Free Republic
Browse · Search
General/Chat
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

Study: Billions of Earth-size planets in Milky Way (In search of a 'Goldilocks' zone planet)
Yahoo ^ | 1/7/13 | Associated Press

Posted on 01/07/2013 12:04:14 PM PST by NormsRevenge

LONG BEACH, Calif. (AP) — Astronomers hunting for Earth-like planets now have many places to look. A new estimate released Monday suggested the Milky Way galaxy is home to at least 17 billion planets similar in size to our planet.

It doesn't mean all are potentially habitable, but the sheer number of Earth-size planets is a welcome starting point in the search for worlds like our own.

Scientists have yet to find a twin Earth — one that's not only the right size but also located in the so-called Goldilocks zone, a place that's not too hot and not too cold where water might exist in liquid form.

(Excerpt) Read more at news.yahoo.com ...


TOPICS: Astronomy; Chit/Chat; Outdoors; Science
KEYWORDS: billions; earth; goldilocks; goldilocksplanet; goldilockszone; kepler; milkyway; nasa; planets; xplanets
after further review of data gathered from the Kepler program.. no 'match' yet.. and what then if we find one? Project Pegasus?
1 posted on 01/07/2013 12:04:22 PM PST by NormsRevenge
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

from JPL Nasa’s Kepler program web site

NASA’s Kepler Mission Discovers 461 New Planet Candidates

01.07.2013

http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/kepler/news/kepler-461-new-candidates.html

NASA’s Kepler mission Monday announced the discovery of 461 new planet candidates. Four of the potential new planets are less than twice the size of Earth and orbit in their sun’s “habitable zone,” the region in the planetary system where liquid water might exist on the surface of a planet.

Based on observations conducted from May 2009 to March 2011, the findings show a steady increase in the number of smaller-size planet candidates and the number of stars with more than one candidate.

“There is no better way to kickoff the start of the Kepler extended mission than to discover more possible outposts on the frontier of potentially life bearing worlds,” said Christopher Burke, Kepler scientist at the SETI Institute in Mountain View, Calif., who is leading the analysis.

Since the last Kepler catalog was released in February 2012, the number of candidates discovered in the Kepler data has increased by 20 percent and now totals 2,740 potential planets orbiting 2,036 stars. The most dramatic increases are seen in the number of Earth-size and super Earth-size candidates discovered, which grew by 43 and 21 percent respectively.

The new data increases the number of stars discovered to have more than one planet candidate from 365 to 467. Today, 43 percent of Kepler’s planet candidates are observed to have neighbor planets.

“The large number of multi-candidate systems being found by Kepler implies that a substantial fraction of exoplanets reside in flat multi-planet systems,” said Jack Lissauer, planetary scientist at NASA’s Ames Research Center in Moffett Field, Calif. “This is consistent with what we know about our own planetary neighborhood.”

The Kepler space telescope identifies planet candidates by repeatedly measuring the change in brightness of more than 150,000 stars in search of planets that pass in front, or “transit,” their host star. At least three transits are required to verify a signal as a potential planet.

Scientists analyzed more than 13,000 transit-like signals to eliminate known spacecraft instrumentation and astrophysical false positives, phenomena that masquerade as planetary candidates, to identify the potential new planets.

Candidates require additional follow-up observations and analyses to be confirmed as planets. At the beginning of 2012, 33 candidates in the Kepler data had been confirmed as planets. Today, there are 105.

“The analysis of increasingly longer time periods of Kepler data uncovers smaller planets in longer period orbits— orbital periods similar to Earth’s,” said Steve Howell, Kepler mission project scientist at Ames. “It is no longer a question of will we find a true Earth analogue, but a question of when.”

The complete list of Kepler planet candidates is available in an interactive table at the NASA Exoplanet Archive. The archive is funded by NASA’s Exoplanet Exploration Program to collect and make public data to support the search for and characterization of exoplanets and their host stars.

Ames manages Kepler’s ground system development, mission operations and science data analysis. NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Pasadena, Calif., managed Kepler mission development. Ball Aerospace and Technologies Corp. in Boulder, Colo., developed the Kepler flight system and supports mission operations with JPL at the Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics at the University of Colorado in Boulder.

The Space Telescope Science Institute in Baltimore archives, hosts and distributes the Kepler science data. Kepler is NASA’s 10th Discovery Mission and is funded by NASA’s Science Mission Directorate at the agency’s headquarters in Washington.

JPL manages NASA’s Exoplanet Exploration Program. The NASA Exoplanet Archive is hosted at the Infrared Processing and Analysis Center at the California Institute of Technology.
...


2 posted on 01/07/2013 12:07:25 PM PST by NormsRevenge (Semper Fi)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: NormsRevenge

and what then if we find one?

Nothing. Unless there is a revolution on our understanding of fundamental physics we will never get out of our solar system.


3 posted on 01/07/2013 12:08:55 PM PST by DManA
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

Nasa Kepler web site
http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/kepler/main/index.html


4 posted on 01/07/2013 12:09:06 PM PST by NormsRevenge (Semper Fi)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: NormsRevenge

Kudos to whoever chose to use the better “Earth sized planets” term.

I get irritated with the use of terms like “earth like” unless they’re clear about the theoretical nature of the discussion.


5 posted on 01/07/2013 12:09:27 PM PST by cripplecreek (REMEMBER THE RIVER RAISIN!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: DManA

Indeed. God Himself couldn’t have invented a better system for permanently separating any advanced civilizations. Unless He did.

SnakeDoc


6 posted on 01/07/2013 12:11:39 PM PST by SnakeDoctor (Come and take it.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

To: SnakeDoctor

And since everything we need is on the Earth, in great abundance, there is no reason, beyond raw curiosity (nothing wrong with that), to leave it.


7 posted on 01/07/2013 12:14:52 PM PST by DManA
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 6 | View Replies]

To: NormsRevenge

I have no doubt that there are billions of planets supporting life in the universe, but they are all millions of light years away, so as far as we are concerned they do not exist.


8 posted on 01/07/2013 12:15:51 PM PST by E. Pluribus Unum (TYRANNY: When the people fear the government. LIBERTY: When the government fears the people.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: NormsRevenge
Then there's the likelihood of earthsized moons.

Image Hosted by ImageShack.us
9 posted on 01/07/2013 12:18:51 PM PST by cripplecreek (REMEMBER THE RIVER RAISIN!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: NormsRevenge

We should go there and conquer them.


10 posted on 01/07/2013 12:18:51 PM PST by Vendome (Don't take life so seriously, you won't live through it anyway)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: DManA

Unless there is a revolution on our understanding of fundamental physics we will never get out of our solar system.

I hear ya.. We need to slip it in a higher gear or peel back a dimension or two to scale the rungs of the multiverse and see revealed all its layers of glory..

but.. in actuality, We’re more like a type 1 infantile civilization on a celestial scale of 0-4 ratings for civilizations and their capabilities, which means we ain’t got that much on cock roaches and insects when it comes to jumping to the stars on our own.. yet we exist somehow .. for now... global varming or not. ;-]


11 posted on 01/07/2013 12:19:01 PM PST by NormsRevenge (Semper Fi)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

To: DManA
And since everything we need is on the Earth, in great abundance, there is no reason, beyond raw curiosity (nothing wrong with that), to leave it.

We could send all the liberals there.

12 posted on 01/07/2013 12:19:38 PM PST by SVTCobra03 (You can never have enough friends, horsepower or ammunition.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 7 | View Replies]

To: KevinDavis

bump


13 posted on 01/07/2013 12:19:38 PM PST by GeronL (http://asspos.blogspot.com)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 8 | View Replies]

To: NormsRevenge

Were not even a type 1, we can’t control our own weather yet.


14 posted on 01/07/2013 12:29:30 PM PST by Michael Barnes (Obamaa+ Downgrade)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 11 | View Replies]

To: NormsRevenge

1. Find an Earth-sized planet
2. Must be away from the galactic center (to reduce radiation)
3. Must be away from the center of the galactic arms (radiation)
4. Probably best if it was not part of a multi-star system (orbital stability)
5. Must have water as a liquid (needed for life)
6. Must have much larger planets outside its orbit (to capture asteroids/comets/meteorites from coliding)
7. Must be old enough (tectonic stability, time to sweep out space debris)
8. Must have a large enough moon (to stabilize axial wobble), but not so large as to be considered a double planet (tectonics, weather)

and finally

9. Must be close enough to us (to be observable and remotely relevant).

Billions? I’ll guess that there’s two or three, if any at all.


15 posted on 01/07/2013 12:31:19 PM PST by kidd
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: DManA

There is a revolution in our understanding concerning real warp drive: 10X the speed of light or higher and not violating Einstein’s ‘speed of light’ speed limit. Physicists say it’s possible and NASA is experimenting with it in the lab. It sounds crazy, but so did things like space travel, atomic energy and breaking the speed of sound.


16 posted on 01/07/2013 12:44:50 PM PST by wattsgnu
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

To: NormsRevenge
after further review of data gathered from the Kepler program.. no 'match' yet.. and what then if we find one? Project Pegasus?

If they work cheaper than the Chinese it will be "Project GAFTA" (Galactic American Free Trade Agreement).

17 posted on 01/07/2013 12:45:01 PM PST by Oatka (This is America. Assimilate or evaporate.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: DManA

And since everything we need is on the Earth, in great abundance, there is no reason, beyond raw curiosity (nothing wrong with that), to leave it.


You mean other than our sun expected to die out in another 5+ billion years?


18 posted on 01/07/2013 12:52:13 PM PST by Hotlanta Mike ("Governing a great nation is like cooking a small fish - too much handling will spoil it." Lao Tzu)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 7 | View Replies]

To: NormsRevenge

Mars and Venus are also in the Goldilocks Zone, but things haven’t been “just right” for them.

All of these Super-Earths that they are finding would also pose an interesting issue with the possibility of life, but gravity so great that an “escape to space” would never be possible. I wonder at what gravitational force it would be impossible to achieve orbit through an atmosphere using hydrogen/oxygen rocket engines.


19 posted on 01/07/2013 12:56:20 PM PST by SampleMan (Feral Humans are the refuse of socialism.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Hotlanta Mike

Due to the limitations of travel greater than the speed of light and the short relative life span of humans inter galactic travel is the stuff of science fiction and fantasy.


20 posted on 01/07/2013 1:02:58 PM PST by central_va ( I won't be reconstructed and I do not give a damn.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 18 | View Replies]

To: central_va

It’s all science fiction until someone figures out how to do it the first time...


21 posted on 01/07/2013 1:11:49 PM PST by Dead Corpse (Sine ullo desiderio vive et ama.... Carpe diem.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 20 | View Replies]

To: Dead Corpse

Nobody will ever figure out how to defy the laws of physics.


22 posted on 01/07/2013 1:25:47 PM PST by central_va ( I won't be reconstructed and I do not give a damn.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 21 | View Replies]

To: central_va

Who says we have to?

http://gizmodo.com/5942634/nasa-starts-development-of-real-life-star-trek-warp-drive


23 posted on 01/07/2013 1:29:36 PM PST by Dead Corpse (Sine ullo desiderio vive et ama.... Carpe diem.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 22 | View Replies]

To: central_va
Due to the limitations of travel greater than the speed of light and the short relative life span of humans inter galactic travel is the stuff of science fiction and fantasy.

My grandfather was born in 1906, and died in 1992. He had a lifelong interest in all things technological, and would often sit and describe to us grandkids how the America of the late 20th century was like something out of Buck Rogers, compared to the world he was born into.

Try not to be short-sighted. More technological wonders are to come, than we can easily imagine.

24 posted on 01/07/2013 1:31:39 PM PST by Windflier (To anger a conservative, tell him a lie. To anger a liberal, tell him the truth.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 20 | View Replies]

To: central_va
Nobody will ever figure out how to defy the laws of physics.

Until someone does, and then they will re-write the physics text books.

25 posted on 01/07/2013 1:33:24 PM PST by Windflier (To anger a conservative, tell him a lie. To anger a liberal, tell him the truth.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 22 | View Replies]

To: Windflier
Fermi Paradox
26 posted on 01/07/2013 1:35:45 PM PST by central_va ( I won't be reconstructed and I do not give a damn.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 25 | View Replies]

To: NormsRevenge

Colonization will be like the Western Hemisphere, a great deal will be people escaping religious and idealogical persecution from the earth sphere....


27 posted on 01/07/2013 1:36:17 PM PST by GraceG
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Windflier

Nobody will ever figure out how to defy the laws of physics.

Until someone does, and then they will re-write the physics text books.

We need to figure out how to marry electromagnetism and gravity, then stardrives theoretically become possible...


28 posted on 01/07/2013 1:37:41 PM PST by GraceG
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 25 | View Replies]

To: GraceG
We need to figure out how to marry electromagnetism and gravity, then stardrives theoretically become possible...

And you know that thousands of smart people around the planet are working on doing that very thing. I also don't doubt that every major government has deep black programs that are hard at work on solving this, as well.

Someone's going to get there first. I just hope it's the good guys.

29 posted on 01/07/2013 1:52:41 PM PST by Windflier (To anger a conservative, tell him a lie. To anger a liberal, tell him the truth.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 28 | View Replies]

To: central_va
Nobody will ever figure out how to defy the laws of physics.

The Democrats will. They've figured out a way to defy all of the other laws.

30 posted on 01/07/2013 1:59:56 PM PST by GreenHornet
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 22 | View Replies]

To: central_va

31 posted on 01/07/2013 2:30:32 PM PST by mikrofon (Celeritas)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 22 | View Replies]

To: kidd
Billions? I’ll guess that there’s two or three, if any at all.

We know there is at least one!

32 posted on 01/07/2013 2:43:02 PM PST by Sawdring
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 15 | View Replies]

To: central_va
Nobody will ever figure out how to defy the laws of physics.

Once we figure out how the laws of physics came into being, we'll be well on the way to intergalactic travel.

It's just a matter of reverse-engineering those laws. Then we can play God.
33 posted on 01/07/2013 3:29:30 PM PST by adorno (Y)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 22 | View Replies]

To: DManA

“Unless there is a revolution on our understanding of fundamental physics we will never get out of our solar system.”

That is complete and utter nonsense. It is quite possible for humans to colonize the Milky Way Galaxy across its 100,000 light year diameter with the physics known today, and it will become easier as the knowledge of physics improves.


34 posted on 01/07/2013 3:57:08 PM PST by WhiskeyX
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

To: SnakeDoctor
Advanced civilizations equal to and grater than our present civilization have the technological capability to colonize thee Milky Way Galaxy in time periods comparable to humans colonizing the Earth's continents.
35 posted on 01/07/2013 4:01:59 PM PST by WhiskeyX
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 6 | View Replies]

To: SnakeDoctor
"Indeed. God Himself couldn’t have invented a better system for permanently separating any advanced civilizations." Advanced civilizations equal to and greater than our present civilization have the technological capability to colonize thee Milky Way Galaxy in time periods comparable to humans colonizing the Earth's continents.
36 posted on 01/07/2013 4:04:42 PM PST by WhiskeyX
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 6 | View Replies]

To: SunkenCiv

Pinging...


37 posted on 01/07/2013 4:04:42 PM PST by Las Vegas Dave
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: central_va
“Nobody will ever figure out how to defy the laws of physics.”

We don't need to defy the laws of physics. We can use the laws of physics as they exist. Even with sub-light propulsion systems, humans can colonize the interstellar space of the galaxy.

38 posted on 01/07/2013 4:09:54 PM PST by WhiskeyX
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 22 | View Replies]

To: central_va

“Due to the limitations of travel greater than the speed of light and the short relative life span of humans inter galactic travel is the stuff of science fiction and fantasy.”

Sub-light speed intra-galactic colonization is possible.


39 posted on 01/07/2013 4:13:49 PM PST by WhiskeyX
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 20 | View Replies]

To: NormsRevenge

There’s also the time-delay factor. Maybe these far-off civilizations are just now electing their first black presidents and defunding their space programs.


40 posted on 01/07/2013 4:20:36 PM PST by P.O.E. (Pray for America)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: E. Pluribus Unum
they are all millions of light years away

Well, no. In the sun's immediate neighborhood, there's about 1 star for every 280 cubic light years. So there should be about... 1875 stars within 50 light years, 15000 stars within 100 light years, 1875000 stars within 500 light years.

The whole Milky Way galaxy is only about 100,000 light years across.

Saying everything we might be interested in is "millions of light years away" is similar to Al Gore claiming the center of the Earth is "millions of degrees."

Actual temperature is 5000 to 9000 Celsius.

Now if you'd said (many) millions of miles, you'd have been quite right. Although a little on the short side.:)

41 posted on 01/07/2013 5:14:50 PM PST by Sherman Logan
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 8 | View Replies]

To: Sherman Logan
Only 500 light years?

We can be there tomorrow!

:)

42 posted on 01/07/2013 5:17:01 PM PST by E. Pluribus Unum (TYRANNY: When the people fear the politicians. LIBERTY: When the politicians fear the people.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 41 | View Replies]

To: E. Pluribus Unum

Maybe we can. The most presently popular versions of physics indicate that there are 9 or 11 dimensions (if I remember correctly), of which we are only able to sense 3, or 4 if you count time.

It doesn’t seem wildly implausible to me that a more complete understanding of the actual, as opposed to perceived, universe might allow us to take a shortcut through some of these other dimensions that would take less or perhaps no time.

Insofar as a propulsion mechanism, of the four “forces” in the universe, we have good deal of control over the electromagnetic force. Even a little control over the gravitational force obviously creates the potential for far more efficient propulsion mechanisms.


43 posted on 01/07/2013 5:29:55 PM PST by Sherman Logan
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 42 | View Replies]

To: Sherman Logan
What we need is a good, old-fashioned stargate.

:P

44 posted on 01/07/2013 5:32:53 PM PST by E. Pluribus Unum (TYRANNY: When the people fear the politicians. LIBERTY: When the politicians fear the people.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 43 | View Replies]

To: E. Pluribus Unum

Yup.

I quite agree that colonization via travel across the space between the stars is unrealistic given our present understanding of physics.

I just find it highly amusing that some of us think we have a full and complete understanding of physics, especially since with our present knowledge quantum mechanics and relativity contradict each other. Since we know (believe) that both accurately describe reality, it seems pretty obvious there is some deeper level of reality we haven’t yet understood in which they are not in conflict.


45 posted on 01/07/2013 5:46:17 PM PST by Sherman Logan
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 44 | View Replies]

To: Sherman Logan
I find it amusing that none of our science even acknowledges that consciousness exists (other than quantum physics, but only obliquely), much less even begins to explain, yet we think we are so smart and have it all figured out.

Pretty colors on an MRI screen showing the part of the brain that lights up when you think of a cat is just pretty colors on an MRI screen.

The reason science is afraid to address consciousness is because it might lead to ideas like... a Creator, for instance.

46 posted on 01/07/2013 5:56:35 PM PST by E. Pluribus Unum (TYRANNY: When the people fear the politicians. LIBERTY: When the politicians fear the people.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 45 | View Replies]

To: Sherman Logan
“I quite agree that colonization via travel across the space between the stars is unrealistic given our present understanding of physics.”

There was nothing unrealistic about human interstellar space travel when a willfully ignorant professor declared it to be unrealistic at a university seminar in 1966, and is far less unrealistic with what we know and can do in 2013. Multi-generation interstellar travel is possible with current technology. Ion propulsion is quite capable as a method of sub-light propulsion. For the inhabitants of the interstellar habitat, the trip would be little different in their lives than staying home in the Solar System.

47 posted on 01/07/2013 6:09:06 PM PST by WhiskeyX
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 45 | View Replies]

To: KevinDavis; annie laurie; Knitting A Conundrum; Viking2002; Ernest_at_the_Beach; Mmogamer; ...

Thanks NormsRevenge.
 
X-Planets
· join · view topics · view or post blog · bookmark · post new topic · subscribe ·
Google news searches: exoplanet · exosolar · extrasolar ·

48 posted on 01/07/2013 6:21:04 PM PST by SunkenCiv (Romney would have been worse, if you're a dumb ass.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

To: WhiskeyX

I’m sorry, but I don’t think multi-generation travel is possible, simply because I don’t think enough people would sign up.

I wouldn’t condemn my children and theirs to such a life without choice otherwise, and I would sign up in a minute for myself.

These plans are all based on the notion that multiple generations would be happy to exist in a very constrained environment so some future generation would reach some predetermined goal. I don’t buy it, people just don’t work that way. I will sacrifice for myself and my children and grandchildren. My descendants to the 5th generation are on their own.

Maybe I’m wrong, but I don’t think so.


49 posted on 01/07/2013 6:28:55 PM PST by Sherman Logan
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 47 | View Replies]

To: Sherman Logan

“These plans are all based on the notion that multiple generations would be happy to exist in a very constrained environment so some future generation would reach some predetermined goal.”

No, the they would not necessarily be living in “a very constrained environment” at all. You are repeating all of the common misconceptions about such habitats. Nothing could be further from the truth. Also, you fail to understand how they would not necessarily eveen be all that interested in making the trip to find a planet, habitable or not. Until such time as propulsions come into existence which can providee the thrust needed to escape a planetary gravitational field witout exorbitant costs, human habitation of planets will be limited to special purposes. The principal habitats of humans would be off-planets. Consequently, human interest in habitable exo-planets will be limited for spacefaring humans. The inhabitants of the interstellar habitat will be more interested in living aboard their habitat than leaving it to become planetbound.


50 posted on 01/07/2013 7:26:45 PM PST by WhiskeyX
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 49 | View Replies]

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
General/Chat
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794
FreeRepublic.com is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson