Planets cover our galaxy - we are not alone

Planets cover our galaxy - we are not alone

Summary: Recent discoveries of exoplanets by NASA's Kepler project and other research indicates that we may soon find habitable planets orbiting nearby stars.

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TOPICS: Nasa / Space
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  • Astronomers have found at least 10 planets to be homeless - floating freely without a parent star. It's theorized that these Jupiter-sized planets were booted from emerging star systems.

    Source: NASA

  • NASA announced the incredible results for its Kepler program in 2011. It started out with the discovery of the first rocky planet, then moved on to other discoveries such as a six-planet solar system and a planet orbiting one star of a binary star system. Kepler claims over 1,000 planet discoveries and 170 multiple planet solar systems.

    Source: NASA

  • NASA's Kepler mission announced that it has discovered the first two Earth-sized planets that are orbiting a star similar to our sun.

    Source: NASA

Topic: Nasa / Space

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  • RE: Planets cover our galaxy - we are not alone

    "Astronomers have found at least 10 planets to be homeless - floating freely without a parent star."

    Considering that they normally have to look for slight deviations in a star to find these planets - how do they find a homeless planet without a star??
    CobraA1
    • RE: Planets cover our galaxy - we are not alone

      @CobraA1 Outstanding question. I checked NASA and came up with this explanation: They're called gravitational microlensing events. "These occur when something, such as a star or planet, passes in front of another, more distant star. The passing body's gravity warps the light of the background star, causing it to magnify and brighten. Heftier passing bodies, like massive stars, will warp the light of the background star to a greater extent, resulting in brightening events that can last weeks. Small planet-size bodies will cause less of a distortion, and brighten a star for only a few days or less."
      andy7718
      • RE: Planets cover our galaxy - we are not alone

        @andy7718 Thanks for the explanation!
        CobraA1
  • RE: Planets cover our galaxy - we are not alone

    Yes, the Earth is not alone. We, as human, however, are the only intelligent form of life in the Universe until we actually found other. I couldn't care less about "possibilities" as these have varied over time. I will believe we are not alone when solid proof is given, not a bunch of possibilities thrown by people who need money to fund their agendas.
    markbn
    • The Earth is still unique among all known exoplanets

      NT
      baggins_z
      • RE: Planets cover our galaxy - we are not alone

        @baggins_z That's a temporary situation. The technique used to find exoplanets at the moment favors the finding of planets that orbit very close to their stars when compared to our planet. You're never going to find a planet exactly like earth among planets that complete their orbital revolutions around their stars in the time span of a few days to several weeks. What the technique does show us is that planets are probably far more common than stars.

        Since there are 1) billions of galaxies within the part of the universe that we can see, many of which are far bigger our own galaxy, and 2) billions of planets likely to be present in each galaxy, and 3) new stars and planets being generated from the dust and gas within galaxies every single day, and 4) nothing about this planet or solar system that is actually unique to the universe, it's safe to assume that life of some kind exists elsewhere until proven otherwise. The argument is not based on 'possibilities', but 'probabilities'.
        eMJayy
      • RE: Planets cover our galaxy - we are not alone

        @eMJayy regardless of whether if it's possibilities or probabilities, the fact remains that it's not "safe" to assume such a thing. Moreover, your assertion that "there is nothing special about this planet" is BS. One special thing is that it's not that far from a star to be frozen and not too close to be boiling. There are many other things, but I hope you get the idea.

        One more time, I could not care less about your probabilities. It's one thing to estimate that with certain probability there are planets similar to ours, and another quite different to assume they have intelligent forms of life like those in our planet. Show me those intelligent forms of lives and I will believe. Otherwise, please keep living in your probabilistic world whereas the rest of us live in reality.
        markbn
      • RE: Planets cover our galaxy - we are not alone

        @markbn
        [i]Moreover, your assertion that "there is nothing special about this planet" is BS.[/i]

        There's just one problem....that's not the statement I made. Apparently, you don't do very well at reading comprehension and you obvious don't really know very much about astronomy. I guess that, in part, explains why you harbor this particular point of view. My exact words above are:

        "nothing about this planet or solar system that is actually unique to the universe"...

        It doesn't mean what you think it means.

        [i]One special thing is that it's not that far from a star to be frozen and not too close to be boiling.[/i]

        That statement suggest that you actually believe that our planet's position in the 'goldilocks zone' is something 'special' that's unlikely to be found elsewhere. You're horribly mistaken. No one has ever claimed that this feature is unique to earth in the universe....the claim has always been that it's obviously unique to earth in the solar system. Big difference. These recent advances in planet detection have actually netted planets in their stars respective 'goldilocks zones', so I don't know how you could even still believe that now.

        Sorry, my friend, but you don't live in true reality, just a perceived one. At the moment, none of us actually do, although some of us are closer to it than others. Knowledge of the content and nature of this universe is what determines our ability to perceive true 'reality'. The less you know about the universe, the less you actually know about reality. People once thought stars were gods and that their arrangement in the sky had some mystical effect on their future; we now know they're balls of hot plasma created by the effect of gravity on hydrogen gas and that the constellations are no more than an optical illusion, since tens to hundreds of light years actually separate the stars in any given constellation. In your perceived reality, life outside this planet is inconceivable simply because you can't see it with your own eyes, and you have gotten used to an ancient conclusion that was fundamentally shaped by a lack of information about the universe. Unfortunately for you, beliefs not shaped by the logical use of information will always limit your ability to see the real universe that's before us.
        eMJayy
      • RE: Planets cover our galaxy - we are not alone

        @eMJayy


        I don't really have too much time to devote to read all your foolish things.

        However, when you say:

        [i]" it's safe to assume that life of some kind exists elsewhere until proven otherwise"[/i]

        That's the definition of non-sense. Why would anyone have to prove that life does NOT exist in the entire Universe to you? None other has been found, and until it is, it's very safe to assume that life does not exist elsewhere. Want to prove that wrong? Then that's easy: ACTUALLY FIND IT. The rest of your post is more blah blah blah which I am not going to address. Now move one, and find some money to fund your quest. Otherwise, you are just another fool with a big mouth.
        markbn
      • RE: Planets cover our galaxy - we are not alone

        @markbn

        You are ridiculous. You are just being pessimistic and trying to impose that pessemism on others. No one has been able to prove life exists on other planets, but that doesn't mean it doesn't exist. There are place on this planet with such harsh enviornements that people assume there were no life. But to their astonishment, there actually is. Watch Nova sometime.

        I believe life, of some sort, will be discovered. It just takes time to develop the technology to do so. The tech is getting better and there are new discoveries every day.
        WixosTrix
      • RE: Planets cover our galaxy - we are not alone

        @baggins_z
        I would actually say you're both wrong. It is fairly likely that life exists outside of our planet. By fairly likely, I mean that we should not be at all surprised to find that it exists. For all we know, it may be the rule rather than the exception. That said, it is also fairly likely that life is an unimaginably rare event and that, even if there is life out there somewhere, we will never, ever find it.

        In other words, it is not "safe to assume" either the absence or existence of extraterrestrial life. The question we should be asking ourselves is, is it a good idea to seek it out?
        x I'm tc