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Mon May 2, 2016, 01:03 PM

Astronomers discover three habitable planets just 40 light years away

http://www.extremetech.com/extreme/227385-trappist-1-a-star-with-three-very-habitable-planets-just-40-light-years-away

By Graham Templeton on May 2, 2016 at 11:00 am

Scientists from MIT, University of Liege, and elsewhere, have found not one, not two, but three planets orbiting a single star, all of which seem to be habitable by a variety of measures. The team is calling them the best candidates yet found for life outside our solar system, and since they’re only 40 light years from Earth, they ought to be perfectly positioned for detailed further investigation. If you’re betting on which system out there is most likely to produce evidence of alien life, this one might be a good one to remember: 2MASS J23062928-0502285, also known as TRAPPIST-1.

The star is a so-called brown dwarf star, or a star that isn’t massive enough to exert the level of gravity needed to jump-start hydrogen fusion at its core. This means two things: It’s very cold (sometimes referred to as an ultra-cool dwarf star) and it doesn’t put out very much visible light. A regular star is, of course, a big lightbulb in the dark, meaning that when you stare right into it with a telescope, it tends to blind you; this is one of the main reasons it took so long to actually see exoplanets. Eventually, astronomers built customized planet-hunters meant specifically to stare into suns, and quickly found hundreds, then thousands of exoplanets. These sightings are known as “transits,” where the orbiting planet moves between the target star and the telescope, dimming the star for as long as the planet remains in the way.

..more..

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Arrow 35 replies Author Time Post
Reply Astronomers discover three habitable planets just 40 light years away (Original post)
G_j May 2016 OP
Egnever May 2016 #1
cherokeeprogressive May 2016 #2
tk2kewl May 2016 #14
ChisolmTrailDem May 2016 #8
Egnever May 2016 #12
KelleyKramer May 2016 #18
Stuckinthebush May 2016 #32
felix_numinous May 2016 #3
ProfessorGAC May 2016 #4
lagomorph777 May 2016 #6
ProfessorGAC May 2016 #15
felix_numinous May 2016 #7
ChisolmTrailDem May 2016 #9
ProfessorGAC May 2016 #16
JesterCS May 2016 #28
Ichingcarpenter May 2016 #34
meow2u3 May 2016 #24
longship May 2016 #27
malaise May 2016 #5
felix_numinous May 2016 #10
ChisolmTrailDem May 2016 #11
HuckleB May 2016 #13
captainarizona May 2016 #17
pinboy3niner May 2016 #19
ladyVet May 2016 #20
Pakhet May 2016 #22
Fumesucker May 2016 #21
aggiesal May 2016 #23
IDemo May 2016 #25
G_j May 2016 #30
MisterP May 2016 #31
Oneironaut May 2016 #26
Lint Head May 2016 #29
wildbilln864 May 2016 #33
glinda May 2016 #35

Response to G_j (Original post)

Mon May 2, 2016, 01:04 PM

1. Heh just

 

Awesome but Just is not a word I would have used there.

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Response to Egnever (Reply #1)

Mon May 2, 2016, 01:17 PM

2. Aw come on... 40 light-years is but a hop, skip, and a jump!

 

Or if you're from the South... "down the road a piece" or "over yonder".

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Response to cherokeeprogressive (Reply #2)

Mon May 2, 2016, 01:59 PM

14. Ensign... Warp 9...

 

Engage!

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Response to Egnever (Reply #1)

Mon May 2, 2016, 01:27 PM

8. When you're talking cosmic proportions, 40 lys is just over yonder ---->

 

----> . * :

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Response to ChisolmTrailDem (Reply #8)

Mon May 2, 2016, 01:38 PM

12. Fair enough

 

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Response to Egnever (Reply #1)

Mon May 2, 2016, 03:10 PM

18. The Milky Way is 100,000 light years wide


So yeah, 40 light years is basically right on top of us.


.

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Response to KelleyKramer (Reply #18)

Mon May 2, 2016, 10:46 PM

32. Perspective

Well played!

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Response to G_j (Original post)

Mon May 2, 2016, 01:17 PM

3. Let's start building an Ark now

while we still can just to be sure.

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Response to felix_numinous (Reply #3)

Mon May 2, 2016, 01:18 PM

4. Well, There Isn't Advanced Civilization There For Sure

Of course, it could be there but like the 1850's. We wouldn't know they were there and they couldn't detect the signals we've been sending for the last 100 years.

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Response to ProfessorGAC (Reply #4)

Mon May 2, 2016, 01:24 PM

6. Because they haven't sent us signals?

Last edited Mon May 2, 2016, 02:26 PM - Edit history (1)

If they're smart, they probably don't want such a violent species to know of their existence. Or we don't happen to have turned a radio telescope their way.

But... a brown dwarf? How long can it stay hot enough? A red dwarf has a nuclear furnace, and can burn many times longer than our own hotter star. But a brown dwarf will eventually radiate away its heat of creation. And it takes billions of years to evolve advanced life... Worth further investigation though!!

On edit: the article below lays out a case for brown dwarf planets that could exist in the (continually cooling) habitable zone of a Brown Dwarf for 0.1 to 10 billion years. That's potentially enough time for advanced life to evolve!

http://www.centauri-dreams.org/?p=13058

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Response to lagomorph777 (Reply #6)

Mon May 2, 2016, 02:26 PM

15. How Would They Stop It?

The first thing they did in radio wouldn't have been ultra narrow band and highly focused communication. So, before they had that they would have evolved through normal radio and then on to more sophisticated forms of transmission.

And, i don't recall saying they were sending "us" signals. Merely, that we would have picked up the signals they were sending for their own use.

I also get the brown dwarf thing and i agree. I'm trained in the sciences. (Advanced degree in organic chemistry.) So, i was just trying a little humor.

Sheesh, people can be so overly serious.

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Response to ProfessorGAC (Reply #4)

Mon May 2, 2016, 01:25 PM

7. Yes

my jokes stem from terminal science fiction syndrome not contagious.

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Response to ProfessorGAC (Reply #4)

Mon May 2, 2016, 01:32 PM

9. We don't need there to be an "advanced civilization" there...hell we don't have that here! Anyway..

 

All we need is to discover even simple life. The likelihood of life appearing on two+ planets within 40 ly of each other would be a good indication that life is common, rather than rare, in the cosmos.

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Response to ChisolmTrailDem (Reply #9)

Mon May 2, 2016, 02:28 PM

16. Again, I Was Kidding Around

But, i do agree that the impact that 2 stars in the same neighborhood having life would be huge on our grasp of how common life would be off the earth.

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Response to ChisolmTrailDem (Reply #9)

Mon May 2, 2016, 08:35 PM

28. Ya we aren't even considered

Type 1. We're type 0 level civilization

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Response to ProfessorGAC (Reply #4)

Tue May 3, 2016, 12:32 AM

34. The Time Window, encryption and advanced technologies.

Snowden talking with Tyson

“If you have an an alien civilization trying to listen for other civilizations, or our civilization trying to listen for aliens, there’s only one small period in the development of their society when all their communication will be sent via the most primitive and most unprotected means,”



“So when we think about everything that we’re hearing through our satellites or everything that they’re hearing from our civilization (if there are indeed aliens out there), all of their communications are encrypted by default.


He added that encryption would render communication indistinguishable from “cosmic microwave background radiation.”

“If you look at encrypted communication, if they are properly encrypted, there is no real way to tell that they are encrypted,” Snowden said. “You can’t distinguish a properly encrypted communication from random behavior.”


https://www.rt.com/news/315976-snowden-encryption-alien-messages/



Undetectable Extraterrestrial Signals --"Advanced Civilizations Could Be Using Ghostly Neutrinos or Gravitational Waves"


Several of the world's leading astronomers -- including Great Britain's former astronomer royal, Sir Martin Rees -- believe advanced extraterrestrial civilizations, rather than using different radio waves or visible light to signal, may be using an entirely different communication medium such as ghostly neutrinos or with gravitational waves (ripples in the fabric of space-time) or using communication mechanisms we cannot begin to fathom.



“The fact that we have not yet found the slightest evidence for life -- much less intelligence -- beyond this Earth," said Arthur C. Clarke, "does not surprise or disappoint me in the least. Our technology must still be laughably primitive, we may be like jungle savages listening for the throbbing of tom-toms while the ether around them carries more words per second than they could utter in a lifetime."


Lord Rees, a leading cosmologist and astrophysicist who is the president of Britain’s Royal Society and astronomer to the Queen of England believes the existence of extraterrestrial life may be beyond human understanding.

“They could be staring us in the face and we just don’t recognize them. The problem is that we’re looking for something very much like us, assuming that they at least have something like the same mathematics and technology. I suspect there could be life and intelligence out there in forms we can’t conceive. Just as a chimpanzee can’t understand quantum theory, it could be there as aspects of reality that are beyond the capacity of our brains.”



In fact, Davies writes in his book, The Eerie Silence, that advanced technology might not even be made of matter. That it might have no fixed size or shape; have no well-defined boundaries. Is dynamical on all scales of space and time. Or, conversely, does not appear to do anything at all that we can discern. Does not consist of discrete, separate things; but rather it is a system,or a subtle higher-level correlation of things.

Are matter and information, Davies asks, all there is? Five hundred years ago, Davies writes, " the very concept of a device manipulating information, or software, would have been incomprehensible. Might there be a still higher level, as yet outside all human experience, that organizes electrons? If so, this "third level" would never be manifest through observations made at the informational level, still less at the matter level.



http://www.dailygalaxy.com/my_weblog/2014/05/undectable-extraterrestrial-signals-advanced-civilizations-could-be-using-ghostly-neutrinos-or-gravi.html


100 years is a blink in the eye and in fact now since we have gone digital our noise is much less.


Scientists may have an extra challenge when it comes to detecting alien civilizations: a time limit.

A new study suggests that intelligent aliens, if their technological progression is similar to that of humanity's, are likely to have moved away from noisy radio transmissions to harder-to-hear digital signals within a 100-year time frame. That offers Earth just a narrow window in which to pick up any signals from extraterrestrial civilizations.?

"Based on the results that we looked at, if we assume that the civilizations are humanlike with similar technological progress to us, we calculate the probability of making contact is roughly one in 10 million," the study's lead author, Duncan Forgan, told SPACE.com.????

The time it takes a planet to go "radio quiet" dramatically restricts the types of signal it sends into space and our chances for eavesdropping on them, said Forgan, a postgraduate researcher at the University of Edinborough in Scotland. [Poll - Is Earth Ready to Meet an Alien Civilization?]

Forgan and his team applied their technology-development time scale to a simulation of the galaxy, based on the assumption that the pace of an alien civilization's technological progress would be similar to that on Earth. Based on this simulation, the researchers determined the 1-in-10 million odds of humans accidentally stumbling across a transmission from aliens.

The researchers, whose study will appear in an upcoming edition of the International Journal of Astrobiology, focused their work on the expected eavesdropping capabilities of the Square-Kilometer Telescope, a radio telescope slated to be completed by 2023.

- See more at: http://www.space.com/9206-finding-harder-aliens-digital.html#sthash.zB2q8SnA.dpuf


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Response to felix_numinous (Reply #3)

Mon May 2, 2016, 04:26 PM

24. And let's call it Noah's spaceship

Two of each Earth species shall board: several liberal pairs of humans (plus some older single people for good measure); 5 pair of pets; 7 pair of livestock species; 7 pair of livestock birds (such as chickens and turkeys--we gotta have Thanksgiving on the mothership!); 1 pair each of wildlife species--AND NO PESTS! Keep the bed bugs, mosquitoes, and other pests on Earth to harass the fascists.

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Response to felix_numinous (Reply #3)

Mon May 2, 2016, 08:06 PM

27. Just ask the Golgafrinchans!

They sent out an ark fleet. Sadly.
Golgafrinchan


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Response to G_j (Original post)

Mon May 2, 2016, 01:23 PM

5. Word is that they want all persons on our planet to stay away

We've fucked up one planet already

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Response to malaise (Reply #5)

Mon May 2, 2016, 01:34 PM

10. Also that Earth is under quarantine

because of it, there's a lot of wild theories out there. I find them fascinating actually, makes life interesting to explore possibilities. Especially that not only are we fucking up this planet, we might just be out of the loop in what is going on in the rest of the Galaxy.

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Response to G_j (Original post)

Mon May 2, 2016, 01:36 PM

11. This has the potential to be exponentially more exciting that it already is. If even simple life...

 

...is able to exist on either (or all) of those planets, then there's no reason to doubt that life is common, and not rare, in the universe.

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Response to G_j (Original post)

Mon May 2, 2016, 01:55 PM

13. K & R!

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Response to G_j (Original post)

Mon May 2, 2016, 02:45 PM

17. send cruz and trump

 

Get the rocket ready for them now!

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Response to G_j (Original post)

Mon May 2, 2016, 03:32 PM

19. Sounds like one already has the first colony of Catholic space monks

TRAPPIST-1.

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Response to G_j (Original post)

Mon May 2, 2016, 03:37 PM

20. I should probably research how life would evolve in such a system.

I could get some good stories out of it. I imagine.

As to other lifeforms contacting us? I imagine they're keeping an eye on us, watching to see what we do. The day we invent a viable FTL drive, they'll probably launch a world-killer asteroid at us and end the threat.

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Response to ladyVet (Reply #20)

Mon May 2, 2016, 04:12 PM

22. sadly, I think you're right n/t

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Response to G_j (Original post)

Mon May 2, 2016, 03:40 PM

21. You can detect an extrasolar transit with almost any telescope, the article is wrong on that

Hell, you can even do it with stuff you can buy off the shelf at the local camera store.

http://www.geek.com/science/you-can-detect-an-exoplanet-using-a-dslr-camera-1610597/

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Response to G_j (Original post)

Mon May 2, 2016, 04:21 PM

23. Meanwhile, on the planet TRAPPIST-1 ...

Astronomers there have claimed to have found a habitable planet just 40 light years away.

They called it Earth.

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Response to G_j (Original post)

Mon May 2, 2016, 07:32 PM

25. Outside a relatively small distance from us, They don't love Lucy

While it’s interesting to imagine how far our radio signals have traveled into space, it’s extremely unlikely that an alien civilization will be able to catch the latest episode of ‘I Love Lucy’. This is thanks to the inverse square law. In Layman’s term, it’s a form of signal degradation.

As radio signals leave earth, they propagate out in a wave form. Just like dropping a stone in a lake, the waves diffuse or “spread out” over distance thanks to the exponentially larger area they must encompass. The area can be calculated by multiplying length times width which is why we measure it in square units – square centimeters, square miles, etc. This means that the further away from the source, the more square units of area a signal has to ‘illuminate’.

Another way to think of it, is that the strength of a radio signal will be only 1/4 as great once you are twice the distance from the source. At ten times the distance, the strength of the signal would only be one hundredth as great.



Because of this inverse square law, all of our terrestrial radio signals become indistinguishable from background noise at around a few light-years from earth. For a civilization only a couple hundred light-years away, trying to listen to our broadcasts would be like trying to detect the small ripple from a pebble dropped in the pacific ocean off the coast of California – from Japan.

http://zidbits.com/2011/07/how-far-have-radio-signals-traveled-from-earth/


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Response to IDemo (Reply #25)

Mon May 2, 2016, 09:06 PM

30. informative

thanks

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Response to IDemo (Reply #25)

Mon May 2, 2016, 10:44 PM

31. that was also an 1880s Russian plan to recapture everyone's particle paths and resurrect them

we needed rockets for that and to grow food for the 60 bil we'd resurrect

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Response to G_j (Original post)

Mon May 2, 2016, 07:45 PM

26. 40 Light Years? Piece of Cake...

Piece of difficult cake! - VSauce

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Response to G_j (Original post)

Mon May 2, 2016, 08:59 PM

29. If Trump wins I'm going there.

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Response to G_j (Original post)

Mon May 2, 2016, 10:56 PM

33. just forty lightyears away!?

 

Well hell let's hop on the shuttle and check em out!

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Response to G_j (Original post)

Tue May 3, 2016, 01:50 AM

35. Sure putting a lot of money into finding a place to run to.

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