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Water-rich and relatively nearby planet that's similar in size to Earth. 40 lightyears from earth.

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posted on Dec, 16 2009 @ 08:02 PM
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(CNN) -- Astronomers announced this week they found a water-rich and relatively nearby planet that's similar in size to Earth.

While the planet probably has too thick of an atmosphere and is too hot to support life similar to that found on Earth, the discovery is being heralded as a major breakthrough in humanity's search for life on other planets.

"The big excitement is that we have found a watery world orbiting a very nearby and very small star," said David Charbonneau, a Harvard professor of astronomy and lead author of an article on the discovery, which appeared this week in the journal Nature.

The planet, named GJ 1214b, is 2.7 times as large as Earth and orbits a star much smaller and less luminous than our sun. That's significant, Charbonneau said, because for many years, astronomers assumed that planets only would be found orbiting stars that are similar in size to the sun.

Because of that assumption, researchers didn't spend much time looking for planets circling small stars, he said. The discovery of this "watery world" helps debunk the notion that Earth-like planets could form only in conditions similar to those in our solar system.

"Nature is just far more inventive in making planets than we were imagining," he said.

In a way, the newly discovered planet was sitting right in front of astronomers' faces, just waiting for them to look. Instead of using high-powered telescopes attached to satellites, they spotted the planet using an amateur-sized, 16-inch telescope on the ground.

There were no technological reasons the discovery couldn't have happened long ago, Charbonneau said.

The planet is also rather near to our solar system -- only about 40 light-years away.

Planet GJ 1214b is classified as a "super-Earth" because it is between one and 10 times as large as Earth. Scientists have known about the existence of super-Earths for only a couple of years. Most planets discovered by astronomers have been gassy giants that are much more similar to Jupiter than to Earth.

Charbonneau said it's unlikely that any life on the newly discovered planet would be similar to life on Earth, but he didn't discount the idea entirely.

"This planet probably does have liquid water," he said.
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O.k. Now we're getting somewhere... This planet is also "warm" with "water"...

W O W



I'm not going to say that "A" word but this is very intriguing...




posted on Dec, 16 2009 @ 08:05 PM
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Ok I'm in how much gas money do I need to pitch in? I get payed on Friday and can easy chip in 50 bucks cash money.



posted on Dec, 16 2009 @ 08:09 PM
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Are you surprised that they would eventually find a planet where liquid water may be? I'm sure there are an uncountable number of them out there. Our technological infancy just has yet to confirm what is highly probable.

I would be more surprised if they sift through thousands of planets and don't find liquid water (as long as they confine themselves to the right habitable zone around the various sized stars.)



posted on Dec, 16 2009 @ 08:10 PM
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reply to post by Brainiac
 


I think this is old news...

what "A" word?


how old is this planet?



posted on Dec, 16 2009 @ 08:15 PM
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Maybe a candidate for our first (official) visit to a planet outside the Sol system.



posted on Dec, 16 2009 @ 08:25 PM
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reply to post by C-DNA
 



How long will it take to get there?

Interesting find, S + F.



posted on Dec, 16 2009 @ 08:32 PM
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That really depends on the transportation we would use in the first place. We don't know how long because we have no craft fit for the task, yet. Or at least nothing official.



posted on Dec, 16 2009 @ 08:35 PM
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awesome.
Can't wait for Kepler's first official release, i have my hopes that we will find earth-like planets within a few years (if not months).
I'll be doing my fisrt year in Astronomy Sciences in 2010 so that should be fun



posted on Dec, 16 2009 @ 08:50 PM
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Originally posted by TSawyer
reply to post by C-DNA
 



How long will it take to get there?

Interesting find, S + F.


Well at 40 lightyears if we could continually travel at say the speed of the space shuttle in orbit than oh, only about 1.6 million years , which at that point the star wouldn't even be in the same spot anymore due to stellar drift. Even at the speed of light it would take around 40 years or so(which would seem a little less to people on board the craft due to relativity). So yea, without some type of FTL propulsion it is out of the question in any practical sense.
 


As far as the OP goes....This is a nice find though, thanks for sharing.



[edit on 12/16/2009 by jkrog08]



posted on Dec, 16 2009 @ 09:11 PM
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WOW!!!
70 year old news;
How exciting.....

IPODS and IPHONES have been making more advancements in technology with less funding!!!!!

[edit on 16-12-2009 by DjSharperimage]



posted on Dec, 16 2009 @ 09:15 PM
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Originally posted by DjSharperimage
WOW!!!
70 year old news;
How exciting.....


I dunno....Maybe I am missing a sarcastic point here but what exactly are you talking about "70 year old news"??


Extrasolar planets have only very recently started to be discovered, but at a staggering pace thus far...

Again, I apologize if you meant something else but I am curious as to the point of that post.



posted on Dec, 16 2009 @ 09:19 PM
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Originally posted by jkrog08

Originally posted by DjSharperimage
WOW!!!
70 year old news;
How exciting.....


I dunno....Maybe I am missing a sarcastic point here but what exactly are you talking about "70 year old news"??


Extrasolar planets have only very recently started to be discovered, but at a staggering pace thus far...

Again, I apologize if you meant something else but I am curious as to the point of that post.


The information that the public knows;
and the information that the government leaks;
are very different from one another;
hence ATS

The government is probably 100 years behind compared to what is public knowledge today



[edit on 16-12-2009 by DjSharperimage]



posted on Dec, 16 2009 @ 09:52 PM
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There is already 3 existing threads on this.

www.abovetopsecret.com...

www.abovetopsecret.com...

I'm pretty sure there is another one. Either way, use the search function



posted on Dec, 16 2009 @ 09:56 PM
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reply to post by DjSharperimage
 


oh really? or maybe ur just pulling opinions out of your hat.



posted on Dec, 16 2009 @ 10:18 PM
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Jkrog.. 1.6 million years?> bullocks! I was there last week delering a pie from New Jersey. I took the turnpike and got there in 6.5 hours. psh, I could have walked there. lol.



posted on Dec, 17 2009 @ 12:00 AM
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I understand that the new Orion capsule will accommodate a crew of 4 members. So which of the current astronauts will be selected as the 'lucky four' with the 'right stuff' for the life-search mission to the newly detected water-planet: planet GJ 1214b?


[edit on 12/17/2009 by Larryman]



posted on Dec, 24 2009 @ 12:27 PM
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Originally posted by DjSharperimage
WOW!!!
70 year old news;
How exciting.....

IPODS and IPHONES have been making more advancements in technology with less funding!!!!!

[edit on 16-12-2009 by DjSharperimage]


70 year old news... ??

Well it's interesting that you seem to have connections that the rest of us don't. What do you have, your own research/astronomy lab at home or something?

I tend to like to go with solid confirmed data rather than "leaked" information. Leaked information is usually deemed circumstantial and can't really be trusted.

I can imagine and conjure up all sorts of fantastic ideas, and some of them probably are correct and accurate, but until it is proven beyond doubt, then it's still something that I think/believe and everyone else just hears about.

We could go forward in time 100 years and discover that YEAH Aliens [the A word] have been coming to Earth for years and have been examining this planet for years, but TODAY we just don't have factual evidence, only i witness accounts and wild stories, and ideas of coverups etc... There have been no "War of the Worlds" undisputable proof that any Alien has set foot on Earth yet...

When news breaks that is backed up by facts skeptic and non-skeptic alike i tend to go with that...

I don't like to live in a theoretical world, that's why things CAN be kept a secret, because unless someone official steps up to the mike and acknowledges it, you still don't really know if what you are hearing is the absolute truth, or some wild speculation or belief...


[edit on 12/24/2009 by Brainiac]



posted on Dec, 25 2009 @ 05:30 PM
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A lot of small bits of info for such a big story...almost every sentence I heard from the scientist doing this is research was "speculative". They see water wavelengths but to claim "water world" is a huge misnomer. They don't know what's there other than possibilities. The discovery of a hydrogen/helium atmosphere is encouraging though.

Another mistake is the poorly used "Super Earth" term. We haven't found anything like Earth anywhere--just rocky planets. In fact this new planet sounds more like a Super Venus.

There must be a new public relations firm the scientists have hired: using Super Earths as a term must be a way to raise funds/awareness from the public. I guess its working. LOL.

[edit on 12/25/09 by Atomic]



posted on Dec, 25 2009 @ 06:16 PM
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reply to post by Atomic
 


yes your right. Astronomers need to jazz the stuff up for the mainstream. Its important to get people excited and get funding for future missions.

The term super-earth wasnt a deliberate attempt to do this tho. When detection capabilities hit 10 earth mass planets it was deemed a landmark. Probably becuase we use the base 10 number system. But your also right the term is misleading. It was more a hopefull name than scientifically accurate one.

When feeding this to the press the astronomers deliberately leave out info. This planet is more likely to be a mini neptune than anything else. The pressure is 20,000 times that of earth and very high tempreature not to mention tidally locked. But if you look at the posts in this thread and others you see poeple creaming their pants about it. So yeah jazzing it up and leaving out facts works on the mainstream and gets them some airtime.

[edit on 25-12-2009 by yeti101]



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