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KE6SHJ 03-07-2008 07:32 PM

Another Earth??
 
Earth may have a twin orbiting one of our nearest stellar neighbors, a new study suggests.

University of California, Santa Cruz graduate student Javiera Guedes used computer simulations of planet formation to show that terrestrial planets are likely to have formed around one of the stars in the Alpha Centauri star system, our closest stellar neighbors.

Guedes' model showed planets forming around the star Alpha Centauri B (its sister star, Proxima Centauri, is actually our nearest neighbor) in what is called the "habitable zone," or the region around a star where liquid water can exist on a planet's surface.

The model also showed that if such planets do in fact exist, we should be able to see them with a dedicated telescope.

"If they exist, we can observe them," Guedes said.

Guedes' study has been accepted for publication in the Astrophysical Journal.

A likely candidate

Astronomers have for some time pinned the Alpha Centauri system as one that was likely to form planets, said study co-author Gregory Laughlin, a UCSC professor.

"I think that there's been a good line of evidence over the past decade or so," Laughlin told SPACE.com.

Several factors mark the system, particularly Alpha Centauri B as friendly to planet formation, Laughlin said. The metallicity of Alpha Centauri B (or how much of its matter is made up of elements heavier than hydrogen and helium) is higher than our Sun's, so there would be plenty of heavier-mass material for planets to form from, he said.

Also, because the planet is a triple star system, the processes that form large Jupiter-mass gas giants, which account for most of the extrasolar planets found so far, would be suppressed. So it would be more likely for the system to produce terrestrial planets.

Laughlin also noted that a number of factors make Alpha Centauri B a good candidate for astronomers to actually detect an Earth-sized terrestrial planet.

Training telescopes

The Doppler detection method, which has revealed the majority of the 228 known extrasolar planets, measures shifts in the light from a star to detect the tiny wobble induced by the gravitational tug of an orbiting planet.

Because Alpha Centauri B is so bright and nearby, detecting a small terrestrial planet's miniscule wobble would be that much easier. Also, its position high in the sky of the Southern Hemisphere means it is observable for most of the year, just as the Big Dipper is observable for most of the year in the Northern Hemisphere.

According to Laughlin, five years of observations using a dedicated telescope would be needed to detect an Earth-like planet around Alpha Centauri B. If astronomers do dedicate substantial resources to detecting an Earth-like planet, this is the star to focus on, he added.

"We're advocating that there's a strong possibility a planet could be there," he said.

Other stars are thought to harbor Earth-like planets, and solar systems like ours are starting to be found. Astromoners announced last month the discovery of a solar system with striking similarities to ours.

If such a planet is found, spacecraft, such as the proposed Terrestrial Planet Finder, could be launched to find out more information about the world, such as whether or not it had water on its surface, Laughlin said.

Study co-author Debra Fischer of San Francisco State University is leading an observational program to intensively monitor Alpha Centauri A and B using the 1.5-meter telescope at the Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory in Chile. The researchers hope to detect real planets similar to the ones that emerged in the computer simulations.

"I think the planets are there, and it's worth a try to have a look," Laughlin said.



Now this is very interesting. Perhaps we are not alone in this vast emptiness known as the universe.

crazy 03-07-2008 08:10 PM

I hope we are not alone, really. Hopefully God had a sense of variety. Space is too big, what little we know of it, for their not be life out there. I hope they are more intelligent than us. I also hope we find out something in my lifetime, and with the technological advancements that have come up in the last 20 to 30 years, it just might happen.

MAC40 03-08-2008 10:35 AM

Redeem the Time
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by KE6SHJ (Post 15540)
If astronomers do dedicate substantial resources to detecting an Earth-like planet...

Now this is very interesting. Perhaps we are not alone in this vast emptiness known as the universe.

I suppose ever since Galileo, people have looked skyward and wondered, “Are we alone?” To narrow the question a bit, lets ask, “Is there other intelligent life out there?” My personal opinion is that it is highly unlikely and even if there is, our likelihood of making contact is beyond remote. As we seek to find another Earth, consider:
  • This “Earth-like” planet would need to be orbiting a medium intensity star.
  • It would need to be in orbit at an optimum distance from its star.
  • It would need to rotate. (Not continuously facing, as our moon does to Earth.)
  • It would need an atmosphere to protect life from cosmic and solar radiation.
  • It would need to have water. (That water would have to be liquid.)
  • It would need to have “developed” and sustained life.

Many scientists conclude that the existence of Earth’s atmosphere is a miracle in itself. Other known planets having a similar composition and structure developed atmospheres using these same elements that combined to consist of ammonia, methane, molecular hydrogen, sodium, etc., while Earth’s atmosphere consists of (inert) nitrogen with a non-poisonous ratio of oxygen and other gases. (See http://www.earthmatrix.com/extract62/mercury.html for an alternate discussion)

By far, the greatest improbability would be the existence of life in any form. Even if life were given to exist, consider this: How many forms of life exist on Earth?” (See http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/20109284/ for a discussion where scientists estimate that 90% of Earth’s life forms remain undiscovered.)

Of all the life forms on Earth, how many possess the intelligence and ability to build an R-F transmitter? We may thus conclude that discovering “intelligent” life would require several “miracles” of nature.

It is my opinion that these miracles of Earth, it’s atmosphere, it’s water, it’s life and most importantly, human life is a creation of our supernatural God in His divine design. If He has indeed created other life on other planets, He has chosen not to reveal that information to us. It would therefore be irrelevant inasmuch as we are concerned. A better use of our energies would be to discover a greater understanding of God’s Word to us and our relationship to Him.
Ephesians 5:
15 See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise,
16 Redeeming the time, because the days are evil.
17 Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is.

crazy 03-08-2008 01:13 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by MAC40 (Post 15545)
Of all the life forms on Earth, how many possess the intelligence and ability to build an R-F transmitter? We may thus conclude that discovering “intelligent” life would require several “miracles” of nature.

It is my opinion that these miracles of Earth, it’s atmosphere, it’s water, it’s life and most importantly, human life is a creation of our supernatural God in His divine design. If He has indeed created other life on other planets, He has chosen not to reveal that information to us. It would therefore be irrelevant inasmuch as we are concerned. A better use of our energies would be to discover a greater understanding of God’s Word to us and our relationship to Him.
Ephesians 5:
15 See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise,
16 Redeeming the time, because the days are evil.
17 Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is.

I agree with most of what you said. But 150 years ago, we had no communication devices of any kind. Things are in a constant change. We may not recognize the life, but surely there are some forms out there, or have been at some point in time.

MAC40 04-18-2008 07:22 PM

Is Anybody Out There? (Probably Not)
 
1) This article is by a scientist looking at intelligent life from the standpoint of evolution. (improbable)

http://www1.uea.ac.uk/cm/home/servic...t%2Bthere%253F

2) The other considration is that life was created here by God and that He may have created life elsewhere. (improbable or at least irrelevent) If He did, He has not chosen to tell us anything about it.

KE6SHJ 04-18-2008 08:56 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by MAC40 (Post 15919)
The other considration is that life was created here by God and that He may have created life elsewhere. (improbable or at least irrelevent) If He did, He has not chosen to tell us anything about it.


I was raised catholic and that was, I guess you can say, it was programed into us, that God created all life. Perhaps that is true, but nobody really knows how life actually started. There is no record of it. As of now I dont claim any religion of any kind due to the fact that the catholic chruch did nothing for me. The repeatativeness of the surmons sunday after sunday got boring. Not only that but the offering basket was shoved down the pews 4 times within that hour surmon. I have my own way of prayer and such and Ill leave it at that.


Now as far as life elsewhere, I do believe that there is. Think about it. How else did the Egyptions build them pyramids. They didnt do it alone. I read somewhere that the weight of just one of the stones in the great pyramids weighs more that anything on earth can lift. No crane anywhere can lift one of them stones without buckling under the weight. So weather or not anyone else believes that they did it all alone, I dont know, but I do believe they had lots of extraterestrial help. :eyepop:

crazy 04-19-2008 07:20 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by KE6SHJ (Post 15920)
Now as far as life elsewhere, I do believe that there is. Think about it. How else did the Egyptions build them pyramids. They didnt do it alone. I read somewhere that the weight of just one of the stones in the great pyramids weighs more that anything on earth can lift. No crane anywhere can lift one of them stones without buckling under the weight. So weather or not anyone else believes that they did it all alone, I dont know, but I do believe they had lots of extraterestrial help. :eyepop:

I am with you on this, 100%. And aligning them with stars and constellations that the Egyptians can't even see, as far as we know. Yep, there is life out there. I just hope they are smarter than humans are.

KI4RVH 04-21-2008 04:32 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by crazy (Post 15921)
I just hope they are smarter than humans are.

I just hope they don't come down and beam us up and eat us all!!

:468:

73

Chris

crazy 04-21-2008 04:53 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by KI4RVH (Post 15945)
I just hope they don't come down and beam us up and eat us all!!

:468:

73

Chris

They can beam me up, just dont mistreat me. I am curious, lol.

N2RJ 04-21-2008 10:26 PM

I dunno about finding other intelligent life. I'm kinda happy they haven't found us yet.

Remember that "to serve man" was a cookbook. :eyepop:

G4LNA 04-22-2008 02:03 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by N2RJ (Post 15954)
I dunno about finding other intelligent life. I'm kinda happy they haven't found us yet.

Remember that "to serve man" was a cookbook. :eyepop:

I wouldn't worry too much, I reckon intelligent life knows all about us, but they steer well clear and can you blame them? They could well have decoded our TV and radio signals and they don't like what they see or hear. If we can't get on with our fellow human, how are we going to get on with another life form?

MAC40 04-23-2008 07:51 PM

I know if I had advanced technology and was capable of inter-planetary travel, the very first thing I would do upon reaching another occupied planet would be to cut and stack 300 ton blocks of rock to a height of 540 feet.

As a matter of fact, I’d go all over the cosmos stacking rocks on all the other planets. Then everyone who saw my rock pyramids would know beyond the shadow of a doubt that I had superior technology!

My 3rd grade sister has more common sense than that.


:th_Smile-KnockKnock

crazy 04-23-2008 08:45 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by MAC40 (Post 15976)
I know if I had advanced technology and was capable of inter-planetary travel, the very first thing I would do upon reaching another occupied planet would be to cut and stack 300 ton blocks of rock to a height of 540 feet.

As a matter of fact, I’d go all over the cosmos stacking rocks on all the other planets. Then everyone who saw my rock pyramids would know beyond the shadow of a doubt that I had superior technology!

My 3rd grade sister has more common sense than that.


:th_Smile-KnockKnock

How would she stack 300 ton rocks then?

WV6Z 04-23-2008 11:58 PM

With one of these silly.....

http://i226.photobucket.com/albums/d.../550ton-AT.jpg

crazy 04-24-2008 04:38 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by WV6Z (Post 15980)


I am pretty sure they found one of those in the great pyramid at Giza. lol.

Modern man cannot prove how the blocks were moved, using the tools of back then, nor how they were cut, as no iron tools were found there either. I do believe in God, Jesus Christ, but unless He did it, then some help came from somewhere outside our atmosphere, IMO.

Great discussion topic though!


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