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Science, Inventions & Space Discuss Astronomers find a livable planet 12 light-years from earth at the General Discussion; If the Curiosity Rover is proving a little too slow to find life on Mars for your liking, here’s something ...

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Old 12-24-2012, 03:15 AM
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Default Astronomers find a livable planet 12 light-years from earth

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If the Curiosity Rover is proving a little too slow to find life on Mars for your liking, here’s something to distract you – and, perhaps, give you some hope for the future: Scientists have discovered five potential planets orbiting a star they believe is similar to our sun … and one of those planets may be able to support water on its surface.
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The star in question is Tau Ceti, only 12 light-years from Earth and visible to the naked eye. The planets surrounding the star are estimated to be two to six times bigger than earth, with one in particular measuring five times the size of our home planet. Said planet is lying in what’s commonly known as the star’s “Goldilocks Zone” – a position that is neither too hot nor too cold, but instead exactly the right environment to support the prospect of liquid surface water, and therefore, life.
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It took information collated from more than 6,000 observations from three telescopes located in Hawaii, Chile, and Australia to discover the planetary system, believed to be the lowest-mass solar system detected yet. The system was discovered using a sensitive process known as the “radical velocity method,” which searches for a “wobble” in a star’s movement caused by the gravitational pull of orbiting planets. According to Professor Steve Vogt of the University of California at Santa Cruz, who is part of the research team responsible for the discovery, uncovering the planets “is in keeping with out emerging view that virtually every star has planets, and that the galaxy must have many such potentially habitable Earth-sized planets. They are everywhere, even right next door.”
Astronomers find a livable planet 12 light-years from earth | Digital Trends

Now we just have to solve that light year problem and we're good to go.
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Old 12-24-2012, 03:21 AM
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Default Re: Astronomers find a livable planet 12 light-years from earth

I have often wondered if these 'habitable' planets once had civilisations on them that died out, perhaps billions of years ago. Perhaps the same would happen with Earth. We will one day have this planet destroyed, either by our own hands or by some event out of our control. Then in millions of years time another planet would say that they have discovered a planet (Earth) that could possibly sustain life.
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Old 12-24-2012, 03:24 AM
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Default Re: Astronomers find a livable planet 12 light-years from earth

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Originally Posted by Pretty Flamingo View Post
I have often wondered if these 'habitable' planets once had civilisations on them that died out, perhaps billions of years ago. Perhaps the same would happen with Earth. We will one day have this planet destroyed, either by our own hands or by some event out of our control. Then in millions of years time another planet would say that they have discovered a planet (Earth) that could possibly sustain life.
Likewise I've always thought all stars probably had planets around them so why couldn't there be another habitable planet?
I don't think we were meant to meet those "others". It would be too disturbing.imho
But it's nice to look up at the sky and dream.
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Old 12-24-2012, 02:32 PM
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Default Re: Astronomers find a livable planet 12 light-years from earth

I HATE stories like this...

There are DOZENS of needed criteria for a "livable" planet...Scientists find ONE of these DOZENS of needed criteria, and then exclaim "it's possible!"...

That's like finding a sock in the middle of a field and saying "NBA players wear socks, so Kobe Bryant might be around here!"...

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Old 12-24-2012, 05:24 PM
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Default Re: Astronomers find a livable planet 12 light-years from earth

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I HATE stories like this...

There are DOZENS of needed criteria for a "livable" planet...Scientists find ONE of these DOZENS of needed criteria, and then exclaim "it's possible!"...

That's like finding a sock in the middle of a field and saying "NBA players wear socks, so Kobe Bryant might be around here!"...

Actually they found more than one and the two they found are a pretty significant combination One it is in the "zone" not too hot or too cold but juuuust Goldilocks right for life. Plus a large amount of good old H2O. Earth is 2/3rds water, a perfect set up for flora and fauna.
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Old 12-24-2012, 05:34 PM
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Default Re: Astronomers find a livable planet 12 light-years from earth

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Originally Posted by saltwn View Post
Actually they found more than one and the two they found are a pretty significant combination One it is in the "zone" not too hot or too cold but juuuust Goldilocks right for life. Plus a large amount of good old H2O. Earth is 2/3rds water, a perfect set up for flora and fauna.
By those standards, Venus is a prime candidate as well...
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Old 12-24-2012, 05:35 PM
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Default Re: Astronomers find a livable planet 12 light-years from earth

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Actually they found more than one and the two they found are a pretty significant combination One it is in the "zone" not too hot or too cold but juuuust Goldilocks right for life. Plus a large amount of good old H2O. Earth is 2/3rds water, a perfect set up for flora and fauna.
But if it doesn't have the correct atmospheric conditions, the correct range of gravitational pull, a proper magnetic field, nutrition to sustain life, a moon to balance the orbit of the planet, and a couple of dozen other things needed, then pointing out the one or two things that are "acceptable" means crapola...

Think of this like a murder trial...

You could have DNA evidence of the murderer in the room where the murder was committed...

You could have the murder weapon with the murderer's fingerprints on it...

It doesn't mean crap if that person on trial was on a live TV show at the time of the murder...ALL OTHER evidence becomes a moot issue...It simply wasn't him...

Just the same, you can have 20 things that determine whether life could be on a planet, but the second you find ONE reason it can't, the other 20 things amount to absolutely nothing...
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Old 12-24-2012, 05:47 PM
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Default Re: Astronomers find a livable planet 12 light-years from earth

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Originally Posted by faithful_servant View Post
By those standards, Venus is a prime candidate as well...
no, while venus might have once contained oceans it does not now. It is also too hot because of a runaway greenhouse effect
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Old 12-24-2012, 05:49 PM
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Default Re: Astronomers find a livable planet 12 light-years from earth

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no, while venus might have once contained oceans it does not now. It is also too hot because of a runaway greenhouse effect
But it still has lots of H2O. The point is that all it takes is one thing to go wrong and there's no way it can support life. So calling it a livable planet is DUMB.
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Old 12-24-2012, 05:50 PM
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Default Re: Astronomers find a livable planet 12 light-years from earth

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Originally Posted by cnredd View Post
But if it doesn't have the correct atmospheric conditions, the correct range of gravitational pull, a proper magnetic field, nutrition to sustain life, a moon to balance the orbit of the planet, and a couple of dozen other things needed, then pointing out the one or two things that are "acceptable" means crapola...

Think of this like a murder trial...

You could have DNA evidence of the murderer in the room where the murder was committed...

You could have the murder weapon with the murderer's fingerprints on it...

It doesn't mean crap if that person on trial was on a live TV show at the time of the murder...ALL OTHER evidence becomes a moot issue...It simply wasn't him...

Just the same, you can have 20 things that determine whether life could be on a planet, but the second you find ONE reason it can't, the other 20 things amount to absolutely nothing...
As the article points out this planet is one of possible billions. Knowing now that virtually every star has planets around it causes us to conjecture there really is a possibility of life out there however humble or intricate.
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