Skip to comments.Top 10 List of Habitable Stars to Guide Search
Posted on 02/21/2006 8:26:19 PM PST by KevinDavis
The search for alien life outside our solar system has been made a little less daunting thanks to a new list drawn up by astronomer Margaret Turnbull that includes the known stars most likely to support habitable stellar systems.
Turnbull, an astronomer at the Carnegie Institute of Washington, listed 10 of what she believes are likely to be habitable stellar systems, or habstars, capable of supporting Earth-like planets and life. The list was presented at the recent annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in St. Louis.
Five of the stars on the list are thought of as good candidates for SETI astronomers seeking only to listen for radio signals from intelligent alien civilizations. They will be included in a list of targets for the Allen Telescope Array, a network of 42 linked radio dishes that is expected to go online this spring in California.
The other five are for NASAs Terrestrial Planet Finder (TPF), a planned space telescope that would attempt to directly image Earth-like planets around nearby stars. The TPF mission was scheduled for launch around 2016, but is currently on hold indefinitely, according to NASAs 2007 budget plan.
(Excerpt) Read more at space.com ...
I love your graphic!
I dunno, I looked at the various propectuses, and all of those stars look a wee bit hot for my tastes. I'd rather a planet than a star any day.
Thanks!! Since it is GW birhtday tomorrow, I figure what the heck...
I think you should keep using it!
With current technology - I dunno... let's say ion propulsion - how long would it take to do a fly-by of another star system? Basically, just send a probe to take lots of data, then zip around it and coast back to earth? (Or not even come back, just send signals back...)
The Universe is vast. I am pretty sure there is life on other star systems. They likely will resemble life on Earth, not the freakish ones we see in movies.
It will be back around July 4th...
Your right with the current technology it would take a long time. However, with advances I say within the next 50 years, going to other star systems will be more feasible..
Heck most planets can be like Western Canada like we see in SG1 and Atlantis...
Oops I mis-stated the question.... not "when can we launch", but "how long would such a journey take (to get back interesting data)?"
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Typically, the most sought after characteristic of a planet is its habitability. A habitable planet has liquid water on its surface, explained Margaret Turnbull of the Carnegie Institute of Washington. Thus far, 90% of all detected alien planets have host stars that can flare and sterilize the surface of the planet. Furthermore, planets, which are that close to their host star, would be in a synchronous orbit. This means that only one side of the planet would face the host star and all potential water on that side would evaporate and go to its "dark" side.
Well the data will take years and years using traditional methods. I think we have some laser based communication system, it would take half of the time..
Great news. Since Don Brownlee isn't far from here, what about satellite-driven tidal forces, tectonic volcanism, and gas giant vacuum cleaners?
/ Devil's Advocacy
Our fastest probes might top out, being extremely generous, at 100,000 MPH. 1 light year is around 5.86 trillion miles, so our nearest stellar neighbor of Alpha Centauri would be 4.32 ly away or ~25 trillion miles.
If I calculated correctly, that works out to 1141 years for a one way trip....
Do we need to consider relativity? Isn't it travelling into the future at that speed, so back on earth we'd have to wait even longer?
That is why we need to develop FTL technology...
Realtivistic effects at 100,000 MPH are basically nil. A probe would need to be traveling about 80% the speed of light before it starts becoming noticeable.
They likely will resemble life on Earth, not the freakish ones we see in movies.
Rubbish. At best, there will be an endoskeleton and a symmetric distribution of sensory organs and limbs.
The "freakish" aliens you typically see in movies are shocking precisely because they have a vague resemblance to humans. Two eyes above a midline nose, and below the nose a mouth with teeth. Head on top of spine, two arms, two legs, bipedal gait, etc.
Real aliens will look nothing like humans or even necessarily like vertebrates. They may look like an odd sea creature, or they may be something totally new like a Horta.
Interesting. Certainly too far for a manned mission, but quite within the realm of possibility for an unmanned probe.
The pyramids and Great Wall of China took hundreds of years to build. Sending a probe to another star system could be a comparable monument left by our own generation.
Lets play "Spot The Alien"!
True. Since you mentioned it, here on Earth, there are freakish life. Ever seen those deep-sea or cave life? Some are really freakish. I wonder if there is a planet inhabited by bunny like races that are war-like? :)