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National Geographic gets in on the ET Craze

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posted on May, 27 2005 @ 11:19 AM
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It looks like National Geo. will be airing a TV Special May 30 on the scientific based conepts of "realistic" alien beings and their habitats. The trend in tv programs showing these kinds of "science" based concepts are becoming more a more mainstream. This could be a good or bad thing IMO. Good that the mainstream medis actually covering these possibilities of life outside our world, but bad in that the concepts are still very skewed and biased IMO.



There are no glowing fingers or Reese’s Pieces in National Geographic’s alien-filled ‘Extraterrestrial,’ but the message is clear: Earth is not that special when it comes to developing life.

The television special highlights two very different worlds from Earth, both teeming with life that astronomers believe could evolve if given the right set of conditions. Using computer models and armed with basic evolutionary theory, the scientists imagined not only what conditions might exist on their theoretical planets, but also how life may interact with the environment to form a thriving ecosystem.

“I’ve seen a lot of aliens on the silver screen and [television] screen that, while they may serve to be entertaining, are not very plausible,” said Seth Shostak, senior astronomer for the SETI Institute scanning the skies for signs of intelligent life, in an interview. “Here was a plan to make aliens that make sense.”

It was that concept that drew Shostak, a SPACE.com contributor, to appear in the two-hour program which airs May 30 (National Geographic, 9:00 – 11:00 p.m. ET/PT).

More than 130 extrasolar planets have been found by astronomers, many extremely massive and too close to their star parents to support life. The grand prize of planet hunters is the Earth-size planet in a comfortable orbit around its star.

The proposed Terrestrial Planet Finder, a two-telescope NASA project slated launch around 2014, could one day find those planets and peek into their atmosphere composition. But other space and ground-based telescopes will also join the hunt, including the Earth-size planet seeker Kepler slated for a 2008 launch and the Space Interferometry Mission to begin in 2011. Europe’s Darwin and Eddington missions will also hunt for other planets from space, while astronomers continue to seek them out from terra firma.

Both of the planets visited in ‘Extraterrestrial’ are within about 50 light-years of Earth.

Aurelia, an Earth-sized planet tidally locked with its stellar parent, presents one fixed face toward a warm red dwarf and it is there – not the perpetually frozen waste that never sees sunlight – that life thrives. Meanwhile, Blue Moon, which orbits an enormous gas giant that is itself orbiting a binary star system, is covered in life-giving water and an atmosphere so dense that enormous winged Skywhales can take flight.

Gems such as the sheer oddity of Blue Moon’s orbital geometry, or the hazards of Aurelian life due to constant bombardment from powerful solar flares thought to be a red dwarf star’s signature, draw the attention but are too few in the beginning.

While slow to start, ‘Extraterrestrial’ presents an intriguing, if somewhat conventional, view of how life might evolve on an extrasolar planet. The researchers admit as much by focusing on water-bearing worlds and carbon-based life systems.

“It’s conservative, in a sense, to focus on carbon-based life,” Shostak said, but added that water may always be a good indicator of habitable planets. “NASA’s mantra is follow the water, and I think that was sort of our mantra too.”

NASA’s Mars rovers Spirit and Opportunity, for example, were sent to two specific areas on the red planet to hunt for signs of water. Opportunity found evidence that its Meridiani Planum landing site was once drenched in water, while Spirit found signs this week pointing to a wet and violent past at Gusev Crater.

Unlike the Discovery Channel’s ‘Alien Planet,’ which used the alien artwork of Wayne Barlowe to demonstrate the mechanics of how smart robotic probes might explore a distant world, ‘Extraterrestrial’ extrapolates otherworldly animals and plants using analogues found on Earth.
www.space.com...


National Geo also did a phone poll of our favorite subject: How many of us "Beleive?"



A National Geographic-commissioned telephone survey of 1,000 Americans found that 60 percent believe life exists on other worlds. About 90 percent of those who believe in extraterrestrial life thought the Earth should respond to any communications emanating from an alien planet.




posted on May, 27 2005 @ 12:32 PM
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Thanks for the heads up, will have to watch it.

Sounds similar to Alien Planet without the probes. I remember a while back there were alot of alien life form sites that some considered a real science and had some interesting images. This sounds like the same except CGI. Should be interesting.



posted on May, 27 2005 @ 03:20 PM
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For anyone else interested, here is the link from Naitonal Geographics website on the special. It's got some pretty interesting interactive tools


National Geographic: ExtraTerrestrials



posted on May, 27 2005 @ 03:24 PM
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Aw man, I don't have National Geo.



posted on May, 27 2005 @ 03:24 PM
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mpeake:

Where is kangaxx? does that prove he was right...



posted on May, 27 2005 @ 03:50 PM
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Originally posted by mwen
mpeake:

Where is kangaxx? does that prove he was right...


Couldn't tell you where that nutty Portuguese guy is...But I am not sure how this show about a speculative idea of what et beings would look like would prove him or anyone else right.



posted on May, 30 2005 @ 05:27 PM
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The shows on tonight everyone


But check out the lineup before it starts.

7:00 PM Crop Circles: unexplained field formations

8:00 PM UFOs: experts investigate claims of extraterrestrial life

9:00 PM Extraterrestrial

Note: These times are EST.



posted on May, 30 2005 @ 06:02 PM
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Well this makes me think that we are being primed for something big !!!! Perhaps Disclosure is imminent? Hope so !!



posted on May, 30 2005 @ 06:33 PM
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Great ! National Geographic and many others will jump into the EBE/UFO circle - mostly for rating points but perhaps also due to this subject being taken so much critically that before by main stream America, North America and Brazil ?

Dallas



posted on May, 30 2005 @ 09:54 PM
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I'm watching the program now.... All I have to say is, what a bunch of crap. These are the people that call UFO researchers flakes?! Worf keeps saying "scientists think [blah]" as if that means everything they can imagine is vaild. Looks like something from a low-budget sci-fi movie. You know, the kind of stuff these establishment people look down their noses at...

If they're going to create imaginary aliens, can't they think out of the box? "Dude....let's make this one look like a whale...but with wings *giggles*." Also, apparently these alien ecosystems only have 3 or 4 animals in them. The aliens in the ecosystems just look like things we have on earth but twisted slightly. If the "experts" think that aliens look like things we have here on earth, why do they criticize reports of aliens looking humanoid?


Alien Planet was alot better than this program. At least it had a halfway interesting storyline.
Uh oh...the space mosquitos are eathing the flying whale.



posted on May, 30 2005 @ 10:17 PM
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I agree, this program was not as good as Alien Planet, which could itself have been better. Why do these biologists expect so many floating animals? What I did get out of it though was something I have said. I think there are inherent rules of nature that will be common on any planet. They said Darwinism, or survival of the fittest, will be the ruling factor as it is here.



posted on May, 30 2005 @ 11:57 PM
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I too thik Alien Planet was much better. Extraterrestrial seems like a not-so-good-copycat show. Michael Dorn (Worf) as the narrator gives the show a real hoakie feeling.



posted on May, 20 2008 @ 06:35 PM
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Hey guys... well i missed this episode by about 3 years and could only find part 1 of 6 on youtube and everytime i try to open the shows torrent it crashes my program... I would really like to watch this so if anyone has a torrent or a link that would be much appreciated!







 
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