"Goldilocks" Planet Found, Could Possibly Support Human Life

Discussion in 'Astronomy, Exobiology, & Cosmology' started by TruthSeeker, Sep 30, 2010.

  1. TruthSeeker Fancy Virtual Reality Monkey Valued Senior Member

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  3. TruthSeeker Fancy Virtual Reality Monkey Valued Senior Member

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  5. Billy T Use Sugar Cane Alcohol car Fuel Valued Senior Member

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    Very interesting and only 20 light years away! Perhaps those freezing their bodies after death may have a chance at ET's help in revival (or ET may like frozen food?)
     
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  7. orcot Valued Senior Member

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    gliese 581 sure does have a compact system it has 5 planets inside what would have be mercury's orbit (0.44 times the sun-earth distance)
     
  8. Brian Foley REFUSE - RESIST Valued Senior Member

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    Once again the steady drum-beat of "intelligent life", "aliens", etc. Someone is really selling this outer space stuff for a reason. It didn't just become popular with the media right now for no reason at all.

    Please Register or Log in to view the hidden image!

     
  9. prometheus viva voce! Moderator

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    This is already being discussed in this thread

    Mod note:
    This thread is now the place for discussion of Gliese 581c.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 6, 2010
  10. spidergoat Valued Senior Member

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    Sure, scientists want grants to continue their research. What else is new?
     
  11. Janus58 Valued Senior Member

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    I saw the mention of neither in the article.
     
  12. Billy T Use Sugar Cane Alcohol car Fuel Valued Senior Member

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    How far from center of its sun is it? Closer than Earth I understand from the 37 day year, but don't know the mass of that sun. (if much more massive than our sun, the year would be shorter than 365 days even if at Earth's separation.)

    The fact that it keeps one side always turned to the sun may increase the evidence for there being considerable water (As ice). I.e. perhaps it is in a gravity gradient stabilized orbit with large mountain of H2O on the never sunlite side so its geometric center is farther away from sun than the mass center. As the gravity gradient falls off as the cube it would be much stronger if closer to its sun than Earth and stronger still if the 37 day year is in part due to a more massive sun.
     
  13. NMSquirrel OCD ADHD THC IMO UR12 Valued Senior Member

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    read the article about the pulse of light coming from it..

    it would be cool to find life on other planets..

    i also think we screwed up any relations with them already, as quoted from that same article..
    what would they think of us?
    look at sciforums..
    would it be a good thing or a bad thing to send a copy of sciforums to another planet?
     
  14. John99 Banned Banned

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    Do you think they use the\an internet?
     
  15. NMSquirrel OCD ADHD THC IMO UR12 Valued Senior Member

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    we wouldn't even know if they have butts to wipe..(i think they would)
    and you wouldn't need internet to send them a copy of sciforums..
     
  16. John99 Banned Banned

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    It wouldnt matter because they could use satellite and not need to be hard wired.
     
  17. tablariddim forexU2 Valued Senior Member

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    How can any ordinary person send a message, Twitter or otherwise, to a planet 20 light years away...indeed even to a planet much nearer?
     
  18. jmpet Valued Senior Member

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    I feel this new discovery is worthy of its own thread- it's a seperate issue from the original thread- the Drake Equasion is different here.
     
  19. jmpet Valued Senior Member

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    I think in this particular case with this specific planet, we have not found another Earth and I doubt there are beings on par with humans there.

    The planet is tidally locked. This means one side is always facing the sun and the other is always facing deep space- the twilight zone between light and dark is where life would emerge, but it would be severely limited to 1% or less of the planet's total surface area.

    Furthermore, the global atmosphere would go from freezing cold to scalding hot... there'd be some wild weather down on that planet.

    We need a more predictable planet than this to find another Earth.
     
  20. ElectricFetus Sanity going, going, gone Valued Senior Member

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  21. keith1 Guest

    The drumbeat is coming from the rapidly advancing detection technology.
    Soon we will be doing timber inventory counts and ore cataloging. And some
    greedy interest will be "expecting" to be enabled by the public government coffers
    to get them there, at public expense.
     
  22. ElectricFetus Sanity going, going, gone Valued Senior Member

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    Lets get some facts about this world.

    Star: red dwarf, large enough to be stable with no giant flares or giant sun spots characteristic of small younger red dwarf stars. Peak emission are in the infrared.

    Planets: 6 detected so far, all more massive then earth from 1.7 times to over 30 times, so perhaps 2 super-earths and 4 sub-gasgiants from Uranus to double Neptune in mass. 5 of these worlds are within the orbit of mercury and the 6th is just outside venus's orbit, but this is a smaller star than our sun and thus a smaller solar system.

    The Planet: Gliese 581g: 4th planet in the system right in the middle of estimate habitability zone.

    Distance from star: 0.146 AU (14.6% earth average distance)

    Year: 37 earth days.

    Mass: 3.1-4.3 Earths

    Radius: 1.3-2.0 Earths

    Surface Gravity: 1.1–1.7 gf

    Climate: Vacuum temperature of −64 to −45 °C, atmosphere of course will bring that temperature up to or above zero as it does for the earth. Being bigger than the earth it could easily have a much thicker atmosphere

    Rotation: Its predicted to be tidal locked, with it rotating at the same rate as its year (37 earth days) so that the star will always remain in the same area of the sky (the star will oscillate ever so slightly to extensively in the sky depending on how elliptical the orbit is). This means one side will get continues day light and the other side will be in continuous darkness. But if the atmosphere is thick enough the extremes in temperatures will not be so great, it would likely be a super-rotary atmosphere that spins around the planet transporting heat from the hotside to the coldside, much like Venus does because of its very slow rotation and extremely thick atmosphere. Surface winds could be low or extremely harsh, again depending on how thick the atmosphere is, but of course usually going one direction. Aside for tidal locked there is another possibility, it could rotate via a spin–orbit resonance. Like our planet mercury which has a bizarre rotation rate of 3:2 verse it eccentric orbit (which gives mercurials a double sunrise and sunset as the sun bobs up and down in its sky) Gliese 581g could spin slowly if its orbit is eccentric enough and or if it has orbital resonance with the other planets in the system which is a distinct possibility given the smallness of the system and the large mass of its neighboring planets.

    Life: life there would primarily be effected by if the planet is tidalocked or a spin-orbit resonator. After that being a red dwarf star means life would have to live with red and infrared light only and would have lower photosynthetic efficiency and be more likely to have NIR vision. Oxygen build up in its atmosphere might not be able to get as high as it has on earth, but then again animal life on earth as lived well oxygen from half our present percentage to nearly double. Being a planet with greater gravity then earths and likely a thicker atmosphere, might promote very different body plans for its land and flying creatures (assuming it has any) from earths. Lets just assume for the sake of hypothesize life systems that the planet has a gravity of ~1.5 Earth and an earth like nitrogen-oxygen atmosphere of 1-10 times a thick as earth.

    Tidalocked Life: Its night side being dark would not be very habitable even with an atmosphere thick enough to keep it freezing, except in the oceans and beaches nutrients would flow from the day side. Flying and swimming animals might bred here safer from predators and swim fly back to the day side for food. Its solar facing pole could still be habitable if its atmosphere keeps it cool, but living habitats would of course change with latitude similar to how our world has tropical jungles at its equator and carboniferous forest near our poles. The solar pole where the sun is directly above would either be jungle or desert depending on how much rain gets there and if there is land there, while farther out towards the dark side the climate will get more and more temperate. As the shadows get longer, many ares in the twilight zone won't ever get direct sunlight, one tree would permanently shadow many behind it, plants might be mobile like animals fighting for positions on the hills to get sunlight. If the planet has a super-rotary atmosphere moisture from the sunny side would be rained down unto the nightsides with some potential to rain over on the "morning side" while the "afternoon side" would be least likely to get rain. So ecology would not only be affected by latitude but also longitude in accordance with it global winds. Winds would make land and air life interesting. Surface winds might not be strong, but up the higher up the worse it will get. If the atmosphere is thick enough perhaps balloon creatures and such, just float up hitch a ride on the giant jet stream to fly to the darkside or even all the way around again.

    Spin-Orbit Resonance Life: The planet would spin, but very slowly, in fractions of its 37 day long year and in accordance with resonance between its own orbit and the other planets. So its spin could be 14 to hundreds of earth days long. Life here would have to deal with season dictated by its time of day rather then by the time of year like on earth. Life would migrate or hibernate or just tough-it through the cold Midnight winter, the hot midnoon summar. Of course it rotational polar regions might be more moderate (opposite to our world) not likely to have much of an axis tilt if its in resonance. Winds would still likely be super-rotary
     
    Last edited: Oct 2, 2010
  23. Brian Foley REFUSE - RESIST Valued Senior Member

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    1. It's 20 light years away. Not a great distance, when you think about the Universe, but that would still mean if we could travel the speed of light, it is 20 years away.

    2. The temperature does vary from 160 degrees to 25 at many points, but there is a decent area that would work for colonizing. Kinda like Bespin, but replace cloud layers with an actual rocky planet.

    3. The star it orbits is a dwarf star, but the problem is that it is VERY close to this star, which would make things too bright.

    That said, it does look like a life-sustaining planet. Just need to convince a few sucke.... I mean, explorers to go there first.
     

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