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Thread: NASA discovers Earth-like planet

  1. #1
    Senior Contributor Doktor's Avatar
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    NASA discovers Earth-like planet

    (Reuters) - The most Earth-like planet ever discovered is circling a star 600 light years away, a key finding in an ongoing quest to learn if life exists beyond Earth, scientists said on Monday.

    The planet, called Kepler-22b, joins a list of more than 500 planets found to orbit stars beyond our solar system. It is the smallest and the best positioned to have liquid water on its surface -- among the ingredients necessary for life on Earth.

    "We are homing in on the true Earth-sized, habitable planets," said San Jose State University astronomer Natalie Batalha, deputy science team lead for NASA's Kepler Space Telescope that discovered the star.

    The telescope, which was launched three years ago, is staring at about 150,000 stars in the constellations Cygnus and Lyra, looking for faint and periodic dimming as any circling planets pass by, relative to Kepler's line of sight.

    Results will be extrapolated to determine the percentage of stars in the Milky Way galaxy that harbor potentially habitable, Earth-size planets.

    This is the first detection of a potentially habitable world orbiting a Sun-like star, scientists reported in findings to be published in The Astrophysical Journal.

    Kepler-22b is 600 light years away. A light year is the distance light travels in a year, about 6 trillion miles (10 trillion km).

    GROUND TELESCOPES

    Planets about the same distance from their parent stars as Earth take roughly a year to complete an orbit. Scientists want to see at least three transits to be able to rule out other explanations for fluctuations in a star's light, such as small companion stars. Results also are verified by ground and other space telescopes.

    Kepler-22b, which is about 2.4 times the radius of Earth, sits squarely in its star's so-called "habitable zone," the region where liquid water could exist on the surface. Follow-up studies are under way to determine if the planet is solid, like Earth, or more gaseous like Neptune.

    "We don't know anything about the planets between Earth-size and Neptune-size because in our solar system we have no examples of such planets. We don't know what fraction are going to be rocky, what fraction are going to be water worlds, what fraction are ice worlds. We have no idea until we measure one and see," Batalha said at a news conference at NASA Ames Research Center in Moffet Field, California.

    If Kepler-22b has a surface and a cushion of atmosphere similar to Earth's, it would be about 72 degrees Fahrenheit (22 C), about the same as a spring day in Earth's temperate zone.

    Among the 2,326 candidate planets found by the Kepler team, 10 are roughly Earth-size and reside in their host stars' habitable zones.

    Another team of privately funded astronomers is scanning the target stars for non-naturally occurring radio signals, part of a project known as SETI, or the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence.

    "As soon as we find a different, a separate, an independent example of life somewhere else, we're going to know that it's ubiquitous throughout the universe," said astronomer Jill Tarter, director of the SETI Institute in Mountain View.

    The Kepler team is meeting for its first science conference this week.
    No such thing as a good tax - Churchill

    To make mistakes is human. To blame someone else for your mistake, is strategic.

  2. #2
    Field mechanik Senior Contributor omon's Avatar
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    good, now lets send our politicians there, it is a long ride thou, they might not make it, but hey, it worth a try.
    "Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch. Liberty is a well-armed lamb contesting the vote!" B. Franklin

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    Senior Contributor Doktor's Avatar
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    That planet is twice as big Compared to the Earth. We could send lawyers and architects, too. Still lots of space if you have other groups in mind.
    No such thing as a good tax - Churchill

    To make mistakes is human. To blame someone else for your mistake, is strategic.

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    Field mechanik Senior Contributor omon's Avatar
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    hey, good call on lawyers, send them too, might as well take all violent criminals that are in jail and send them as well, weather they make it there or not, is unclear, but either way very beneficial.
    "Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch. Liberty is a well-armed lamb contesting the vote!" B. Franklin

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    Senior Contributor Mihais's Avatar
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    Good call.But after that,IMHO we should make the planet our hunting ground,Predator style.
    Now we need FTL technology.The scientists better hurry.It's gettting crowded on Earth.
    Those who know don't speak
    He said to them, "But now if you have a purse, take it, and also a bag; and if you don't have a sword, sell your cloak and buy one. Luke 22:36

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    Senior Contributor Doktor's Avatar
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    OK, then I will send the Bankers as well
    No such thing as a good tax - Churchill

    To make mistakes is human. To blame someone else for your mistake, is strategic.

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    Dirty Kiwi Senior Contributor
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    X2 on the predator thing, with the stipulation we add ex-wives to the list.

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    Senior Contributor Doktor's Avatar
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    Now I will have to divorce
    No such thing as a good tax - Churchill

    To make mistakes is human. To blame someone else for your mistake, is strategic.

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    Official Thread Jacker Senior Contributor gunnut's Avatar
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    What's wrong with sending politicians, criminals, lawyers, and ex-wives to the moon?

    It's much closer and the survival chance is near zero.
    "Only Nixon can go to China." -- Old Vulcan proverb.

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    Senior Contributor Doktor's Avatar
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    They wont climb in. Voluntarily.
    No such thing as a good tax - Churchill

    To make mistakes is human. To blame someone else for your mistake, is strategic.

  11. #11
    Field mechanik Senior Contributor omon's Avatar
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    than we'll have to make them an offer they can't refuse.
    "Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch. Liberty is a well-armed lamb contesting the vote!" B. Franklin

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    Canadian again at last! Military Professional
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    Quote Originally Posted by Doktor View Post
    That planet is twice as big Compared to the Earth. We could send lawyers and architects, too. Still lots of space if you have other groups in mind.

    Hey maybe that's where the Zendradi come from!!!! I want my big robot fighter jet now please.
    Quote Originally Posted by GVChamp View Post
    College students are very, very, very dumb. But that's what you get when the government subsidizes children to sit in the middle of a corn field to drink alcohol and fuck.

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    Idiot Mode [ON] OFF Senior Contributor YellowFever's Avatar
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    Illogical.

    The Zentradis are at least five times as big as humans and their battle cuisers are sometimes ten times as big as similar earth ships, therefore, it is logical they come from a much bigger planet.

    And the Robotech tehcnology can wait until we get some protoculture first.

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    Idiot Mode [ON] OFF Senior Contributor YellowFever's Avatar
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    Oh, and can you guys leave the comedy to experts like Benny, tankie and me?

    You're embarrassing yourselves.

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    And after all he's been through, Yellow doesn't embarrass easily...
    Meddle not in the affairs of dragons, for you are crunchy and taste good with ketchup.

    Abusing Yellow is meant to be a labor of love, not something you sell to the highest bidder.

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