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Author Topic: Earth-like planets raise prospects of extra-terrestial life  (Read 17430 times)
grayfox777
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Earth-like planets raise prospects of extra-terrestial life
« on: February 19, 2008, 06:18:24 am »

This is very interesting news!

http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20080217/ts_alt_afp/usastronomyspace
http://www.sciam.com/podcast/episode.cfm?id=2AA69390-B4C6-816D-75980C12FA2DB9C1

There are probably tons of Earth-like planets out there. Scientists say it is extremely more likely than previously thought! 20 to 60 percent of sun-like stars could contain planets similar to Earth. Many could harbor life.... maybe even intelligent life!  Smiley
« Last Edit: February 21, 2008, 06:12:14 am by grayfox777 » Logged

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Re: Earth-like planets raise prospects of extra-terrestial life
« Reply #1 on: February 19, 2008, 09:55:27 pm »

Unfortunately, it seems rather impossible that faster-than-light travel and time travel exist, otherwise we'd have visitors from outer-space and the future. Oh well.
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grayfox777
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Re: Earth-like planets raise prospects of extra-terrestial life
« Reply #2 on: February 20, 2008, 10:50:32 pm »

By what we currently know, yeah, it's not possible with our technology. But...  it's always possible that we could learn something new. We don't know everything. After all, we were once confident that the Earth was flat and that it was the center of the universe. We were very wrong about that. I just have this feeling that someday we will find a way.

Even without FTL travel, there are many ways that aliens could still visit Earth.

As for time travel, that very well could be impossible, but who knows for sure...
« Last Edit: February 20, 2008, 10:58:18 pm by grayfox777 » Logged

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Re: Earth-like planets raise prospects of extra-terrestial life
« Reply #3 on: February 21, 2008, 01:30:48 am »

I wasn't referring to us. I was referring to intelligent races that have existed for thousands or millions of years by now. I mean, it seems unlikely that we will happen to be the first race in the neighborhood to discover FTL travel.

Sub-light travel is so pathetically slow in cosmic terms, that it just doesn't seem to be of any relevance to us as beings that live for only ~70 years. Sad
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grayfox777
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Re: Earth-like planets raise prospects of extra-terrestial life
« Reply #4 on: February 21, 2008, 04:00:04 am »

Oh ok, we're talking about things from different perspectives. I was thinking more of them being able to come here. So yes, I agree. I doubt humanity will be the first ones around to break the light speed barrier...

...

Woah....

http://news.zdnet.com/2424-9595_22-160112.html
http://arxiv.org/abs/0708.0681

This could be the first step toward it in some way. I really didn't know about this until now, which is  surprising. I'm usually keeping up with this kinda stuff.

Sub-light travel could be very possible for  others.... maybe for us after more scientific breakthroughs.

- Visiting other planets in person (problem is that it would take years just to get to the nearest star) Maybe the Methuselah Foundation will manage to stop/reverse human aging? They're trying, anyway....
- If another race has found a way to reverse their own aging process, or they naturally have very long lifespans, then journeys of many years would be easier for them (and they'd likely have much more technology than us in other fields than genetic engineering too)
- Cryogenics (to slow the aging process of the  travelers)
- Sending robots
- Sending sentient or nearly sentient robots
- Sending humanoid sentient androids

There may be other ways to get places quicker other than breaking the speed of light...
- Teleportation (if we discover some sort of way to do it)
- Wormholes
« Last Edit: February 22, 2008, 01:39:07 am by grayfox777 » Logged

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Re: Earth-like planets raise prospects of extra-terrestial life
« Reply #5 on: February 21, 2008, 02:43:18 pm »

Oh ok, we're talking about things from different perspectives. I was thinking more of them being able to come here. So yes, I agree. I doubt humanity will be the first ones around to break the light speed barrier...

I think what alephresh was trying to say is that no alien race has visited us yet, and that this means (under the conditions that FTL travel is possible and that there are alien races way older than us) that FTL travel is impossible (otherwise they'd be here already).

I would say that it's a pretty big leap to say this, however...
1. Who says they haven't visited us? If someone has the technology to cross the vast expanse of void between the stars, they probably can cloak themselves as well... maybe they have a law that prohibits interfering with the affairs of lesser races, or maybe they're not interested in communicating with us...
2. Maybe FTL travel is very expensive, so one race only has the chance to cover a limited number of stars (out of the many Sun-like stars with planets of the Milky Way*). And our star hasn't been chosen, unfortunately (or fortunately?).
*Though who said that carbon-based life is so common? What if everybody just assumes that all life has the kind of biochemistry that they themselves have, and searches only in the wrong systems? And even if they realize that organisms can be very different from a biochemical standpoint, they still have to search much, much more stars than just Sun-like stars.
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Re: Earth-like planets raise prospects of extra-terrestial life
« Reply #6 on: February 21, 2008, 09:35:55 pm »

Humanity will bomb itself into oblivion long before we ever start colonizing other planets. With the way things are going [with global warming, George Bush, and other contributing factors] I predict that we will all be dead before anyone even puts a man on Mars.
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Re: Earth-like planets raise prospects of extra-terrestial life
« Reply #7 on: February 21, 2008, 09:43:28 pm »

There may be other ways to get places quicker other than breaking the speed of light...

Yeah, I was referring to those as well(?) with "FTL travel".

As for sub-lightspeed, it seems a bit insane to me to send a robot for a 100,000-year journey to another earth-like planet, just to check if there's anything there...

I would say that it's a pretty big leap to say this, however...

Indeed, it's just a hypothesis. Who knows what could happen to a race in a million years of science? Maybe they've become godlike and now find new intelligences to be trivial things. (Jehovah might've been one of their kids playing around for a while.) Or maybe they destroyed themself themselves with a matter-antimatter experiment gone wrong.

Humanity will bomb itself into oblivion long before we ever start colonizing other planets. With the way things are going [with global warming, George Bush, and other contributing factors] I predict that we will all be dead before anyone even puts a man on Mars.

Heh. Tongue Don't be so pessimistic, it looks like science will fix global warming soon enough!
« Last Edit: February 25, 2008, 01:04:51 pm by alephresh » Logged

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Re: Earth-like planets raise prospects of extra-terrestial life
« Reply #8 on: February 21, 2008, 10:07:15 pm »

Can science fix George Bush too? Because that would be great. Of course, science will also have to fix Osama Bin Laden, the pope, any other world leaders as bad as Bush or as religiously fanatical as Osama Bin Laden and the pope, plus anyone who opposes the idea of science fixing things in the first place.
Well, I don't think any kind of science can help us here.

Unless the entire population of the industrialized world spontaneously decides to put aside their differences and starts cleaning up our half-dead little planet while simultaneously pumping out well designed spacecraft at an incredible rate, the only creatures with a chance of ending up on another planet in a million years are the cockroaches.

Now, how many of the things in the above paragraph-sentence are terribly likely?
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Re: Earth-like planets raise prospects of extra-terrestial life
« Reply #9 on: February 22, 2008, 02:16:06 am »

Quote
1. Who says they haven't visited us? If someone has the technology to cross the vast expanse of void between the stars, they probably can cloak themselves as well... maybe they have a law that prohibits interfering with the affairs of lesser races, or maybe they're not interested in communicating with us...
I agree with that. There's no hard proof that aliens visit us, but that doesn't mean it isn't happening. Maybe they're just not ready to reveal themselves yet.

Quote
2. Maybe FTL travel is very expensive, so one race only has the chance to cover a limited number of stars (out of the many Sun-like stars with planets of the Milky Way*). And our star hasn't been chosen, unfortunately (or fortunately?).
Yeah, I guess that's possible. I kinda doubt it for some reason though. I just think that it would be considered worth the money. Or, maybe the whole [alien] world is cooperating on the project and money is barely an object at all. (haha... would be nice if Earth were like that)

Quote
*Though who said that carbon-based life is so common? What if everybody just assumes that all life has the kind of biochemistry that they themselves have, and searches only in the wrong systems? And even if they realize that organisms can be very different from a biochemical standpoint, they still have to search much, much more stars than just Sun-like stars.
That's true. I'm sure there's lots of carbon-based life out there, but that doesn't mean it's the only kind in existence.

Quote
As for sub-lightspeed, it seems a bit insane to me to send a robot for a 100,000-year journey to another earth-like planet, just to check if there's anything there...
Well, for a closer planet, it could be done in a few hundred years or even less (depending on the closeness of this  alien planet. Some stars are less than 10 years away at a fast sub-light speed) Also, they'd have probably done many studies beforehand to determine the best candidate for closer study. Also still, maybe things insane to us are very reasonable to them (due to social, economical, cultural differences... etc.)

Dancing Fungus has a good point. I really hope we don't end up destroying ourselves like a bunch of damned idiots!  Angry
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Re: Earth-like planets raise prospects of extra-terrestial life
« Reply #10 on: February 25, 2008, 02:39:42 am »

Hello people

Hereís the definitive discussion on whether it is possible to reach the stars. The answer is going to be ďnoĒ unfortunately, but bear with me.

Letís forget the whole universe for the moment and just focus on the galaxy.  The Milky Way Galaxy is 100,000 light years across and contains maybe 200 billion stars.

First thing is to figure out how many planets out there have planets out there have life forms that have developed sophisticated communication technology (radio or better).
Letís say that 1 in 100 stars have planets around them. And lets say that 1 in 500 of those planets have life. So far thatís 4,000,000 life-bearing planets. Thatís quite a lot. Okay so shall we assume that maybe 1 in 500 of those life bearing planets have developed intelligent life. Thatís 8,000. Iím not entirely sure how weíd define intelligent life but I guess it involves problem solving, reasoning, comprehension, development and civilisation.

Figuring out how many of these 12,000 species actually have the ability to send or receive communication is a bit trickier. The human race is 2 million years old but we really only hit the technology trigger about 10,000 years ago. And weíve only managed to figure out how to send stuff through the air in the last 100 years or so.  But we probably have quite a bit of time still in front of us to develop (until we cook our planet, nuke ourselves or get destroyed by a comet or suchlike).  However, considering the dinosaurs hung around for a good 150 million years, I suspect we are still a young species, and reasonably adaptable too. It really is impossible to guess. Letís say that intelligent species last on average 10 million years, and that we are average. This means we discovered hi tech communication one fifth of the way through our time. So of 12,000 species, around 6,500 could have the ability to send communication through the air.

If FTL travel IS possible, at what stage do you develop the technology? I suspect earlier rather than later. I donít think we would have to wait till 7 million AD. Remember, as far as civilisation goes, weíre only 10,000 years old. And the last 200 years have been where 99% of the advancement has been made. Just imagine how advanced the 800 races who are 9 million years old have become. It is impossible to comprehend really. Does the technological advancement peak at some point? Do you get so smart that youíve reached the limit? Maybe you reach a stage where you realise that fulfilment comes from happiness and contentment rather than technology and development so you stop bothering. Maybe the Buddhists are right after all! I would imagine though that many species would be driven to explore the universe.

IF FTL travel is attainable, you would have to say that this would be quite soon. Say in the next million years. Okay, so using my suspect method of calculation, that gives us about  5,500 species who could  potentially be racing around the stars. It would take a while for them to explore 300 billion stars. Thatís 35 million each! But actually the 5,500 have been star faring for on average 6 million years each so thatís 6 stars per year per race.

They could have covered most of the 200 billion stars between them, and surely would have stumbled across a civilisation like ours which pumps out all manner of communications (radio, satellite, etc) on a regular basis. So the crux of my argument is if FLT travel was possible, we would have more than likely been stumbled upon by ay number of travelling species by now. So Ė they are ďout thereĒ, but weíre never going to meet them.

Okay, since actually writing all this and going through it in my head, it really isnít that definitive I suppose. Maybe getting to 6 stars per year is actually really hard. And all you have to do is add a zero to any of my first bunch of assumptions and it becomes 60 stars per year per race which is sounding decidedly tricky.

Anyway, Iíve had enough and really must get back to work.





 


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Re: Earth-like planets raise prospects of extra-terrestial life
« Reply #11 on: February 25, 2008, 01:21:02 pm »

Okay, since actually writing all this and going through it in my head, it really isn’t that definitive I suppose. Maybe getting to 6 stars per year is actually really hard. And all you have to do is add a zero to any of my first bunch of assumptions and it becomes 60 stars per year per race which is sounding decidedly tricky.

I'd expect the stars-explored-per-year statistic to increase constantly, by improving technology/adding resources/ordering catalog item 2418-B: Remote Self-Replicating Robot Explorer Probe...
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Re: Earth-like planets raise prospects of extra-terrestial life
« Reply #12 on: February 27, 2008, 01:29:05 am »

Cedric, ever hear of the Drake Equation? Most of that work has already been done.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Drake_Equation

As far as FTL travel, remember it was once "proven" mathematically by mainstream science that heavier than air flight was impossible. Fortunately we have people who think outside the lines, like a couple of bicycle mechanics in Ohio that ignored the scientific "facts".
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Re: Earth-like planets raise prospects of extra-terrestial life
« Reply #13 on: February 27, 2008, 08:41:33 pm »

How many % of suns are like ours anyways? Also, it's funny how some news sites say Earth-like planets, others say Terrestrial, or just Rocky.  I think there's quite a difference.

As for the Fermi paradox, my bet is on rapid collapse into something which has no interest in other life, such as ascension into (or annihilation by) technological singularities.

P.S. Airplanes can't fly, it's dogma by Airplane Engineerists who are just looking for funds. We're really dealing with false memories here, implanted using mind control devices. When you hear about plane crashes on the news, that's just failed Airplane Engineerist experiments which leaked out.
« Last Edit: February 28, 2008, 12:54:59 am by Arne » Logged
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extra-terrestial life
« Reply #14 on: March 05, 2008, 04:46:19 pm »

Regarding life on Mars - what about a famous NASA shot in recent newsline? Wanna show you this guy I've found and his amazing debunking texhnique!

 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HQ-CiG7seUU
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