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Super-Earth: Astronomers Find a Watery New Planet

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posted on Dec, 16 2009 @ 01:45 PM
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This is pretty interesting:


Back in the mid-1990s, when astronomers were just beginning to find new planets around distant stars, nearly every new discovery got front-page .lines. Today, with the extrasolar-planet count up to about 400, it takes something extraordinary to make news.

But "extraordinary" may be too understated a descriptor for the discovery reported Wednesday in the journal Nature: an international team led by Harvard astronomer David Charbonneau has spotted a "super-Earth," a planet 2.7 times bigger than Earth, circling a dim red star called GJ 1214, just 40 light-years away in the constellation Ophiuchus. "It's spectacular," says University of California at Berkeley's Geoffrey Marcy, the world's most prolific planet hunter, credited with discovering 70 of the first 100 exoplanets. "It's a top-of-the-top discovery in the quest for Earth-size planets."


Rest of the story here.

So what are your thoughts on this. It's pretty far away, but to find a large water planet is anything but extraordinary.

And to have done so this quick as well.

More findings are to come I am sure.

~Keeper




posted on Dec, 16 2009 @ 01:52 PM
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What do I think?

When they say "dim" star, what do they mean? Is this star old? Unstable?

I think that they should be sending out probes in that direction asap.



posted on Dec, 16 2009 @ 01:54 PM
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reply to post by Aeons
 


I agree, but at 40 lightyears away, we don't have the kind of technology to send and receive data at those far out distances.

It would have to be manned, and we'd need a much higher level of space travel technology.

~Keeper



posted on Dec, 16 2009 @ 01:58 PM
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reply to post by tothetenthpower
 


In the scale of space that isnt that far away. I was expecting it to be much much further away.



posted on Dec, 16 2009 @ 02:00 PM
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reply to post by MR BOB
 


Really?

I'm not an expert so perhaps you are right. How far would that be for a probe?

I mean I know it takes years to send one out to say Pluto which is just over yonder in terms of distance as far as I know.

~Keeper



posted on Dec, 16 2009 @ 02:03 PM
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As usual the .lines say more that what the article actually says;

Its surface temperature hovers at a sweltering 190°C (374°F), which is well above the boiling point of water, at least in Earth's atmospheric pressure. Fortunately, GJ 1214b's atmosphere makes the pressure a lot higher than on Earth — "crushing," as Charbonneau describes it — and increases the odds of liquid water. (Under pressure, water can remain liquid above 100°C, or 212°F.)


The calculated density of the planet indicates that it could be mostly composed of water but lets not forget the mystery of that super dense planet discovered not long ago. Unfortunately there is no way to know for sure if this is a "watery planet".



posted on Dec, 16 2009 @ 02:06 PM
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reply to post by Phage
 


Thanks for the info Phage.

Do you know how long it would take for us to send a probe to actually look, or is that more science fiction that probability?

~Keeper



posted on Dec, 16 2009 @ 02:10 PM
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reply to post by tothetenthpower
 


40 lightyears approx:
235145200000000 miles away

Saturn is 821,190,000 miles away.

if you find out how long it took a probe to get to saturn. someone smart can do the math


[edit on 16-12-2009 by MR BOB]

[edit on 16-12-2009 by MR BOB]



posted on Dec, 16 2009 @ 02:11 PM
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reply to post by tothetenthpower
 

If we could send one at the speed of light, 40 years. But we can't get even close to that so make it ...oh, several tens of thousands of years (if we're really, really good).



posted on Dec, 16 2009 @ 02:22 PM
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Originally posted by Phage
reply to post by tothetenthpower
 

If we could send one at the speed of light, 40 years. But we can't get even close to that so make it ...oh, several tens of thousands of years (if we're really, really good).



I feel kind of silly now. You'd think I would have put two and two together and come up with 40 years lol.

And I figured as much that at our current technology we could never dream of sending something there in a suitable time frame.

What about telescopes?

Could IRIS or Hubble take deep field images and perhaps find something? Perhaps the new Infra Red telescope I read about yesterday? I do believe that's only for the southern skies though....

~Keeper



posted on Dec, 16 2009 @ 02:26 PM
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reply to post by tothetenthpower
 


it is possible that it may photograph. another deep feild telescop pointing at us but not made by us. floating along...



posted on Dec, 16 2009 @ 02:32 PM
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reply to post by MR BOB
 


That's a pretty creepy thought MR Bob. Then again I am sure on some distant planet there are a bunch of ET's watching earth like a reality television show.

And cue "Hitchhikers Guide To The Galaxy".

~Keeper



posted on Dec, 16 2009 @ 02:37 PM
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Reguardless of distance, the existance of a watery plant is very important. Not that you or I think were alone in this universe, but many people will not even accept the idea without knowing there is a planet resembling ours.

Once life is found on another planet I believe it will create a different mindset to earth and people will be more accepting of "far out" ideas. And we know that life can exist in extreme enviroments!

In 1966, Thomas Brock made the remarkable discovery that microorganisms were growing in the boiling hot springs of Yellowstone National Park.

Microbial Life in Extremely Hot Environments


-E-



posted on Dec, 16 2009 @ 02:42 PM
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I thought this was old news when I read the .line. I read an article about a year ago where a planet about four times the size of earth was discovered that was thought to be completely covered in water.

If this is indeed a different planet then the chances of water being found on countless other plants must be pretty darn good when you think about the vastness of the universe.




posted on Dec, 16 2009 @ 02:51 PM
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Originally posted by Aeons
What do I think?

When they say "dim" star, what do they mean? Is this star old? Unstable?

Class M stars are the oldest and most stable suns in the universe. With their small size and "cool" surfaces, they use up their inner fuel much slower than even our own sun (class G). Most of them have lifespans of 10-14 BILLION years. The only problem is their habitable zones are very small and close to the star. So, in essence, the planet must be in the JUST right position to ensure a good chance at habitability. '

But, as Ian from Jurassic Park put it..."Life finds a way"....



posted on Dec, 16 2009 @ 04:55 PM
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All the forms of information that travel on a beam of light.

Fascinating when you start thinking about it. How eyes, and instruments can interpret data being transmitted by a particle-wave. How that particle-wave and other particles contain/transmit so much information. Astounding.

I wish I had more time in my life to become truly familiar with the pure mathematics of this.

I don't consider any space endevours in our solar system to be particularly in need of new scientific thought - most of it now is engineering. New science will ease it - but engineering innovation is the main feat now.

But getting 40 light years away - that's a whole other ballgame. Science hasn't caught up to the will.

I look forward to the quantum bit. Interpreting data from a particle 40 light years away by a local particle. Perhaps the Ansible isn't as far away as we'd fear.

[edit on 2009/12/16 by Aeons]



posted on Dec, 16 2009 @ 07:31 PM
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reply to post by Aeons
 

But you need two.
One here and one there.



posted on Dec, 16 2009 @ 07:39 PM
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I think we should just put all these distant objects to the bottom of the pile for the time being and concentrate on what we should be doing in our own solar system.

A moon base, a manned mission to mars, or a Mission to Europa.

these far away finds are amazing, yes, (and i love reading about them) but why is there not more talk and pressure to discover our own back yard first?




posted on Dec, 16 2009 @ 08:45 PM
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posted on Dec, 16 2009 @ 09:59 PM
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Well at least we know if we ever do space travel. There is a refueling station out there if they use water source fuel! # needs to hurry up I want to see all this stuff revealed and im running out of time in this place.



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