Alien 'water world' found


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Profile Johnney Guinness
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Message 955289 - Posted: 16 Dec 2009, 22:36:39 UTC

Alien 'water world' found.

Story from msnbc.com;
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Astronomers say they have detected a planet just six and a half times as massive as Earth - at a distance so close its atmosphere could be studied, and with a density so low it's almost certain to have abundant water.

The alien world known as GJ 1214b orbits a red dwarf star one-fifth the size of our own sun, 40 light-years away in the constellation Ophiuchus, the astronomers reported in Thursday's issue of the journal Nature.

"Astronomically speaking, this is on our block," David Charbonneau of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, lead author of the study, told reporters this week. "This is a next-door neighbor. For perspective, our own TV signals have already passed beyond the distance of this star."

He said the planet was detected using an array of eight off-the-shelf, 16-inch telescopes equipped with commercially available cameras.

Full story here...

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An artist's conception;



John.
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Profile Dirk Villarreal Wittich
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Message 956038 - Posted: 16 Dec 2009, 23:35:12 UTC - in response to Message 955289.

Alien 'water world' found.

Story from msnbc.com;
*****************************
Astronomers say they have detected a planet just six and a half times as massive as Earth - at a distance so close its atmosphere could be studied, and with a density so low it's almost certain to have abundant water.

The alien world known as GJ 1214b orbits a red dwarf star one-fifth the size of our own sun, 40 light-years away in the constellation Ophiuchus, the astronomers reported in Thursday's issue of the journal Nature.

"Astronomically speaking, this is on our block," David Charbonneau of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, lead author of the study, told reporters this week. "This is a next-door neighbor. For perspective, our own TV signals have already passed beyond the distance of this star."

He said the planet was detected using an array of eight off-the-shelf, 16-inch telescopes equipped with commercially available cameras.

Full story here...

**************************

An artist's conception;



John.


Great news! Thanks for sharing it with us.
I would say this is only the beginning......next year we will have lots of information from the Kepler mission, which will provide us with [hopefully] more exoplanets, some of them into the habitable zone


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Profile Johnney Guinness
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Message 956804 - Posted: 16 Dec 2009, 23:44:44 UTC

Dirk,
I'm really looking forward to the first results from Kepler. They should be released between the 3rd and the 7th January at the AAS meeting.

Its very exciting, so many researchers getting involved in this research now. New planets being found every day.

John.
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Profile Dirk Villarreal Wittich
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Message 956805 - Posted: 16 Dec 2009, 23:51:16 UTC - in response to Message 956804.

Dirk,
I'm really looking forward to the first results from Kepler. They should be released between the 3rd and the 7th January at the AAS meeting.

Its very exciting, so many researchers getting involved in this research now. New planets being found every day.

John.


We will have a pint of Guinness on that for celebration!!!
:)

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Message 958313 - Posted: 23 Dec 2009, 19:02:40 UTC

Alternate artist's conception ...


http://www.jossip.com/wp/docs/2009/02/waterworld.jpg
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Message 958992 - Posted: 27 Dec 2009, 13:33:24 UTC - in response to Message 956038.

~~~~
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An artist's conception;



John. [/quote]

Great news! Thanks for sharing it with us.
I would say this is only the beginning......next year we will have lots of information from the Kepler mission, which will provide us with [hopefully] more exoplanets, some of them into the habitable zone

[/quote]
~~~~
Appreciate the graphic and story - kind of ot but keep seeing "habitable" - habitable for who or what?

Profile Johnney Guinness
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Message 959017 - Posted: 27 Dec 2009, 16:07:19 UTC - in response to Message 958992.
Last modified: 27 Dec 2009, 16:08:25 UTC


Appreciate the graphic and story - kind of ot but keep seeing "habitable" - habitable for who or what?

When astronomers use the term "habitable" or "habitable zone", they are referring to planets that are just the right distance from their parent star to allow liquid water to be present on the planet, a bit like we have lots of liquid water on Earth.

The habitable zone distance will vary for different stars depending on each stars brightness. For a very dim star, the habitable zone will be very close into the star. But for very massive stars, the habitable zone could be equivalent to the distance from our Sun to Saturn, or Neptune.

Read this; http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Habitable_zone

John.
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Message 959653 - Posted: 31 Dec 2009, 1:46:35 UTC - in response to Message 959017.

The problem with massive stars, as far as ETI is concerned, is that they don’t last long: a lifetime measured in hundred-thousands or even a few millions of years isn’t likely to leave enough time for complex life-forms to evolve, even if conditions are otherwise ideal.
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Message 959782 - Posted: 31 Dec 2009, 16:06:45 UTC - in response to Message 959653.

that and the massive radiation raining down on a planet would pretty much sterilize it
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