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Old February 22nd, 2017, 10:16 AM   #1
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Major Discovery! 7 Earth-Size Alien Planets Circle Nearby Star

Seems like it's just a matter of time before life turns up somewhere else besides earth.
Major Discovery! 7 Earth-Size Alien Planets Circle Nearby Star

Astronomers have never seen anything like this before: Seven Earth-size alien worlds orbit the same tiny, dim star, and all of them may be capable of supporting life as we know it, a new study reports.

"Looking for life elsewhere, this system is probably our best bet as of today," study co-author Brice-Olivier Demory, a professor at the Center for Space and Habitability at the University of Bern in Switzerland, said in a statement.

The exoplanets circle the star TRAPPIST-1, which lies just 39 light-years from Earth a mere stone's throw in the cosmic scheme of things. So speculation about the alien worlds' life-hosting potential should soon be informed by hard data, study team members said.

"We can expect that, within a few years, we will know a lot more about these planets, and with hope, if there is life there, [we will know] within a decade," co-author Amaury Triaud, of the Institute of Astronomy at the University of Cambridge in England, told reporters on Tuesday (Feb. 21).
More: Major Discovery!*7 Earth-Size Alien Planets Circle Nearby Star
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Old February 22nd, 2017, 10:39 AM   #2
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But keep in mind that what we are seeing happened 39 million years ago. For all we know, there may have occured (nice neutral term) a single celled life form that evolved into a sentient and then intelligent creature which then developed civilization, industry and so on to the point of either polluting themselves to total death or annihilated themselves in a world war with their super sophisticated matter disassembling rays by now.
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Old February 22nd, 2017, 10:43 AM   #3
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But keep in mind that what we are seeing happened 39 million years ago. For all we know, there may have occured (nice neutral term) a single celled life form that evolved into a sentient and then intelligent creature which then developed civilization, industry and so on to the point of either polluting themselves to total death or annihilated themselves in a world war with their super sophisticated matter disassembling rays by now.
Or, they could be headed here....
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Old February 22nd, 2017, 10:56 AM   #4
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If alien life is peering in on the Earth from a far galaxy at the right distance, they would see dinosaurs roaming the Earth.
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Old February 22nd, 2017, 10:57 AM   #5
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Or, they could be headed here....
Maybe not all intelligent beings are homicidal and self-destructive.
Maybe earth is the universe's insane asylum.
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Old February 22nd, 2017, 10:58 AM   #6
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If alien life is peering in on the Earth from a far galaxy at the right distance, they would see dinosaurs roaming the Earth.
Only if they are using the same means to view us and we are them.
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Old February 22nd, 2017, 11:11 AM   #7
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If alien life is peering in on the Earth from a far galaxy at the right distance, they would see dinosaurs roaming the Earth.
If they were peering with the same type of instruments we are using, nope. The dinosaurs died out 65 million years ago.

https://pubs.usgs.gov/gip/dinosaurs/extinct.html
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Old February 22nd, 2017, 11:49 AM   #8
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Seems like it's just a matter of time before life turns up somewhere else besides earth.
Major Discovery! 7 Earth-Size Alien Planets Circle Nearby Star

Astronomers have never seen anything like this before: Seven Earth-size alien worlds orbit the same tiny, dim star, and all of them may be capable of supporting life as we know it, a new study reports.

"Looking for life elsewhere, this system is probably our best bet as of today," study co-author Brice-Olivier Demory, a professor at the Center for Space and Habitability at the University of Bern in Switzerland, said in a statement.

The exoplanets circle the star TRAPPIST-1, which lies just 39 light-years from Earth a mere stone's throw in the cosmic scheme of things. So speculation about the alien worlds' life-hosting potential should soon be informed by hard data, study team members said.

"We can expect that, within a few years, we will know a lot more about these planets, and with hope, if there is life there, [we will know] within a decade," co-author Amaury Triaud, of the Institute of Astronomy at the University of Cambridge in England, told reporters on Tuesday (Feb. 21).
More: Major Discovery!*7 Earth-Size Alien Planets Circle Nearby Star
This looks interesting, but I get a little frustrated every time space cadets start getting everyone excited about alien world possibly hosting life! Reason being because it seems that there is a huge chasm of difference between the conditions that allow simple one-celled life to exist and function vs. what's needed to make a home for complex multi-cellular organisms.

I first came across this problem over 20 years ago, when I heard about a skeptical book on the subject called "Rare Earth" by paleontologist-Peter D Ward and astrophysicist-Donald Brownlee.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rare_Earth_hypothesis

It seems Ward was drawing from his research into rock strata from the Permian-Triassic Extinction period 250 million years ago, as well as digging through older rock layers, and started pondering the question of why life began on Earth almost as soon as we had a permanent solid surface (almost 4 billion years ago) vs how much longer it took (at least till 1.2 billion years ago)when we see the first multicellular organisms start to appear in the rocks. Ward has said in lectures afterwards on origins of life, that if creationists were smart, they'd try to build their case around what's needed for the rise of complex life/rather than presenting first life as a miracle!

Donald Brownlee was looking at the Drake Equation positing abundant life..including intelligent advanced life in our galaxy, and questioning all of the improbable circumstances that have made Earth an ideal home for abundant life...such as our planetary system beginning closer in...forming where there was more solid, rocky material and then for reasons unknown..getting kicked out to the outer reaches of the Galaxy, where there's much less radiation and less likelihood of collisions + our solar system happens to have been putted right into a perfect spot where it is in between two gaseous spiral arms of the galaxy which emit deadly levels of gamma rays and other radiation.

Not only do we manage to stay in between for billions of years...allowing enough time for complex life to arise, but other conditions..just the right kind of star and a moon to prevent Earth from becoming tidally locked by the Sun..the Moon also smoothing out our planet's axis and movements allowing Earth to sustain a strong magnetic field that helps protect living organisms...and there's much more in the book, but to be honest, as soon as I saw "tidally locked" in this new story, I started thinking there's no reason for Capt. Kirk and the Enterprize to go there and look for extraterrestrial civilizations....especially Kirk's favorite kind, that included green or blue-skinned women wearing metal brassieres who want to know what love is!
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Old February 22nd, 2017, 12:36 PM   #9
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If they were peering with the same type of instruments we are using, nope. The dinosaurs died out 65 million years ago.

https://pubs.usgs.gov/gip/dinosaurs/extinct.html
If a planet was orbiting a star about 65 million light years away from Earth, the light the aliens would see would be light from 65 million years ago, and vice versa if we were looking at them.
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Old February 22nd, 2017, 12:44 PM   #10
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If a planet was orbiting a star about 65 million light years away from Earth, the light the aliens would see would be light from 65 million years ago, and vice versa if we were looking at them.
Right. And this one is 39 million LY away. So if they are looking at us right now, they are seeing wearth as it was 39 mil years ago. And 39 mil years ago, the dinosaurs were but a distant memory. Actually not even that. I'm pretty sure the critters around there then didn't have any concept of what there was 16 million years in their past.
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