Skip to comments.Signs of Life Found Orbiting an Exoplanet–Sort of
Posted on 05/29/2013 4:30:15 PM PDT by lbryce
Please note that this article was originally published on March 20, 2008.
The possible detection of methane in the atmosphere of a distant planet could be the next big step in the search for life outside our solar system
Everyone seems to be double-extra-cautiously optimistic about this finding, so dont go running out to your telescope tonight looking for greetings from friendly space creatures.
But in work reported today in Nature, astronomers say they used the Hubble Space Telescopes infrared imager to pick up signs of methane in the atmosphere of a Jupiter-sized planet orbiting a star some 63 million light years from Earth. And methane, an organic molecule, is an indicator of the possible presence of life.
The bad news, for ET fans, is that the planet is probably too close to its host star to support the kind of life were all really looking for. The good news is that the very presence of methane, and water, in the planets atmosphere could be evidence that some form of life may be out there, either on this planet or others. Methane is key to the formation of amino acids, the basic building blocks of organisms.
Another key takeaway from this work, scientists say, is that astronomers have now moved from simply finding these planetsa not-so-simple job in and of itselfto exploring them chemically.
The problem is despite the plethora of planets orbiting the billions of stars that comprise our galaxy, most discoveries have been planets up to five, six times Jupiter-sized, conditions of which could not support life as we know it.
Up to very recently, we were unable to discover smaller sized more Earth-like planets than the gargantuan worlds already made known to us, due to technological limitations. But recent events have confirmed the discovery of Earth-like planets that were in, as they call it,'the Goldilocks Zone', conditions of which were not too cold or too hot around stars similar to our own sun.
I get very much annoyed, angry by the manner in which scientists, media, all play up the discovery of any Goldilocks planet in a wholly celebratory, child-like tone, their talk of contact, communication, setting up the alien landing platform on Devil's Tower, getting Holder to work out some gun-running deal, egregiously belies their otherwise objective empirical approach, unethically abandoned when discussing exo-planets harboring life.
To read scientists regale over a newly discovered Goldilocks planet has them in naive ebullience, their basic scientific knowledge out the window to fantasize about a world seen only as a microscopic dot, talk of communication, exchanging societal background, histories makes for for a lot of but is hardly realistic to occur for a myriad of reasons, such as, the unimaginably far distances, the technology to make it all happen, the little problem with the pathetically inadequate speed in which to merely communicate in a timely manner has any notion of making the greatest discovery in human history of an alien civilization, useless in practical terms. Man's most romantic fantasy, space travel, alien contact, is the result of brains incessantly skewed by watching, reading too much Star Trek, Star Wars,the entire genre of the subject.
In a way, this fierce dedication to the belief of a universe teeming with intelligent life on exo-planets spread across the galaxy is eerily, ironically reminiscent of religion, belief in a higher power,a spiritual being
Both groups believe in what they do are motivated by what seems nearly identical.
Life being as daunting s it can be, has the religious person worship the Supreme Being of their preference as means for salvation, protection, in the hopes of being saved from the ravages of living by virtue of the blessings bestowed by a savior God.
Scientists, other might not share the same needs but suffer from the same insecurities, fears, the planet's survival. Their dedication to,hopefulness for the discovery of aliens,life on other worlds the rationale for which is nearly identical to those who believe in God in that with overpopulation, disease, power generation, the planet under duress, stress,(no,I refuse to include events of meteorological phenomena) are concerned about the future of our planet (said in jest) and look to discover advanced alien civilizations as secular savior to provide us with salvation for all of Earth's daunting problems we ourselves used in getting here to this point, the inspiration, implementation of technology, have them provide us with the means they used to conquer their own problems
Something there is sure farting a lot.
Only 63 million light years away. Lets send them a howdy message. If they respond promptly, we should hear back from them in less than 125,000,000 years.
Come on! 63 million miles from earth and they can tell there is methane there. Nonsense! At 63 million miles away, I would not trust a spectrometer to tell me anything unless I had an agenda. I believe these people do. At 63 million miles away, you can’t even see the planet. How could you tell if it had methane upon it? Be reasonable people. Let’s get real. 63 millions miles away?
63 million LIGHT YEARS, Max. 63 million LIGHT YEARS.
Since there are 6 trillion miles in a light year, that would be about 375 million trillion miles.
that’s a long distance call.
I suspect there is an error. 63 million light years would put it far far outside our own galaxy. I think they meant 63 or 630 light years.
I’ll admit it. It was me. Today’s lunch at a new restaurant is the culprit. Still farting even as I make this post hours later. One of the worst outbreaks I’ve ever had, so bad, I tried going to the ER but they wouldn’t let me in.
I’m sick of them saying “the basic building blocks of organisms”
because building blocks means that you can put them together to build something.
The low-information reader is supposed to think that this means that there is life when there are amino acids.
What a crock! ‘Science’ has turned into funny-paper producing idiocy.
Isn't it just!
"...and look to discover advanced alien civilizations as secular savior to provide us with salvation for all of Earth's daunting problems we ourselves used in getting here..."
Sounds very similar to something a few of us were discussing a week or so ago.
From one of my posts...."Well,I wouldn't insist that they (ETs) don't exist but I don't find anything scriptural that compels me to think they do and the universe being really really big doesn't either.When I see so much 'new age' thinking that swirls around other-worldy life out there coming to save us and see so many who reject God insisting there's other life out there I can't help being suspicious.The Bible tells us there most certainly is other intelligent life in the universe.Some of it being malevolent and maybe trying to hitch a ride on man's desire to believe in some sort of physical saviour."
You can do it yourself at home. I can train you how to do it too. :)
And once again, allow me to add that I find nothing int he Bible which precludes higher intelligence beings, but without a spirit. We just don’t know. Then again, perhaps God put a spirit in evolved beings but did not allow for free will, sort of like ant colonies or bee hiveism.
Sounds very similar to something a few of us were discussing a week or so ago.
***Yes, and I recently added a physics development to that thread.
Note that Coppedges calculations of 1 in 10^123 for the formation of a protein of 445 amino acids in length, and 1 in 10^29345 for the formation of an aggregate of proteins minimal for the existence of life are computed on the basis of the left-handed amino acid problem alone.
So the SETI project was off by 29,343 orders of magnitude. It only needs to be off by 50 orders of magnitude to be impossible, by the mathematical definition.
You might want to read up on super luminal travel and energy from the zero point field.
However, despite a lack of evidence, these same people believe that the universe is teeming with life and that life on Earth was probably seeded by aliens.
I think this trend, belief in “Panspermia” is actually a positive step, as it moves them away from the classic Neo-Darwinian view of how life as we know it evolved.
I’ve followed the Evolution/Creation debates for a number of years and the logical conclusion is either God created life and everything we know and/or we were seeded from space.
Evolutionary theory is severely flawed, and people know this. Since the popularization of programs like “Ancient Aliens”, we are seeing a greater acceptance of the Panspermia theory, while Neo-Darwinism is losing ground.
I suggest that this is a positive step since removing Darwinism from the equation people are forced to define and examine the probabilities of space travelers and the implications that accompany them.
Some folks can't differentiate between a fart and their own sorry intellectual incapacity to be aware of anything else. It's like the famous Gary Larsen cartoon where he portrays what a dog hears when his owner is speaking to him.
Owner:Rover,get off the neighbor's lawn!
What Rover hears:BARK!BARK!BARK!BARK!BARK!BARK!
Some people, like our honorary MENSA member here,Sandrat, hears all sounds, reads all books as if they were farts.
Friend:Hey, Sandrat, how's it going?
What Sandrat hears:Flatulent Sonic Boom
What Sandrat expeiences whenever he reads anything.
Fleeting, ephemeral cloud of an*l vapor.
Didn't FR once require an IQ test before granting membership?.
True.However it can be illuminating to look at the reasons why this topic seems to touch so many nerves.It seems it's an issue that's difficult to look at unemotionally.Lots of big questions that touch very deeply on who and what we are.The issue often ends up looking a lot like a creation/evolution,theist/atheist or even a protestant/catholic debate.Tons of heat with little light.
Read the tagline. It’s that simple.
while I would agree anyone showing up here would be highly intelligent (and motivated to get here)... I’m pretty sure they wouldn’t see us the same.
let’s say we sailed for many months... lots of open water.. provisions doing ok, but very repetitive. then we stumbled onto an island we had never visited before. this island is jammed packed full of cows and chickens.
are we going to sit down and have a conversation with the cows?
will we look to experience the cultural diversity of the chickens?
Think Grant money, not logic.
Read the bleeep!
It seems it’s an issue that’s difficult to look at unemotionally.
***I don’t get it. Here’s as much of an unemotional appreciation as you’re gonna see. The response (other than silence) has been along the lines of “surely, there must be away that panspermia works.” IOW, a faith response.
... calculations of 1 in 10^29345 for the formation of an aggregate of proteins minimal for the existence of life are computed on the basis of the left-handed amino acid problem alone.
So the SETI project was off by 29,343 orders of magnitude. It only needs to be off by 50 orders of magnitude to be impossible, by the mathematical definition.
There is life out there in the universe, nearly undoubtedly so, but what kind of life? Blue-Green algae, or something mostly like it, is probably very common. It’s when you move up from that you start running into problems. The more complex the life, the more likely it is that the universe snuffed it out at some point.
If we’re looking for a species that uses tools to build more tools, then that is likely a very rare thing indeed. Rare enough that we know that no such species that wants to talk is within 40 or so light years, and very likely no intelligent species in that range.
We have the technological ability to build long range ships now if we needed to, in another fifty years our capability will only grow, as will our need to do exactly that. I can’t prove it, but I think we might be the first species in the galaxy to escape our planet if we make it.
Yep and since "faith cometh by hearing" you have to wonder what folks are inclining their ear towards.
"So the SETI project was off by 29,343 orders of magnitude. It only needs to be off by 50 orders of magnitude to be impossible..."
Even in the face of impossible x 500+ someone,somewhere will simply say "nothing is impossible with God' and around it will all go again.
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Even in the face of impossible x 500+ someone,somewhere will simply say “nothing is impossible with God’ and around it will all go again.
***But the mathematics show it is impossible by chance. If it is God’s plan, then that’s interesting. They would need to explain how Christ’s death was for ALL. OR does Christ need to incarnate on all of these planets and die for each one of them?
since they are crucifying once again the Son of God to their own harm and holding him up to contempt.
Eventually you learn that such people are not christian believers. At best they are theists, but do not believe that Jesus is God Himself. It quickly becomes heresy.
I think we might be the first species in the galaxy to escape our planet if we make it.
***Your supposition fits the facts. That could very well be God’s plan. The first commission was ‘multiply and inherit the earth’. The 2nd commission might be “multiply and inherit the universe”.
seems like there is a jupiter size planet a bit closer with methane in its atmosphere and no one has ever said hello from there that i know of so why should i think their distant relatives would be any friendlier and if it was up to me i would drive right by without even looking to see if they were home
allow me to add that I find nothing int he Bible which precludes that George Washington was homosexual, or that Christopher Columbus was an alien, or that John Adams was an amphibious reptile. We just dont know.
See how far an invalid argument from silence can go?
The bible does seem very 'Earth-centered' in it's themes.I suppose,as others have stated,that other intelligent life may have no spirit (assuming that's even possible)which would negate the need for a savior.
"Eventually you learn that such people are not christian believers"
Well that's a pretty big call.I think the whole issue of ET is suss but I am confident that those I've discussed this with would be on it like white on rice should it eventually be revealed to be a grand deception.
I think the whole issue of ET is suss
.I suppose,as others have stated,that other intelligent life may have no spirit (assuming that’s even possible)which would negate the need for a savior.
***The sun will still rise tomorrow, taxes will still need to be paid, Jesus will still be God Himself, and the stuff that comes from the back end of a bull is still....
The bible does seem very ‘Earth-centered’ in it’s themes.
***There’s some recent and stunning mathematical findings that suggest this is the case. It would take me a while to track them down.
I’m not arguing anything, silly goose. I am offering the notion that the Bible does not address life on other planets and that God could create very intelligent life soemwhere besides Earth that may not have a spirit but still be highly intelligent. See how far you get trying to raise another strawman.
"Then again,the god of this world has been busy for a very very long time laying groundwork for the eventual appearance of someone the world will consider very very special.ie:'Spiritual Master'...'Ascended Master'...'Interdimensional Being'...'ET'...'most highly evolved man'...'World Teacher' etc etc.All of them seen far and wide as 'saviours'and all of them subconsciously seen as filling that hole in man.That is the lens through which I view this entire discussion"
...the whole issue of ET is,to me,suspicious fwiw.
"...and the stuff that comes from the back end of a bull is still...."...a DUCK??! LOL (I agree)
I think we're going to be surprised to run into traffic when we get out of this little backwater solar system.
Thank you so much for letting us know about this new thread on a similar topic!
They always have an agenda. Namely... secure funding for next year.
When you find free oxygen on an exoplanet get back to me.
Im not arguing anything, silly goose.
***If it walks like a duck, acts like a duck, quacks like a duck, sounds like a duck, and isn’t a goose, it’s probably a duck. You silly duck. Welcome to the world of inductive reasoning. Here’s a hint: don’t attack a 3-headed dog with a 2-pronged pitchfork.
I am offering the notion
***Such things are called “arguments”. But, what, are you somehow above it all... until you “offer a notion” and then stoop to call someone else’s offering a “strawman” argument? Get a grip.
See how far you get trying to raise another strawman.
***Well, now you seem to want to revert to actually calling this kind of exchange “argumentation” and suppose the other side is engaging in classic fallacies. Weren’t you supposed to be “above it all”, only offering a “notion”? And a notion that derives from silence, historically known as the invalid argument from silence.
Mathematicians theory means Earth may be the center of the universe http://wallacegsmith.wordpress.com/2010/10/22/mathematicians-theory-means-earth-may-be-the-center-of-the-universe/ Posted by Wallace G. Smith ⋅ October 22, 2010⋅ 17 Comments Filed Under Accelerating universe, Big Bang, Copernican Principle, Dark energy, Earth-centered Shockwave Theory Dark Energy, or an Earth-centered Shockwave? (Image via Wikipedia)
OK, how did I miss this article? On the Popular Science website (popsci.com), dated 9/25/2009, is an article titled Mathematicians Alternate Model of the Universe Explains Away the Need For Dark Energy subheading: An alternative theory eliminates dark energy by placing Earth at the center of expansion.
Actually, it is a Readers Digest version of a larger article from Seed magazine titled Erasing Dark Energy pre-story tease: Why do we need dark energy to explain the observable universe? Two mathematicians propose an alternative solution that, while beautiful, may raise even more questions than it answers.
Heres the gist of it. Since about 1998, physics has believed that there is some sort of dark energy causing the universe to accelerate its expansion. This dark energy is supposed to make up about three-quarters of the universe, with its equally mysterious cousin, dark matter, making up another 20%, leaving plain-old matter (like you and me and cheeseburgers) making up about 4%. However, physicists have yet to really agree on the nature of this mysterious dark matter. Its inclusion solves some of their baffling observations about the universe, but it remains an uncomfortable mystery.
Enter two mathematicians, Blake Temple and Joel Smoller. Their results, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science, suggest a solution to the accelerating universe that doesnt require conjuring up anything like dark matter in fact, it doesnt require conjuring up anything new at all. Their solution works with the current laws of physics we already have.
Their solution? That the acceleration seen is due to an expanding shockwave that occurred after the Big Banga shockwave that would have originated very near the Earth. Did you catch that? A shockwave, plowing through the universe and spreading out the galaxies that originated near the Earth. To say that such an idea unnerves many modern cosmologists would be an understatement. Modern cosmology takes as an article of faith that the Earth is nothing special. Its called the Copernican Principle, named after Copernicus who concluded that the Sun and not the Earth was the center of our solar system. In modern science, Earth and the area around it is not allowed to be special or favored in any way compared to the rest of space and it is certainly not allowed to be the center of the universe.
But Temple & Smollers theory suggests just such a thought. Their shockwave has some things in its favor and some not so much so. For the former, the Earth-centered shockwave theory would also explain another phenomenon: the fact that Earth seems to be sitting in an odd bubble of underdensity a region of the universe that doesnt have much in it. Against it is the fact that dark energy also may account for some other observations, such as certain characteristics of the cosmic microwave background we observe in the universe. But the biggest strike against it in the eyes of physicists? According to the article, it is the fact that it puts the earth at the center of the universe. As one particular cosmologist, Michael Wood-Vasey, is quoted in the Seed article concerning such a possibility: Its very philosophically disconcerting Its not very satisfying.
Personally, regardless of how it turns out, I think one element of all of this is just rich. In the past, any ideas, such as Copernicus, that suggested the Earth was not the center of the universe were (we are told) turned away as unacceptable and an affront to the truth to be refused on principle, regardless of the facts or observations. Now, have we come to a point where the reverse bias is in play? Is a theory to be rejected solely on principle because it suggests the possibility that the Earth might be the center of the universe again, regardless of the facts or observations?
Thankfully, the mere fact that their theory was published in the Proceedings speaks well of the scientific community, methinks. Astrophysicist Philip Hughes, who worked with the two mathematicians, says that we should be open to possibilities, especially given how much we still dont know and cant even agree about concerning dark energy. From the Seed article: But Hughes, who calls [the Earth-centered shockwave theory] a tour de force of mathematical analysis, argues that though it presents a radical philosophical shift, the wave theory could nevertheless be useful to cosmologists. The concept of dark energy is a way of parameterizing our ignorance, he said in an email. Given our shaky understanding of the physics behind it, I would hope that people are open-minded enough to see what might be learned from this work. We have for practical purposes no understanding of dark energy; there isnt even a glimmer of consensus.
Is the Earth truly the center of the universe? Spiritually, we know it is the center of Gods plan, but is it actually physically the center, as well? Have we been so long in the God-must-be-banished woods of modern science that such a possibility is that hard to see? These articles are a little more than a year old. Does anyone know of any new developments? Temple & Smoller were planning on developing their theory further and preparing it for testing.
Any details out there about new news would be appreciated feel free to post below. Theories are theories, and I am not married to either idea, to be sure. God says through Solomon that [i]t is the glory of God to conceal a matter, but the glory of kings is to search out a matter (Proverbs 25:2), and at this stage God is certainly holding many cards close to His chest. Yet, five centuries after Copernicus, it would be fascinating if modern cosmology concluded that Earth is, indeed, the center of the universe. What additional conclusions might follow?
Good read thanks.Hard on the eyes though....
***Sorry about that, the link is better.
It comes down to how it looks when it’s in the “Your Reply” box but avter HTML auto-detection it turns into goosefood.
Ever read the book “Alternative 3”?
Hint: It is fiction for a reason.
I'm picturing cows staring at a new gate.