Skip to comments.JWST's Hunt for Habitable Exoplanets Finds Disappointment, Again
Posted on 06/24/2023 7:06:52 AM PDT by SunkenCiv
For the second time, the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) has looked for and failed to find a thick atmosphere on an exoplanet in on one of the most exciting planetary systems known. Astronomers report today that there is probably no tantalizing atmosphere on the planet TRAPPIST-1 c, just as they reported months ago for its neighbour TRAPPIST-1 b.
There is still a chance that some of the five other planets in the TRAPPIST-1 system might have thick atmospheres containing geologically and biologically interesting compounds such as carbon dioxide, methane or oxygen. But the two planets studied so far seem to be without, or almost without, an atmosphere...
All of the seven TRAPPIST-1 planets, which orbit a star some 12 parsecs (40 light years) from Earth, have rocky surfaces and are roughly the size of Earth. Astronomers consider the system to be one of the best natural laboratories for studying how planets form, evolve and potentially become habitable...
The planets' host star is a dim cool star known as an M dwarf, which is the most common type of star in the Milky Way. It blasts out large amounts of ultraviolet radiation, which could erode any atmosphere on a nearby planet.
The system's innermost planet, TRAPPIST-1 b, is blasted with four times the amount of radiation that Earth gets from the Sun, so it wasn't too much of a surprise when JWST found that it had no substantial atmosphere. But the next in line, TRAPPIST-1 c, orbits farther from its star, and it seemed possible that the cooler planet might have managed to hang on to more of an atmosphere.
(Excerpt) Read more at scientificamerican.com ...
An artist's concept of the hot Earth-sized exoplanet TRAPPIST-1 c, which likely has either a bare rocky surface or a very thin carbon dioxide atmosphere.
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Because of science fiction everyone thinks we’ll be able to have sex with green skinned women who have funky brow ridges and exotic eyebrows. When Captain Kirk had it on with such a woman, I laughed. The reason we aren’t consumed by the billions of bacteria inhabiting our bodies or destroyed by the millions of fungi spores that land on us daily is, we evolved along with them over millions of years. Even so, the Covid disaster has taught us we are still vulnerable to novel Earth denizens we haven’t yet grown accustomed to. Anything that evolved on another planet will likely kill everyone it comes into contact with. The lunar samples were handled like they could potentially kill everyone, which indeed they had the potential to do if they contained any life at all. Someone from Earth would likely never be able to walk on another planet without a bio level five suit and some aggressive decontamination. Anything that got here from another world would potentially kill everyone. We’re not talking face hugger aliens, we’re talking bacteria.
There’s no way to know anything of the kind. In “War of the Worlds”, the invading aliens were killed off by Earth microbes. Most microbial life doesn’t do anything to us.
The JWST struck out on its first two attempts, but over its lifetime it will be able to answer the question of if life exists elsewhere in the galaxy.
There’s beellions of stars out there, keep looking.
It’s a telescope. It didn’t do anything except capture light
The astronomers and physicists who said this would show them so much are the ones who were wrong
“Most microbial life doesn’t do anything to us.”
The average 150-pound man is carrying about five pounds of bacteria. There are more non-SunkenCiv cells in your body than there are SunkenCiv cells. That’s because they are so tiny. Yes, they don’t usually do anything to us. But the reason cats and dogs can detect that someone is dying is they smell different. That’s because as the body shuts down it uses what energy is left to support critical functions like the heart and the brain. It stops producing the antibodies that are constantly killing off bacteria. The destruction of those tiny bacteria that mostly doesn’t affect us is necessary to stop that bacterium from killing us. We are able to live with those free riders because we evolved along with them. Introduce something our bodies do not recognize as a threat, and we’ll be dead in short order.
SciFi and fictional Science have talked people into believing the Universe is a fecund orchard, with bounteous apple trees in every Galaxy. Why, there simply has to be billions and billions of other inhabited planets, some with highly advanced civilizations, some of them more advanced than us, We, the parasites on Mother Earth.
They are even more exciting after you get your top secret briefing:
“It’s a telescope. It didn’t do anything except capture light”
With light you can tell its spectrum, which tells you what elements emitted that light, which tells you if a planet has life.
“The JWST struck out on its first two attempts, but over its lifetime it will be able to answer the question of if life exists elsewhere in the galaxy.”
Maybe. Maybe not. The universe is so vast that it’s possible we have the only civilization in the Milky Way and yet will be unable to determine if life exists in the billions of other galaxies.
If we find life then yes maybe the question gets answered. But if we don’t it still doesn’t mean that life doesn’t exist somewhere.
All the telescope can do is collect light. It is humans who make the interpretation
“All the telescope can do is collect light. It is humans who make the interpretation”
It is not interpretation. Light from each element is different. We’ve known that for 200 years.
But but but...on Star Trek & Next Gen, in every direction they went there’d be a Class M planet right there, ready to just beam down to, with suitable gravity, air, everything.
Surely the program producers didn’t get that wrong??
I laugh at these articles about finding a planet “that might be, we’re not sure, but just may be” suitable for human life. That it’s several or several million light-years away in time & distance...? Well, you should be estatic, anyway, and pat us on the back for how smart we are.
We should spend our exploration cash in this solar system. Everything beyond is pretty much guesses & pretty, color-enhanced pictures.
Blather is correct.
Wait. Are you saying this isn't true??!
Bring the danged telescope back to the store and demand a refund...
Would you prefer understanding?
The telescope merely gathers light. It is humans that do the rest. It was humans who made it in the first place
It is still human interpretation of the results. It may be based on previous results but it is still human interpretation
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