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Exoplanets and our worldview

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fantasus View Drop Down
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    Posted: 20 Nov 2012 at 22:35


Discoveries of newfound exoplanets (outside our system) come up in increasing numbers. Do such discoveries affects the "outlook" of most people upon the world? What if and when some of them can confidently be said to be home to organisms? If such evidence are rather indirect will most people notice, and will it affect their (example:the reader and friends) views?

Edited by fantasus - 25 Apr 2015 at 19:42
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Paradigm of Humanity Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20 Nov 2012 at 22:46
Not even a bit... That's me at least but I assume same for most people. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Captain Vancouver Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21 Nov 2012 at 02:28
I think these things do have an affect. Fifty years ago, many people were astounded to think that industrial activities, and their byproducts, had serious consequences for the world as a whole, and that these should be analyzed and regulated. Fifty years before that, ethnic, racial, and national differences were thought, by many, to be absolutely carved in stone, and constituting a serious division of the human race. This changed with a changed sense of proportion. Technology brought us closer together. The first pictures of the earth from space famously promoted a different world view from that previous. Exotic life on other planets would, I think, make us look smaller and more uniform.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote pinguin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 Nov 2012 at 02:08
So far, there haven't been found a single planet that looks even remotely like Earth. For me, little by little it is been figured out that Earth like planets are more scarce than previously though. But we are just in the beginning of the exploration.

What is pathetic, thought, is that life that seemed so easy to find just a century ago in our own Solar System, it is getting more unlikely as times goes by. The more we learn, the least chances to find life exists. Curious, isn't ?


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Paradigm of Humanity Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 Nov 2012 at 04:55
It was thought to be one in a trillion stars or somethink like that. But such amounts of stars are not examined yet - far out of current technical and theoretical possibilities. Even detecting an Earth sized planet next to closest star is very hard to overcome by and findings are always open to debate.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote pinguin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24 Nov 2012 at 00:02
Sure. But instead of assuring there are billions of civilizations in the universe, wouldn't be better or more scientific just to say "We don't know"... or better, "We don't know as yet"
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Paradigm of Humanity Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24 Nov 2012 at 05:16
I meant it's too early for making guesses that rely on arrogant assumptions Smile Later this assumptions covering news papers with a hundred times swollen importance and reliability.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote franciscosan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02 Apr 2015 at 05:13
I miss Dejah Thoris.

First of all, I think that we are it.  Life starts here and goes forth and multiplies.
Secondly, I think we should do everything to check, and if we find something in our
system, we need to figure out whether it is independent or dependent from us.  Either 
way, we should study it and in general leave it alone.  If we don't find anything in 
our system, then we should spread life to the environments we have on hand.
With modifications and so forth.
We can keep up SETI and Kepler, but we shouldn't be too upset if we don't find 
anything.  If there was a radio civilization within 40 LY, I suspect that we would 
have heard from them by now.  And I wouldn't be surprised if Earth is quite 
visible to any alien radio telescopes.  The absence of evidence is not evidence against,
but I think that life is so weird, that it will only happen once per universe.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote toyomotor Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03 Apr 2015 at 01:55
Originally posted by franciscosan franciscosan wrote:

I miss Dejah Thoris.

First of all, I think that we are it.  Life starts here and goes forth and multiplies.
Secondly, I think we should do everything to check, and if we find something in our
system, we need to figure out whether it is independent or dependent from us.  Either 
way, we should study it and in general leave it alone.  If we don't find anything in 
our system, then we should spread life to the environments we have on hand.
With modifications and so forth.
We can keep up SETI and Kepler, but we shouldn't be too upset if we don't find 
anything.  If there was a radio civilization within 40 LY, I suspect that we would 
have heard from them by now.  And I wouldn't be surprised if Earth is quite 
visible to any alien radio telescopes.  The absence of evidence is not evidence against,
but I think that life is so weird, that it will only happen once per universe.
 
Don't we have enough unsolved problems here on earth without spending billions on space exploration and planets that we will never visit?
 
Let's look after our sick, starving and vulnerable first.
 
 
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It's the Ireland that was born in me.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote franciscosan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03 Apr 2015 at 04:48
On a scale of millions of years, I think we will visit our near neighbors, and even our further ones, in time.  Or maybe we will destroy ourselves and another intelligent, tool-using lifeform will evolve, and go elsewhere.  The artifacts and ruins from our civilization will be for them like the mythical Lovecraftian elder gods are for us, except that they will be real, not fictional.  

Right now we have all our eggs in one basket, and if that basket brakes, under the billions, well then that is it (at least for us).  Having a place for even just the imagination to go, will help let off some steam, and help prevent an explosion.  Furthermore, zero gravity has a lot of potential for making new technologies.  

I would prefer to have something like a $.25 "tax" on science fiction movies and books, and basically have the sci-fies fund their own interests.  And who knows, maybe space flight will be privatized to some extent.  That's already started.  Of course, one area of space has already paid for itself, satellites.  And all Hubble really was, was a spy-satellite turned outward.

Also, as far as unsolved problems here, I don't see it as an either/or. 


Edited by franciscosan - 04 Apr 2015 at 02:06
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote fantasus Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03 Apr 2015 at 21:14
Originally posted by toyomotor toyomotor wrote:



 
Don't we have enough unsolved problems here on earth without spending billions on space exploration and planets that we will never visit?
 
Let's look after our sick, starving and vulnerable first.
 
 
Solving or notg solving those problems has Little to to with "normal" astronomical research. If there is sufficient will to solve them they may be solved regardless of astronomical research (at least as long as the later is not increased extremely).
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote caldrail Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 Apr 2015 at 11:35
Quote So far, there haven't been found a single planet that looks even remotely like Earth

Not true. There is one with a strong chemical resemblance and orbital condition although much bigger and thus with stronger gravity.
http://www.unrv.com/forum/blog/31-caldrails-blog/
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote franciscosan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 Apr 2015 at 05:53
I have a friend who is agnostic, but he says that if Earth was the only planet with life on it, he would believe in God.  I don't understand why he says that, but if Earth was not that unique, if there were
other places with life, we would know that life here is not just a fluke, a fortuitous and magnificent 
accident.  Finding alien life, we're less special, but also less lonely.  Even if it is faraway, and we're 
just looking at the atmosphere, we will know that Earth does not have the only conditions under which 
life can form.

Earth wouldn't look like Earth, except for the life on it.  Well, that and plate-tectonics are pretty cool.
So I wonder what "strong chemical resemblance" means in astrophysics-speak.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote caldrail Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15 Apr 2015 at 16:37
For me, the existence of life is something I see as tinged with an ancient view of 'magic', still prevalent in human mindset since ancient times. A miracle? Well, since I don't believe we're created or manipulated by higher beings (of any sort), then the miracle is one of serendipity. But that rather misses the point. We're not made of unique materials. Everything that we are has an origin in the material universe, and the oft-quoted line that 'We're made of stars' is fundamentally correct - all our atoms are composed of materials forged in stars in the far distant past. Therefore we are part of a material universe - no question - but the issue goes further in what we consider ourselves to be.

usually we consider ourselves as unique beings, as animals or human, for those who don't like the association with biological life, but the point here is that whilst we see humans as individual entities, all we observe are one layer of a natural onion, guided by our primeval instincts and education that teach us how to get along with the other complex beings we recognise as human (or not, as the case maybe). But human beings are not solely unique - we are composed of a colony of single cells that cooperate as a society, a sort of living city, each with specialised functions and working toward the good of all. What nature has done is not evolve complex animals that are internally  single, but to create organisms that are built from smaller cells, like building blocks, for which our DNA is an essential city plan. Therefore human beings literally are the sum of all their parts.

What this is all getting at is that we are part of this universe, intrinsically, and have grown from it by the workings of evolution, as nature seeks out opportunities and new ways of improving the chances of organisms in the eco-systems they encounter. Our system of mutations is based upon the premis that we are not all alike - that the variations alow us a maximum chance of having numbers among our species that can adapt readily to circumstance, although as primeval history has shown, it's the larger animals that always the most susceptible to major disasters.

So the question of whether there are earth-like planets out there is amoot point. Of course there are - we live on one, although the exact proportions, orbit, star, and chemistry will course vary in compoistion too.

In fact, the only reason Earth looks the way it does is for two reasons. Firstly, a massive collision in whcih a protoplanet now called Thea glanced off the Earth in the early days of the solar system. A direct collision would have ended it, there and then, but the remnant of the other world now orbits us at 250,000 miles. We see it most nights. The second reason is life, or rather, the evolution of chemistry toward biology, whose effects have shaped the enviroment in which we live as much as external factors.

Life on other worlds? With the right conditions, it's almost inevitable, given time. Statistically there has to be any number of worlds out there with thriving eco-systems. But no, I don't believe that UFO's and their occupants are taking any special interest in this ordinary world, even if they could get here from theirs.
http://www.unrv.com/forum/blog/31-caldrails-blog/
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote Vanuatu Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16 Apr 2015 at 22:43
Life flourishes in the deep sea; sulfur spitting Hydrothermal vents, in the darkness of caves creatures live without light. Humans alone are helpless in the hostile environments of the sea and space. This can only increase the likelihood of biology adapting elsewhere in the universe. Billions of galaxies can be seen thanks to Hubble. Isn't the simple answer usually correct and don't the odds favor life out there?


Cameron's dive is the latest step in a 200-year journey to the deepest depths of the sea, the last unexplored frontier on Earth. At the bottom of trenches like the Mariana, the water is freezing cold, there is no light, and the pressure is pulverising. Yet somehow, life endures, and we are only just beginning to learn how it does so.


Has Kepler found life?
16 January 2015

Despite being crippled in space, Kepler has managed to discover a star that hosts three Earth-sized planets.

The outermost planet orbits in the 'Goldilocks' zone - a region where surface temperatures could be moderate enough for liquid water and perhaps life to exist.

At a distance of 150 light years, the star ranks among the top 10 nearest stars known to have transiting planets.


Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2913727/Kepler-rises-Injured-planet-hunter-finds-three-Earth-like-planets-orbiting-nearby-star-one-host-alien-life.html#ixzz3XVfbyWel
Follow us: @MailOnline on Twitter | DailyMail on Facebook
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2913727/Kepler-rises-Injured-planet-hunter-finds-three-Earth-like-planets-orbiting-nearby-star-one-host-alien-life.htmlhttp://www.bbc.com/earth/story/20150129-life-at-the-bottom-of-the-oceanhttp://ocean.si.edu/ocean-videos/hydrothermal-vent-creatures
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote franciscosan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17 Apr 2015 at 00:27
I don't think there is life "out" there, but I do want us to look.  We have only one case where life originated, which means we have nothing to do comparisons.  Yes, once it gets started, it can 
get into the darnedest places.  I think I heard that they are growing bacteria on the outside of
the space station.

What would be the greatest shock to society?
Find life when looking for it.
Find life when not looking for it.
Not find life when looking for it.
Not find life when not looking for it.
Regardless of results, is it better for us to look for it, or to not look for it?  Of course each option
has its costs, and its benefits.  
Are there time limitations on looking for it, is it better to look for it now, than to look for it later? Or visa versa?
I kind of assume that not looking for it is the default position.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Vanuatu Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17 Apr 2015 at 03:42
The planet isn’t going anywhere. WE are!

We’re going away. Pack your sh*t, folks. We’re going away. And we won’t leave much of a trace, either. Maybe a little Styrofoam … The planet’ll be here and we’ll be long gone. Just another failed mutation. Just another closed-end biological mistake. An evolutionary cul-de-sac. The planet’ll shake us off like a bad case of fleas.
http://www.goodreads.com/quotes/251836-we-re-so-self-important-everybody-s-going-to-save-something-now-save

I think George Carlin was right.
I would like Science to stop pretending there's a monster at the edge of quantum physics, admit the implications of subject/object disappearance and investigate the observer's effect on the material world. Maybe the micro looking glass leads to the macro rabbit hole, or worm hole if you like.
David Bohm
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QI66ZglzcO0

Edited by Vanuatu - 17 Apr 2015 at 03:49
The root of all desires is the one desire: to come home, to be at peace. -Jean Klein
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote franciscosan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17 Apr 2015 at 05:50
I've been listening to an audio-book CD called the World Without Us.  It is pretty good.

My friend who would believe in God if we were the only life in the universe, also believes that
humans are going to kill themselves off.  He says that 99.9% of lifeforms are extinct, and the
odds are that we will go extinct as well.  He has a point, but I also think there has never been
a lifeform like humans before (at least not around here), and that the number one thing for
extinction is habitat destruction, but human are _very_ capable of altering habitat to suit
themselves.  That's hard on animals and plants, but we are starting to realize that and do
something about it.
What do you mean George Carlin was right, "you have to have somewhere to put your stuff!"?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Vanuatu Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17 Apr 2015 at 14:48
Originally posted by franciscosan franciscosan wrote:

I've been listening to an audio-book CD called the World Without Us.  It is pretty good.

My friend who would believe in God if we were the only life in the universe, also believes that
humans are going to kill themselves off.  He says that 99.9% of lifeforms are extinct, and the
odds are that we will go extinct as well.  He has a point, but I also think there has never been
a lifeform like humans before (at least not around here), and that the number one thing for
extinction is habitat destruction, but human are _very_ capable of altering habitat to suit
themselves.  That's hard on animals and plants, but we are starting to realize that and do
something about it.
What do you mean George Carlin was right, "you have to have somewhere to put your stuff!"?


I got to meet George Carlin in the 80's. He was a fungi.
Thing about habitat is that in order for it to all work, all cooperative parts have to be there. In 1989 David Bohm and others were alarmed. Here we are now all along the coast of South America estuaries are being destroyed. You know the process, river-ocean-rain. Lets not forget oxygen, we altered the habitat too much.
Couple years ago Stanford U had a model carbon collector, they expected to be able to remove carbon from the atmosphere change it back into solid form and reuse it as fuel. Great idea and some others like it never get attention or the funding. I don't think consumerism will stop; so what is the likely trajectory? When we have pushed too far the greater organism, Earth, will wipe us out.
But its ok because it starts all over again on another rock.
The root of all desires is the one desire: to come home, to be at peace. -Jean Klein
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote fantasus Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25 Apr 2015 at 19:55
There is alo a possibillity that is not often discussed. Among the vast numbers of objects that more or less belong to our solar system, including its outer parts, there could be a fraction of them that originated in other parts of the galaxy or even beyond. I saw an article mentioning a relative "close encounter"(in astronomical terms, since it is far away by normal human standards) about 70.000 years ago. If that indicates a frequency or probabillity of such encounters, there may have been tens of thousands for the entire existence of earth and the solar system. So it is not hard to imagine some "remnants" from those encounters in the form of smaller objects (asteroids, comets, small and not so small "planetlike" objects). If we imagine a fraction of those other encounters included some planets or moons inhabited by alien organisms there could be traces of them even today after millions or billions of years in our own "neighbourhood" or at least only a few billion kilometres away. That is of course speculative.

Edited by fantasus - 28 Apr 2015 at 18:36
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Vanuatu Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26 Apr 2015 at 16:04

In the opening scene of Ridley Scott's Prometheus, an alien Engineer is seen seeding the Earth with life — an interesting suggestion as to how life emerged on this planet.
http://io9.com/5946221/did-life-on-other-planets-come-from-earth-originally

Alien life could exist here now similar to the microbes that went down into the earth when plants started to produce oxygen. There is a theory that transfers of material to and from earth would have been most likely to occur.
Conditions were optimum since Jupiter provided a stabilizing gravity boundary and the velocities of moving bodies would have been low.

"This is where the researchers' theory gets a bit tenuous — but it's not a ridiculous stretch to suggest that primitive life was in fact present as much as 3.8 billion years ago. Water was already here on Earth at this stage in its geologic history, and the first microorganisms did in fact start to appear shortly after this time (around 3.5 to 3.6 billion years ago).

And mindblowingly enough, the weak transfer window was also open for Earth at this exact time when it too was able to receive interstellar fragments; our planet may very well have been seeded at this time.

As for the journey through space, astrobiologists generally believe that microbes can survive exposure to such harsh conditions — and long enough to make a journey requiring tens of millions of years.

So, assuming that life did exist on Earth at this time, there was a period of about 400 million years when life could have traveled much more easily to another habitable world, and vice versa."
The root of all desires is the one desire: to come home, to be at peace. -Jean Klein
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote franciscosan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27 Apr 2015 at 02:33
For an interesting and rare type of meteorite, the origin or cause of which, they don't really understand.
look up on wikipedia "pallasite," particularly fukang pallasite.
Maybe palasite??
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote caldrail Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28 Apr 2015 at 16:02
The theories that involve microbes reaching Earth from another planet to start life on Earth tend to ignore evidence of our global evolutionary history, and in fact, solve nothing, because all you do is transfer the origin of life from here to somewhere else. I don't doubt the possibility, however remote, that microbes could drift through space for millions of years and survive the harsh enviroment of interstellar space, but the probability of arriving somewhere suitable to re-animate is even more remote. Planets are rather small specks of matter in a mind-bogglingly large empty universe.

In any case, life arises from the complexity of matter and the right conditions. On Earth, life originally started in post-glacial global climates in warm seas and evolved some strange creatures before it all came to an end. Our own evolution is from the 'second start', again post world glaciation when conditions of warm shallow seas were suitable incubators. Not only does the existence of life on Earth provide evidence it could happen elsewhere, it also provides evidence that life will emerge if conditions permit.
http://www.unrv.com/forum/blog/31-caldrails-blog/
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote franciscosan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09 Jul 2015 at 06:40
Thought I would mention:
Worlds Unnumbered:  The Search for Extrasolar Planets
Donald Goldsmith
1997, University Science Books
Okay, it is little old but it does lay things out rather well.
Chapter
1  What New Worlds are These?   1
2  Could the New Planets Harbor Life?   25
3  Why can't we see Planets?    49
4  The Formation of Planetary Systems   67
5  How Strange Can Planets be?  105
6  Seven Ways to find Planets around Other Stars   129
7  How Many Worlds in the Milky Way?   151
8  Can we find Life on Extrasolar Planets?   167
9  Future Searches for Extrasolar Planets   191
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