• This is a political forum that is non-biased/non-partisan and treats every persons position on topics equally. This debate forum is not aligned to any political party. In today's politics, many ideas are split between and even within all the political parties. Often we find ourselves agreeing on one platform but some topics break our mold. We are here to discuss them in a civil political debate. If this is your first visit to our political forums, be sure to check out the RULES. Registering for debate politics is necessary before posting. Register today to participate - it's free!

US scientists find potentially habitable planet near Earth

Tashah

wʜɪтe яussɪaи
DP Veteran
Joined
May 25, 2005
Messages
18,379
Reaction score
9,228
Location
ישראל • אמריקה
Gender
Female
Political Leaning
Centrist
Existing in the "Goldilocks" zone is but one indicator of an Earth-like planet. Other critical components would include star size/composition/heliosphere, stable star-system orbit scheme, planetary tilt and rotation, composition, magnetosphere, atmosphere, temp ranges, tectonics, companion satellite, etc.
 

winston53660

DP Veteran
Joined
Sep 29, 2007
Messages
29,262
Reaction score
10,125
Gender
Undisclosed
Political Leaning
Undisclosed
Existing in the "Goldilocks" zone is but one indicator of an Earth-like planet. Other critical components would include star size/composition/heliosphere, stable star-system orbit scheme, planetary tilt and rotation, composition, magnetosphere, atmosphere, temp ranges, tectonics, companion satellite, etc.
Wouldn't all that be considered per specific solar system in determining where the goldielocks zone is?
 

Gardener

free market communist
DP Veteran
Joined
Sep 5, 2005
Messages
26,657
Reaction score
15,927
Gender
Undisclosed
Political Leaning
Undisclosed
Existing in the "Goldilocks" zone is but one indicator of an Earth-like planet. Other critical components would include star size/composition/heliosphere, stable star-system orbit scheme, planetary tilt and rotation, composition, magnetosphere, atmosphere, temp ranges, tectonics, companion satellite, etc.
I find myself wondering what the winds must be like considering the great temperature gradiations due to its one side always facing its sun -- provided it has an atmosphere, anyway.
 

Tashah

wʜɪтe яussɪaи
DP Veteran
Joined
May 25, 2005
Messages
18,379
Reaction score
9,228
Location
ישראל • אמריקה
Gender
Female
Political Leaning
Centrist
Wouldn't all that be considered per specific solar system in determining where the goldielocks zone is?
In simple terms, the Goldilocks zone allows for a moderate temperature span and water to exist in all three states.

But these qualities in and of themselves do not ensure a habitable planet, nor hearken a mirror of the planet Earth.
 

Deuce

Outer space potato man
DP Veteran
Joined
Feb 6, 2010
Messages
76,595
Reaction score
33,756
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Undisclosed
In simple terms, the Goldilocks zone allows for a moderate temperature span and water to exist in all three states.

But these qualities in and of themselves do not ensure a habitable planet, nor hearken a mirror of the planet Earth.
Right. The real interesting part is how easily we've managed to locate planets, and now we can see that planets in this zone are not very rare. (a second planet in the goldilocks zone was found in the same system!) Given the sheer number of stars out there, this greatly ups the odds that there's other planets out there capable of supporting life.
 

Crunch

DP Veteran
Joined
Mar 18, 2009
Messages
4,063
Reaction score
890
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Conservative
Actually, it is 3-4 times the size of earth, with one side always facing its red dwarf sun and one side always away.
According to the article the planet masses 3 to 4 times the Earth but is only just slightly larger (1.2 to 1.4 Earth diameter). It also says that the gravity is the same or only slightly higher.

When I went to school a planet with the same diameter as Earth but with a mass 3 to 4 times Earth would have a surface gravity 3 to 4 times Earth standard..... anyone have an explanation as to why physics has changed in the last 30 years?

Another big draw back to a tidally locked planet would be the constant hurricane force winds cause by convection between the dark side and the light side...... you would have to live under ground. :(
 

Tucker Case

Matthew 16:3
DP Veteran
Joined
Jul 28, 2008
Messages
45,596
Reaction score
22,537
Location
Everywhere and nowhere
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Progressive
Wouldn't all that be considered per specific solar system in determining where the goldielocks zone is?
The "goldielocks zone" is determined by the type of star more than anything else. When determining if a planet really is "Earthlike", the planet itself will be looked at as well as it's location in the solar system.

The designation of Earthlike here is somewhat misleading because this planet isn't really "Earthlike". It's has a tidal lock orbit, which is very unearhtlike, and a 37 day orbital preiod (also very unearthlike.

In truth, the planet is being called Earthlike because it has th epotential to have liquid water in the secondary "goldilocks zone" created by the Terminus (which is the divider between night and day on a planet, in cases wher eth eplanet is tidally locked, the terminus is stationary and thus represents the "moderate tempurature" zone).

We also know nothing about it's atmoshpere that I was able to see. If the atmosphere is not earthlike, it might not be habitable for humans. According to the article, it's gravity should be somwhere close to that of Earth, which does make it "Earthlike" in that sense.

From what I can tell, labelling it as "earthlike" is misleading, but it does have the potential of being habitable by humans providing it has the right conditions necesary for human life to exist on it in the terminus (teh right conditions would be many of those that Tashah mentioned).

It is also possible that life evolved on the planet, but technically that is even possible in places that fall outside the are we call the "habitable zone". We have a very limitted dataset with which we are working when we make claims about "habitable zones". We are only looking at one instance of the development of life amongst what may potentially be billions of instances (or it may potentially just be one. We have far too many unknowns to make any definitive claims. It is all speculative).

In other words, we cannot genralize data from a single specific instance to the entire universe. All we can say is that the "habitable zone" was a prerequisite for creating life as we know it here on Earth. We are assuming that Earthlike planets found elsewhere will also have the ability to produce life, but that is not a given, nor are the conditions that were necesary for life on EArth necessarily required fo rthe formation of life in general.
 
Last edited:

Deuce

Outer space potato man
DP Veteran
Joined
Feb 6, 2010
Messages
76,595
Reaction score
33,756
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Undisclosed
According to the article the planet masses 3 to 4 times the Earth but is only just slightly larger (1.2 to 1.4 Earth diameter). It also says that the gravity is the same or only slightly higher.

When I went to school a planet with the same diameter as Earth but with a mass 3 to 4 times Earth would have a surface gravity 3 to 4 times Earth standard..... anyone have an explanation as to why physics has changed in the last 30 years?

Another big draw back to a tidally locked planet would be the constant hurricane force winds cause by convection between the dark side and the light side...... you would have to live under ground. :(
You learned physics wrong. :) (well, not really, but that diameter thing is important)

The convection thing might happen, but that requires a lot of speculation about the composition of the atmosphere (if it even has an atmosphere), layout of the land, etc.
 

Soupnazi630

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 31, 2009
Messages
867
Reaction score
293
Location
Ohio
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Libertarian


This is not only real Breaking News but great news for all mankind, because were are Doomed as In the words of Klaatu: I am leaving soon, and you will forgive me if I speak bluntly. ... but if you threaten to extend your violence, this Earth of yours will be reduced to a burned-out cinder

The Earth is going to be consumed eventually by our Sun as it expands as it dies.

We need a place to go and set up our civilization unless this and other planet that meet our needs are otherwise inhabited by other beings.


Live long and prosper

I think you did not pay close enough attention.

This planet is being refferred to loosely as the goldilocks planet because it exists in a proximity to it's star where the temperature would be within a range to support some life. We have no idea if water exists on it or any of the other elements needed for life to be sustained. They have no idea what gases make up the atmosphere of this planet or eve if it has one.

The planet orbits in such a manner relative to its rotation that one side is always dark the other is always lit. Both of these areas would make it difficult for life such as our species to live.

I think you may be overestimating the distance from us as well it is not really " nearby ".

Before anyone can think of visiting it we would have to find a way around those pesky laws of physics which prohibit lightspeed travel.
 

Deuce

Outer space potato man
DP Veteran
Joined
Feb 6, 2010
Messages
76,595
Reaction score
33,756
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Undisclosed
I think you did not pay close enough attention.

This planet is being refferred to loosely as the goldilocks planet because it exists in a proximity to it's star where the temperature would be within a range to support some life. We have no idea if water exists on it or any of the other elements needed for life to be sustained. They have no idea what gases make up the atmosphere of this planet or eve if it has one.

The planet orbits in such a manner relative to its rotation that one side is always dark the other is always lit. Both of these areas would make it difficult for life such as our species to live.

I think you may be overestimating the distance from us as well it is not really " nearby ".

Before anyone can think of visiting it we would have to find a way around those pesky laws of physics which prohibit lightspeed travel.
On an astronomical scale, it's just down the street.
 

Deuce

Outer space potato man
DP Veteran
Joined
Feb 6, 2010
Messages
76,595
Reaction score
33,756
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Undisclosed
How about a couple of container ships full of Cuban women?
Normally I'm opposed to human trafficking but I'm willing to make an exception.
 

Orion

Banned
DP Veteran
Joined
Jun 25, 2008
Messages
8,080
Reaction score
3,916
Location
Canada
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Independent
From what I read, it's my understanding that this planet doesn't rotate. Half of it is constantly fixed towards it parent star, and the other half is in permanent darkness. That makes one side incredibly hot and the other side freezing. The only place on it that is theoretically habitable is the line between these two climate zones. It also has a 37 day orbit around its star. I would hardly call it earth-like. That comparison probably relates to its size and the fact that it's in the potential life zone of orbit.

Sadly, humans will probably not make it to the stars at the rate we're going. I know many people are hopeful but, unless we solve our energy problems and the way we conduct economy, our society is just going to collapse and go back to an earlier stage again. I have heard it theorized that that is basically what humans have done throughout history... risen and fallen, going from advanced back to primitive conditions again. Until we have a stable global platform from which to start to foster social and material stability, combined with intensive space programs, we are not really going anywhere. Forget about our sun blowing up. We won't be around to see that... either because we evolved into something completely different, we left, or we self-annihilated. Either way, our existence on earth will be brief in cosmic terms.
 

Harry Guerrilla

DP Veteran
Joined
Dec 18, 2008
Messages
28,951
Reaction score
12,422
Location
Not affiliated with other libertarians.
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Libertarian
Existing in the "Goldilocks" zone is but one indicator of an Earth-like planet. Other critical components would include star size/composition/heliosphere, stable star-system orbit scheme, planetary tilt and rotation, composition, magnetosphere, atmosphere, temp ranges, tectonics, companion satellite, etc.
You forgot a chain of McDonald's.
Without that, all bets are off. :2razz:
 
Last edited:

winston53660

DP Veteran
Joined
Sep 29, 2007
Messages
29,262
Reaction score
10,125
Gender
Undisclosed
Political Leaning
Undisclosed
I say we take a preemptive strike against these aliens from outer space and nuke 'em. Better safe than sorry ya know.

Whose with me on this?
 

Coronado

Voluntary Resignation
DP Veteran
Joined
Jul 3, 2009
Messages
7,059
Reaction score
2,412
Gender
Undisclosed
Political Leaning
Undisclosed
I say we take a preemptive strike against these aliens from outer space and nuke 'em. Better safe than sorry ya know.

Whose with me on this?
I heard they have yellowcake uranium ...
 

Frozengale

Member
Joined
Jun 16, 2010
Messages
161
Reaction score
56
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Libertarian
From the Article: "Gliese 581, which is only 20 light years from Earth."

In other words even if it is habitable we won't be getting there in any of our life times, unless we discover the warp drive sometime soon. If it does have intelligent life on the planet then the only way we're going to be talking to them anytime soon is if we get our Ansible's out. Even if we did decide to go colonize the planet it would take a few generations to even get there. Don't get to excited people. It's cool and all... but this is more a story for our great great grandkids then us.
 

creativedreams

Banned
DP Veteran
Joined
Dec 21, 2008
Messages
2,730
Reaction score
232
Location
Timbuktu
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Slightly Conservative
The Earth is going to be consumed eventually by our Sun as it expands as it dies.
Every Star in this Universe will die in some manner just like our Sun so simply finding another Planet within the comfort zone of its Sun is not enough.

The key to the ultimate survival of civilizations is to figure out how to bring energy to planets at a safe distance from their stars.....stars of the type that will not explode into a supernova...

The key to the ultimate survival of civilizations is to figure out how to creat energy long after all the Stars in the Universe burn out...
 
Joined
Oct 26, 2009
Messages
187
Reaction score
71
Gender
Undisclosed
Political Leaning
Undisclosed
This is really cool. Finding, and possible communicating with other intelligent beings out there would be the coolest thing I can think of. You know, as long as they don't go Independence Day on our ass.
They're no match for Will Smith.
 
Top Bottom