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Old Apr 18, 2013, 01:51 PM   #1
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New finds in habitable zone

Thought this was super interesting. Though they are too far away:

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NASA's Kepler mission has discovered two new planetary systems that include three super-Earth-size planets in the "habitable zone," the range of distance from a star where the surface temperature of an orbiting planet might be suitable for liquid water.

The Kepler-62 system has five planets; 62b, 62c, 62d, 62e and 62f. The Kepler-69 system has two planets; 69b and 69c. Kepler-62e, 62f and 69c are the super-Earth-sized planets.

Two of the newly discovered planets orbit a star smaller and cooler than the sun. Kepler-62f is only 40 percent larger than Earth, making it the exoplanet closest to the size of our planet known in the habitable zone of another star. Kepler-62f is likely to have a rocky composition. Kepler-62e, orbits on the inner edge of the habitable zone and is roughly 60 percent larger than Earth.

The third planet, Kepler-69c, is 70 percent larger than the size of Earth, and orbits in the habitable zone of a star similar to our sun. Astronomers are uncertain about the composition of Kepler-69c, but its orbit of 242 days around a sun-like star resembles that of our neighboring planet Venus.

Scientists do not know whether life could exist on the newfound planets, but their discovery signals we are another step closer to finding a world similar to Earth around a star like our sun.

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Old Apr 18, 2013, 10:48 PM   #2
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Now the question is will it ever be possible to visit them at 1,200 and 2,700 light-years away?
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Old Apr 18, 2013, 10:53 PM   #3
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Who knows.. it would be cool if Earth was invaded and threatened with annihilation and I became a collaborator with the alien race. Assuming if the alien race was humanoid or something similar to the Sirians from V.
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Old Apr 21, 2013, 11:31 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by velocityg4 View Post
Now the question is will it ever be possible to visit them at 1,200 and 2,700 light-years away?
I'm sure it will. Just not in my lifetime, unfortunately.

=====

What is more intriguing is that we now have a smallish list of candidate planets to try and work with to determine if there is technological society that exists there. My understanding is that the SETI programs to date have been casting a wide net, trying to catch a signal from a wide swath of sky. It would seem to me that if you could concentrate a bunch of resources on just a few limited possibilities you could fine-tune your efforts to the conditions specific for that patch of sky.

Of course not finding evidence for ETI doesn't mean that it doesn't exist. Only that we can't find it... though of course finding TI domestically can also sometimes be a challenge....
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Old Apr 22, 2013, 02:34 PM   #5
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Now the question is will it ever be possible to visit them at 1,200 and 2,700 light-years away?
If we can develop cryogenic technology that could keep us perserved and alive for thousands of years, then sure.
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Old Apr 23, 2013, 09:35 AM   #6
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What most people who get excited by news stories about Giant rocky planet finds but don't stop to think about gravity of those kinds of planets. Any life like beings would have to be VERY muscular, etc. for that kind of gravity.
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Old Apr 23, 2013, 09:41 AM   #7
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What most people who get excited by news stories about Giant rocky planet finds but don't stop to think about gravity of those kinds of planets. Any life like beings would have to be VERY muscular, etc. for that kind of gravity.
Are you concerned about possible conquest of Earth...or just interested in alien beefcake photos!!??
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Old Apr 23, 2013, 09:48 AM   #8
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What most people who get excited by news stories about Giant rocky planet finds but don't stop to think about gravity of those kinds of planets. Any life like beings would have to be VERY muscular, etc. for that kind of gravity.
Interestingly this is the original story behind Superman's powers; Before later authors gave him supernatural powers like heat vision and flight, it was explained that his strength came from the fact that Kyrpton had far more gravity than Earth.
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Old Apr 23, 2013, 10:08 AM   #9
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If we can develop cryogenic technology that could keep us perserved and alive for thousands of years, then sure.
Or if we can get space ships up to small fractions of the speed of light. The relativity effects kick in and for those people on the ship it won't be thousands of years. I don't recall the details, but I recently read an article about this and was surprised how small a fraction of the speed of light is required for substantial time dilations. Though, of course, even a small fraction of that speed is still fantastically fast.
---
I read a good SF story about some planetary colonists who were put into cryogenic pods for a thousand year journey. When the ship decelerated and up the colonists they were met by humans from earth who had used the thousand years to develop faster than light travel, and had been on the colony world for a while already. Oh well....
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Old Apr 23, 2013, 01:35 PM   #10
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What most people who get excited by news stories about Giant rocky planet finds but don't stop to think about gravity of those kinds of planets. Any life like beings would have to be VERY muscular, etc. for that kind of gravity.
Or flat.

Or small (like insects on Earth).

Or aquatic (like whales on Earth).

Or stationary (like tall trees on Earth).

There are plenty of options that don't need muscularity.
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Old Apr 23, 2013, 01:40 PM   #11
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Or flat.

Or small (like insects on Earth).

Or aquatic (like whales on Earth).

Or stationary (like tall trees on Earth).

There are plenty of options that don't need muscularity.
All those things are technically still affected by gravity. Like trees have to be able to support the weight of its branches.
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Old Apr 23, 2013, 01:47 PM   #12
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All those things are technically still affected by gravity. Like trees have to be able to support the weight of its branches.
I was referring to the muscularity:
Any life like beings would have to be VERY muscular, etc. for that kind of gravity.
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