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Alien oceans could be detected by telescopes

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posted on Sep, 10 2010 @ 02:44 PM
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The next generation of telescopes could reveal the presence of oceans on planets outside our Solar System.

Detecting water on Earth-like planets offers the tantalising prospect they could sustain life.

Scientists hope the reflection of light, or "glint", from mirror-like ocean surfaces could be picked up by a US space telescope set for launch in 2014.

The research by US astronomers has been published in Astrophysical Journal Letters.

Tyler Robinson at the University of Washington in Seattle is hoping this new technique could be used in the quest to find the Holy Grail for exoplanet astronomers - a possible sister to planet Earth



The reflection of light or "glint" could reveal the existence of Earth-like planets.


www.bbc.co.uk...


Interesting, it is my understanding that they already have the telescopes and technology to detect oceans on other planets that we are aware of. I would like to see what they have detected on Mars, Venus etc. If they have detected oceans on the known planets why aren't they releasing that information. We know there is water on Mars but what is the source?

My thought is tell us what is known before they use this technology to detect oceans on planets we haven't detected yet, doesn't make sense to me.

Related links:
Rich exoplanet system discovered
Planet 'shine' to aid life search




posted on Sep, 10 2010 @ 04:05 PM
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Beautiful sunsets

"The glint I'm talking about is pretty much the exact same thing when you talk about gorgeous sunsets over the ocean. With the sun low on horizon, sun beams come in and glance off the ocean surface which is acting like a mirror and you get these beautiful red sunsets."

This glint is more visible when a planet is in what's called a "crescent phase", similar to a crescent moon.


www.bbc.co.uk...


Glint detected on Saturn's moon Titan confirmed the presence of a methane ocean


Oceans on Earth-like planets could have been favourable to the evolution of life


The detection is a reflection like we see on earth when the moon is over a lake or ocean. The sunset does the same thing and of course is very beautiful.



posted on Sep, 10 2010 @ 11:11 PM
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Interesting. I think it's a long shot though. It's going to be pretty difficult to filter the light of the star that the planet is orbiting enough to catch the glint of liquid. Like trying to see a firefly next to a searchlight. Of course, even if a glint is verified, it may not be from water.

No liquid water has been detected anywhere but on Earth. The atmosphere of Mars is too thin to allow liquid water to exist on its surface. Venus is too hot for liquid water to exist and there is very little of it there in its gaseous state. It is thought that Enceladus, a moon of Saturn, may have a global ocean of liquid water beneath its crust of ice but we have no way of confirming that.


edit on 9/10/2010 by Phage because: (no reason given)



posted on Sep, 10 2010 @ 11:25 PM
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Originally posted by Phage
Interesting. I think it's a long shot though. It's going to be pretty difficult to filter the light of the star that the planet is orbiting enough to catch the glint of liquid. Like trying to see a firefly next to a searchlight. Of course, even if a glint is verified, it may not be from water.

No liquid water has been detected anywhere but on Earth.


This may work if they sent the telescope out beyond the veil so to speak, it's always interesting to hear about these inventions that more then likely will go no where.

Thank you for posting Phage.



posted on Sep, 10 2010 @ 11:35 PM
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reply to post by Aquarius1
 

I'm not sure it will go nowhere but I don't think an instrument will be built for the specific purpose described. Often someone comes up with a new way of using an existing (or planned) instrument. Often someone comes up with a new way of looking at existing data.

Although there is little doubt that there are exoplanets which have oceans, it will be a momentous discovery when one is confirmed. It is a very, very difficult thing to do. When it does happen there will be a lot of controversy about it. Not because it is not believed that oceans can exist anywhere but Earth, but because the data will be scant and subject to interpretation. But it will happen...someday.



posted on Sep, 10 2010 @ 11:44 PM
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reply to post by Phage
 


I agree it will happen someday and may be very difficult to interpret, my feeling it is still a long way off, some of the technology they are developing today may not be usable in our life time, but can you imagine what young people like my grandchildren who are nine and seven will experience, they are already interested in science and physics, they go to a very progressive school.

Thank you for posting.



posted on Sep, 11 2010 @ 12:53 AM
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reply to post by Phage
 


isnt Europa, the name, that is suppose to have an ocean underneath?

en.wikipedia.org...(moon)


edit on 11/9/10 by Faiol because: added link



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