Skip to comments.Alien life deemed impossible by analysis of 500 planets
Posted on 01/23/2011 9:38:58 AM PST by Cincinatus' Wife
Howard Smith, a senior astrophysicist at Harvard, made the claim that we are alone in the universe after an analysis of the 500 planets discovered so far showed all were hostile to life.
Dr Smith said the extreme conditions found so far on planets discovered outside out Solar System are likely to be the norm, and that the hospitable conditions on Earth could be unique.
We have found that most other planets and solar systems are wildly different from our own. They are very hostile to life as we know it, he said.
He pointed to stars such as HD10180, which sparked great excitement when it was found to be orbited by a planet of similar size and appearance to Earth.
But the similarities turned out to be superficial. The planet lies less than two million miles from its sun, meaning it is roasting hot, stripped of its atmosphere and blasted by radiation.
Many of the other planets have highly elliptical orbits which cause huge variations in temperature which prevent water remaining liquid, thus making it impossible for life to develop.
A separate team of scientists recently declared the chance of aliens existing on a newly discovered Earth-like planet 100 per cent.
Professor Steven Vogt , of the Carnegie institution in Washington, said he had no doubt extraterrestrial life would be found on a small, rocky planet found orbiting the red dwarf star Gliese 581 last September.
(Excerpt) Read more at telegraph.co.uk ...
Did they count Alan Grayson?
Just as “global warming” is “settled science.”
They’re looking in all the wrong places i.e. they’re looking at solar systems like our present one and not like the original pre-flood system. They should be looking at dwarf stars like Jupiter and Saturn once were and the thing they should be taking the hardest look at would be Proxima Centauri.
What a stupid thing for someone in his position to say.
A survey of 500 planets....out of 4.6 billion in this galaxy alone.
Yeah 500 out of 1000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000+
planets is a good sample lot
He’s probably just desperately hoping that there is no power in the universe mightier than the state....
500 planets down, unknown but very very large amount to go.
I can’t remember who said it... might have been George Carlin... but a comedian once said that if there’s intelligent life out there, they are proving their intelligence by NOT contacting US.
We have not found life yet, and the 500 planets we can see are too inhospitable for life, so there must not be life anywhere except here.
This DUMBELL should have his scientist license revoked.
I bet he ‘believes’ in global warming too.
And I declare with 100% certainly that we will find a planet shaped just like Alfred E. Newman's head before we find life on another planet.
In related news, the ant colony in my driveway has declared that life outside the block we live on is impossible.
I am absolutely sure that intelligent life exists in the universe ... just not here
500 planets, well that settles it...
But if there is no other life in the universe, there soon will be. We’ll spread out sooner or later. Then go back in time and populate it that way too. So there already are other inhabited worlds, just not yet in the past.
That is, of course, deo volente.
In other breaking news:”There are no black swans.”
They obviously didn’t look in Washington D.C.
Lots of people talk about the number of potential planets that could support life. But the universe is a finite number of years old.
What if we're first?
Check this simulation out it’s very cool
Hopefully, this moron is old, and will die before he's embarrassed for all time by this stupid, premature pronouncement. History is replete with examples of scientists making wildly inaccurate predictions.
I suppose that he never stopped to realize that it's just possible that his sample size is too small, and that the incidence of earthlike planets might be 1 in 10,000. Perhaps it's only one in a million.
This is yet another example of modern day scientists weakening the public's confidence in the field.
Ok, so they analyzed 500 liberals - what does that prove?
Pinheads like him have been making false conclusions since the beginning of time. He hasn’t seen but 0.0000000000001% of all planets, yet, he thinks that’s a good enough sample.
If he believes in global warming, then he already lives in an alternate universe, with skittle-pooping unicorns and such. How many planets were checked over there?
You should take that idiot's job and his salary.
Even if only .001 percent of stars have planets with life,
with billions of stars per galaxy and billions of galaxies,
that’s still a pretty big number.
The same can be said about Planned Parenthood.
Professor Steven Vogt , of the Carnegie institution in Washington, said he had no doubt extraterrestrial life would be found
Ah, another one of those annoying articles where the headline totally contradicts the article.
Possible. Wouldn’t count on it though.
More likely we are alone than first.
With comments like this, Dr. Smith is clearly an attention whore, and probably should not be teaching.
I confess to, and apologize for having taken cheap, joking shot at someone who said nothing ever afaik about global warming.
500 planets isn’t even a drop in the proverbial bucket. I have no doubt extraterrestrial life is rare, given the conditions needed for a planet to be in the habitable zone. But impossible? If even only one out of a hundred million planets is capable of producing life as we understand it, that still leaves 40 or 50 likely candidates in the Milky Way galaxy alone.
There is, of course, also the possibility that life has evolved in ways we haven’t fully grasped. Don’t want to head off into Star Trek land, but we do have bacteria right here on Earth that feed on jet fuel and other exotic materials. It’s not impossible that there is some form of bacteria or other primitive life to be found in the seas of Titan and several other moons of Jupiter and Saturn.
They have not even seen a planet nor another solar system only the effects they have on the stars they orbit the tiny little tug on the stars themselves so how can they tell anything?
We can’t even detect earth sized planets yet!
Let alone pinpoint the system location either. Anything over 50 light years away we could be out by a light year from the true distance. Lots of work still to do.
Heck, I can't find intelligent life amongst 500 democrats.
He's going to have to look harder.
But the 500 planets studied are the rule. Too cold, too hot, too irradiated, too something. Study 500 million planets and you’ll find the same thing: The conditions for intelligent life are incredibly, infinitesimally rare.
"And finally, did you know that only a miraculous set of
circumstances makes life here on Earth possible? For instance,
the planet's size is just exactly right to hold our atmosphere.
The atmosphere contains just enough oxygen to support life.
And our distance from the sun is just perfect for the right
temperature. Should there be even a trivial change in any of
these conditions, all life here on Earth would certainly be
obliterated in a matter of milliseconds. This is Les Nessman
saying good day, and may the good news be yours.
Apparently, the Harvard guy doesn't think any other planet can meet
and sustain these conditions.
Bad, bad logic and science.
The technology so far MIGHT detect Jupiter, if it were in a highly elliptical orbit, but completely miss Earth.
This is the equivalent of saying your car keys are not nearby on the ground, because it is night and you only looked in the area under the street lamp.
Those aren't stars, those are galaxies, each containing hundreds of millions of stars.
And that's just one dot of sky.
Just imagine how big the universe really is.
Exactly. Hence my confidence that there's a planet out there shaped just like Alfred E. Newman's head. I mean, there are so many planets out there that it's a virtual certainty. Only a pinhead would deny it.
Agreed. Like null and void said upthread, our current technology can just barely detect super-massive planets that orbit close to their parent star. By definition, none of those are earthlike.
Our sensing technology has to evolve to a higher level before we can easily detect small rocky planets like ours in other solar systems.
Even sending a probe to the nearest star system would require a huge investment using current propulsion methods and the results might only be seen by our great-great-grandchildren.The data could be beamed back to us at the speed of light,getting the dat-gathering platform there will take a long time.And it would almost certainly have to incorporate a foolproof nuclear power reactor .Someone care to calculate the transmitter power required and antenna size to send the probe's data back at even "dial-up" rates?
“Let’s see, we have found earth like life on one out of 501 planets (earth itself). That is a success rate of 0.2%. Now how many planets are there? Multiply that by 0.2% and the number of potential life supporting planets is very, very large.”
So, let’s carry this logic further...you exist on planet earth where life itself exists. So, there is a great chance that you exist on another planet as well, do you like it there I wonder?
Is this guy serious? He must have a credibility ‘death-wish’.
Scientists are still up in the air about life on local planets. Fossil evidence seems to point to at the very least, former life on one local planet. I don’t buy into it, but some scientists do.
If we can’t be positively certain concerning life on local planets, how can we be so bold as to make a blanket statement about 500 other planets?
What may seem like an inhospitable climate on other planets, may in fact be a fantastic climate for life of another form there.
Again, we find ourselves in a situation where we just don’t know, cannot know, and yet definitive statements are being made.
I expect a number of hilarious pronouncements to be aired over the next few decades, as fools feel compelled to turn their brains inside out for public observation.