Kepler team identifies 10 new Earthlike exoplanets

Discussion in 'Astronomy, Exobiology, & Cosmology' started by danshawen, Jun 21, 2017.

  1. danshawen Valued Senior Member

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    https://www.gizmodo.com.au/2017/06/nasa-finds-10-more-planets-humanity-might-be-able-to-ruin-next/

    "This latest update to the Kepler catalogue brings the total number of planet candidates identified by the space-based telescope to 4034." Of these, 2,335 have been verified to be signals generated by exoplanets.

    The Kepler mission was repurposed to search for exoplanets afer suffering damage to two of its reaction wheels (attitude control mechanisms) in 2013.

    The better news:

    "The next generation of space-based telescopes such as the James Webb Telescope — which is set to launch in October 2018 — will allow astronomers to further analyse the worlds Kepler has found."

    As a result of this and other recent Goldilocks zone exoplanet finds, the Drake equation for the likelihood of the existence of an extraterrestrial civilization of equal or longer viability compared to our own has been tentatively updated to be on the order of 1 in 10 billion. This is darned near certainty. Ten planets in our galaxy alone may have evolved advanced civilizations.

    Gizmodo's article, although quite good in terms of content, seems to have given a misanthropic slant to the discovery, which I found appealing, but some of you may wish to read the good news from a source a little more upbeat:

    http://www.cbc.ca/news/technology/nasa-telescope-10-earthsized-habitable-planets-1.4167686

    To say that we have "ruined" the planet we currently inhabit does no justice to the nice compost we will all no doubt make when we have made the environment sufficiently hostile to render ourselves extinct. Plant life just loves it when stupid animals do things like that to themselves, and they aren't the only ones who may benefit. Few life forms anywhere in the universe are greener or more eco friendly than a plant like the ones we have. Let's all be grateful that our demise will at least do them a good turn.

    Perhaps one or more of those ten really advanced races in our galaxy will turn out to have evolved from plant life.
     
    Last edited: Jun 21, 2017
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  3. nebel Registered Senior Member

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    are there any companion planet data published for these 10, like with numbers we have for the "trappist" system? with an old stabilizing Jupiter like our's?
     
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  5. danshawen Valued Senior Member

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    The number given by the Drake equation does not mean we have exact locations; only probabilities (and with large uncertainties) are provided by it.

    The Milky Way has 100 billion stars, so given similar stellar and planetary compositions and habitable Goldilocks zones and relative ages, 10 civilizations now appear to be a reasonable figure.

    Only 50 years ago, and without knowledge of more than a single confirmed exoplanet, the Drake equation figure was exactly one (us), and the longevity of our own civilization was (and still is) one of those uncertainties, which explains in part the gizmodo article's adopted tone of pessimism. For certain, our civilization, if you could call it that, has only endured for about 10,000 years, which is not a very long time cosmologically.

    A huge boost to the likelihood of finding other civilizations that have survived is the ability for us to leave this rock and find ways to survive in more hospitable locales elsewhere. Kepler is helping us to do exactly this right now.

    But we are also finding that natural cataclysms (asteroid collisions, global warming, ignorance of those) are generally more likely to have wiped out those nascent civilizations completely than almost anything else self-destructive they could do on their own, including large scale deployment of weapons of mass destruction against themselves. Nature hates ignorance enough to kill for it, but this process is really a strong driving force of evolution also. If we are so determined to kill ourselves so easily over limited resources, space exploration looks more and more like the ultimate solution. Like it was actually planned to work that way, in fact.

    Galaxies likewise have Goldilocks zones. Probably should reduce the Drake equation estimate locally to account for that effect as well, from ten to only two or three, perhaps.
     
    Last edited: Jun 21, 2017
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  7. danshawen Valued Senior Member

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    The recent article on the sorting of meteorites based on the evolution of our eldest planet Jupiter suggest this process more likely than not has been duplicated elsewhere also.
     
  8. nebel Registered Senior Member

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    interesting and relevant I was asking whether these life candidate stars had a set of companion planets, at given distances , that helped stabilize their orbits, like seems to be the case in the solar system,
     

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