Author Topic: 10 Scientific Reasons Why Our Solar System Is Really Weird  (Read 975 times)

Re: 10 Scientific Reasons Why Our Solar System Is Really Weird
« Reply #15 on: August 05, 2019, 03:37:06 PM »
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All great scientists seem to fins a really bad idea and defend it to their deaths.  The idea that we should have been visited by aliens by know is one of those.  There are sevela objects that come easily to mind.

1.  Non interference.  IOW, don't bother any planet with at least pond scum that can't talk "interstellar" yet.
2.  Hide while observing.  We can fool ducks with camoflauge.  "They" could do it better.
3.  Hide in open sight.  I might be an alien observing all of you for trends toward insterstellar threats.
4.  We're the first.  Someone has to to be.
5.  We're the last.  And stupidest.  Someone has to be.
6.  No one found us.  It's a VERY big Universe.
7.  Everyone creates their own universe where they are alone.  Proof me wrong.
8.  The Borg or the Q killed all the others and do (or do not) know about us yet.
9.  They read our superhero comic books and scared to death of us.  Don't laugh, that was a comic book plot once.
10.  We are on the wrong channel.  1420 to 1720 MHzis the interstellar PBS channel and no one "out there" actually watches it.

I could go on...

I'm partial to #4, myself. We may well be the first life to achieve intelligence.
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Offline Cavebear

Re: 10 Scientific Reasons Why Our Solar System Is Really Weird
« Reply #16 on: August 05, 2019, 03:53:35 PM »
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Keep in mind that "earth-like" doesn't really mean "like the Earth," it just means not a gas giant, like those in the outer system: Mercury, Venus and Mars would be considered "earth-like" if they were in another system, but they're very little like our watery, green planet.

Well, I DO mean "Earth-like" in the sense of having an atmosphere, a magnetosphere, and liquid water at some place.  I don't really consider Venus or Mars to be "earthlike" in that regard now of course.  Though they might have been and one time for a while. 

And I can't give a list of earthlike planets elsewhere.  But there do seem to be some from current reports and some Solar moons do have conditions that could support life as we know it.

Partially, I'm going from the statistics rule.  There can be none of something, one of something, or many of something.  What there can't be is just 2 of something.  So, if there are conditions for life (Europa and Enceladus for example), then it seems likely that there are very many such places elsewhere.

I make no claim that there IS intelligent life elsewhere, just that conditions from which it could arise exist.
Atheist born, atheist bred.  And when I die, atheist dead!

Re: 10 Scientific Reasons Why Our Solar System Is Really Weird
« Reply #17 on: August 05, 2019, 03:55:01 PM »
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Jefferson did fail at ... he didn't believe it possible that meteorites (the rocks) came from outer space.  He thought them terrestrial.  So in that case he claimed knowledge illegitimately, and wrongly.

Jefferson didn't have the benefit of Google. If he had it, he'd probably have known that the ancient Egyptians knew for certain that meteorites came from the sky. They called iron the "metal from heaven" because before people figured out how to identify iron ore and smelt it, meteorites were the only source of the metal.
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Re: 10 Scientific Reasons Why Our Solar System Is Really Weird
« Reply #18 on: August 05, 2019, 03:57:00 PM »
Well, there are no reasons that I'm aware of that intelligent life can't exist out there, but I know of no other planets or moons where life as we know it can exist. Large numbers of stars and star systems just don't constitute evidence for me.
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"It is not God that is worshipped but the group or authority that claims to speak in His name. Sin becomes disobedience to authority not violation of integrity."
Radhakrishnan, Sir Sarvepalli

Offline Cavebear

Re: 10 Scientific Reasons Why Our Solar System Is Really Weird
« Reply #19 on: August 05, 2019, 04:06:29 PM »
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I'm partial to #4, myself. We may well be the first life to achieve intelligence.

That is a perfectly reasonable possibility.  But there are the others...
Atheist born, atheist bred.  And when I die, atheist dead!

Offline Cavebear

Re: 10 Scientific Reasons Why Our Solar System Is Really Weird
« Reply #20 on: August 05, 2019, 04:14:32 PM »
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Jefferson didn't have the benefit of Google. If he had it, he'd probably have known that the ancient Egyptians knew for certain that meteorites came from the sky. They called iron the "metal from heaven" because before people figured out how to identify iron ore and smelt it, meteorites were the only source of the metal.

There are even good observations of that.  I recall reading about some ancient Europeans who personally witnessed meteors falling onto their farmland.  I can't provide a date and place, but I know the source was reputable.  That's enough for casual discussion.  Some Googling would find it.

BTW, NASA once announced that the Voyager missions only worked because of the specific planetary alignment.  The last time it had happened was during President Jefferson's administration.  And as they joked, "he blew it".
Atheist born, atheist bred.  And when I die, atheist dead!

Offline Baruch

Re: 10 Scientific Reasons Why Our Solar System Is Really Weird
« Reply #21 on: August 05, 2019, 06:49:07 PM »
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Jefferson didn't have the benefit of Google. If he had it, he'd probably have known that the ancient Egyptians knew for certain that meteorites came from the sky. They called iron the "metal from heaven" because before people figured out how to identify iron ore and smelt it, meteorites were the only source of the metal.

Pagan bullshit.  We all know aliens built the Pyramids ;-)
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Offline Baruch

Re: 10 Scientific Reasons Why Our Solar System Is Really Weird
« Reply #22 on: August 05, 2019, 06:49:29 PM »
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I'm partial to #4, myself. We may well be the first life to achieve intelligence.

Not yet.
Zampa xiquihto.  Amo nimitzcuamachilia.
Say it again.  I don't understand you.

Offline Baruch

Re: 10 Scientific Reasons Why Our Solar System Is Really Weird
« Reply #23 on: August 05, 2019, 06:50:14 PM »
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Yeah, I think it's much harder to travel through that immense void than most people think. Both in terms of time and energy, it seems just too hard for anything to get from star to star without really extreme motivation.

Garlic breath?
Zampa xiquihto.  Amo nimitzcuamachilia.
Say it again.  I don't understand you.

Offline Baruch

Re: 10 Scientific Reasons Why Our Solar System Is Really Weird
« Reply #24 on: August 05, 2019, 06:57:17 PM »
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There are even good observations of that.  I recall reading about some ancient Europeans who personally witnessed meteors falling onto their farmland.  I can't provide a date and place, but I know the source was reputable.  That's enough for casual discussion.  Some Googling would find it.

BTW, NASA once announced that the Voyager missions only worked because of the specific planetary alignment.  The last time it had happened was during President Jefferson's administration.  And as they joked, "he blew it".

Yes, in France, in the 1700s.  The experts said the peasants were drunk that day.

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Zampa xiquihto.  Amo nimitzcuamachilia.
Say it again.  I don't understand you.

Re: 10 Scientific Reasons Why Our Solar System Is Really Weird
« Reply #25 on: August 05, 2019, 07:03:40 PM »
Yeah, and El Guapo didn't think gringos could fall from the sky, either, until one of them did! LOL




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"It is not God that is worshipped but the group or authority that claims to speak in His name. Sin becomes disobedience to authority not violation of integrity."
Radhakrishnan, Sir Sarvepalli

Offline trdsf

Re: 10 Scientific Reasons Why Our Solar System Is Really Weird
« Reply #26 on: August 26, 2019, 07:41:19 PM »
Wow, a lot of unwarranted assumptions and just plain sloppy nonsense in this piece.

0:45 -- "The major difference between our planet and pretty much all of the other major exoplanets we've discovered so far and most importanly planets in our own solar system is that our planet has a very very large satellite/partner that technically doesn't qualify as a moon."

We know next to nothing about the satellites around exoplanets.  Earth-sized planets are difficult enough to spot; moon-sized moons even more so; so far there are over 4100 confirmed exoplanets, four exoplanet candidates (three of which are larger to MUCH larger than the Earth), and zero confirmed exomoons.  Our state of knowledge about how common Moon-sized natural satellites are is effectively nil.

As far as our own planetary system goes, there are four moons larger and two only slightly smaller.  Hardly alone in its class.  Relative to the size of its primary, the Moon is far outclassed by Charon relative to Pluto.  In fact, the Pluto-Charon system is arguably a double (dwarf) planet, since the center of gravity lies in space between the two bodies, not inside the primary as for all other planets in this system.

I won't even dignify 'doesn't technically qualify as a moon' with any more than that he needs to check the expiration date on his vodka.  That is one of the stupidest statements I have heard in an allegedly factual video.

Moving on:

1:52 -- yes, we see a lot of "super-earths", of which none happen to be in our system, because they're easier to detect than an earth-sized planet.  Also, 4100 planets in a galaxy of some 250 billion stars.  Not a statistically significant sample, and skewed towards the huge and/or highly elliptical planets because they are a lot easier to find, and we're only just at the beginning of finding them.

2:50 -- and this is where I lost the will to live.

Yes, we've discovered a lot of hot Jupiters because those are the easiest planets to discover.  They make the largest doppler shifts in their suns' spectra, they occult more light than a distant gas giant because they're closer and take up a larger portion of the stellar disk when they transit.

I couldn't be bothered with the rest of it.  It's all based on the obviously false assumption that we, at the very beginning of our ability to detect exoplanets, are detecting everything there is in every star system we look at.  Also, why is he making the assumption that every other planetary system should look like ours?  We don't have anywhere near enough data to be able to start making judgments about which systems are 'typical' and which are 'strange'.

You know what?  I've studied light curves; I've gone through at least hundreds, possibly more than a thousand, in the Kepler data, and telling signal from noise is not always obvious... and as it happens, I have co-discovered one exoplanet.  And the data one has to try to sort out is very rarely clean and clear, like this:


Usually it's more like this:


So, speaking as someone who has been there and has done that, I have no hesitation in declaring this video just plain wrong.  It's a total and profound failure of scientific imagination, and a completely improper extrapolation of current data.  You could declare any fully characterized solar system as 'weird' when compared against incompletely-understood other systems.
"My faith in the Constitution is whole, it is complete, it is total, and I am not going to sit here and be an idle spectator to the diminution, the subversion, the destruction of the Constitution." -- Barbara Jordan

Offline trdsf

Re: 10 Scientific Reasons Why Our Solar System Is Really Weird
« Reply #27 on: August 26, 2019, 08:04:35 PM »
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Back in the 50's - I was a young rooster back then - Enrico Fermi made that calculation, and concluded the earth should have been visited a long time ago, many times over. So he shouted in the middle of the cafeteria of the Los Alamos National Laboratory, "Where are they? Where is everybody?" There's also the theory that if aliens know we exist, they would want to kill us. But also if we know they exist we would want to kill them. So the best policy is to shut up and pretend we don't exist. Hence the GREAT SILENCE.
Fermi's paradox is only a paradox in an eternal steady-state universe -- which was, of course, a valid theory of the universe at the time Fermi posed it.

In a big bang universe, it's not unreasonable to think that you may actually need around nine or ten billion years to build up enough supernova debris to make rocky planets with enough chemical resources for first life, and then intelligent life to develop.  I strongly doubt you can make life out of hydrogen and helium and vanishingly thin traces of lithium.

And judging by the speed with which life appeared on Earth once it solidified and cooled, and the slowness with which complex life appeared after that, it's also not unreasonable to think that life may be easy, but complex/intelligent life may be difficult.  In a universe that has at least one border in time, that's a very important consideration, especially relative to the Fermi "paradox".
"My faith in the Constitution is whole, it is complete, it is total, and I am not going to sit here and be an idle spectator to the diminution, the subversion, the destruction of the Constitution." -- Barbara Jordan

Offline Cavebear

Re: 10 Scientific Reasons Why Our Solar System Is Really Weird
« Reply #28 on: August 26, 2019, 11:56:17 PM »
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Wow, a lot of unwarranted assumptions and just plain sloppy nonsense in this piece.

0:45 -- "The major difference between our planet and pretty much all of the other major exoplanets we've discovered so far and most importanly planets in our own solar system is that our planet has a very very large satellite/partner that technically doesn't qualify as a moon."

We know next to nothing about the satellites around exoplanets.  Earth-sized planets are difficult enough to spot; moon-sized moons even more so; so far there are over 4100 confirmed exoplanets, four exoplanet candidates (three of which are larger to MUCH larger than the Earth), and zero confirmed exomoons.  Our state of knowledge about how common Moon-sized natural satellites are is effectively nil.

As far as our own planetary system goes, there are four moons larger and two only slightly smaller.  Hardly alone in its class.  Relative to the size of its primary, the Moon is far outclassed by Charon relative to Pluto.  In fact, the Pluto-Charon system is arguably a double (dwarf) planet, since the center of gravity lies in space between the two bodies, not inside the primary as for all other planets in this system.

I won't even dignify 'doesn't technically qualify as a moon' with any more than that he needs to check the expiration date on his vodka.  That is one of the stupidest statements I have heard in an allegedly factual video.

Moving on:

1:52 -- yes, we see a lot of "super-earths", of which none happen to be in our system, because they're easier to detect than an earth-sized planet.  Also, 4100 planets in a galaxy of some 250 billion stars.  Not a statistically significant sample, and skewed towards the huge and/or highly elliptical planets because they are a lot easier to find, and we're only just at the beginning of finding them.

2:50 -- and this is where I lost the will to live.

Yes, we've discovered a lot of hot Jupiters because those are the easiest planets to discover.  They make the largest doppler shifts in their suns' spectra, they occult more light than a distant gas giant because they're closer and take up a larger portion of the stellar disk when they transit.

I couldn't be bothered with the rest of it.  It's all based on the obviously false assumption that we, at the very beginning of our ability to detect exoplanets, are detecting everything there is in every star system we look at.  Also, why is he making the assumption that every other planetary system should look like ours?  We don't have anywhere near enough data to be able to start making judgments about which systems are 'typical' and which are 'strange'.

You know what?  I've studied light curves; I've gone through at least hundreds, possibly more than a thousand, in the Kepler data, and telling signal from noise is not always obvious... and as it happens, I have co-discovered one exoplanet.  And the data one has to try to sort out is very rarely clean and clear, like this:


Usually it's more like this:


So, speaking as someone who has been there and has done that, I have no hesitation in declaring this video just plain wrong.  It's a total and profound failure of scientific imagination, and a completely improper extrapolation of current data.  You could declare any fully characterized solar system as 'weird' when compared against incompletely-understood other systems.

I generally agree.  But our moon is so much larger in comparison to our planet that it seems relatively unique so far.

On the other stuff like finding planets like Earth, I agree completely.  It seems likely that there are ones like ours, but are hard to find.    But that's one reason we spend money to build better telescopes.  We humans are driven to explore.

I also agree that we are finding that solar systems are more varied than we ever imagined.  When we first saw our own, it seemed reasonable that it was routine in structure by standard gravitational laws. 
Atheist born, atheist bred.  And when I die, atheist dead!

Offline trdsf

Re: 10 Scientific Reasons Why Our Solar System Is Really Weird
« Reply #29 on: August 27, 2019, 04:07:39 AM »
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I generally agree.  But our moon is so much larger in comparison to our planet that it seems relatively unique so far.
Oh, no.  Here's the earth and moon to scale, including distance:


And here's Pluto and Charon to scale, including distance:


Although to be sure, not to the same scale as each other.  Charon is much more massive relative to Pluto than the Moon is relative to the Earth.  The barycenter of the Earth/Moon system is 1700km below the surface of the Earth; that of Pluto and Charon is almost 1000km above Pluto's surface, in space: the two bodies very much orbit each other.  In the Earth/Moon system, the Earth is absolutely the dominant body.

While I'm thinking of it, let's put everything but the sun to the same scale:


Yes, all the planets could fit between the Earth and the Moon.  No, it's probably not a good idea to put them all there.  :)
"My faith in the Constitution is whole, it is complete, it is total, and I am not going to sit here and be an idle spectator to the diminution, the subversion, the destruction of the Constitution." -- Barbara Jordan

 

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