Author Topic: Exoplanets  (Read 651 times)

Exoplanets
« on: May 04, 2017, 01:59:17 AM »
Just found out that we have only known about the existence of exoplanets since 1992. This is hard to believe. I figured we had made this discovery at least a century ago. I mean, I was born in 1991. I remember assuming that there were millions of galaxies and millions of stars all with planets orbiting them since I was a little bitty boy. I figured the knowledge of this came way before I was born. What the hell humans? This changes so much. I'm depressed now.

Online Baruch

Re: Exoplanets
« Reply #1 on: May 04, 2017, 07:24:43 AM »
Rapid change is stressful .. but exciting.  Some science isn't boring today, it has rapid discoveries.  Other science, not so much.  And yes, people did exist before you were born ... even my daughter, who is one year older than you ;-)
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Re: Exoplanets
« Reply #2 on: May 04, 2017, 05:32:34 PM »
Just found out that we have only known about the existence of exoplanets since 1992. This is hard to believe. I figured we had made this discovery at least a century ago.
The first confirmed detection was in 1992.  Astronomers had a pretty solid inkling that they were there long before that.

Since technology has advanced to the point of allowing astronomers to prove their suspicions, astronomers have found a ton of them.  And just recently, they're also detected an atmosphere around an Earth-like planet.  Very exciting.

Offline SGOS

Re: Exoplanets
« Reply #3 on: May 05, 2017, 05:30:01 AM »
Just found out that we have only known about the existence of exoplanets since 1992. This is hard to believe. I figured we had made this discovery at least a century ago. I mean, I was born in 1991. I remember assuming that there were millions of galaxies and millions of stars all with planets orbiting them since I was a little bitty boy. I figured the knowledge of this came way before I was born. What the hell humans? This changes so much. I'm depressed now.
How about plate tectonics?  In grade school, I was presented with the notion, but it was like the astronomers suspicions of exoplanets and much in debate, with some authorities laughing at the idea.  My grade school teacher showed how the shorelines of Europe and Africa kind of fit into North and South America, because she was pointing out both sides of a heated debate, not because she actually believed it.  Of course, the coincidence of shorelines that jig sawed together by itself, was a pretty lame bit of evidence.  I think my teacher kind of played that up, and correctly pointed out that the fit could have been purely coincidence, and it could have been until scientists started finding otherwise unexplainable geological and biological matches between what should have been isolated landforms.  Twenty years later, what we had laughed at in elementary school had been confirmed, and even measured.

Like your perception of exoplanets, it strikes me as strange that such a well understood geological event as tectonics is only a recent discovery.  It's even stranger that during my own lifetime, it had been at one time little more than the suspicions of outcasts in the scientific community.  For those who can tolerate change, we live in exciting times as advances in our knowledge base are happening more and more rapidly.  In the last 30 days, Scientific knowledge has probably seen greater changes than the first hundred thousand years of mankind's existence, and I'm quite certain that it's more than what we experienced between the fall of Rome to the Renaissance.

Re: Exoplanets
« Reply #4 on: May 05, 2017, 09:43:32 AM »
When I was in school, I was taught that photosynthesis was the basis for all life on Earth.  That has been shown to be not so, with the teeming life sustained by ocean bottom smokers.  That has been a fairly recent discovery as well.  There must be more examples of that. 

I have always marveled at the discoveries my grandfather lived through.  When he was born, he knew nothing of automobiles, airplaines, TV, computers,--a bunch of stuff.  His 1880's world was a much different place than the world he knew when he passed in the 70's.  But don't we all go through a similar experience?   
Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able?
Then he is not omnipotent,
Is he able but not willing?
Then whence cometh evil?
Is he neither able or willing?
Then why call him god?

Re: Exoplanets
« Reply #5 on: May 06, 2017, 06:40:43 AM »
Just found out that we have only known about the existence of exoplanets since 1992. This is hard to believe. I figured we had made this discovery at least a century ago. I mean, I was born in 1991. I remember assuming that there were millions of galaxies and millions of stars all with planets orbiting them since I was a little bitty boy. I figured the knowledge of this came way before I was born. What the hell humans? This changes so much. I'm depressed now.
Confirmed in 1992. Tyson says it's like detecting a moth flying in front of a searchlight in Los Angeles from your observation point in New York.
We 'new atheists' have a reputation for being militant, but make no mistake  we didn't start this war. If you want to place blame put it on the the religious zealots who have been poisoning the minds of the  young for a long long time."
PZ Myers

Re: Exoplanets
« Reply #6 on: May 08, 2017, 08:02:45 PM »
At least one star has 7 earthlike plantes:

NASA Telescope Reveals Largest Batch of Earth-Size, Habitable-Zone Planets Around Single Star


Quote
NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope has revealed the first known system of seven Earth-size planets around a single star. Three of these planets are firmly located in the habitable zone, the area around the parent star where a rocky planet is most likely to have liquid water.







But the term "earthlike" is a technical term that doesn't really imply a truly earthlike planet. Just a relatively small, rocky orb - even the moon would be considered "earthlike" by their standards.
God Not Found
"I'd watch a Catholic more closely than an atheist if booze was involved. An atheist doesn't have to wonder if it's possible to get drunk on the Blood of Jesus."
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Offline Munch

Re: Exoplanets
« Reply #7 on: May 27, 2017, 07:49:40 PM »
Somethings I wonder if the oxygen on our planet is the only one of that kind, it being how life adapted to it, but its also why we're never find another planet with our atmosphere. Not to say other forms of life didn't adapt to its enviroment, but since all life here formed from single celled organisms adaping to the environment already here, I doubt we're ever find another planet we're just be able to land and breath on if we could get there.

Offline aitm

Re: Exoplanets
« Reply #8 on: May 27, 2017, 09:24:06 PM »
3 thousand years ago, and prior of course, they thought rain fell from the sky because the sky was water...hence genesis 1.
A humans desire to live is exceeded only by their willingness to die for another. Even god cannot equal this magnificent sacrifice. No god has the right to judge them.-first tenant of the Panotheust

Online Baruch

Re: Exoplanets
« Reply #9 on: May 27, 2017, 10:28:35 PM »
3 thousand years ago, and prior of course, they thought rain fell from the sky because the sky was water...hence genesis 1.

And in the future, we will all be demigods of mad science.  Already beat you there ;-)
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Online trdsf

Re: Exoplanets
« Reply #10 on: June 02, 2017, 10:34:34 AM »
Somethings I wonder if the oxygen on our planet is the only one of that kind, it being how life adapted to it, but its also why we're never find another planet with our atmosphere. Not to say other forms of life didn't adapt to its enviroment, but since all life here formed from single celled organisms adaping to the environment already here, I doubt we're ever find another planet we're just be able to land and breath on if we could get there.
There are two important things about an oxygen atmosphere.  The first is that it permits really active organisms like us to evolve.  Doesn't mean they will, of course, but it opens that door.

And the second is that an oxygen atmosphere is unstable without something at the base of it like plants and algae continually replenishing the oxygen supply.  So when we get to the point that we can do spectrographic analysis of an exoplanet, then if we spot oxygen, we have almost certainly spotted a planet that has simple life at least.

And if we spot the kind of crud that we have put into our own atmosphere, that's indicative of technology and therefore of intelligent life.

Now, assuming we could reach an exoplanet with an oxygen atmosphere, it's going to depend.  If there's nothing genuinely toxic like hydrogen cyanide or the like and the O2 content isn't too far off our 20% or so and the other 80% is largely inert (N2 and/or noble gases like neon, argon and krypton) and the pressure isn't too high or too low, there's no reason it wouldn't be breathable.

But I would like at least a filter until we understood that world's biology better.  I've seen how War of the Worlds ends.
"It's hard to be religious when certain people are never incinerated by bolts of lightning." -- Calvin and Hobbes
"I thought I committed regicide today, but I committed deicide!" -- Sadie Doyle, Beyond Belief

Online Baruch

Re: Exoplanets
« Reply #11 on: June 02, 2017, 01:13:46 PM »
Life seems to require consumption of energy, usually chemical ... burning involves oxygen mostly, but also apparently hydrogen sulfide.  So the chemical possibilities are limited to certain elements, simple molecules .. for the energy process ... exothermic.  Now plants are pretty endothermic ... but even they have sugars, which are burned in cellular processes (see sugar cane).  I am not sure that animal life is even possible, except by parasitism by them over plants, who are good at storing solar energy, which can then be robbed.
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Re: Exoplanets
« Reply #12 on: June 02, 2017, 05:18:17 PM »
And the second is that an oxygen atmosphere is unstable without something at the base of it like plants and algae continually replenishing the oxygen supply.  So when we get to the point that we can do spectrographic analysis of an exoplanet, then if we spot oxygen, we have almost certainly spotted a planet that has simple life at least.

Yeah, this was James Lovelock's brilliant idea. We'll soon be able to do this - in fact, probably can now, to some extent.
God Not Found
"I'd watch a Catholic more closely than an atheist if booze was involved. An atheist doesn't have to wonder if it's possible to get drunk on the Blood of Jesus."
Blackleaf

Online Baruch

Re: Exoplanets
« Reply #13 on: June 03, 2017, 05:01:33 PM »
Yeah, this was James Lovelock's brilliant idea. We'll soon be able to do this - in fact, probably can now, to some extent.

Earth has simple life ... humans ;-)
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Online trdsf

Re: Exoplanets
« Reply #14 on: June 06, 2017, 03:48:43 PM »
Yeah, this was James Lovelock's brilliant idea. We'll soon be able to do this - in fact, probably can now, to some extent.
Indeed we can.  I think the only ones we can currently get are the ones that transit, and many of those are so close in they can't really be considered potential habitats, but this is a new field and every piece of data is an interesting piece of data.
"It's hard to be religious when certain people are never incinerated by bolts of lightning." -- Calvin and Hobbes
"I thought I committed regicide today, but I committed deicide!" -- Sadie Doyle, Beyond Belief