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NASA Kepler telescope data suggests billions of Earth-like planets closer than imagined


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#1 Tystick

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Posted 08 February 2013 - 02:12 PM

Kepler Space Telescope Data Reveals Billions Of Earth-Like Planets Near Earth


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If ET phones home today, his long distance charge might not be as much as people believed when Steven Spielberg's classic film came out three decades ago.
That's because recent data from NASA's Kepler space telescope suggests that billions of Earth-like planets are much closer than ever before imagined.
"The information we presented today will excite the general public because we now know that the nearest potentially Earth-like world is likely within 13 light years of the sun," astronomer Courtney Dressing said in an email to The Huffington Post.
"Astronomically speaking, 13 light years is practically next door."
While we don't know if intelligent life exists on any of these planets, it raises the chances of that possibility.


The scientific team studied the huge number of red dwarf stars in our galaxy -- stars that are smaller and have a longer life span than our own sun.
Just doing the math, the odds of Earth-like planets in our galaxy are, well, astronomical.
Scientists estimate 6 percent of the 75 billion red dwarf stars may have Earth-size planets orbiting them at a possible habitable distance. That works out to approximately 4.5 billion Earths out there.
"Before today, it could have been that Earth-like planets did not exist, or that they were so rare that the closest one would be beyond the reach of any telescope we might construct. Thus we would never know whether or not we were truly alone," astronomer David Charbonneau told HuffPost in an email.
Charbonneau, co-author of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics study, acknowledges the intense interest the public has in the search for extraterrestrial intelligence.
"I would say that the single greatest question in all of science is 'Are we alone?' The announcement today moves the ball downfield significantly toward answering this question.
"In my conversations with people around the world, I have found that this great question provides enormous perspective on our lives, in much the same way that knowing the physical size of the Universe has humbled our view of our place in the cosmos," Charbonneau said.
But even if a planet like Earth is only a stone's throw away, at 13 light years from us, how could we even see it with our current technology?
"Future missions, such as the NASA James Webb Space Telescope (the successor to Hubble) and proposed extremely large ground-based telescopes, like the Giant Magellan Telescope, will be able to probe the atmospheres of nearby habitable planets," Dressing said.
"Those missions will be able to search for biosignatures, like oxygen, and possibly lead to the first announcement of life on another world."
The results of Dressing's and Charbonneau's study will be published in The Astrophysical Journal.


Taken from article here

Although plausible before hand, it's interesting to know we're starting to prove life on other planets is legitimate.

Edited by Tystick, 08 February 2013 - 02:27 PM.

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#2 Heretic

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Posted 08 February 2013 - 02:19 PM

Fermi, Fermi, Fermi....Fermi, Fermi, Fermi....

:)
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#3 Oregon Canucky

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Posted 08 February 2013 - 02:21 PM

This is really Cool.

I think its a global question, and one that almost every country would put in some money to find out the answer to.

Lets set up a UN NASA and make it rich!

That way, the first place capable of making crafts to actually get there, will nuke the rest of us then fly away! ... wait...

Edited by Oregon Canucky, 08 February 2013 - 02:21 PM.

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#4 hudson bay rules

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Posted 08 February 2013 - 02:24 PM

One thing I love/hate about science is that scientists believe one thing for a long, long time and then we find out later that they were completely wrong. 13 light years is pretty fookin' close comparatively.
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#5 Vancanwincup

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Posted 08 February 2013 - 04:15 PM

The intellegent life out there is waiting for humans to reach their level of intelligentence and that can not be acheived with human religions. Image the fear, confusion, hatreds and chaos if the Bible is proven wrong with alien proof.

Edited by Vancanwincup, 08 February 2013 - 04:31 PM.

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#6 Heretic

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Posted 08 February 2013 - 04:18 PM

The intellegent life out there is waiting for humans to reach their level of intelligent and that can not be acheived with human religions. Image the fear, confusion, hatreds and chaos if the Bible is proven wrong with alien proof.


Maybe they are waiting for us to get along with each other instead of spewing hatred and blaming things like religion for mankind's flaws.

That and maybe learning how to spell.
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#7 D-Money

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Posted 08 February 2013 - 04:33 PM

The intellegent life out there is waiting for humans to reach their level of intelligent and that can not be acheived with human religions. Image the fear, confusion, hatreds and chaos if the Bible is proven wrong with alien proof.


You have quite the image-ation.


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#8 Dittohead

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Posted 08 February 2013 - 04:40 PM

Well if they are that close we would of picked up their radio signals. Our signals are what 100 years now? still no doubt there are countless planets out there.
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#9 Monty

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Posted 08 February 2013 - 04:44 PM

You have quite the image-ation.


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:lol:
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i'm pretty sure that's how zombies are born.


#10 canuktravella

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Posted 08 February 2013 - 06:17 PM

that ancient alien guy needs a hair cut holy crap therees probably alien life hiding in his hair haha
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#11 nucklehead

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Posted 08 February 2013 - 09:44 PM

One thing I love/hate about science is that scientists believe one thing for a long, long time and then we find out later that they were completely wrong. 13 light years is pretty fookin' close comparatively.

At my age...I'm learing it's not just science but practically everything I thought I ever knew has to be challenged...at my age
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#12 hudson bay rules

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Posted 08 February 2013 - 10:00 PM

Sunlight currently takes 16.89 hours to reach Voyager 1. Voyager 1 needs approx 17,500 years to be one light year away from earth at it's current speed.
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#13 Dittohead

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Posted 09 February 2013 - 11:11 AM

At my age...I'm learing it's not just science but practically everything I thought I ever knew has to be challenged...at my age


If you mean stuff like what you were taught in school and the media spews at you then yes. As for science there are theories and they have to be proven sometimes they are right sometimes they are not. Einstein was wrong on some things but right on so many. Humans are only just beginning to understand the universe as we begin to look at it. We've learned a lot in just the last 20 years because of the Hubble and Kek telescopes
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#14 Niloc009

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Posted 09 February 2013 - 12:04 PM

Fermi, Fermi, Fermi....Fermi, Fermi, Fermi....

:)


Just curious, as a Christian, what's your view on alien life? Something like that would rock the foundations of the church, would it not? In no way am I trying to bash religion or anything, just wondering what the consensus is among your community.
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#15 Heretic

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Posted 09 February 2013 - 12:39 PM

Just curious, as a Christian, what's your view on alien life? Something like that would rock the foundations of the church, would it not? In no way am I trying to bash religion or anything, just wondering what the consensus is among your community.


Might rock ones like some of the hard core ones...but doesn't mean a thing to me...I think it means even more to those hard core anti religious types as well...
Technically, there are Bible versus that can be interpreted as talking about aliens:

Example:


Revelation 9:7-11
In appearance the locusts were like horses prepared for battle: on their heads were what looked like crowns of gold; their faces were like human faces, their hair like women's hair, and their teeth like lions' teeth; they had breastplates like breastplates of iron, and the noise of their wings was like the noise of many chariots with horses rushing into battle. They have tails and stings like scorpions, and their power to hurt people for five months is in their tails. They have as king over them the angel of the bottomless pit. His name in Hebrew is Abaddon, and in Greek he is called Apollyon.

Course - what is an alien? A being that didn't originate from earth?
Well, technically, that means Jesus (and all the angels) are aliens.

The NOTW in my pic means "Not Of This World".
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#16 D-Money

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Posted 09 February 2013 - 12:45 PM

Just curious, as a Christian, what's your view on alien life? Something like that would rock the foundations of the church, would it not? In no way am I trying to bash religion or anything, just wondering what the consensus is among your community.


Alien life is, at this point, something completely made up in our imagination. We have no proof of it whatsoever.
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#17 Niloc009

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Posted 09 February 2013 - 01:22 PM

Might rock ones like some of the hard core ones...but doesn't mean a thing to me...I think it means even more to those hard core anti religious types as well...
Technically, there are Bible versus that can be interpreted as talking about aliens:

Example:


Revelation 9:7-11
In appearance the locusts were like horses prepared for battle: on their heads were what looked like crowns of gold; their faces were like human faces, their hair like women's hair, and their teeth like lions' teeth; they had breastplates like breastplates of iron, and the noise of their wings was like the noise of many chariots with horses rushing into battle. They have tails and stings like scorpions, and their power to hurt people for five months is in their tails. They have as king over them the angel of the bottomless pit. His name in Hebrew is Abaddon, and in Greek he is called Apollyon.

Course - what is an alien? A being that didn't originate from earth?
Well, technically, that means Jesus (and all the angels) are aliens.

The NOTW in my pic means "Not Of This World".


Gotcha. Very interesting take on it. I've gotta respect a religious person that has an open mind about that sort of thing, instead of denying it constantly like a lot of people seem to.
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#18 D-Money

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Posted 09 February 2013 - 01:25 PM

Technically, there are Bible versus that can be interpreted as talking about aliens:


Sorry, but no.

The scripture clearly says the locusts come from a pit in the earth. The locusts are obviously figurative (as most of Revelation is), but saying they could be some sort of "alien" has no basis.
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#19 Niloc009

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Posted 09 February 2013 - 01:27 PM

Alien life is, at this point, something completely made up in our imagination. We have no proof of it whatsoever.


We do, however, have the mathematical equasions that make it near virtually impossible for there not to be extraterrestrial life. Anything's possible, so there is a slight chance that we're the only ones, but that slight chance is so incredibly slim. All it takes is one trace of one bacteria on one rock on one other planet anywhere in the universe, and alien life is confirmed.

Edited by Niloc009, 09 February 2013 - 05:23 PM.

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#20 Heretic

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Posted 09 February 2013 - 01:49 PM

Sorry, but no.

The scripture clearly says the locusts come from a pit in the earth. The locusts are obviously figurative (as most of Revelation is), but saying they could be some sort of "alien" has no basis.




Ezekiel 1:1-28

In the thirtieth year, in the fourth month, on the fifth day of the month, as I was among the exiles by the Chebar canal, the heavens were opened, and I saw visions of God. On the fifth day of the month (it was the fifth year of the exile of King Jehoiachin), the word of the Lord came to Ezekiel the priest, the son of Buzi, in the land of the Chaldeans by the Chebar canal, and the hand of the Lord was upon him there. As I looked, behold, a stormy wind came out of the north, and a great cloud, with brightness around it, and fire flashing forth continually, and in the midst of the fire, as it were gleaming metal. And from the midst of it came the likeness of four living creatures. And this was their appearance: they had a human likeness, ...
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#21 Tom-The-Great

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Posted 09 February 2013 - 01:50 PM

Alien life is, at this point, something completely made up in our imagination. We have no proof of it whatsoever.

Course - what is an alien? A being that didn't originate from earth?
Well, technically, that means Jesus (and all the angels) are aliens.


yep, sounds about right.
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#22 Donky

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Posted 09 February 2013 - 03:44 PM

According to the article it says the nearest possibility of an Earth-like planet is only 13 light years..."practically next door"....like that is nothing. The fact remains that 13 light years is actually 122989496143550 km. OR in other words completely impossible for humans to travel to without a massive leap in technology. And that is just the nearest Earth-like planet. That doesn't make it a viable planet for humans. Just one that is a possible. As far as a space-faring planet goes, we are in our infancy.
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#23 canucks since 77

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Posted 09 February 2013 - 05:30 PM

that ancient alien guy needs a hair cut holy crap therees probably alien life hiding in his hair haha

I call that style the "runaway Janeway" :lol:
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#24 canucks since 77

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Posted 09 February 2013 - 05:38 PM

According to the article it says the nearest possibility of an Earth-like planet is only 13 light years..."practically next door"....like that is nothing. The fact remains that 13 light years is actually 122989496143550 km. OR in other words completely impossible for humans to travel to without a massive leap in technology. And that is just the nearest Earth-like planet. That doesn't make it a viable planet for humans. Just one that is a possible. As far as a space-faring planet goes, we are in our infancy.

At the rate mankind is progressing at technologically, I believe star travel will be a reality in less than four hundred years. If we haven't killed ourselves off by then.
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#25 D-Money

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Posted 09 February 2013 - 06:32 PM

We do, however, have the mathematical equasions that make it near virtually impossible for there not to be extraterrestrial life. Anything's possible, so there is a slight chance that we're the only ones, but that slight chance is so incredibly slim. All it takes is one trace of one bacteria on one rock on one other planet anywhere in the universe, and alien life is confirmed.


All of these equations are based on the supposition that it is entirely possible for life to spontaneously form out of non-living matter...which, also, has never been proven either.
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#26 Niloc009

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Posted 09 February 2013 - 06:35 PM

All of these equations are based on the supposition that it is entirely possible for life to spontaneously form out of non-living matter...which, also, has never been proven either.


If you believe in the big bang... hey look, we're alive.
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#27 Donky

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Posted 09 February 2013 - 06:57 PM

All of these equations are based on the supposition that it is entirely possible for life to spontaneously form out of non-living matter...which, also, has never been proven either.


It's already happened once, so yes it has been proven.
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A human being is a part of a whole, called by us _universe_, a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feelings as something separated from the rest... a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest to us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty."-Albert Einstein

#28 coleman26

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Posted 09 February 2013 - 09:36 PM

It's already happened once, so yes it has been proven.


But that says nothing about it's incredible improbability. There seems, to me, to be 2 major problems with contacting another civilization.

1- Are there any left? Keep in mind, humans have been on the Earth for about a blink of time on Earth. If there were other intelligent cultures, would they still be alive? Conflict between people, species, etc is pretty commonplace, and that's just a continuation of the predator/prey need along the food chain. We say now 'maybe in 400 years...' but in reality, we're less than 60 years from the time that we nearly destroyed our entire planet by letting nuclear bombs loose. If conflict is natural, and it goes without saying that building a series of Doomsday Nuclear Warheads is always going to precede figuring out how to use nuclear fusion to propel our spacecrafts, we have to hope that whoever is on these other planets have found peace before they destroy themselves. We're not far, in evolutionary terms, from being a people who were mystified by fire. Even if we get through to the point where we can truly travel the stars, will there be any planets left to observe? And that's if

2. We ever manage to find the precise planets. Let's say that, with billions of Earth like planets out there, 1 in 10 reached the point where they have intelligent life, and I think that's a big stretch considering the unbelievable circumstances generally attributed with the development of life on Earth. 13 billion light years may be next door, but what if there's nothing there, or on the next planet? There might, for all we know, only be 1 thriving alien civilization who, through a series of flukes, arose from non-living matter and have built a society that isn't hinging on self destruction, but omg where the hell could they be? The answer is goddamn anywhere.

I've always, even as a kid, believed that there had to be something more. I know we won't have any real communication with an alien species while I'm alive, and I sincerely doubt that we ever will. It seems like the odds of winning back to back lotteries would be just about the same as sending a ship out and just finding intelligent life. Which is sad. But, considering everyone's penchant for blowing things up for lolz, it might not be that bad. Could you imagine if we found a planet that was lousy with oil and a peaceful species? They would die, so fast, so very fast.
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#29 Ghostsof1915

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Posted 09 February 2013 - 11:04 PM


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#30 coleman26

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Posted 10 February 2013 - 12:31 AM

I based most of my response with the Drake equation in mind, but as we get closer to finding out the variables = we know that the amount of red dwarf stars to be around 75B and the amount of 'Earth like' planets to be around 4.5B. So what is the estimate going forward? If life is a longshot (roughly 1/10236 estimated that life would arise from non-living matter) then you can guess there's around 440,000 planets that, at one time, had life. Then you have to consider civilizations that either rose and died out, or never made it past single strand organisms, or whatever. Then you have to factor in the unfathomable depth of space. Maybe, in the history of the Universe, there have been 44,000 planets on which life arose to near intelligent levels. And that's very, very gracious. If that's the case, since the beginning of time, organic life would have to form only once every 320,000 years, somewhere in the Galaxy. Then try and find that planet. If we say even 1% of planets with 'life' - intelligent or otherwise - are still around today and didn't die out in the last 13.76B years, we're still looking for about 4,400 planets and haven't yet put a man on the tiny one next to us. I was considering the equation, and not trying to be a dick, because this is very interesting to me. I just can't believe that the odds of contacting are dismal. at most, if what I said is right, we're looking at roughly 1/1.7m Earth like planets. That's not total planets, just the ones we believe could hold life, because the only way we understand life is through Earth. Some of these starts might have 9-13 planets around them, and 1 that supports life, and we have to find exactly which star, and exactly which planet, and hope to God that when we send people to it, we're not wrong. It's a longshot, and an impossibility in my time, short of a miracle where an alien civilization happens to catch our broadcasts.

Edited by coleman26, 10 February 2013 - 12:42 AM.

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