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Solar system may be one of a kind
Reuters ^ | Thursday, August 5, 2004

Posted on 08/05/2004 10:56:29 AM PDT by presidio9

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.

(Excerpt) Read more at cnn.com ...


TOPICS: Astronomy
KEYWORDS: astronomy; belongsinreligion; garbage; mariolivio; rareearth; serialrantsjackass
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1 posted on 08/05/2004 10:56:29 AM PDT by presidio9
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To: presidio9

It's obvious...I mean, what are the odds that ANOTHER Democrat Party could exist somewheres else?


2 posted on 08/05/2004 10:58:00 AM PDT by ken5050 (We've looked for WMD in Iraq for LESS time than Hillary looked for the Rose Law firm billing records)
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To: presidio9

Jupiter has moons almost as big as Earth. It is possible, but not likely, that these close-in giant gas planets around other stars could have a "moon" that has life on it since the temperature itself may be OK.


3 posted on 08/05/2004 10:59:18 AM PDT by RockinRight (Liberalism IS the status quo)
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To: presidio9

The universe is just too big for us ever to know, but it is clear that a planet like ours is rare.


4 posted on 08/05/2004 10:59:25 AM PDT by Always Right
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To: presidio9

Isn't it harder to observe and detect solar systems like ours at interstellar distances precisely because the planets are so small?


5 posted on 08/05/2004 11:02:45 AM PDT by Pearls Before Swine
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To: ken5050
It's obvious...I mean, what are the odds that ANOTHER Democrat Party could exist somewheres else?

I would have thought space itself would be littered with democrats. After all, they seem well suited to life in a vacuum.
6 posted on 08/05/2004 11:04:55 AM PDT by reagan_fanatic (No animals have been hurt in the making of this tag line)
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To: presidio9

It's also possible that current technology can ONLY detect planets that are large, therefore gaseous, therefore not sustaining life.


7 posted on 08/05/2004 11:05:58 AM PDT by Izzy Dunne (Hello, I'm a TAGLINE virus. Please help me spread by copying me into YOUR tag line.)
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To: presidio9
In an infinite universe there are infinite possibilities.

LBT

-=-=-
8 posted on 08/05/2004 11:08:16 AM PDT by LiberalBassTurds (Al Qaeda needs to know we are fluent in the "dialogue of bullets.")
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To: reagan_fanatic

outstanding...can't top that..can't even come close..


9 posted on 08/05/2004 11:08:58 AM PDT by ken5050 (We've looked for WMD in Iraq for LESS time than Hillary looked for the Rose Law firm billing records)
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Impossible.
humans think with a little science they can understand and comprehend the entire universe. of course it's not one of a kind. there are how many solar systems in our galaxy alone? how many more galaxies? how many more galaxies we can't even see?


10 posted on 08/05/2004 11:11:20 AM PDT by Legion04
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To: presidio9

I'll put this up there with sayings like "The Earth is flat", "Man was never meant to fly", "We'll never harness atomic energy", and "We'll never land on the moon". Such statements are foolish at best...


11 posted on 08/05/2004 11:11:50 AM PDT by theDentist ("John Kerry changes positions more often than a Nevada prostitute.")
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To: Izzy Dunne

Precisely. They detect these planets by looking at the gravitational 'tug' it places on the star as it orbits. The bigger the planet, the more noticeable the tug.

I can't believe they'd actually write an article like this. According to my eyesite, there are no other people on planet earth farther than 1 mile from me at all times, even less at night!


12 posted on 08/05/2004 11:12:59 AM PDT by ruiner
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To: RockinRight

Either that or our ability to detect gravitational influences of smaller planets like Earth and Mars inside what we believe to be the "living zone" of their stars isn't well enough developed yet....

Detecting the gravitational distortions of a gas giant close to a star is easier than detecting them from a much much smaller planet further away from the star.

Time will tell eventually.


13 posted on 08/05/2004 11:13:02 AM PDT by HamiltonJay ("You cannot strengthen the weak by weakening the strong.")
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To: presidio9

I have been saying that this for years. In a finite universe someone HAS to be the first. We are here. There is no 'real' evidence of life off of Earth. Anything else is speculation, guessing, and/or just lies. I won't believe there is anything else out there until it comes through the StarGate and says 'HI'


14 posted on 08/05/2004 11:13:42 AM PDT by Conan the Librarian (I am a Librarian. I don't know anything....I just know where to look it up.)
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To: reagan_fanatic

Oh man, you have discovered the missing mass in the universe: Teddytrons. They are very very heavy.


15 posted on 08/05/2004 11:14:30 AM PDT by eno_ (Freedom Lite, it's almost worth defending.)
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To: LiberalBassTurds
As far as we know, the universe is not "infinite" in the senses in which that observation would matter.
16 posted on 08/05/2004 11:14:46 AM PDT by Question_Assumptions
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To: presidio9

Dear Presidio,
This is a great article and thanks for bringing it to my attention. Kee up the good work.

Signed,
Nobody


17 posted on 08/05/2004 11:14:58 AM PDT by SerialRants (http://www.serialrants.com)
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To: Pearls Before Swine

My lay read of this (I are no astronomer), is that the technique used to look for planets around other suns is by looking for "wobble" in the star.

That approach make it much more likely to find stars with large planets in close, as the larger/closer the planet the more "wobble".


18 posted on 08/05/2004 11:15:02 AM PDT by Deek
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To: Always Right
How would we know planets like ours are rare? The article EXPLICITLY states that the current techniques can't detect earth-sized planets! So this whole article is a heap of dung. Follow this logic: "in our current sample, which can't possibly include any examples of earth-sized planets because we can't detect them, we find only large gas giants so we conclude earth sized planets must be rare".

Yeah, whatever....

Alternately we could argue that ANY empty system (around which no planets have been detected) could be home to currently undetectable earth sized planets. Since there seem to be a lot of empty systems earth sized planets could be incredibly common!

In fact our limited gas-giant only detecting system may only be capable of identifying a very small and unusual subset of the real planet population out there. It would be like standing on a corner in Dallas Texas dressed in drag and wearing a Kerry/Edwards button trying to strike up a conversation with passersby about politics and then concluding that everyone in American is a pro-gay democrat since those are the only ones who talked to you!
19 posted on 08/05/2004 11:15:37 AM PDT by Huntingtonian
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To: Pearls Before Swine
Isn't it harder to observe and detect solar systems like ours at interstellar distances precisely because the planets are so small?

Exactly! We detect extrasolar planets by watching for stars that wobble slightly because of the nearby presence of something massive. Only very large planets can do that. We can't draw any conclusions about extrasolar planets until we have the ability to see smaller planets.

20 posted on 08/05/2004 11:16:35 AM PDT by BlazingArizona
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