Skip to comments.Signs of Life Found Orbiting an Exoplanet–Sort of
Posted on 05/29/2013 4:30:15 PM PDT by lbryce
Please note that this article was originally published on March 20, 2008.
The possible detection of methane in the atmosphere of a distant planet could be the next big step in the search for life outside our solar system
Everyone seems to be double-extra-cautiously optimistic about this finding, so dont go running out to your telescope tonight looking for greetings from friendly space creatures.
But in work reported today in Nature, astronomers say they used the Hubble Space Telescopes infrared imager to pick up signs of methane in the atmosphere of a Jupiter-sized planet orbiting a star some 63 million light years from Earth. And methane, an organic molecule, is an indicator of the possible presence of life.
The bad news, for ET fans, is that the planet is probably too close to its host star to support the kind of life were all really looking for. The good news is that the very presence of methane, and water, in the planets atmosphere could be evidence that some form of life may be out there, either on this planet or others. Methane is key to the formation of amino acids, the basic building blocks of organisms.
Another key takeaway from this work, scientists say, is that astronomers have now moved from simply finding these planetsa not-so-simple job in and of itselfto exploring them chemically.
The problem is despite the plethora of planets orbiting the billions of stars that comprise our galaxy, most discoveries have been planets up to five, six times Jupiter-sized, conditions of which could not support life as we know it.
Up to very recently, we were unable to discover smaller sized more Earth-like planets than the gargantuan worlds already made known to us, due to technological limitations. But recent events have confirmed the discovery of Earth-like planets that were in, as they call it,'the Goldilocks Zone', conditions of which were not too cold or too hot around stars similar to our own sun.
I get very much annoyed, angry by the manner in which scientists, media, all play up the discovery of any Goldilocks planet in a wholly celebratory, child-like tone, their talk of contact, communication, setting up the alien landing platform on Devil's Tower, getting Holder to work out some gun-running deal, egregiously belies their otherwise objective empirical approach, unethically abandoned when discussing exo-planets harboring life.
To read scientists regale over a newly discovered Goldilocks planet has them in naive ebullience, their basic scientific knowledge out the window to fantasize about a world seen only as a microscopic dot, talk of communication, exchanging societal background, histories makes for for a lot of but is hardly realistic to occur for a myriad of reasons, such as, the unimaginably far distances, the technology to make it all happen, the little problem with the pathetically inadequate speed in which to merely communicate in a timely manner has any notion of making the greatest discovery in human history of an alien civilization, useless in practical terms. Man's most romantic fantasy, space travel, alien contact, is the result of brains incessantly skewed by watching, reading too much Star Trek, Star Wars,the entire genre of the subject.
In a way, this fierce dedication to the belief of a universe teeming with intelligent life on exo-planets spread across the galaxy is eerily, ironically reminiscent of religion, belief in a higher power,a spiritual being
Both groups believe in what they do are motivated by what seems nearly identical.
Life being as daunting s it can be, has the religious person worship the Supreme Being of their preference as means for salvation, protection, in the hopes of being saved from the ravages of living by virtue of the blessings bestowed by a savior God.
Scientists, other might not share the same needs but suffer from the same insecurities, fears, the planet's survival. Their dedication to,hopefulness for the discovery of aliens,life on other worlds the rationale for which is nearly identical to those who believe in God in that with overpopulation, disease, power generation, the planet under duress, stress,(no,I refuse to include events of meteorological phenomena) are concerned about the future of our planet (said in jest) and look to discover advanced alien civilizations as secular savior to provide us with salvation for all of Earth's daunting problems we ourselves used in getting here to this point, the inspiration, implementation of technology, have them provide us with the means they used to conquer their own problems
Something there is sure farting a lot.
Only 63 million light years away. Lets send them a howdy message. If they respond promptly, we should hear back from them in less than 125,000,000 years.
Come on! 63 million miles from earth and they can tell there is methane there. Nonsense! At 63 million miles away, I would not trust a spectrometer to tell me anything unless I had an agenda. I believe these people do. At 63 million miles away, you can’t even see the planet. How could you tell if it had methane upon it? Be reasonable people. Let’s get real. 63 millions miles away?
63 million LIGHT YEARS, Max. 63 million LIGHT YEARS.
Since there are 6 trillion miles in a light year, that would be about 375 million trillion miles.
that’s a long distance call.
I suspect there is an error. 63 million light years would put it far far outside our own galaxy. I think they meant 63 or 630 light years.
I’ll admit it. It was me. Today’s lunch at a new restaurant is the culprit. Still farting even as I make this post hours later. One of the worst outbreaks I’ve ever had, so bad, I tried going to the ER but they wouldn’t let me in.
I’m sick of them saying “the basic building blocks of organisms”
because building blocks means that you can put them together to build something.
The low-information reader is supposed to think that this means that there is life when there are amino acids.
What a crock! ‘Science’ has turned into funny-paper producing idiocy.
Isn't it just!
"...and look to discover advanced alien civilizations as secular savior to provide us with salvation for all of Earth's daunting problems we ourselves used in getting here..."
Sounds very similar to something a few of us were discussing a week or so ago.
From one of my posts...."Well,I wouldn't insist that they (ETs) don't exist but I don't find anything scriptural that compels me to think they do and the universe being really really big doesn't either.When I see so much 'new age' thinking that swirls around other-worldy life out there coming to save us and see so many who reject God insisting there's other life out there I can't help being suspicious.The Bible tells us there most certainly is other intelligent life in the universe.Some of it being malevolent and maybe trying to hitch a ride on man's desire to believe in some sort of physical saviour."
You can do it yourself at home. I can train you how to do it too. :)
And once again, allow me to add that I find nothing int he Bible which precludes higher intelligence beings, but without a spirit. We just don’t know. Then again, perhaps God put a spirit in evolved beings but did not allow for free will, sort of like ant colonies or bee hiveism.
Sounds very similar to something a few of us were discussing a week or so ago.
***Yes, and I recently added a physics development to that thread.
Note that Coppedges calculations of 1 in 10^123 for the formation of a protein of 445 amino acids in length, and 1 in 10^29345 for the formation of an aggregate of proteins minimal for the existence of life are computed on the basis of the left-handed amino acid problem alone.
So the SETI project was off by 29,343 orders of magnitude. It only needs to be off by 50 orders of magnitude to be impossible, by the mathematical definition.
You might want to read up on super luminal travel and energy from the zero point field.
However, despite a lack of evidence, these same people believe that the universe is teeming with life and that life on Earth was probably seeded by aliens.
I think this trend, belief in “Panspermia” is actually a positive step, as it moves them away from the classic Neo-Darwinian view of how life as we know it evolved.
I’ve followed the Evolution/Creation debates for a number of years and the logical conclusion is either God created life and everything we know and/or we were seeded from space.
Evolutionary theory is severely flawed, and people know this. Since the popularization of programs like “Ancient Aliens”, we are seeing a greater acceptance of the Panspermia theory, while Neo-Darwinism is losing ground.
I suggest that this is a positive step since removing Darwinism from the equation people are forced to define and examine the probabilities of space travelers and the implications that accompany them.
Some folks can't differentiate between a fart and their own sorry intellectual incapacity to be aware of anything else. It's like the famous Gary Larsen cartoon where he portrays what a dog hears when his owner is speaking to him.
Owner:Rover,get off the neighbor's lawn!
What Rover hears:BARK!BARK!BARK!BARK!BARK!BARK!
Some people, like our honorary MENSA member here,Sandrat, hears all sounds, reads all books as if they were farts.
Friend:Hey, Sandrat, how's it going?
What Sandrat hears:Flatulent Sonic Boom
What Sandrat expeiences whenever he reads anything.
Fleeting, ephemeral cloud of an*l vapor.
Didn't FR once require an IQ test before granting membership?.
True.However it can be illuminating to look at the reasons why this topic seems to touch so many nerves.It seems it's an issue that's difficult to look at unemotionally.Lots of big questions that touch very deeply on who and what we are.The issue often ends up looking a lot like a creation/evolution,theist/atheist or even a protestant/catholic debate.Tons of heat with little light.