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Most important discovery of humankind on its way - 2017 update

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posted on Dec, 31 2016 @ 09:45 AM
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Hello ATS!


Five years and half ago, I wrote a thread called Most important discovery of humankind on its way where I showed that we probably live in the century where the proof that we are not alone in the Universe will be found.

I decided then to wrote this very thread as an update, considering that things are speeding up recently and that the chances of discovering alien life outside our solar system has never been more important than nowadays, and will happen likely soon.

So let's update my five years old thread with these last exciting news!

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1- Extrasolar planets detection history

- Since the first published, confirmed discovery made in 1988 (Gamma Cephei A planet) by the Canadian astronomers Bruce Campbell, G. A. H. Walker, and S. Yang, there was an increasing numbers of discoveries. In 2011, the exoplanet catalog, regularly updated, contained 548 confirmed planets. Today, it is no less than 3557 confirmed planets, 2668 planetary systems and 601 multiple planet systems that were discovered.

Almost each week, a new planet is discovered and/or confirmed... It's even became mundane:




2- Earth-like planets

At the same time, the number of exoplanets that have an ESI (Earth Similarity Index) similar to that of the Earth increased as well, especially with the discoveries of Kepler-438b (discovered in 2015, ESI 0.88, thought it is apparently not habitable) and of Kepler-62e (discovered in 2013, ESI 0.83).



We also have to think about the fact that Mars has a 0.797 ESI, which is less than the two best Kepler candidates named above, and yet we think about a possible past (and even current) life on Mars.

Also, in order to really put things in perspective, a scientist team estimated (2013, november) that 22±8% of Sun-like stars in the Milky Way galaxy may have an Earth-sized planet in the habitable zone. Assuming 200 billion stars in the Milky Way, that would be 11 billion potentially habitable Earths, rising to 40 billion if red dwarfs are included. (!!) And only in our galaxy...


3- Exoplanets in the habitable zone of their star

Since the launch of Kepler in 2009, the scientists have doubled the number of known exoplanets smaller than the size of Neptune. A hundred are smaller than 1.2 times the size of the Earth and even 21 are twice this same size, in the habitable zone of their star.

Nine of these have been validated (2016, May) and are plotted as orange disks in the map below. The previous known planets are marked as blue disks.



These planets are plotted relative to the temperature of their star and with respect to the amount of energy received from their star in their orbit in Earth units. The sizes of the exoplanets indicate the sizes relative to one another. The images of Earth, Venus and Mars are placed on this diagram for reference. The light and dark green shaded regions indicate the conservative and optimistic habitable zone. Credits: NASA Ames/N. Batalha and W. Stenzel


Source

Looking at this map do incite to think that earth-like planets are very common, not exceptional at all, and that the number of their discovery will considerably increase in the near future.

The two updates wiki lists (exoplanets in the "conservative" and in the "optimistic" habitable zone) can be seen here


4- Exoplanet atmosphere

As of February 2014, more than fifty transiting and five directly imaged exoplanet atmospheres have been observed, resulting in detection of molecular spectral features; observation of day–night temperature gradients; and constraints on vertical atmospheric structure.

Also, an atmosphere has been detected on the non-transiting hot Jupiter Tau Boötis b and water was detected (2013) in 5 exoplanets (HD 209458 b, XO-1b, WASP-12b, WASP-17b, and WASP-19b). One year later, NASA reported that HAT-P-11b is the first Neptune-sized exoplanet with a cloud-free atmosphere and water vapor as well.

Will 2017 be the year of the detection of an atmosphere, possibly with water vapor, on an Earth-sized exoplanet? I personally find the idea very plausible and a logical continuity to the discoveries.


5- Upcoming missions and projects that will increase the chances

In the last days of this 2016 years, interesting Internet papers are published that expose these projects. Their names are indicative of the enthusiasm of the exoplanets hunters:

2017 Will Bring Us More Earth-Like Alien Worlds Than We Ever Dreamed

2017 should be a big year for discovering new potentially habitable worlds

They are saying more or less the same thing, in substance that 2017 will be a pivotal year for the exoplanet hunt with the following projects:


Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS)

NASA will be launching TESS in 2017. Within its two-year mission, they plan to use the satellite to observe at least 200,000 stars and expect to discover thousands more exoplanets.

MeerKAT and SKA

The 64-dish MeerKAT Radio Telescope in South Africa is so powerful that in a test run using only 16 of its 64 dishes, it was able to detect 1,300 galaxies where only 70 were previously known to exist. All 64 of those dishes are expected to be in place by the start of 2017, so we can expect big discoveries from this telescope. As if MeerKAT isn’t impressive enough, it’s actually just a small part of an even bigger project, the Square Kilometer Array (SKA).

FAST

The 500-meter (547-yard) wide Aperture Spherical Telescope (FAST), nicknamed Tianyan (Eye of Heaven), holds the world record not only in size but in sensitivity: it’s about twice as sensitive and between five and 10 times as fast in surveying as the previous record holder. This device went live in September this year, so it’ll likely contribute to many discoveries in 2017.

James Webb Space Telescope (JWST)

Just in case the potential for super-Earth discoveries in 2017 isn’t enough, NASA’s Hubble replacement, the James Webb Space Telescope, will join the hunt for exoplanets orbiting nearby stars in 2018. This telescope took 20 years and $8.8 billion to build, and it was designed with a view 100 times the size of Hubble’s. Supposedly, it is so powerful that it can detect a bumblebee on the Moon, so hopes are high it’ll be able to find more super-Earths.



edit on 31-12-2016 by elevenaugust because: (no reason given)



+3 more 
posted on Dec, 31 2016 @ 10:50 AM
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Damn...

I read the title and said "Finally, a diabetic beer!"

Oh well maybe next time.



posted on Dec, 31 2016 @ 11:01 AM
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a reply to: elevenaugust




Just in case the potential for super-Earth discoveries in 2017 isn’t enough, NASA’s Hubble replacement, the James Webb Space Telescope, will join the hunt for exoplanets orbiting nearby stars in 2018. This telescope took 20 years and $8.8 billion to build, and it was designed with a view 100 times the size of Hubble’s. Supposedly, it is so powerful that it can detect a bumblebee on the Moon


I get confused with these kinds of statements, I've heard from some of the smarter folk here at ats that the reason they can't get super high resolution pics of the moon and Mars with hubble is because it is calibrated to see things really far away but poor at seeing things much closer. What gives?
edit on 31-12-2016 by jaws1975 because: (no reason given)



posted on Dec, 31 2016 @ 11:10 AM
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Find me an animal that exist outside of Earth. People nowadays are too fictitious.



posted on Dec, 31 2016 @ 11:50 AM
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Without means to get there, how important is another potential place really?



posted on Dec, 31 2016 @ 12:33 PM
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I was hoping for a great recipe that would make us younger. How disappointing.



posted on Dec, 31 2016 @ 12:36 PM
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a reply to: elevenaugust

I wouldnt be waving a sign "WELCOME ALIENS!" on some rooftop...Youve done some great scientific work there...but a lot of human beings cant, couldnt, wouldnt be able to understand how you explained yourself here...

And "PROOF" is a really strong word here. For some, extraordinary evidence is necessary...and others? None is needed at all. The "evidence" has always been here..and goes largely ignored. We've already had leaders and scientist-panels proclaim the "truth"...and? Nothing.

I assure you....they are here, are coming here...and have always been here. And I believe they may not be using "crafts" and "propulsion engines" on "triangles'...or "lights" on their "vehicles".

We only think in terms we know or speculate of/on. There are others we have no clue of...created on planets with material and methods we know nothing of..and cant be re-produced here on Earth.

Given that...they are probably right in front of us. How would we know? We wouldnt.



posted on Dec, 31 2016 @ 01:31 PM
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I think a few of may have found the title a little misleading haha.

On a serious note, great thread and I almost forgot about the James Webb Telescope. Cannot wait to see what that produces.

Good times ahead hopefully.

Happy new year all.



posted on Dec, 31 2016 @ 02:09 PM
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originally posted by: jaws1975
a reply to: elevenaugust




Just in case the potential for super-Earth discoveries in 2017 isn’t enough, NASA’s Hubble replacement, the James Webb Space Telescope, will join the hunt for exoplanets orbiting nearby stars in 2018. This telescope took 20 years and $8.8 billion to build, and it was designed with a view 100 times the size of Hubble’s. Supposedly, it is so powerful that it can detect a bumblebee on the Moon


I get confused with these kinds of statements, I've heard from some of the smarter folk here at ats that the reason they can't get super high resolution pics of the moon and Mars with hubble is because it is calibrated to see things really far away but poor at seeing things much closer. What gives?


I'm pretty sure there's a hi-rez picture of a dime taken by the hubble that is hanging on the wall at Space Camp... at least it was in 1985.


edit on 31-12-2016 by Bone75 because: (no reason given)



posted on Dec, 31 2016 @ 02:17 PM
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That we will eventually discover "life" somewhere else is almost a no-brainer. Of course we will and the fact is, our tools for doing so are getting better all the time. There are very likely at least microbes on Mars and some of Jupiter and Saturn's moons, and though there may very well be earth-like life on other earth-like planets, given the speed of light, that begs the question of what practical effect that will have, at least in the near-term. Unless we--or they, assuming competent intelligence--invent Warp Drive, it may be little more than an intellectual exercise. I would suggest that fire, or perhaps infinite free energy, are far more important discoveries for the human species than the potential fact that there is inaccessible life of some sort elsewhere.



posted on Dec, 31 2016 @ 02:56 PM
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S+F
Excellent thread. I have set up my observatory telescope for photometry and am currently trying to find one of the known exoplanets to test out the set up.

You are right about 2017, but when the JWST gives first light, it will be an amazing event.



posted on Dec, 31 2016 @ 04:17 PM
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originally posted by: NightFlight
Damn...

I read the title and said "Finally, a diabetic beer!"

Oh well maybe next time.


I thought size 12 jeans that make you look like size 2. Or a true carb blocking pill at the very least.

But aliens would be interesting too. If they are like ET or Paul, or even mildly obnoxious Alf and not those nasty dudes from independence day.



posted on Dec, 31 2016 @ 04:17 PM
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Love it! Great post, and awesome enthusiasm too. You've presented some solid information that demonstrates a reason to be excited about what lays ahead for mankinds next steps for discovery. Well done!

Thanks for taking the time to put this together. I didn't know about any of those projects with the exception of the James Webb Telescope.



posted on Dec, 31 2016 @ 05:37 PM
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a reply to: NightFlight

Diabetic Beer?

Would you really want to drink that?



posted on Dec, 31 2016 @ 07:03 PM
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I've given up the official white house statement about that..

As I'm still hoping it will be soon ,I think I have to say see you in three years from now with another update..Happy new year all



posted on Dec, 31 2016 @ 08:59 PM
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originally posted by: rickymouse
I was hoping for a great recipe that would make us younger. How disappointing.



soon... Maybe ...


Russian scientist admits injecting himself with 3.5 million year old 'eternal life' bacteria
siberiantimes.com...



posted on Dec, 31 2016 @ 09:48 PM
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Great enthusiasm as someone else said and I would wish the desire to "explore" the outer reaches and learn would drive humanity forward in a better way but I have lived long enough to see that in our current form we are pretty much doomed as a species until we evolve emotionally and spiritually.

The current understanding of Quantum science needs to evolve further into whatever next its called but once we take our heads out of our 2-dimensional self centered "bum'oles" we may actually do something worthwhile because realising we share the space around us with other things, co existing, at the same time, we might just start to move our thinking beyond even the concepts of a quantum universe.

I personally believe what we are discovering of quantum mechanics and the related sciences and how we are now starting to use these ideas and theories to (re)understand the world and the universe (because we are encapsulating physical, non-physical, energy, matter, spirituality and actuality...) we will eventually discover God (or at least understand who created the universe and why).

The problem is we are limiting ourselves by looking at everything from point-A to point-B, not point-A, B, C and 1, 2, 3 and how they are entangled (and not), coexisting present in the same space (if required) thus eliminating the issues with distance, travel and time.

Man needs to stop staring down a tiny tube at something in a petri dish and look around at how everything is connected. I know I wont be here to see where we get to but I sincerely hope as our old bones are laid to rest that mankind has gotten over their issues and moved into an age that is full of possibilities.

And diabetic beer
edit on 31-12-2016 by old_god because: (no reason given)



posted on Dec, 31 2016 @ 11:44 PM
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a reply to: elevenaugust

Well, 2016 wasn't the best in many aspects.. But 2017 and my first thread to respond to is an Elevenaugust OP! You have no idea how happy that makes me as I really loved your threads and I havn't seen you posting for such a long time. Although that may be because I don't frequent here as much. Either way, thank you deeply for the thread.



The feminazis will rage and SJW's finger wag.. Gender type counting will become a sport and corruption will run rampant in governments.

Ant while all that is going, scientists are keeping heads down and working and creating new and more powerful tools to do anything to reach any other race that may be prospering somewhere out there. They should be our hero's, our popstars and in the news. I don't know if 2017 will be the year, but I would imagine that in 10-20 years time we will be able to find and practically watch movement on another planet. Perhaps.....


My last note is a fantastic quote from the band The Drones, which I keep on thinking about.

"If there were mirrors in the sky they would shut down SETI."



posted on Jan, 1 2017 @ 02:12 AM
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I have discovered it.
Whiskey mixed with almond milk and honey.
Ingest a liberal amount.
Then detonate a 20 lb charge of tannerite at 2 in the morning after finding out your crazy ex is getting out of prison this week.
It is more awesome than cold fusion.



posted on Jan, 1 2017 @ 09:41 AM
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originally posted by: IgnoranceIsntBlisss
Without means to get there, how important is another potential place really?


As important as it would be to find a new home when you have turned your old one into a toilet!



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