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Planets Found!


ROM-DOS
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right now i think it cheaper to try to find oil in mars or another planet than looking 4 it on earth for most of it is gone/ all ready discovered

Na, I just wanna pack up and move. Get me some good land.. grow some tuhmatters and puttaters. Maybe some cow. Hells yea.
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For me, it's not a question of whether or not life exists, it is a question of time.

The time life has existed on Earth, human life especially, is so incredibly short compared to the time the universe is predicted to have existed. The conditions for life are very rare in the universe and while I am sure Earth is not the only setup to have these conditions, our window of time is so incredibly limited that our chances of (especially intelligent life) coexisting near each other are basically none.

In addition, when we are dealing with lightyears, we are not just dealing with distances. What we see happened however many years ago, and is just coming to our eye. Even if we did detect the possibility of life thousands of light years away, it's possible that those life forms have already become extinct at the point that we are observing them.

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Planet shine 'to aid life search'

By Jonathan Amos ~ BBC News science reporter

Earth-like planets around distant stars may be too far away to be reached by spacecraft but scientists could still investigate whether they harbour life.

Telescope technologies are being developed that will probe the very faint light from these objects for tell-tale signs of biology.

These are the same "life markers" known to be present in light reflected off the Earth - so-called "earthshine".

They include signatures for water, and gases such as oxygen and methane.

"This gives you some information on habitability," said Wesley Traub, chief scientist on the US space agency's (Nasa) Navigator Program which specialises in the search for far-off worlds.

"These are only signs of life; they are only indicators. You can't actually detect the life itself crawling or sliming around on the surface of the planet," he told the American Geophysical Union Joint Assembly here in Baltimore, US.

In the glare

Traub is hopeful Nasa will approve the funds necessary to launch a Terrestrial Planet Finder (TPF) mission some time in the next decade.

It will comprise two space-borne observatories which will hunt down and study Earth-sized planets orbiting stars at distances where liquid water could exist and sustain life.

Europe has a similar, ambitious mission under consideration known as Darwin.

Essential to these observatories' success will be a new generation of instrumentation capable of seeing past the blinding glare of the parent star to pick out only the faint light reflected off the distant world's surface.

BBC

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  • 14 years later...

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