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Another New Planet Found
#1
Quote:Earth-like planets not so far out an idea, astronomers say

A new world has been discovered nestled in the largest planetary system ever seen outside our solar system, fuelling speculation there are many other habitable Earth-like planets in the Milky Way galaxy.

Astronomers doubt the new-found planet - one of five circling a nearby star, which is visible with binoculars - can support life.

But they told a teleconference Tuesday the discovery fuels their conviction that many Earth-like planets are just waiting to be discovered.

"We now know that our sun and its family of planets is not unusual," said Geoff Marcy of the University of California Berkley, who told reporters the discovery of the five-planet system has him "jumping out" of his socks.

He said the Milky Way, which contains some 200 billion stars, likely includes millions of other solar systems as rich in planets as our system. "We strongly suspect that many of those planetary systems harbour Earth-like planets," says Marcy.

The new-found planet is the fifth to be spotted orbiting the star called 55 Cancri, in the constellation Cancer. NASA describes the planetary system as "nearby" even though it takes 41 years for light from the star to reach Earth.

Marcy described the planetary system as a "souped-up" version of our own, with supersized planets making almost circular orbits around the parent star.

Astronomer Debra Fischer of San Francisco State University and lead author of a report on the new planet to appear in the Astrophysical Journal, says the 55 Cancri system "seems to be packed with planets" and more may turn up as the team refines the search.

The new-found planet, which weighs about 45 times the mass of Earth and circles its star every 260 days, is in the habitable, or "Goldilocks," zone around its star. This is the region where temperatures are not too hot or too cold and would permit liquid water, the elixir of life, to pool on rocky surfaces.

Because the planet is so massive, the astronomers believe it has an envelope of helium and hydrogen gases and high-pressure water swirling around it. This would seem " to render the planet inhospitable for life as we know it," said Marcy.

Fischer likened the planet to "a beefy Neptune-like planet, or perhaps a Saturn-like planet with rings and moons around it."

She speculated the planet's rocky moons, if they exist, might have water pooling on the surface. Such moons are not yet detectable.

Jonathan Lunine, a planetary scientist at the University of Arizona, said temperatures on such hypothetical moons might be just a little bit warmer than Earth but cautioned against banking on it. "I would recommend not buying real estate on any of these planets," he said.

More than 250 exoplanets have been discovered outside our solar system since the mid-1990s, including several systems with two or three planets.

The scientists had long suspected the 55 Cancri system harboured a fifth planet, but it took 18 years to confirm it by studying wobbles in the star's orbit.

"I can say for me personally, this was one of the more annoying stars," Fischer said of the 2,000 stars the team has under surveillance for its planetary quest.


© The Gazette 2007

Remarkable progress has been made exploring space over the past 50 years how many members feel the discovery of extraterrestrial life will happen during the next 50 years.
The true purpose of democracy is not to select the best leaders — a clearly debatable obligation — but to facilitate the prompt and peaceful removal of obviously bad ones. 
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#2
Just think, only a decade ago, the prospect of finding even a gas giant, close in to it's sun, was almost impossible. How times have changed.
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“Socialism always begins with a universal vision for the brotherhood of man and ends with people having to eat their own pets.”
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#3
Now, if we could only populate this world. Stephen Hawking could die happy. What's holding up Warp 9?
Jefferson: I place economy among the first and important virtues, and public debt as the greatest of dangers. To preserve our independence, we must not let our rulers load us with perpetual debt. We must make our choice between economy and liberty, or profusion and servitude. If we can prevent the government from wasting the labors of the people under the pretense of caring for them, they will be happy.
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#4
jt Wrote:Now, if we could only populate this world. Stephen Hawking could die happy. What's holding up Warp 9?

Don't know.
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“Socialism always begins with a universal vision for the brotherhood of man and ends with people having to eat their own pets.”
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#5
Do you really want FTL travel?

I'd rather have STL with some sort of hibernation. With STL you can get to your new planet and build your colony without interference from the cretins back home who drove you out there in the first place.
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#6
Physics has already proven, mathematically of course, that worm holes will give you instantenous travel from one port to the other. Also, it has been shown, again on paper, that it is possible to create worm holes. If this is indeed true, all that would be necessary would be to make the long trib to your destination and create, or drag, a worm hole, and deposit it at the destination in order to move from one point to the other.

Who needs FTL if you have this form of travel?
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“Socialism always begins with a universal vision for the brotherhood of man and ends with people having to eat their own pets.”
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#7
Pixiest,
Quote:With STL you can get to your new planet and build your colony without interference from the cretins back home who drove you out there in the first place.
that would take hundreds, possibly thousands of years. Have you ever read "Lord of the Flies" (don't know whether the title is correct in English, was named so in German). Couple of kids stranded on an remote island and their attempt of democracy failed badly. Would always and unavoidably happen in small and isolated societies.

What's holding up Warp 9? The physical impossibility to transport stuff faster than the speed of light.
"You know, Paul, Reagan proved that deficits don't matter." Dick Cheney
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#8
Well, I was being a bit sarcastic about Warp 9. A grand sci-fi pipe dream, but could it come to pass? I do vaguely recall reading that some physicists have teleported some tiny particles, or so they think. Maybe that is the wormhole phenomenon John refers to.
Jefferson: I place economy among the first and important virtues, and public debt as the greatest of dangers. To preserve our independence, we must not let our rulers load us with perpetual debt. We must make our choice between economy and liberty, or profusion and servitude. If we can prevent the government from wasting the labors of the people under the pretense of caring for them, they will be happy.
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#9
jt Wrote:Well, I was being a bit sarcastic about Warp 9. A grand sci-fi pipe dream, but could it come to pass? I do vaguely recall reading that some physicists have teleported some tiny particles, or so they think. Maybe that is the wormhole phenomenon John refers to.

There was an article about quantum tunnelling recently.

'We have broken speed of light'

By Nic Fleming, Science Correspondent

A pair of German physicists claim to have broken the speed of light - an achievement that would undermine our entire understanding of space and time.

According to Einstein's special theory of relativity, it would require an infinite amount of energy to propel an object at more than 186,000 miles per second.

However, Dr Gunter Nimtz and Dr Alfons Stahlhofen, of the University of Koblenz, say they may have breached a key tenet of that theory.

The pair say they have conducted an experiment in which microwave photons - energetic packets of light - travelled "instantaneously" between a pair of prisms that had been moved up to 3ft apart.

Being able to travel faster than the speed of light would lead to a wide variety of bizarre consequences.

For instance, an astronaut moving faster than it would theoretically arrive at a destination before leaving.

The scientists were investigating a phenomenon called quantum tunnelling, which allows sub-atomic particles to break apparently unbreakable laws.

Dr Nimtz told New Scientist magazine: "For the time being, this is the only violation of special relativity that I know of."

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/main.jh...eed116.xml
As Gary Lloyd said, "When the government’s boot is on your throat, whether it is a left boot or a right boot is of no consequence."
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