Science News

"What would happen if...?" has always been a staple of Science Fiction. What do you wonder about?

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Re: Science News

Post by LightBrigade »

Boikat wrote:According to the article, it's 5 times as massive as the Earth, which means it's about fifty times as large (about12,000 miles in diameter), ...


I am afraid that according to the article about the planet European astronomers discovered recently "The new planet is about 50 percent bigger than Earth and about five times more massive. "

50 per cent bigger means it is a bigger sphere - more or less sphere.

5 times more massive means that gravity is larger, a pound or a kilo weigh five times more there.

Stephan Udri of the Geneva Univ. stated "we estimated that the temperature on the planet we discovered is between 0 and 40 degrees Celsius (32 to 104 degrees Fahrenheit) so this means it can sustain water in liquid form."

The statement means life can be in the water there or, if the planet is not covered with oceans, life may be on dry land. The Geneva Univ. computer model leaves both possibilities open for further investigation.

Other planets of some importance are being discovered, like the one the Washington Carnegie Institute commented about recently. (The first planet mentioned here is near Gliese 581, and is named Gliese 581 C, the second is near another star, Gliese 876.)

"Goldilocks" means the star's (the sun's) habitable zone.
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Post by Bmat »

With gravity that large, would humans be able to live comfortably there?

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Post by LightBrigade »

With the technology available right now, man could not live and work there. So a colony could not be established.

It is extremely expensive for us at present to provide standard gravity conditions for the human being at a large scale.

What could be done, after we learn how to travel in Space faster, is to establish a station for particular purposes, such as astronomy observation or medical research.

Moreover, as you mentioned in the discussion we were just having, machinery could be transported there for mining in an automated organisation of such a project. This means mankind would be able to exploit the resources of the planet, if this is interesting.

Mankind? Well, politically correctly speaking, I mean *s*
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Post by Bmat »

It is interesting to speculate on whether there is life there, or intelligent life. And how we would determine if it were intelligent, which would need to be done before any exploitation of resources, I would think.

There have been a number of SF short stories and novels on the subject of native life on planets and determining if the life is intelligent.

And what if the life is not intelligent. Surely extensive study should be done to ensure that any mining or exploiting would not damage the life. Although it is in the news here from time to time how plants or animals that live in only one area on our planet are not necessarily protected when their area is desired by humans.

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Post by LightBrigade »

I gather the same rules with what we have observed in the matter of meeting life and exploiting resources so far, will more or less apply in this case.

So far, when man met life, and when man found interesting resources, on _this_ planet,

whether it was intelligent or not, whether it came to harm or not, was irrelevant.

Before History recorded all this activity in the Explorations - and well after that era, another race of mankind used to travel to explore in order to colonise, and share their civilisation, not conquer, make empires, enslave Life, defoliate the lungs of the world, make protectorates, by force or economy create satellite countries, or establish puppet governments, set spheres of influence, raise walls et cetera, et cetera. We could apply our capacity to think, learn, and follow the wisdom of avoiding to repeat the same mistakes.

In the History of the civilisation of mankind, such mistakes are repeated always in a farce, at the expense of the ignorant.
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Post by Ariel »

The inhabitants of other planets should shudder when mankind arrives. Be fraid. Be very afraid.

Sorry but it is true that mankind has repeated his mistakes. They seem to know greed and power at the expense of what is true and what is good.

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Post by aldan »

$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$

When people invest in something, they want to see results. If the investment's financial, the results expected are generally financial as well...

The whole exploration of space thing is a very expensive project. Businesses or National Gubbermints are the ones that normally are the investors. Why would a business do so? Why, to give them a leg up in that field, to give them a potential improvement in their company's technology, due to the research needed to accomplish space flight... And why would government do it? National pride is one reason, technological breakthroughs are another, and military reasons are another. The more liberal governments might say that they are doing things to 'find a way to solve _______ problem(s),' but while that might be one of their reasons, it's pretty much always in the background compared with the other national reasons.

Finding a planet on which earthlings could live without technological help goes into the same bucket of reasons given above, IMO.
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Post by Boikat »

It'll be centuries (baring any sudden technological breakthroughs) before any extra-solar planet could be exploited, so any speculation on that matter is largely academic.

Even if we discovered a solid gold asteroid in our own solar system, we'd be hard pressed to exploit it, even as a commercial venture. (Besides, any large influx of gold would drive down the trade value, anyway, and defeat the purpose of obtaining it anyway.)
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Post by aldan »

To an extent, I agree with you, BK... but (and it's a pretty large but, too, though not a really attractive one) when I said that it would improve tech, I was speaking of improving it in the very near future, even though it might indeed take much more time to actually get to an extra-solar planet and exploit it. Any ship that would be sent would HAVE to be of stronger/higher technology to be able to consider that it might be able to make it to the place we'd send it to....

Look at the space program in the '60s... the first one we sent up into orbit was all vacuum tubes and diodes, while the one that got to the moon (and landed on it, and I won't listen to the bleeding pikers who say that it was a governmental scam) in '69 was much higher-tech. Since we started the 'space race," tech has sprinted instead of snail-crawling, and I feel that if we start again to work toward a goal of the magnitude of colonizing a planet, then the results will almost definitely be similar.
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Post by Dark Knight »

Bmat wrote: There have been a number of SF short stories and novels on the subject of native life on planets and determining if the life is intelligent.

And what if the life is not intelligent. Surely extensive study should be done to ensure that any mining or exploiting would not damage the life. Although it is in the news here from time to time how plants or animals that live in only one area on our planet are not necessarily protected when their area is desired by humans.


In New Zealand there was a roading project, and before they could build, they had to move these insects....

There was also a mining project where there had to move insects as well, then they monitor the insects in the new area...

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Post by Boikat »

Tipsy Astronauts.

"An independent panel was told that intoxicated NASA astronauts were allowed to fly on a Russian Soyuz spacecraft and cleared to fly on the space shuttle, the panel's chairman said Friday.

In response, NASA said it is launching an investigation to try to verify the allegations, will embrace an astronaut code of conduct and would weigh changes in its drinking policies....."

The current policy is a "12 hours between bottle to throttle".

But, it does bring to mind the wise words of Zeno:

"I hope no one minds but I have no intention of facing this sober." Zeno, Ice Pirates.

Although the allegations involve one shuttle launch, and one Soyuz launch, I can see how this could happen:

(Astronaut in ready room, almost all zipped up. Looks out window at several million pounds of liquid O2, and hydrogen, with two solid rocket boosters strapped to the side, and, as they say, "built by the lowest bidder".)

Turns to Flight Surgeon. "Got any of that 'Liquid Courage'?"

And if the guys launching from Russia, hell, who wouldn't want a good belt? Besides, as I understand it, it's customary for cosmonauts to have a swig of Vodka right before launch anyway.
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Post by Boikat »

How much for a Mech?

http://blog.wired.com/gadgets/2008/01/1 ... techs.html

I liked the "pew pew pew" cat image. I may save it for a future avatar. :)
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