Planet Declared As 100% Likely To Have Life... Now Can't Even Be Found

from the oops dept

You may recall a few weeks ago, we wrote about the discovery of the first "potentially life-sustaining planet" outside of our solar system, which got some astronomers so excited that one declared the chance of life on the planet to be 100%. Of course, he may want to adjust his optimism a bit downwards as Slashdot points us to the news that another group of astronomers are saying they can't find any trace of the planet:
But at this week's Astrophysics of Planetary Systems meeting, astronomer Francesco Pepe of the Geneva Observatory and the Swiss group reported that he and his colleagues could find no reliable sign of a fifth planet in Gliese 581's habitable zone. They used only their own observations, but they expanded their published data set from what the U.S. group included in its analysis to a length of 6.5 years and 180 measurements. "We do not see any evidence for a fifth planet ... as announced by Vogt et al.," Pepe wrote Science in an e-mail from the meeting. On the other hand, "we can't prove there is no fifth planet." No one yet has the required precision in their observations to prove the absence of such a small exoplanet, he notes.

Astronomer Paul Butler, a member of the U.S. team who is at the Carnegie Institution for Science in Washington, D.C., says he can't comment on the Swiss work because he wasn't at the meeting and the data are unpublished. He notes, however, that more observations will likely be needed to solidify the existence of Gliese 581g. "I would expect that on the time scale of a year or two this should be settled."
So, perhaps before we declare it 100% likely to have life, we should make sure it actually exists.

Filed Under: astronomy, habitable, planets


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  1. icon
    Dark Helmet (profile), 13 Oct 2010 @ 1:02pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: To quote Peter Walker

    "Genesis says that God made man (males) in His image and woman in man's image. Whether God is male in the same way we are male I don't know, but apparently he does have some kind of gender traits."

    See, I truly don't want to offend here, and believe it or not I honestly do respect people with faith, but when people tell me the virtues and/or "rightness" of their religion and I know it better than they do, I get REALLY frustrated.

    What you're saying is not correct. The Christian bible indirectly deals with the question of the heavanly God's (being separate from Christ and the Holy Spirit) sexuality, and it is clear that God is asexual:

    "God is spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth." (John 4:24)

    God is not physical. He does not have sexual organs. He is NOT male.

    "See My hands and My feet, that it is I Myself; touch Me and see, for a spirit does not have flesh and bones as you see that I have." (Luke 24:39)

    Christ was saying that only his part of the trinity is physical. The Holy Spirit and heavanly God are not. They cannot be male as they are not physical beings.

    Your assertion that man is made from God and woman from man is also against biblical assertions, such as Galatians 3:28, in which men and women are said to be spiritual equals, or Mathew 22:29-30, which clearly says that there is no sexual differentiation in Heaven.

    But I don't fault you for making statements that the bible contradicts. It really isn't your fault, because much of the way the rest of the bible is worded would support your statements. That's the point. The Bible isn't totally consistent. That's all that's being suggested....

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