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  1. #1
    Chaser of Light Dr Mobius's Avatar
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    Default Goldilocks Planet

    I did a search and there seems to be no mention of this?

    It was big in the news last year I believe. It sprang to mind after browsing through that “I hate scifi thread,” which seemed to be a bemusing combination of passive aggression, out right aggression and that song from Armageddon.

    Anyway I find the whole Goldilocks Zone theory fascinating and thought I’d put it out there.

    http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/ba...a-nearby-star/

  2. #2
    ⒺⓉⒷ Eric B's Avatar
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    It used to be called "the life belt". Like in this solar system, the life belt was Venus, Earth and Mars, though other conditions render Venus and Mars at too high or low a temperature as is.
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  3. #3
    The Eighth Colour Octarine's Avatar
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    Chances are it doesn't have life, but it would certainly be interesting to measure the spectra and estimate whether it has an atmosphere (which might be unlikely, given its day cycle is equal to its yearly cycle).

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    The Goldilocks theory provides much support for the hypothesis of extraterrestrial life existing in the universe. However, technology nowadays won't allow much research to be conducted in order to explore the "life belt" of other stars even in our galaxy. While Gliese 581 is one of the closest stars to Earth, 200 trillion kilometers isn't a distance I'd go in a moment of boredom one evening. There are interesting ideas promoted by certain scientists which take into consideration the possibility of interstellar travel, but it seems to be difficult task. You could check out Stephen Hawking's Universe (if you haven't already). I remember one of those documentaries also approaching the idea of a Goldilocks Zone. What is difficult in finding such planets is the fact that, as they revolve around enormous stars (Gliese 581 is a red dwarf only!), their movement is harder to detect, especially when speaking about such great distances.

    On the other hand, provided this planet is able to support life, chances are it has already developed there. If there is life on the planet, a variety of questions related to the position of the inhabitants on an evolutionary scale and the ethical dimension of "colonising" or visiting an unknown planet. That could be considered science-fiction already and, while I'm skeptical, Jules Verne's books were also considered sci-fi at that time.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Catbert View Post
    Chances are it doesn't have life, but it would certainly be interesting to measure the spectra and estimate whether it has an atmosphere (which might be unlikely, given its day cycle is equal to its yearly cycle).
    Good luck doing that from a distance of 20 light years. As far as I know, the supposedly successful analysis of an extrasolar planet's atmosphere has only been possible when the planet has been observed passing directly between the telescope and the star.
    But we only know of this new planet's existence "implicitly" - that is, it hasn't been directly observed, and I doubt it will be. What we have done, though, is measure the degree and frequency of the parent star's vibrationing and used these numbers to draw a conclusion about the orbiting body. We can do this as a result of Newton's third law, which states that the forces of two bodies on each other are always equal and are directed in opposite directions - this means that both the star and the planet will be orbiting around the center of mass of the system of the two, which will be displaced a small distance from the center of the star thanks to the aforementioned law.

    Anyway, go to this article to see photos of actual observations: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Extrasolar_planet

  6. #6
    Senior Member Lateralus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SmileyMan View Post
    Good luck doing that from a distance of 20 light years...
    We'll be able to do it eventually.
    "We grow up thinking that beliefs are something to be proud of, but they're really nothing but opinions one refuses to reconsider. Beliefs are easy. The stronger your beliefs are, the less open you are to growth and wisdom, because "strength of belief" is only the intensity with which you resist questioning yourself. As soon as you are proud of a belief, as soon as you think it adds something to who you are, then you've made it a part of your ego."

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