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Nearest Star System Might Harbor Earth Twin
Space.com ^ | 07 March 2008 | Andrea Thompson

Posted on 03/07/2008 2:28:00 PM PST by jmcenanly

Earth may have a twin orbiting one of our nearest stellar neighbors, a new study suggests.

University of California, Santa Cruz graduate student Javiera Guedes used computer simulations of planet formation to show that terrestrial planets are likely to have formed around one of the stars in the Alpha Centauri star system, our closest stellar neighbors.

Guedes' model showed planets forming around the star Alpha Centauri B (its sister star, Proxima Centauri, is actually our nearest neighbor) in what is called the "habitable zone," or the region around a star where liquid water can exist on a planet's surface.

The model also showed that if such planets do in fact exist, we should be able to see them with a dedicated telescope.

"If they exist, we can observe them," Guedes said.

Guedes' study has been accepted for publication in the Astrophysical Journal.

A likely candidate

Astronomers have for some time pinned the Alpha Centauri system as one that was likely to form planets, said study co-author Gregory Laughlin, a UCSC professor.

"I think that there's been a good line of evidence over the past decade or so," Laughlin told SPACE.com.

Several factors mark the system, particularly Alpha Centauri B as friendly to planet formation, Laughlin said. The metallicity of Alpha Centauri B (or how much of its matter is made up of elements heavier than hydrogen and helium) is higher than our Sun's, so there would be plenty of heavier-mass material for planets to form from, he said.

Laughlin also noted that a number of factors make Alpha Centauri B a good candidate for astronomers to actually detect an Earth-sized terrestrial planet.

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


TOPICS: Astronomy; Science
KEYWORDS: alphacentauri; alphacentaurib; astronomy; centauri; exoplanet; space; spacecolonization; xplanets
It hs been said that if habitable planets can be sighted around Either star in Alpha Cetauri, we would be be either there, or on our way there within a hundred years.


1 posted on 03/07/2008 2:28:00 PM PST by jmcenanly
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To: jmcenanly

2 posted on 03/07/2008 2:31:19 PM PST by Lancer_N3502A
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To: jmcenanly

NASA’s new earthlike planet finder telescope will be looking once it is in space. Comparison data has been acquired from space by looking back at earth to see what earth looks like spectrographically. If they get a match so close, only 4 light years, try to not get caught in the stampede.


3 posted on 03/07/2008 2:31:48 PM PST by RightWhale (Clam down! avoid ataque de nervosa)
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To: jmcenanly

I heard they have problems with an egomaniac named eroGla! I hope they survive!


4 posted on 03/07/2008 2:36:37 PM PST by Red_Devil 232 (VietVet - USMC All Ready On The Right? All Ready On The Left? All Ready On The Firing Line!)
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To: jmcenanly
Was just about to post a comment similar to yours--will do so anyway.

If an Earth-sized, water and habitable atmosphere containing planet is discovered in the Alpha Centauri system, that would be HUGE impetus to send probes immediately. NASA should be pulled from the basic science experiments, and pushed toward trying to make a workable magnetic field solar sail vehicle for the probes, and eventually for manned missions and colonization. Even a Project Orion with a launch site on the Moon might be considered.

The Alpha Centauri world might be the first non-Earth planet Mankind steps on, beating out Mars, if the planet is confirmed habitable.

5 posted on 03/07/2008 2:37:42 PM PST by Jedi Master Pikachu ( What is your take on Acts 15:20 (abstaining from blood) about eating meat? Could you freepmail?)
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To: jmcenanly; SunkenCiv

Exoplanet ping.


6 posted on 03/07/2008 2:38:14 PM PST by Jedi Master Pikachu ( What is your take on Acts 15:20 (abstaining from blood) about eating meat? Could you freepmail?)
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To: Jedi Master Pikachu

Repeal the 1967 UN Outer Space Treaty, open the Land Office, and let NASA do its moon base and earth resource satellites programs while private industry does what needs to be done in space development.


7 posted on 03/07/2008 2:41:16 PM PST by RightWhale (Clam down! avoid ataque de nervosa)
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To: Lancer_N3502A
Those are Orion, these are Centauri


8 posted on 03/07/2008 3:06:22 PM PST by jmcenanly
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To: Jedi Master Pikachu
that would be HUGE impetus to send probes immediately.

Send The Goracle and he can save them from global warming too.

9 posted on 03/07/2008 3:13:43 PM PST by Doomonyou (Let them eat lead.)
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To: RightWhale
Repeal the 1967 UN Outer Space Treaty, open the Land Office, and let NASA do its moon base and earth resource satellites programs while private industry does what needs to be done in space development.

Amen!.....This country, this world needs a new frontier.

10 posted on 03/07/2008 3:17:49 PM PST by Kakaze (Exterminate Islamofacism and apologize for nothing.....except not doing it sooner!)
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To: jmcenanly

But no one listen to poor Zathras.
:-)


11 posted on 03/07/2008 3:35:52 PM PST by Zathras
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To: jmcenanly

A new life awaits you in the off-world colonies.
12 posted on 03/07/2008 4:35:02 PM PST by TChad
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To: jmcenanly

Babylon 5, huh? Did you notice the name of the writer of this article?


13 posted on 03/07/2008 7:23:28 PM PST by JoJo Gunn (Help control the RINO population. Have them spayed or neutered. )
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To: Jedi Master Pikachu; KevinDavis; annie laurie; garbageseeker; Knitting A Conundrum; Viking2002; ...
Thanks Jedi Master Pikachu and KevinDavis for the pings.
 
X-Planets
· join · view topics · view or post blog · bookmark · post new topic ·

14 posted on 03/07/2008 11:35:46 PM PST by SunkenCiv (https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/______________________Profile updated Saturday, March 1, 2008)
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To: jmcenanly
Sid Meier's Alpha Centauri
15 posted on 03/08/2008 12:04:41 AM PST by TheRealDBear
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To: JoJo Gunn

Garibaldi’s ex wife?


16 posted on 03/08/2008 12:25:02 AM PST by isom35
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To: isom35

Yep, that’s her name. (Not sure if she’s the actual writer, though).


17 posted on 03/08/2008 8:04:58 AM PST by JoJo Gunn (Help control the RINO population. Have them spayed or neutered. )
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To: jmcenanly

Be there in 100 years? Not if it’s government work.


18 posted on 03/08/2008 3:21:37 PM PST by ukie55
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To: jmcenanly; Utah Binger; Elsie; MHGinTN; colorcountry; Graybeard58; P-Marlowe

Kolob?


19 posted on 03/08/2008 3:25:37 PM PST by greyfoxx39 (We need 2 pills, one to prevent cancer , one to prevent old age...HURRY! I am past 60!)
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To: jmcenanly
Boy are you folks jumping the gun! Sending probes, fine. Sendng people??? Waaaaaaaaaaaaaaay premature!

It can only have an oxygen atmosphere if it's developed life. Without plant and animal life in balance, we'd have a methane atmosphere.

But even further back along that food-chain, if we didn't have the moon, we wouldn't have waves to keep the oceans churned up, nor would we have tide-pools to concentrate the ingredients of life, all of which our current understanding of the way life formed on Earth, require.

It may be the same SIZE as the Earth, but it may share NONE of the other attributes that have developed over the past 3.5 billion years.

The development of life on Earth was a looooooong shot. And without life, it's likely to be a bare rock, if it exists at all.

Let's not forget that Mars is only marginally smaller than the Earth and it didn't have enough gravity to hold in it's atmosphere, and hence lost its oceans and possibly it's life as well.

There are a billion reasons a planet can fall apart from what we consider Earth-like.

20 posted on 03/08/2008 4:24:05 PM PST by HeartlandOfAmerica (Don't blame me - I voted for Fred and am STILL a FredHead!)
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To: Jedi Master Pikachu

Um, and what do you say to the residents there, if they are there? ... ‘Care to share?’ ‘Mind if we start scrutinizing you ... for our reasons?’


21 posted on 03/08/2008 5:03:25 PM PST by MHGinTN (Believing they cannot be deceived, they cannot be convinced when they are deceived.)
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To: HeartlandOfAmerica

Remember, it is only possible. Nobody has seen anything in that expected location as yet.


22 posted on 03/08/2008 5:05:59 PM PST by RightWhale (Clam down! avoid ataque de nervosa)
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To: HeartlandOfAmerica

The development of life on earth was a one for one, not a looooong shot ... it didn’t happen by accident. Too many variables ALL fell into perfect place and at the exact right timing.


23 posted on 03/08/2008 5:30:08 PM PST by MHGinTN (Believing they cannot be deceived, they cannot be convinced when they are deceived.)
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To: greyfoxx39
Nearest Star System Might Harbor Earth Twin

Or not

24 posted on 03/09/2008 5:14:27 AM PDT by Elsie (Heck is where people, who don't believe in Gosh, think they are not going...)
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