originally posted by: Rainbowresidue
a reply to: JadeStar
What an amazing thread you created.
I will watch the videos later, but enjoyed the reading material very much.
Do you think they will find life on another of those planets or another habitable planet like ours in our lifetime ? (within ca. 50 years)?
Yes. I'd bet on it actually. It would surprise me if it even took that long.
Sara Seager, a very well known exoplanet expert who wrote the book on Exoplanet Atmospheres suggests we'll find it within the next 30 years.
My area of study in college is astronomy, specifically with an eye towards this field. I've shared a lunch with Seth Shostak once and he feels it is
quite likely that we'll know within 20 years. And he tends to be on the conservative side of things, not prone to making predictions.
Both Sara and Seth's predictions are based on the technology that we're assembling now in the search. In Sara Seager's case, there are plans for space
telescopes which could detect the signature signs of at least microbial life in the atmospheres of nearby exoplanets.
In Seth Shostak's case, the Square Kilometer Array could detect the alien equivalent of an airport radar within 100 light years distant and something
like the Arecibo Planetary Radar (which we use to take pictures of near Earth asteroids), many thousands and thousands of light years away.
Also there are ideas to use future telescopes to look for things like the waste heat a complex civilization might give off on its planet or in its
star system and even to detect the distinct signature of artificial city lights on an exoplanet's night side when we can take detailed images of
Consider this for a moment:
At the beginning of the 20th Century these were the Top 3 Astrobiological Questions (had astrobiology existed yet):
1. Can binary (double, triple or quadruple) stars have planets in stable orbits?
2. Do other stars have planets?
3. If they do, how many are planets like the Earth?
For most of the century all three of those questions went unanswered. In the 1990s we learned the answer to the first two. (1. Yes, 2. Yes) and it
would only be less than 20 years later before we knew the answer to question 3 (22%).
Today firmly in the 21st century the Top 3 Astrobiological Questions are:
1. Where is the nearest Earth sized which can be studied in great detail?
2. Where is the nearest planet which has life?
3. How many planets which have life develop complex or even technological life?
The answer to question 1 is likely to come from NASA TESS mission due to be launched and begin operations in 2017.
The answer to question 2 might come as early as the early to mid 2020s with other telescopes.
The answer to question 3 may come soon after exoplanet mapping telescope missions are launched. (late 2020s perhaps sooner if SETI on the Square
Kilometer Array detects something interesting and repeating.)
No other topic excites me more than space travel, so thanks again for the great read.
Have a great weekend JadeStar.
Where is all that technology they had in Star Trek?
Top 10 Star Trek technologies that came true:
Some of them have already come true (Life imitating art.)but the good stuff still needs to be invented.
I know they are currently working on the instantaneous transporter. I'm just hoping that with how rapidly we are advancing in technology finding life
on other planets/ habitable planets will be easier for us to detect in the near future.
Now let me go read more about the Square Kilometer Array.
Here's another Star Trek reference. Remember "M-class planets"?
Well there is an actual real scale to measure the habitability of exoplanets based on temperature and other factors:
As you can see, Earth is an "M-class planet"
So , the real Star Trek is beginning in a small way. We already are planning on "Stellar Cartography" with missions like the European Space Agency's
GAIA mission to make a 3-D map of our galaxy and future Exoplanet mapping telescopes.
I suspect that in 50 years we'll know which stars you can point to in the sky have life bearing worlds.
Who knows, we might even know where our closest technological neighbors are.
edit on 31-5-2014 by JadeStar because: (no reason given)