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It's life Jim... maybe

Discussion in 'off topic' started by zarniwoop, Sep 11, 2019 at 8:16 PM.

  1. zarniwoop

    zarniwoop hoopy frood

    Water has been found on a potentially habitable planet orbiting another star:

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-49648746

    Hopes that we will have telescopes in ~10 years that will be capable of determining the existence or not of gases in K2-18b's atmosphere that could indicate life.

    Exciting stuff!
     
  2. Seeker_UK

    Seeker_UK Waiting for the streetcar..

    So remember, when you're feeling very small and insecure,
    How amazingly unlikely is your birth;
    And pray that there's intelligent life somewhere out in space,
    'Cause there's bugger all down here on Earth
     
  3. Bob McC

    Bob McC Living the life of Riley

  4. BJP

    BJP El Perro Azul

    Why should we be excited that there might be life out there ?
     
  5. Bob McC

    Bob McC Living the life of Riley

  6. Joe P

    Joe P certified Buffologist / mod

    BJP,

    Wouldn't discovery of life elsewhere be one of those things that cause you to pee your pants?

    Joe
     
  7. droodzilla

    droodzilla pfm Member

    What excites you?
     
  8. zarniwoop

    zarniwoop hoopy frood

    I can’t understand how anyone wouldn’t be, but each to his own.
     
  9. BJP

    BJP El Perro Azul

    Not the replies I was expecting I’ll rephrase.

    Why do we get exited that there might be life out there ?
    (I am included )
     
  10. gintonic

    gintonic 50 shades of grey pussy cats

    do we? and who is we?
     
  11. MarkW

    MarkW Full Speed & Pagan

    Well, I for one, would be excited by the prospect of life as we didn't know it. Something beyond our carbon-based ken.

    But, given the response of the average human these days, we'd probably diss them for not having a 60inch oled tv and bitch about them behind their backs (assuming they had backs).
     
  12. BJP

    BJP El Perro Azul

    Anyway my own take on why it is I get exited at the possibility of life out there and why I shouldn't get excited .
    Marvelling at new things that I would have thought impossible , intelligence beyond our comprehension (although I think we would know about "them" by now ) , a future for further generations . The last point is why I shouldn't get exited , we screwed this place up so lets go and screw another place up and if there is real advanced life out there they might screw us up . Of course that's maybe all a bit premature to finding water 650 million million miles away .
     
  13. BJP

    BJP El Perro Azul

    Me and the guy who works down the chip shop who swears he's Elvis .
     
  14. zarniwoop

    zarniwoop hoopy frood

    Ah, I misunderstood.

    Humans are innately curious about their surroundings. You can see it in babies before they can speak or walk. This leads some to be scientists and explorers, but I think many who do not follow such an obvious course driven by that curiosity, are still intrigued by new discoveries. Discovery of new species anywhere will resonate with many people, and if that is on another planet the impact is magnified hugely.
     
    BJP likes this.
  15. JensenHealey

    JensenHealey pfm Member

    Even if said planet looks hopeful for life sustaining conditions - there is still a statistical improbability to overcome.... the chance of intelligent life being there at the same time as us now is likely to be almost vanishingly small.

    Remember that Human beings have around 100,000 years of history (and several hundred more of pre-history) and only a few decades of advanced history (enough to find and detect other planets like this). Our history is small within the Billions of years of Earth history, and smaller still in Universe history. So the chance of another civilisation matching or exceeding our technological state coinciding with us in time is rather small!
     
  16. Whaleblue

    Whaleblue Southbound

    I’m excited at the prospect of life elsewhere, for sure.

    And if it’s twice the size of Earth, we could go there and it might take ages to f it up. Obviously we now have a big head start on f’ing up planets for our own inhabitance, so when I say “ages”...

    Anyway, are we there yet?
     
    BJP likes this.
  17. Jim Audiomisc

    Jim Audiomisc pfm Member

    Difficult to say while so many of the factors which affect the chance still have unknown or poorly estimated values.

    Thus far we've started to get enough planet detections to begin useful stats how common various sizes, orbits, etc, may be. Turns out there are quite a lot of them. Soon we may get enough info to know how many have water (or some other suitable type of environment), etc.

    Race really against our current civilisation (sic?) destroying itself via our wilful stupidity in allowing dim bulbs to rule.
     
    BJP likes this.
  18. Joe P

    Joe P certified Buffologist / mod

    If people find this topic interesting, check out NASA's exoplanet site: https://exoplanets.nasa.gov

    And here's a video of the latest discovery, the new watery exoplanet zarniwoop posted about.



    Joe
     
    zarniwoop and BJP like this.
  19. Whaleblue

    Whaleblue Southbound

  20. Joe P

    Joe P certified Buffologist / mod

    Ian,

    That comic raises a very good point — that exoplanets with water orbiting a star within its Goldlocks zone may not be that uncommon.

    But it also suggests that our particular planet may, in fact, be a helluva lot rarer than similar exoplanets discovered to date. The Earth is a lot more than just a rocky planet with liquid water and an atmosphere orbiting a stable star's habitable zone. It's also a planet with a magnetic field (without which life likely never would have arose), in a planetary system with a ginomous gas giant that has mopped up a lot of solar system left overs, making it far less likely that all life on Earth will be wiped out by collision with an Earth-shattering (pun intended) asteroid or comet.

    If it turns out that our kind of planet is exceedingly rare and just by some fluke has the conditions necessary for the origin and evolution of complex life forms we should be doing everything in our power to not crap up the place.

    Joe
     
    Sue Pertwee-Tyr and Whaleblue like this.

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