Skip to comments.Life beyond Earth? Nasa finds water in five distant planets
Posted on 12/04/2013 7:16:52 AM PST by oxcart
Washington: In an encouraging sign of life beyond earth, Nasa scientists have found faint signatures of water in the atmospheres of five distant planets.
Though the presence of atmospheric water was reported previously on a few exo-planets orbiting stars beyond the solar system, but this is the first study to conclusively measure and compare the profiles and intensities of these signatures on multiple worlds, Nasa said.
The strengths of their water signatures varied, it said. WASP-17b, a planet with an especially puffed-up atmosphere, and HD209458b had the strongest signals. The signatures for the other three planets, WASP-12b, WASP-19b and XO-1b, also are consistent with water, Nasa said.
"We're very confident that we see a water signature for multiple planets," said Avi Mandell, a planetary scientist at Nasa's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, and lead author of an Astrophysical Journal paper, published yesterday, describing the findings for WASP-12b, WASP-17b and WASP-19b.
"This work really opens the door for comparing how much water is present in atmospheres on different kinds of exoplanets, for example hotter versus cooler ones," Mandell said.
Nasa said the five planets are hot Jupiters, massive worlds that orbit close to their host stars. The researchers were initially surprised that all five appeared to be hazy.
"These studies, combined with other Hubble observations, are showing us that there are a surprisingly large number of systems for which the signal of water is either attenuated or completely absent," said Heather Knutson of the California Institute of Technology, a co-author.
"This suggests that cloudy or hazy atmospheres may in fact be rather common for hot Jupiters," he added.
Take it from me. Life is ALL OVER the universe, just as it is on Earth. Take a spoonful of dirt from any square inch of Earth and examine it, and you’ll find life. LOTS of it. I have always believed that the Universe is teeming with life from one end to the other.
File in useless information file.
I recall when the US could send men into orbit.
Yeah I think its pretty likely. Probably not like us but likely.
White Anglo-Saxon Protestant with 17 blacks?.............
I recall when Elvis Presley could send women into orbit.................
Good Lord. Racist planets.
Why the surprise? we already know that black holes are racist.
From looking at reflected light they decide there must be water on planets that are millions or billions of miles away.
Well we are never getting there to find out and they are never getting here, except in Hollywood movies.
So keep staring at those lights guys, they might as well be lights on a Christmas tree.
Take a spoonful of dirt on Mars and you won't find any evidence of life whatsoever. The question isn't settled but so far Martian soil appears to have all the characteristics of being extremely sterile. And so the question of life elsewhere int he universe is still a very open question. There are extremely compelling arguments and bunches of evidence supporting both sides of the argument right now.
Yes it's a validated scientific process called spectroscopy. I agree we won't ever be going there, but understanding the composition of far away bodies by studying their reflected light is quite reliable. It may be difficult to understand, but trust me when I say that part of the argument has been proven and tested many times over.
Never said I was surprised. Just wait till they figure out ‘dark matter’.
So is this WASP planet a white-anglo-saxon planet as the name implies? That is so racist! I think a certain African-American congresscritter is going to complain about this.
Until we actually find life somewhere else or figure out how to create life from scratch in a laboratory we really have no way of knowing if life is common, rare or only on Earth.
It is very possible that the formation of life requires a trillion random occurrences that have never happened anywhere else.
“Take it from me. Life is ALL OVER the universe, just as it is on Earth.”
Yeah, sure. Next time they drop by your house for dinner, take a polaroid.
I always wondered why the landers haven't gone closer to the polar ice caps. Since it's a general assumption now that water is necessary for life, if you're looking for microbes or other such things, why not go where the water is?
Gotta keep the whole “if it happened here, it had to happen elsewhere” fantasy going.
When they learn how to ‘bend’ space-time, travel from here to there will be possible...............
I am well aware of that principle however this is pretty irrelevant as it leads no-where in this case.
BTW : You cant really validate those conclusions because they cant get that far even with a probe. They validate the technique for short distances then use that to make conclusions about millions of miles away.
TCM replayed 1950s '20 Million miles from earth ' again this part weekend. Fun movie especally when I was a kid. Stop frame animation.
OK, it just had to LOL
And... if you get right down to it,
what they are REALLY trying to prove is -
if it happened by accident somewhere else,
that’s what happened here - sans Creator.
I recall when Al Jolson could send women into orbit ...
Yes, thats like Obamacare ‘bending the cost curve’
Maybe we will find a wormhole portal here like they did on ‘Stargate’
Then just need to crack the identification code to make it work. How tough can that be? Maybe they use simple passwords.
>>Yeah, sure. Next time they drop by your house for dinner, take a polaroid.
Now that would be crazy... ... ... ... nobody around here still has a Polaroid!
yes, I can see it now
“We proved there cant be a God because we identified certain wavelengths of refected light from space that indicate water.”
I dont think NASA will be claiming something that silly.
Thats like Creationionists saying evolution is impossible because some bones are missing.
“You’re kidding me - it was ‘1,2,3,4’?”
I was under the impression that God created the whole universe.
Even if two bubbles happen to exist at the same time, there is no way for the occupants of one bubble to reach across the vast distances and actively communicate with another.
Our radio waves are our artifacts.
Amazing that advanced aliens could build those portals and make them work, we cant get a man in orbit anymore, yet they never thought of stong passwords.
Doesn’t mean there’s water on the surface.
Is that possible now that NASA detected water from that reflected light?
I heard that disproves your theory.
How about those space aliens on TV?
If the soil of Mars is indeed sterile, and has always been sterile, then so far that adds up to 50/50 life over uncountable googolplexes of worlds.
There are so many things that we really don’t understand about the universe. Heck, we don’t even really understand gravity.
It’s why I can easily disregard the “We can’t cause its impossible” crowd as ignorant fools. We’re all pretty ignorant of the universe but only the real morons are so ignorant as to know all there is to know.
Good place for all Socialist and Liberals !
Yes, like all of the methane they detected on Mars...(***Only 34 million miles away...)
It is getting so I wonder if there is intelligent life even on earth.
For life to exist requires a 'trillion' random occurrences that have never happened anywhere else, except on earth.
And only then 'software' by a 'creator' has to be inserted for life to exist.
Yes, there is methane on Mars. Not sure what your point is. Are you referencing the news that the Mars Science Lander, AKA the "Curiosity Rover" hasn't detected methane at it's landing site in the concentrations that many proponents of Martian life had hoped for? If so, that finding doesn't contradict the Mars Global Surveyor Orbiter's discovery of methane from orbit in 1999, or more recent spectral evidence of Martian methane from Earth-based observations. If you can't understand why there is no contradiction in these findings, I'm not sure I can explain it in a couple of sentences. Ultimately Curiosity doesn't have powerful enough instrumentation to test the entire Martian atmosphere, at all elevations for the presence of methane. All it can do is measure concentrations down to the minimal sensitivity of it's instruments at it's landing site in Gale Crater.
If you don't accept the very basic high-school-level physics of spectroscopy, then it's not possible to have an intelligent conversation on this topic. And before we go any further I am a life-long Republican, Conservative, Christian who is grateful to God Almighty for my university education in science and engineering that has allowed me to understand many of the mysteries and wonders of His Creation through an understanding of physics and chemistry.
That was part of the problem with the Shuttle missions...They did about 21,000 orbits of the earth...
Dark matter is simply a new topic that “needs” further “study” at the cost of billions of dollars. After dark matter, comes gray matter, then what’s-a-matter, ....
The amount "science" doesn't know, far outweighs the amount it claims to know.Unfortunately, our society has decided to place its faith in "science" instead of God.
When I read scientific papers, I always keep in mind the above equation. I do this because in my short life, (52 years,) I have seen many "facts" overturned by new discoveries.
Yes, science has a place but we cannot blindly accept the theories of "scientists" at the expense of our, more important, faith in the infinite Creator.
The scientists on the NASA team, wholly expected to find methane levels much higher at the rover's location. This is just another example of we don't know as much in our own solar system, (or our own planet for that matter,) as "science" pretends to know. Empirical evidence is the only scientific data that has any value to me.
Using spectroscopy across light years makes me doubtful because there may be many forces in play that "scientists" may not be aware of yet. Of course our "media" trumpets all of these "findings" as facts and our gullible low information population just eats it up.
The humanists that currently control our culture are determined to disprove God. They demonstrate this by throwing logic and reason out of the window in favor of foolish theories like Darwinian evolution and anthropogenic global warming.
God will not be mocked...
On a personal note, thanks for your service as a believer within the Scientific community. I know there are many. My father was a brilliant mathematician and engineer and, more importantly, a Christian.
The funny thing is, 20 million miles is not really very far away, as cosmic distances go. That's only 107 light-seconds away.
By comparison, at the moment (13:26 Central time), Venus is 3 minutes 30 seconds away, and Mars is 13M 32s away.
The Voyager I spacecraft is 15 hours, 39 minutes and 7 seconds distant. Upshot being, if you send a ping to Voyager I, be prepared to wait more than 31 hours for a response.
You can give away all your hats & caps...
Maybe that's why they were able to send a manned mission there and back and bring back that monster.
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