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Offlineivi
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Solar System May Be Unique After All, Astronomers Say
    #2975375 - 08/07/04 03:05 PM (12 years, 4 months ago)

http://www.reuters.co.uk/newsArticle.jhtml?type=scienceNews&storyID=5875200

Quote:


Solar System May Be Unique After All -- Astronomers
Wed 4 August, 2004 22:10
by Maggie Fox, Health and Science Correspondent


WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Our solar system may be unique after all, despite the discovery of at least 120 other systems with planets, astronomers said on Wednesday.

All the other solar systems that have been found have big, gassy planets circling too close to their stars to allow them to be anything like Earth or its fellow planets, the British and U.S.-based researchers said.

If that is the case, Earth-like planets will be very rare, the astronomers write in the latest issue of the Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society.

"Maybe these other extrasolar systems ... contain only the giant planets," said Mario Livio of the Space Telescope Science Institute in Baltimore.

Livio and colleagues took a close look at what is known about the other planetary systems that have been discovered.

"In (our) solar system the orbits are very circular. Most of the giant planets observed in extrasolar systems have very elliptical orbits," Livio said in a telephone interview.

This could mean that astronomers have been wrong in assuming that all planets formed in basically the same way.

Livio said most experts thought that planets formed out of dust. "This dust coagulates and forms small rocks and the rocks combine and form small bodies and then those bodies form things like Earths," he said.

"The Earths collect and accrete gas and then they form giant planets like Jupiter. That is one model."

But so far no one has found a planet outside our solar system that looks like it formed that way.

"Then there is a second model that has been suggested specifically for the formation of giant planets like Jupiter. You start with a gas disk and this disk becomes unstable and it breaks up into large clumps and those clumps are the things that form giant planets," Livio said.

"In that model it is not obvious at all how planets like Earth may have formed."

It could be our solar system formed in the first way and most of the others formed in the second way, Livio said.

But he said it is hard to tell as planets outside this solar system can only be detected through indirect observation and these methods are not able to detect smaller planets like Earth.

Either way, it is time to start thinking about the possibility that our system is unique or at least unusual, Livio said.

What has been seen up to now does not bode well for the main purpose of seeking other planets -- finding life outside our solar system.

"If the orbit is very elliptical then the planet may come very close to its sun at some point and that doesn't appear to be very healthy for life," Livio said.





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Edited by ivi (08/07/04 03:20 PM)


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InvisibleShroomismM
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Re: Solar system may be unique, astronomers say... [Re: ivi]
    #2975385 - 08/07/04 03:08 PM (12 years, 4 months ago)

eh. Earth-like planets are probably not uncommon at all. There are probably millions of planets very similar.


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Offlinedaba
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Re: Solar system may be unique, astronomers say... [Re: Shroomism]
    #2975410 - 08/07/04 03:15 PM (12 years, 4 months ago)

Got proof?


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Offlineivi
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Re: Solar system may be unique, astronomers say... [Re: Shroomism]
    #2975447 - 08/07/04 03:24 PM (12 years, 4 months ago)

Quote:

Shroomism said:
eh. Earth-like planets are probably not uncommon at all. There are probably millions of planets very similar.




I certainly hope so... :egg:


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InvisibleVvellum
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Re: Solar system may be unique, astronomers say... [Re: daba]
    #2975556 - 08/07/04 03:59 PM (12 years, 4 months ago)

how about sheer probability?


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InvisibleShroomismM
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Re: Solar system may be unique, astronomers say... [Re: daba]
    #2975589 - 08/07/04 04:06 PM (12 years, 4 months ago)

no.. is there proof to the contrary?

Just figure each galaxy contains around 100 billion stars, and so far the hubble has observed around 50 billion galaxies.. and that's just what we have seen thus far.. that's 5,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 stars in the observable universe.. you do the math.


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InvisiblePapaverS
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Re: Solar system may be unique, astronomers say... [Re: Shroomism]
    #2975892 - 08/07/04 05:52 PM (12 years, 4 months ago)

Even if the odds are greater than that of airborne terrorists getting hit by lighting, it's still a bunch, statistically speaking... :wink:

Besides planet spotting is still a really new field, and the wobbles they're detecting are caused by really huge gas-balls, who's sheer mass would probably break up anything small and relatively stable. Until they can detect systems with much smaller bodies, I'd say it's too soon to call...

But it's always fun to speculate! :laugh:


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InvisibleShroomismM
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Re: Solar system may be unique, astronomers say... [Re: Papaver]
    #2976118 - 08/07/04 07:19 PM (12 years, 4 months ago)

Indeed.. planet spotting and space travel are still in the infant stages.. though I'd wager that planets and solar systems are not uncommon at all and occur consistently throughout the universe. However, one might imagine worlds to come in all sorts of shapes and sizes, from condensed gas balls, to water-based planets, to silicon-based planets. Based on the sheer abundancy and diversity of life on Earth alone, and the incomprehensible size of the universe.. one could easily sustain the possibility that life may not be so unique as we think.


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InvisiblePapaverS
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Re: Solar system may be unique, astronomers say... [Re: Shroomism]
    #2976198 - 08/07/04 07:43 PM (12 years, 4 months ago)

Quote:

Shroomism said:
Indeed ... one could easily sustain the possibility that life may not be so unique as we think.




Indeed. I have watched, within the considerably short span of my lifetime, the parameters for the conditions to support life broaden immensely. We now have "life" that can live at very high and very low temperatures, anaerobically, right here on earth.

We used to imagine life along the lines of human beings and polar bears, but now we've broadened our horizons a little bit. The discovery of prions is now even calling into question the nucleic variable in the life-equation...

I think much like cell-phone cancer, the atkins diet, and canadian white rats, that it's just way too soon to call. These things will flip back and forth for a while -- mostly speculative bombasting to support personal egos and research grant applications...


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InvisiblePjS
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Re: Solar System May Be Unique After All, Astronomers Say [Re: ivi]
    #2977880 - 08/08/04 12:18 PM (12 years, 4 months ago)

All it says is that we can't track satellites smaller than huge fucking gas giants.. Waste of space and probability if there weren't other peoples inventing nuclear weapons and million-pound rockets...

But the chance that they would find or care about us.. yeah, remote at best. And remote means once in a Million years at best so we all won't find out about it, most likely.

At least we still got Johnny Depp.


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Invisiblevampirism
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Re: Solar System May Be Unique After All, Astronomers Say [Re: PjS]
    #2977906 - 08/08/04 12:26 PM (12 years, 4 months ago)

?

No, we can track smaller things. We have theories with solid evidence as to how our solar system was created. gas giants should be impossible close to the sun if solar systems are all created like ours. Has to do with how close the gas giant is, not that thats all we can see.


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Offlinedaba
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Re: Solar system may be unique, astronomers say... [Re: Shroomism]
    #2997679 - 08/12/04 11:00 PM (12 years, 3 months ago)

Quote:

Shroomism said:
no.. is there proof to the contrary?

Just figure each galaxy contains around 100 billion stars, and so far the hubble has observed around 50 billion galaxies.. and that's just what we have seen thus far.. that's 5,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 stars in the observable universe.. you do the math.




You're basing your argument on sheer probability. Consider the sheer probability of rocks colliding together (or forming, however planets are created I'm not too sure), then having the right conditions for life to start. Throw in dimensions and whatnot and that narrows down the possilbilities after all. Maybe Earth is 1 in 5,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 ...

Until I see some peoples looking (or however they communicate) back at us, then I'd say we are unique. Maybe we lack the technology to look within an astronomical inch of our solar system in detail, but that doesn't change the notion that there may be nothing out there.

Although yes, I still have a hunch that we aren't the only ones in the universe.


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InvisibleMycomancer
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Re: Solar System May Be Unique After All, Astronomers Say [Re: ivi]
    #3032976 - 08/21/04 04:47 PM (12 years, 3 months ago)

Moons.  These giant gaseous planets probably have many moons (there are at least 135 known moons in our own solar system, jupiter itself has at least 60).

Being so close to the sun may not be a handicap at all. The benefit of being so close to the sun, in a number of instances, is being in the habitable zone where water exists in liquid form.  If the planets orbiting in the habitable zone, then so are it's moons. This actually bodes well for finding life as only in a planet-moon systems can you find dozens of planetary size bodies travelling through a zone capable of maintaining liquid water.  Orbiting on their own you'd be hardpressed to find that many bodies orbiting in the habitable zone.  Note: Thats not to say that life can only exist in the habitable zone.

Moons are more "earthlike" than the gas giants, and there are probably many more of them per system than planets.  Look at our own system, 9 known planets: 135 known moons. Moons will be the answer imo.

:rasta:,

mycomancer


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Invisiblepoke smot!
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Re: Solar System May Be Unique After All, Astronomers Say *DELETED* [Re: Mycomancer]
    #3033219 - 08/21/04 05:47 PM (12 years, 3 months ago)

Post deleted by poke smot!

Reason for deletion: x



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InvisibleMycomancer
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Re: Solar System May Be Unique After All, Astronomers Say [Re: poke smot!]
    #3033357 - 08/21/04 06:30 PM (12 years, 3 months ago)

That's a whole new can of worms.  Simple answer is send out a probe and wait 10,000 years.  But, nobody wants to wait that long.  If we are to make it there within a more reasonable span, we need to rethink everything we know about spaceflight. 

To send a team of humans there(where ever there turns out to be) we need:

1. Artifical Gravity
2. Greatly improved shielding to radiation.
3. Better propulsion systems.
4. Improved impact shielding

Technically these are things we need alot of work on if we want to to even get people to mars in a healthy state.  Once we get there, finding life will be its own challenge.

there still a number of possibilites within our own solar system, most importantly(to me anyway) is Saturn's Titan, which we are soon to learn a lot more about come January when the Hyugens probe descends to its surface.

:rasta:,

mycomancer


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Offlineguri
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Re: Solar System May Be Unique After All, Astronomers Say [Re: Mycomancer]
    #3033403 - 08/21/04 06:45 PM (12 years, 3 months ago)

you know if you wanna be technical about it, i remember them takling about finding fossils in soil or ice or whatever they found on mars.

now just because life doesnt exist on mars right now, doesnt mean that it hasnt existed.

i would say the odds are in our favor that other life forms exist. now if you wanna bet on intelligent life forms, thats slims down the chances even more, think about how many species are on earth, then think about how many are self-aware as humans see it, just a few, mainly primates.

everything you see in this pictures is a diffrent galaxy and that is such a small part of the see able universe, it would be like compering a single atom in a blade of grass, to that of the football field.



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InvisibleMycomancer
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Re: Solar System May Be Unique After All, Astronomers Say [Re: guri]
    #3033911 - 08/21/04 08:52 PM (12 years, 3 months ago)

i believe its ALH 84001 or something simmilar, it was a meteorite found in antarctica.  It was debated about the nature of the "fossils" whether they were fossils, and if so, the possibility that they were from here and got into the rock after arrival.


is this a microfossil?

:rasta:,

mycomancer


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Edited by Mycomancer (08/21/04 09:15 PM)


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Offlineguri
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Re: Solar System May Be Unique After All, Astronomers Say [Re: Mycomancer]
    #3033954 - 08/21/04 09:02 PM (12 years, 3 months ago)

oh ok, well i was sorta close.


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InvisibleMycomancer
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Re: Solar System May Be Unique After All, Astronomers Say [Re: guri]
    #3034057 - 08/21/04 09:20 PM (12 years, 3 months ago)

I remeber when it happened, grabbed the newspaper that day front page news, but now its been played down, no onw wants to take it seriously lest there own careers come into jeopardy.  Thats why science is so slow, everyones afraid of looking bad, no one tackles "fringe" science, or at least cant get funding for it.

:rasta:,

mycomancer


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Offlineguri
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Re: Solar System May Be Unique After All, Astronomers Say [Re: Mycomancer]
    #3034159 - 08/21/04 09:54 PM (12 years, 3 months ago)

no body takes on frindge science because rarely are they ever right, or come out with any results at all, this makes them loose credibility, and when most research is privivtly funded its hard to find somebody who is gona give you a 10 million dollars, when all your other attemps have failed.


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