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Goldilocks Planet Found
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Goldilocks Planet Found:

BEC is my copilot
Not too hot, not too cold, just twenty light-years from Earth.
Fear is our ally. The gasoline will be ours.

A Honey Badger does not kill you to eat you. It tears off your testicles.
Jesus as in Revelations
At last. Took some fucking time too. When are they sending the probes? No matter how soon they get there, we'll still need 20 years to find out if there is life and if it is intelligent. It'd be weird...
BEC is my copilot
^Well we can probably say for sure that the planet does not have intelligent life. Nothing within a fifty light-year radius uses radio, at any rate.
Fear is our ally. The gasoline will be ours.

A Honey Badger does not kill you to eat you. It tears off your testicles.
 4 Voot, Thu, 30th Sep '10 6:02:14 AM from Not the internet
Holy crap. That little part of my mind that has hope for the human race just doubled. Wait, Have to remain skeptic! What are the actual temperatures? The day/night cycle? Year Length? Atmospheric content? I have to read that article and more now.
CAPS LOCK IS RAGE!!!
 5 Fighteer, Thu, 30th Sep '10 6:11:59 AM from the Time Vortex Relationship Status: Dancing with Captain Jack Harkness
It's quite a bit closer to its sun than we are to ours, but it's a dwarf star with quite a bit less output. It appears to be tidally locked, so it's like 150F on one side and 25F on the other, but there's a temperate zone in the median area that's apparently Earth-normal. Its year is 37 days or some such. (This is from memory of skimming the article yesterday.)

All of this adds up to it existing within the "habitable zone" where liquid water is possible, one of the key requirements for Earthlike life.

It would take quite a bit longer than 20 years to get information about it, though — first you need a probe that can get to a significant fraction of the speed of light, then remember that the information has to get back to Earth. The minimum round trip (at c) is 40 years. And such a probe would have to be far more sophisticated than anything we have now, to operate entirely without human control.

edited 30th Sep '10 6:12:51 AM by Fighteer

Neoclassicism, AKA the Tinkerbell school of economics.
 6 Voot, Thu, 30th Sep '10 6:19:58 AM from Not the internet
Just got a chance to read the linked article, will have to do some more research after class.

@Fighteer: By "round-trip" you mean the time it would take, at a minimum, to get any direct information from it, correct?

Now I want to know what percent of light-speed our space crafts are able to reach. For some reason I want to say it was like 5%. With that guess in mind, And a bit of math, It would mean 400 years to get a probe there, Plus Twenty years to get the information back. Throw in another twenty to Forty Years for actual construction of the project... Looks like it would take approximately four-and-a-half centuries before we get exact information instead of inferred.

Time to work on the Cardio if I want to see that day. But still, All we need is some water there and were golden.
CAPS LOCK IS RAGE!!!
 7 rmctagg09, Thu, 30th Sep '10 6:45:17 AM from Brooklyn, NY Relationship Status: I won't say I'm in love
The Wanderer
I already showed this to the guys at the Bethesda forums I frequent yesterday. It's a great find.
Hugging a Vanilluxe will give you frostbite.

It's typed rmctagg09.
Jesus as in Revelations
WE NEED IMMORTALITY NAW! I WANT TO SEE THIS!
 9 Fighteer, Thu, 30th Sep '10 7:09:34 AM from the Time Vortex Relationship Status: Dancing with Captain Jack Harkness
Yes, that is what I mean by "round trip".

A Bussard ramjet style engine could get a probe to some very high velocities. The real trick is getting the spacecraft to operate under constant propulsion. Even if it's 0.1G, the acceleration adds up over time. And, of course, slowing down on the other end.

Edit: Okay, here are some stats from the various articles.

  • Mass: 3-4 times Earth (and therefore likely a solid surface, not a gas giant or ice ball)
  • Orbital radius: 14 million miles
  • Orbital period: 37 days
  • Rotation: Very little, probably tidally locked
  • Temperature: 160F to -25F, with an Earth-normal median zone

edited 30th Sep '10 7:23:17 AM by Fighteer

Neoclassicism, AKA the Tinkerbell school of economics.
 10 Major Tom, Thu, 30th Sep '10 7:19:55 AM Relationship Status: Barbecuing
Eye'm the cutest!
Nothing within a fifty light-year radius uses radio, at any rate.

The Inverse Square Law makes intelligible radio communication impossible after about 2.3 light years. Radio radiation can reach to the ends of the universe, but it will have degraded into background static in terms of receivability.

The idea from movies like Contact have been Jossed owing to Science Marches On.
Endless Conflict: Every war ends in time, even supposedly this one.
Herr
Well, I think our best bet is a spectrographic analysis of the planet's atmosphere (as I said in the other topic). But it's quite possible that even if there are signs of life in the data we could get this way, we might not recognize them: after all life there can be very different from the Earth-based variety.
I'm usually not this serious.
Jesus as in Revelations
^^ Unless they use coherent rays. Can that be done with radio?
BEC is my copilot
Now I want to know what percent of light-speed our space crafts are able to reach. For some reason I want to say it was like 5%.

If only we could get to 5% light speed. The fastest spacecraft ever built, New Horizons, only clocks in at 16 kilometers/second. Light speed is about 299, 792 kilometers/second. At 5% light speed, we could reach Mars in a few hours - right now the journey takes a few months.

Fear is our ally. The gasoline will be ours.

A Honey Badger does not kill you to eat you. It tears off your testicles.
 14 Voot, Thu, 30th Sep '10 8:15:36 AM from Not the internet
^Many thanks! Going in to my notes for this whole idea.

Sad though. I wonder when we'll be able to reach even 1%, or .1%. Surely someone somewhere has graphed the Increase of speed science has been able to produce, With somewhat accurate predictions as to what it will be able to produce. If we can know that we can decide where down the line we would need to launch our fastest vehicle.

If only I had a mind for astrophysics. I wonder if this announcement will get anymore attention to NASA or other astronomical projects, though given the economy right now, space travel is probably not anywhere near the highest priority.
CAPS LOCK IS RAGE!!!
Jesus as in Revelations
^
"Humanity has always looked skywards for its true path. We stood at the edge of destruction, and would have fallen, if not for the might of the God-Emperor and his Angels of Death.
Forged in blood. Tempered in battle. We are the living weapons of humanity. The SPACE MARINES.

No mercy.
No Retreat.
No Remorse.
They want to steal this world from us. Let them try.

edited 30th Sep '10 8:22:18 AM by RawPower

 16 Fighteer, Thu, 30th Sep '10 8:23:34 AM from the Time Vortex Relationship Status: Dancing with Captain Jack Harkness
Sending probes to planets 20 light years away is orders of magnitude beyond our current capabilities. Anyway, as I said above, the key is to have the spacecraft under constant acceleration. At a mere 0.1G, you could get near lightspeed in around 10 years (not accounting for relativistic dilation, which I don't have the formula for handy).

The other problem, of course, is signal attenuation; to get messages back from a probe 20 light years away is another near-impossibility under current technology.
Neoclassicism, AKA the Tinkerbell school of economics.
 17 De Marquis, Thu, 30th Sep '10 8:25:54 AM from Hell, USA Relationship Status: Buried in snow, waiting for spring
Who Am I?
Here's the original paper: http://www.ucolick.org/~vogt/ms_press-1.pdf

The official press release: http://news.ucsc.edu/2010/09/planet.html

A short article (with pictures!) at Science Now: http://news.sciencemag.org/sciencenow/2010/09/astronomers-find-most-earth-like.html
“Disobedience is the true foundation of liberty. The obedient must be slaves.”
 18 Major Tom, Thu, 30th Sep '10 8:27:59 AM Relationship Status: Barbecuing
Eye'm the cutest!
^^ And this is why we need to invent Faster-Than-Light Travel that says "Fuck you physics!" and allows us as a species to travel among the stars.
Endless Conflict: Every war ends in time, even supposedly this one.
Jesus as in Revelations
I remember hearing about Hard scifi that described an interstellar society with slower-than-light insterstellar travel.
BEC is my copilot
^^Well I am working on a theory of hyperspace travel. It assumes that dark matter is actually the effects of another universe colliding with our own, and that it may be possible to get a small bubble of our own universe into another universe with different physical laws. If we are lucky enough to find a universe where lightspeed is much lower, we could do our traveling in that universe then pop back into our universe having traveled billions of miles.
Fear is our ally. The gasoline will be ours.

A Honey Badger does not kill you to eat you. It tears off your testicles.
 21 Voot, Thu, 30th Sep '10 8:36:53 AM from Not the internet
@Fighteer: You seem to be a very knowledgeable person. @De Marqui: Awesome! Shall read after class.

I suppose I could wait (Or die waiting) if I had a reasonable expectation of it eventually getting there. Though as for the signal thing, Damn. The first idea I had was why not just make a signal that can't be missed, Like making a second sun there or something. Though after thinking about that for even a second I realized the obvious danger in producing a second sun, not to mention difficulty, or manipulating the first sun. My first thought for a potential non-sun based idea would be a full physical round trip, with the probe transmitting along the way back. Sooner or later We'd pick up the transmission.

Have the probe approach the solar system, Take what tests it can on the planet while orbiting around it, or the sun, and then do the good 'ol Gravity slingshot, using the same method to accelerate.

The specifics of that idea are unbelievably complex though, and would probably require some advancement in the AI field so the probe could pilot itself.

But I'm probably treading old water that has long been known in the serious space traveling circle.

@Raw Power: BLOOD FOR THE BLOOD GOD! SKULLS FOR THE SKULL THRONE! Though I'm afraid that there might be more similarities to 40K that far in the future, especially with the amount of religious zeal I'm becoming aware of.
CAPS LOCK IS RAGE!!!
 22 Fighteer, Thu, 30th Sep '10 8:38:01 AM from the Time Vortex Relationship Status: Dancing with Captain Jack Harkness
^^^ The Ender’s Game sequels describe an interstellar human society in a fairly hard way, although they have Subspace Ansibles to talk to each other. Without FTL Travel or FTL Radio, effective communication between planets is impossible. You wouldn't have a society so much as a widely dispersed set of colonies that only talk to each other every few decades. Every planet would have to be self-sufficient; if some catastrophe comes up, forget about rescue in your lifetime. (Note: Transhumanism might significantly mitigate these problems; in fact, some theories of interstellar colonization state that there's no point in sending anyone who isn't a transhuman.)

^ I had considered the concept of a probe that uses a nuclear burst or modulated solar light to communicate across interstellar distances, but that kind of technology is even tougher than getting a probe there in the first place.

Gravity slingshotting is great for local travel (i.e., within the same solar system), but if you're trying to cross interstellar distances at anything approaching relativistic velocities, it's kind of like putting springs on your shoes while jumping to the Moon.

edited 30th Sep '10 8:43:09 AM by Fighteer

Neoclassicism, AKA the Tinkerbell school of economics.
 23 Voot, Thu, 30th Sep '10 8:41:32 AM from Not the internet
^It'd be some sort of Interstellar Medieval society...

I remember reading a book called Diaspora that dealt with slower then lightspeed travel with people becoming machine intelligences. Was kind of interesting.
CAPS LOCK IS RAGE!!!
Alastair Reynolds writes about interstellar societies with no faster than light travel.

[edit]
Btw, did anyone realize that we now have some kind of escape plan for what happens after the next 5 billion years, if humanity survives that long..?

edited 30th Sep '10 8:45:43 AM by Uchuujinsan

I was young and needed a nick.

www.xkcd.com/386/
BEC is my copilot
^One of the articles begins with the line "Survivalists take note..."
Fear is our ally. The gasoline will be ours.

A Honey Badger does not kill you to eat you. It tears off your testicles.
Total posts: 123
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