE: Just something interesting.
I don't understand the earth-like part. Basically, you can tell the speed of orbit, approximate mass of a planet and approximate ditance from the star. There is also some chemical analysis that can be done through spectrometrics(I am not sure if that is the right word). I suspect that the media is adding to the story to make the story more spectacular. They tend to do that a lot.
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
30-09-2010, 02:13 AM
 
RE: Just something interesting.
(30-09-2010 01:49 AM)No J. Wrote:  I don't understand the earth-like part. Basically, you can tell the speed of orbit, approximate mass of a planet and approximate ditance from the star. There is also some chemical analysis that can be done through spectrometrics(I am not sure if that is the right word). I suspect that the media is adding to the story to make the story more spectacular. They tend to do that a lot.
As I understand it, the search for the "Goldilocks" planet involves finding planets of a particular size, mass, and distance from the central star. Spectroscopy can indeed offer some insight into the chemical composition. In the history of discovery of extrasolar planets, the easiest to find have been the very large Jupiter-like planets, most of which might have a number of major challenges for life (many of them being gas giants, for example). We now know about many large extrasolar planets. As the technology of planet-finding has improved, we're increasingly able to find relatively small planets that are more likely to harbor some life form that could be vaguely similar to life on Earth.

The media may be adding to the story, of course, but they found a scientist involved with the discovery willing to share his perspective for the story.
Quote this message in a reply
30-09-2010, 02:36 AM
RE: Just something interesting.
I am aware of the "Goldilocks Zone" and that there may be life on planets in this region, I just don't care for the earth-like analogy. Suppose you found that a planet would be earth sized in the Goldilocks zone and spectroscopy detected an atmosphere and water. Is this earth-like? I feel it should hold more similarities than that to be considered earth-like. I would see that as a possible life bearing planet. That, I would be comfortable with. That is how I feel about it.
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
30-09-2010, 12:29 PM
 
RE: Just something interesting.
I always find the assumptions that scientists make about the conditions required for life interesting. Who says that life needs water? Who says that life needs carbon? Isn't possible for a completely different evolution of life to take place. We are too limited by the human imagination. As long as it is motile, it reproduces, it acquires energy, it adapts, etc... it's life. Are there any biologists/chemists who want to prove me wrong?

And Cetaceaphile, we have found hundreds of planets yes, but the vast majority of them are large gaseous planets that exist under extreme conditions.
Quote this message in a reply
30-09-2010, 01:21 PM
 
RE: Just something interesting.
(30-09-2010 12:29 PM)TruthAddict Wrote:  I always find the assumptions that scientists make about the conditions required for life interesting. Who says that life needs water? Who says that life needs carbon? Isn't possible for a completely different evolution of life to take place. We are too limited by the human imagination. As long as it is motile, it reproduces, it acquires energy, it adapts, etc... it's life. Are there any biologists/chemists who want to prove me wrong?

That is why I tend to read it as "Life, as we know it". For all we know there is life on some other planet, looking at Earth saying there is no way that life can exist on this planet, since it's covered in water and has oxygen in the atmosphere.
Quote this message in a reply
02-10-2010, 10:59 PM (This post was last modified: 02-10-2010 11:05 PM by Mindprowler.)
RE: Just something interesting.
(30-09-2010 12:29 PM)TruthAddict Wrote:  I always find the assumptions that scientists make about the conditions required for life interesting. Who says that life needs water? Who says that life needs carbon? Isn't possible for a completely different evolution of life to take place. We are too limited by the human imagination. As long as it is motile, it reproduces, it acquires energy, it adapts, etc... it's life. Are there any biologists/chemists who want to prove me wrong?

And Cetaceaphile, we have found hundreds of planets yes, but the vast majority of them are large gaseous planets that exist under extreme conditions.

Take silicon for example, one of the top 10 most abundant elements in the cosmos. Silicon is only one step below Carbon in the periodic table, indicating that they have an identical configuration of electrons in their outermost shells. Just like Carbon, Silicon can bind with one, two, three, or four other atoms. Under the right conditions, Silicon can also make long chain molecules. Well, since Silicon and Carbon are so similar, why couldn't life be based upon Silicon?

The problem with silicon is the strong bonds that it creates. For chemistry that is friendly to organisms, you need bonds that are strong enough to survive assaults on the local environment but not so strong that they don't allow further experiments to take place. Carbon is very abundant throughout space and is also very friendly towards organic chemistry. It would be fair to call it the "Goldilocks Element". If we were to find life on another planet, my guess is that it would be carbon based.

As for water? You make a good point. Is water the only medium that can shuttle nutrients from one part of an organism to another? I'm not sure. Perhaps life just needs a liquid in general. Ammonia and ethanol are common throughout the cosmos. Ammonia mixed with water actually has a much lower freezing point than water, increasing the conditions under which you may find liquid loving life. Or another scenario: on a planet that unfortunately lacks an internal heat source, orbits far away from it's host star, and is just plain cold as shit, perhaps normally gaseous methane might become the liquid of choice under those conditions. I'm not totally sure if life can be free to evolve with liquids other water, it's definitely something to look in to.

Point is, the elements hydrogen, oxygen, and carbon account for over 95% of the atoms in the human body and all known life in existence. Not to mention the three are also the most common elements in the entire universe (as of what we currently know about the chemistry of the universe). The larger and more unstable the element, the more likely the atoms will fuck up during the construction of organic molecules and break apart or fail to bond with others.

Source: Death By Black Hole; Neil DeGrasse Tyson

http://www.youtube.com/user/MindprowlerMusic
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
03-10-2010, 05:44 PM
RE: Just something interesting.
I think the astronomers and astro pysicists have to do a fair bit of dumbing down when it comes to releasing information about new discoveries.

The term "earth like" grips everyones attention because we instantly imagine humanoid life to exist or dream of going to visit the planet because it has temperatures "similar to earth".

If we discovered a silicone based microbial lifeform on a planet 2 minutes away the general public would not nearly be as interested.

I am actually quite excited about the discovery and hope to learn as much about it as i can, but i wont be alive to see us landing on the planet and finding out if they have an alien counterpart to thethinkingathiest.com

It's easy to think people are listening to you, but in actual fact they are just waiting for their turn to speak.
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
Post Reply
Forum Jump: