DailyDirt: Life On Other Planets

We've discovered thousands of exoplanets beyond our solar system, and some of them are even in the "Goldilocks zone" where liquid water could possibly exist. Some astronomers think life could be abundant in the universe, but there's not that much hard evidence (yet!). Here are just a few astronomical discoveries that might encourage researchers to look for signs of life a bit more carefully. If you'd like to read more awesome and interesting stuff, check out this unrelated (but not entirely random!) Techdirt post via StumbleUpon.


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  1.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 13th, 2013 @ 5:46pm

    Some mathematicians think winning the lotto might be very unlikely, but there's not that much hard evidence (yet!).

     

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  2.  
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    CK20XX, May 13th, 2013 @ 6:13pm

    Re:

    "There are three kinds of lies: Lies, Damned Lies, and Statistics." Benjamin Disraeli

    Not that I think we shouldn't go searching for life elsewhere at all, but it may be for the best that we seem to be alone in the universe. I mean, looking at how mankind has turned out, what makes us think aliens would be any better? Gimme that Cowboy Bebop future instead.

     

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  3.  
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    Anonymous Coward, May 13th, 2013 @ 6:18pm

    Re:

    There's plenty of evidence... and mathematicians designed the lottery... uh, so... where's the evidence for ETs? (Crop circles don't count)

     

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    Anonymous, May 13th, 2013 @ 6:28pm

    Re: Re:

    I haven't heard any reports of crop circles in quite a while. And apparently stuff no longer disappears in the Bermuda Triangle. It's a conspiracy, I tell ya!

     

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    Wolfy, May 13th, 2013 @ 7:56pm

    While going through US Army Intel. Officer Basic, I received a briefing on Extraterrestrial races and technologies, from someone dressed in the Navy's uniform and wearing Naval Intelligence insignia.

    Here is a brief excerpt.

    Thinking in terms of what the ET's want is a mistake. Bottom line is there are several different races we're aware of, and they all have differing motivations, and some don't play well with each other.

    I assume part of that briefing to be disinformation, but not all. The above I think are true. Can't say why other than it seems to make sense.

     

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  6.  
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    Lawrence D'Oliveiro, May 13th, 2013 @ 10:10pm

    Re: "There are three kinds of lies: Lies, Damned Lies, and Statistics."

    Interesting statistic...

     

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  7.  
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    Anonymous Coward, May 14th, 2013 @ 4:10am

    There are zillions of planets out there. It seems unlikely that Earth is the only one where life occurred. Will we recognize life on another planet when we see it? That's another question. Some scientists believe that human intelligence is an evolutionary weapon, like skunk spray or porcupine quills. So it might be difficult to find intelligent life out there. But it's out there, somewhere.

     

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  8.  
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    Anonymous Coward, May 14th, 2013 @ 4:56am

    Re:

    Some time ago most everyone was convinced the earth was the center of the universe and it was flat - today there is a diminishing number of those who think earth is the only place life exists in the universe.

     

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  9.  
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    RyanNerd (profile), May 14th, 2013 @ 5:15am

    Re: Re:

    How about eye witness accounts by rednecks with their name on their belt buckle?

     

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  10.  
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    Killer_Tofu (profile), May 14th, 2013 @ 6:28am

    Not free floating planets

    Those aren't starless planets, they are spaceships!

    Space ships meant to carry the last of a race of peoples from a star that was going to die to a new home somewhere that was chosen for them!

    (somebody should get the reference)

     

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    CK20XX, May 14th, 2013 @ 9:57am

    Re: Re: "There are three kinds of lies: Lies, Damned Lies, and Statistics."

    Actually I don't think that is. Why is it that when we're born, our parents have to teach us how to be good, not bad? Why do we always figure out how to be bad on our own unless we're taught otherwise? Can you call that a statistic when it's a rule that applies to every one of us?

     

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  12.  
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    Anonymous Coward, May 14th, 2013 @ 11:33am

    Re:

    most scientists expect that IF they do find life on other planets that it will look just like life here on earth.

    there is only a limited number of molecules that will make up DNA or something like DNA, these plants that have liquid water may be able to support life, but are the conditions suitable for the formation of life on those planets present ?

    You need a 'primeval soup' with the necessary chemicals and chemical reactions, and large enough that statistically some will form into self replicating chemical entities (life).

    Just having water alone, probably is enough to support life but not to create it.

     

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  13.  
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    John Fenderson (profile), May 14th, 2013 @ 1:47pm

    Re:

    It makes no sense that a secret as large and important as that would be revealed in any basic training whatsoever. I would think it would be one of those "need to know" things that wouldn't be mentioned at all unless you're actually directly dealing with alien materials.

    So, it seems overwhelmingly likely that the briefing you attended, if it took place as you say, was 100% bullshit.

     

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    btr1701 (profile), May 14th, 2013 @ 2:23pm

    Huh?

    From the linked article: "The object appears to be a young, cold planet in a cluster of about 30 stars moving together called AB Doradus".

    From the TechDirt commentary above: "some spectroscopic measurements suggest this planet's temperature is about 430 Celsius".

    There seems to be a bit of a contradiction here.

     

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  15.  
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    Michael Ho (profile), May 14th, 2013 @ 3:25pm

    Re: Huh?

    Cold is a relative term in astronomy... 430 C sounds hot to us, but compared to a star, that's pretty cold.

    http://www.space.com/18461-rogue-alien-planet-discovery.html

     

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  16.  
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    Anonymous, May 14th, 2013 @ 7:17pm

    Re:

    Aw, great. Now that you've told us that, you're going to have to neuralize us all.

     

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