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Astronomers Find Batch of 'Super Earths'

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posted on Jun, 16 2008 @ 11:25 AM
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Astronomers Find Batch of 'Super Earths'


news.yahoo.com

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - European researchers said on Monday they discovered a batch of three "super-Earths" orbiting a nearby star, and two other solar systems with small planets as well.

They said their findings, presented at a conference in France, suggest that Earth-like planets may be very common.

"Does every single star harbor planets and, if yes, how many?" asked Michel Mayor of Switzerland's Geneva Observatory. "We may not yet know the answer but we are making huge progress towards it," Mayor said in a statement.

(visit the link for the full news article)



[edit on 16-6-2008 by DimensionalDetective]




posted on Jun, 16 2008 @ 11:25 AM
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I think with each of these new "earth-like" discoveries, science, as well as the people of this planet are going to have to start waking to the possibility that we are not nearly as unique as we once thought, and that intelligent life elsewhere is becoming more of a probability rather than a possibility anymore.

Fascinating stuff IMO.



The trio of planets orbit a star slightly less massive than our Sun, 42 light-years away towards the southern Doradus and Pictor constellations. A light-year is the distance light can travel in one year at a speed of 186,000 miles a second, or about 6 trillion miles.

The planets are bigger than Earth -- one is 4.2 times the mass, one is 6.7 times and the third is 9.4 times.

They orbit their star at extremely rapid speeds -- one whizzing around in just four days, compared with Earth's 365 days, one taking 10 days and the slowest taking 20 days.




news.yahoo.com
(visit the link for the full news article)



posted on Jun, 16 2008 @ 11:27 AM
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how is it they can find info like this out but we can only get crap ass photos of mars and the moon

something isnt adding up or it is and we are just being left in the dark with what they think we need to know and how or when we need to know it

this is just crap

great post though



posted on Jun, 16 2008 @ 11:27 AM
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What cool news! I wonder if one day it will be possible to colonize new planets, to relieve the load on our own. How would;d earthlings hold up under such short years, or orbits, I wonder?



posted on Jun, 16 2008 @ 11:29 AM
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LOL because the pictures of the moon are photos, these are not. Distant panets and star systems arent detected by cameras but rather by observing the light spectrum, gravitational wobbles of stars, cosmic radiation emition etc.

[edit on 16-6-2008 by princeofpeace]



posted on Jun, 16 2008 @ 11:44 AM
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Great find, I just finished reading the article on the AP when I found your thread.

Planets five and six times the Earths density, multiple solar systems with potential for each individual star having its own planetary chain in rotation. Fascinating to say the least.

Science will eventually leave little doubt as to wheather we are all alone on the universe or not. To me info like this would make it preposterous for anyone to assume that there is no life out in that vast, endless pool of star systems and galaxies.

To assume that we are the only life sustaining planet in existence would be the height of arrogance. And mathematically speaking it would seem to me that it is almost impossible that there is NOT life out there on one of these earth like planets, and in reality there could potentially be an infinite number of planets that sustain life.

One day there will be proof that will be so undeniable that we will all be forced to accept this as fact. Great post!!



posted on Jun, 16 2008 @ 11:45 AM
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Cool find. Imagine having a season a day, and having a birthday every four days. Christmas would suck. You wouldn't have enough time to shop...



posted on Jun, 16 2008 @ 11:57 AM
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reply to post by BlackOps719
 


Yes, I agree. I think with each of these "earthlike" discoveries, we are seeing a small chink in the armor of belief systems and arrogances that have dominated our cultural systems for the past couple of millenia.

Something makes me think that we are on a cusp of finally revealing that the universe is TEEMING with life...



posted on Jun, 16 2008 @ 12:02 PM
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reply to post by DimensionalDetective
 




I agree 100%. Soon it wont be IF there is life out there, but how many different types of life there are. We are truly living in exciting times.


Think of the size of Earth, then consider how many shapes and varieties and differing types of life we have right here just on our little planet/speck of dirt.

Now imagine that times 100,000,000,000,000 +.

When you try and wrap your brain around it, it sort of becomes overwhelming.

[edit on 6/16/08 by BlackOps719]



posted on Jun, 16 2008 @ 01:42 PM
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reply to post by TheComte
 


Haha, no doubt. Some of those orbits / rotations are crazy!

Blackops-absolutely. The amount of suns and orbiting planetary systems in this galaxy alone is almost unfathomable. Moving on to the universe...I don't think we can even comprehend the numbers...



posted on Jun, 16 2008 @ 02:21 PM
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Titan AE........

This goes to show we aren't the only idiots in the universe...

I actually think we are pretty naive to think that...

And no I don't hang in the UFO forums.. This is just common sense.



posted on Jun, 16 2008 @ 02:40 PM
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Originally posted by BlackOps719

Science will eventually leave little doubt as to wheather we are all alone on the universe or not. To me info like this would make it preposterous for anyone to assume that there is no life out in that vast, endless pool of star systems and galaxies.

To assume that we are the only life sustaining planet in existence would be the height of arrogance.


I wish people would realize that it makes NO sense to talk about being 'alone in the UNIVERSE'. Let's talk about the Milky Way Galaxy, instead.

There might be quadrillions of planets with life in other galaxies. BUT, if they are microscopic forms, or if they are unable to leave their planets (for a vast variety of reasons), it has no impact upon us. Likewise, if they are found in distant galaxies (and not here, close to us), it also has no impact on us. We might as well be alone.

What if there is ONE planet in a distant galaxy, hundreds of light years away that has sentient life. Does it matter? Do we now say we are 'not alone'?

If there are 10e18 star systems out there and only one planet for every billion has life (of any kind), that's a LOT of life, but it's so extremely sparse that there's literally NO chance of finding them or they us.

So, to me, this discussion only has meaning if we talk about our own Galaxy and, indeed, only the planets within a few light years from us.

Otherwise, the Galaxy might as well devoid of life, because we'll never know about it.

I have no idea where people get the idea that ARROGANCE plays into this AT ALL. I think people are used to parroting what others have said. It's not arrogance, but a simple realization at how extremely specific the circumstances have to be for life to develop (beyond simple microbes).

In addition, people, including top scientists have failed to realize that it is extremely unlikely that galactic cores will have a lot of civilizations. Quite the contrary, due to the density of stars and thus high background and stellar radiation, those areas would be hostile to life as we know it.

Finally, we have to confine ourselves to speculating on life as we know it, because life forms that are TOO DIFFERENT will be so alien that we can not comprehend them, or ever hope to communicate with them. Consider life forms based on silicon which have a life span of thousands of years and live on a different time scale (such as sentient plant life, or sentient rocks, which perceive the passage of time moving very, very slowly)

Thus I think it's important to be specific on this matter.

2 cents.



posted on Jun, 16 2008 @ 02:47 PM
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reply to post by Badge01
 


well even finding one planet that has life for now, no matter how small, it would answer the question we've been asking for years: is there life out there?

it would open a whole load of possibilities an theories, and increase people's hopes of there being intelligent life out there by infinite%



posted on Jun, 16 2008 @ 03:43 PM
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Originally posted by malganis
reply to post by Badge01
 

well even finding one planet that has life for now, no matter how small, it would answer the question we've been asking for years: is there life out there?


Please explain how finding only one planet in a distant galaxy that has microscopic life impacts us in any way (given that we could even do this). If anything, it tends to prove that life is scarce.

I'm just suggesting that in reality, only what we find in our own galaxy can have any meaning for us, and that is, if and only if, the life we find is carbon-based, able to communicate with us, and shares our general time-scale.

When you consider that there may be 10e18 stars out there, then density of life is as important as other considerations.

Bear in mind, for example, that we consider a field to be sterile if the bacteria is less than 100 per cubic centimeter.

So a Universe with, say, 10e18 stars and only one million planets (10e6) which have any type of life, is essentially empty of life. You'd have to search 10e12 systems to find one. One system per 10e12 is the very definition of extreme rarity.

In the same manner, finding just one star system with a planet is important, because it shows that planetary formation could be the norm. However, if all the planets you find are gas giants, or very large planets, or not in the habitable zone, then the importance of this initial discovery is greatly reduced.

I realize in the initial stages of searching for life, finding one additional example is very significant. But beyond that it's important to put this in context, and certainly of crucial importance in any discussion of extra-terrestrials visiting Earth.

In addition, it's only likely that would could find an example of life in our own galaxy, since other galaxies are too far away to detect such things with current and foreseeable technology.

So, I'm just saying it only makes sense to confine discussions of life to our own galaxy, because any other consideration is too vague to be meaningful.



posted on Jun, 16 2008 @ 04:10 PM
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the question we should be asking is why haven't we found life out there already ?



posted on Jun, 16 2008 @ 04:19 PM
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In a universe as big as the one that we live in, you can be sure that there are many planet the size of Earth, with water and life bursting out of it. You can be sure that many of these races are a hell of a lot older than us, and more wiser and intelligent than we could ever dream of being.

What they are telling you there is not even the tip of the iceberg in so far as to what these people really know. This type of info is to keep the people sweet, and to prevent them from asking to many questions.

Nothing new in this my friend, apart from the fact that they have released it.



posted on Jun, 16 2008 @ 04:20 PM
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Originally posted by Badge01

Please explain how finding only one planet in a distant galaxy that has microscopic life impacts us in any way (given that we could even do this). If anything, it tends to prove that life is scarce.



It has a huge impact on religion. Much of today's society is based on religion.



posted on Jun, 16 2008 @ 04:42 PM
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reply to post by Comatose
 



Not only an impact on religion in general, but I believe that finding life on other planets would open the door that has been closed since the dawn of man. It will prove emphatically that there is more to the the universe than just our little planet. It will show the infinite nature of life and creation, being that where life is found in one location would certainly mean that there is also life elsewhere.

That in itself would evolve man kind and human thinking entire generations in one fell swoop. Just the wonder aspect of it alone is enough to excite the mind and stimulate the imagination. Think of some of the bizarre life forms here on Earth, jellyfish, all of the different strange concoctions of insect, reptiles, predators, birds, think of the foreign and often frightful looking creatures that are found in our oceans!!

Now imagine the possibilities of life in an entirely different atmosphere, life that has been designed to survive harsh environments of high temperatue and low temperature. Creatures that are able to breathe noxious and deadly gasses and sustain in the most unforgiving climates.

Imagine the possibilities


To think that some day we may live long enough to encounter a race of being that may very well redefine our entire definition of life as we know it. These types of revelations found in the OP are exciting and stimulating to me. Imagine what magnificent forms of living breathing creature could be wandering around out there in the dark realms of our galaxy. I have a feeling that truth will be far stranger and far more unbelievable than the most harrowing man made science fiction ever could be.



posted on Jun, 16 2008 @ 04:52 PM
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reply to post by DimensionalDetective
 


Another great post. This happens everyday too. The discovery most recently of a water planet orbiting a distant star got the international astronomical community in such excitement that they all looked like 5 year olds on Christmas morning.

This is the kind of stuff ATS is all about. Again great post..I always look forward to them.



posted on Jun, 16 2008 @ 04:55 PM
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reply to post by Badge01
 



The problem with alot of your figures is that it accounts for us as the model. We know very little of what it takes to harbor life. We don't even know if some life out there even requires a habitable zone like ours. Too many variables to call it one way or another...


My personal opinion is that we're all going to be pleasantly surprised by the truth. As the truth, is always stranger than fiction.




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