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Earth V2

This has been bothering me since I heard the breaking news this morning :biggrin1:

Scientists using the Kepler Space Telescope (launched in 2009), have detected a possible life-supporting planet similar to earth.

I find the news of great interest but here's the rub:


  1. It is about 1,400 light years away
  2. A spacecraft (today's standard) would take about 25.8 million years to reach this planet

Therefore:
  1. Physically no spacecraft have reached kepler 452b (name of planet)
  2. Light takes too long, and hence there can be no photographic images of kepler 452b

So - how the heck are the scientists (or the telescope) able to gather these information?
And what makes our scientists so-damn-sure?

Is there a scientist amongst us who can help explain?:thumbup1:

[I thought it was an April Fools joke but...we're in July:mad3:]

Information on the kepler space telescope here
 
Yes, LIGHT only takes 1500 years to get from there to Earth. A SPACESHIP would take longer -- until we figure out how to acheive or exceed the speed of light, or learn some sort of space-folding technique.



I think it's great an all that the space geniuses have found these other planets, but it's really kind of non-news to the layman. It's science for science's sake -- and there's nothing wrong with pure learning -- but it will make no conceivable impact to our lives, here on Earth. (or at least not for probably hundreds or thousands of years)
 
I think we will be able to use planets like this as learning tools. Kepler 452b is very Earth-like, it seems. Analysis of it's atmosphere and surface could be relevant to solving certain questions here on our home world.

Also, it gives Alec Baldwin another place to threaten to leave for if a Republican gets elected President.
 
There is a LOT of speculation going on, assumptions being made, and straight up guesses (like anything showing an "artists depiction"). It's based on what conditions are like here, in the solar system, but really it is just a theoretical model that has never been validated (and probably never will be barring transmissions from another solar system to provide confirmation). They can glean a lot of info based on the spectrum of light emitted/reflected from distant celestial objects but it is very difficult to actually confirm anything.

Still, it's very cool. If we can see (detect) planets in the "goldilocks" zone just in our immediate neighborhood, there truely must be BILLIONS of similar worlds out there, making extraterrestial life virtually assured (mathematically, anyway). The milky way galaxy is around 100,000 light years in diameter, so if there are several planets like this within just a few thousand light years from our backwoods system then our galaxy alone must be packed with thousands of them (as we are searching in just a small percentage of the galaxy).
 

Toothpick

Needs milk and a bidet!
Once again I am completely dumbfounded about our technology.

We can discover a planet 1,400 light years away and put together all this info about it yet I can't pick up my wifi signal in my back yard.

Our technology is being used in the wrong places.
 
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It is neat, but keep in mind that this is an educated assumption. The newly found planet falls within a set of boundaries that have been established as required, to the best of our knowledge, to form a planet that contains characteristics similar to Earth. These boundaries are continually being refined.

Recall that a few years ago, another planet was found that was believed to be Earth-like. The news was disseminated to the pop science websites and journals. Later, as further observation was conducted, and boundary conditions refined, the planet status was revised to not Earth-like. This news was not carried by the pop science webs and mags.

This type of news has two purposes for presentation to lay people. First, it generates interest in science, which might help in cultivating curiosity and potentially spurring young people into a science discipline. Second, it helps create excitement in potential donors; there is a lot of competition for grants and funding, especially in studies that are several steps removed from general application. Ancillary practical applications are often advanced by this type of stuff, but they are not as sexy as finding an Earth-like planet. Therefore, the benefits of this type of research is not plainly evident to the general public.
 
It is neat, but keep in mind that this is an educated assumption. The newly found planet falls within a set of boundaries that have been established as required, to the best of our knowledge, to form a planet that contains characteristics similar to Earth. These boundaries are continually being refined.

Recall that a few years ago, another planet was found that was believed to be Earth-like. The news was disseminated to the pop science websites and journals. Later, as further observation was conducted, and boundary conditions refined, the planet status was revised to not Earth-like. This news was not carried by the pop science webs and mags.

This type of news has two purposes for presentation to lay people. First, it generates interest in science, which might help in cultivating curiosity and potentially spurring young people into a science discipline. Second, it helps create excitement in potential donors; there is a lot of competition for grants and funding, especially in studies that are several steps removed from general application. Ancillary practical applications are often advanced by this type of stuff, but they are not as sexy as finding an Earth-like planet. Therefore, the benefits of this type of research is not plainly evident to the general public.

No bucks, no Buck Rogers. :wink2:
 
If they were to see Earth as it was 1,499 years ago, I can assure you they wouldn't plan on coming here.

Ouch, its been fairly well documented here in the hallowed halls of B&B that you are a time traveler from the future. Would you please enlighten us as to what year humankind will be able to travel faster than the speed of light?
 
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