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Nearby Solar System Looks Like Home

samzenpus posted about a year and a half ago | from the mirror-image dept.

Space 62

sciencehabit writes "Gliese 581 is a red dwarf star just 21 light-years from Earth that boasts a number of planets. Now astronomers are reporting another feature that earthlings would find familiar: a ring of dust far from the star which resembles the Edgeworth-Kuiper belt, a zone of objects, each much smaller than Earth, that lies beyond Neptune's orbit and includes Pluto. The newfound debris disk is about as large as the Edgeworth-Kuiper belt, even though Gliese 581 is small and all of its known planets lie closer to their sun than Earth does to ours. The scientists speculate that the little red star harbors a more remote planet whose gravity stirs up the belt's small objects, causing them to collide and spew the dust that Herschel has discerned."

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Spoiler: (5, Informative)

Kotoku (1531373) | about a year and a half ago | (#42213853)

The summary is the whole article. Also, not that much like us.

Re:Spoiler: (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42213977)

Nope, pics not included.

Re:Spoiler: (4, Funny)

flyneye (84093) | about a year and a half ago | (#42213983)

More like a home construction site. However due to union rules there are enough breaks and halts in construction, waiting for the proper permits and inspections that it should be habitable in several thousand aeons.

Demolished for intergalactic superhighway bypas (4, Funny)

Barryke (772876) | about a year and a half ago | (#42214193)

You completely disregard the possibility of planets being demolished for an intergalactic superhighway bypas.

Re:Spoiler: (1)

mcgrew (92797) | about a year and a half ago | (#42215647)

However due to union rules there are enough breaks and halts in construction, waiting for the proper permits and inspections...

What a crappy construction company! First, it treats its workers so badly that they unionize, then they wait until construction starts to appy for permits... this company won't stay in business long. Maybe the Magratheans will buy them out in bankrupcy proceedings for their assets?

Re:Spoiler: (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42214353)

There are habitable planets out there. Seven confirmed [space.com] and over two dozen being researched. *That* should be the story.

Re:Spoiler: (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42214443)

I forgot to include the link to the research [upr.edu] at Arecibo.

Re:Spoiler: (4, Insightful)

Dunbal (464142) | about a year and a half ago | (#42217143)

Habitable zone != habitable. Go spend a weekend on Venus and then you'll understand.

Re:Spoiler: (1)

reboot246 (623534) | about a year and a half ago | (#42220099)

I once spent a weekend on Venus, and she LOVED it!

Oh, you meant the planet, not the stripper. Never mind.

Re:Spoiler: (1)

Svartalf (2997) | about a year and a half ago | (#42214685)

Yeah, we're around a yellow dwarf...not a red one- just for starters.

Re:Spoiler: (1)

mcgrew (92797) | about a year and a half ago | (#42216051)

Does it have a planet with an atmosphere with large percentages of krypton?

Titius-Bode law (2)

art6217 (757847) | about a year and a half ago | (#42213855)

I wonder, if the inner planets of some other systems follow that hypothesis [wikipedia.org] as closely as in the case of the Solar System. Is there any data already about that?

Re:Titius-Bode law (1)

bojanb (162938) | about a year and a half ago | (#42214029)

It's still controversial.

Re:Titius-Bode law (1)

art6217 (757847) | about a year and a half ago | (#42214279)

In particular, is there some known planetary system, where the rule is expressed using low integers, like 4 + 3 * 2^m in the case of Solar System, and not just by any exponential fit?

Re:Titius-Bode law (2)

Coisiche (2000870) | about a year and a half ago | (#42214459)

No wonder. They managed to fit a formula to a single number sequence of 6 values.

I'm sure that with modern computation, a formula could be calculated for just about any arbitrary sequence of 6 values. If that is possible then that would be deserving of being titled "a law".

Re:Titius-Bode law (2)

Rockoon (1252108) | about a year and a half ago | (#42214605)

Not all formulas are created equal.

You can approximate any sequence of values with complex formulas.. but you can't do so with simple formulas. The Occam's razor of information theory, Kolmogorov Complexity.

Re:Titius-Bode law (1)

art6217 (757847) | about a year and a half ago | (#42214751)

This is not only about fitting a random formula. A set of such formulas would give more information on the rule in question:
  • is this just an exponential fit?
  • or is this an exponential fit i_1 + i_2 * i_3^m, that tends to contain small integers i_j?
  • or does it tend to be exactly an exponential fit a = 4 + 3 * 2^m?

Frost Line and Hot Jupiters (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42213963)

The scientists speculate that the little red star harbors a more remote planet whose gravity stirs up the belt's small objects, causing them to collide and spew the dust that Herschel has discerned.

This seems plausible if the frost line [wikipedia.org] hypothesis is correct. In that case you would always expect to have gas giants stirring up matter on the edge of a solar system. The problem is that many gas giants have been found very close to stars and inside the frost line (the Hot Jupiters [wikipedia.org] ). Until there is a good explanation for the Hot Jupiters, I don't think we can just blindly expect to find gas giants beyond the frost lines stirring up asteroids.

Re:Frost Line and Hot Jupiters (1)

w0mprat (1317953) | about a year and a half ago | (#42219323)

The scientists speculate that the little red star harbors a more remote planet whose gravity stirs up the belt's small objects, causing them to collide and spew the dust that Herschel has discerned.

This seems plausible if the frost line [wikipedia.org] hypothesis is correct. In that case you would always expect to have gas giants stirring up matter on the edge of a solar system. The problem is that many gas giants have been found very close to stars and inside the frost line (the Hot Jupiters [wikipedia.org] ). Until there is a good explanation for the Hot Jupiters, I don't think we can just blindly expect to find gas giants beyond the frost lines stirring up asteroids.

This skewing of the stats is because "hot jupiters" are particularly easy to detect since they have such a strong influence on parent stars. It's just the limitations of our current ability to spot planets around other stars. There isn't enough data to suggest Hot Jupiters are unusually common. I'd guess they are more likely the result of a rogue body messing up a star system than any big mistake we've made in modelling planetary system formation.

Less Speculation, Please (1, Informative)

EmagGeek (574360) | about a year and a half ago | (#42213971)

How about "scientists" stick to what they're supposed to do, which is hypothesize, test, analyze, and conclude?

I don't see speculation anywhere in the scientific method.

Re:Less Speculation, Please (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42213999)

I don't see speculation anywhere in the scientific method.

You don't? Perhaps you should reflect on the meaning of the word "hypothesis."

Re:Less Speculation, Please (1)

w0mprat (1317953) | about a year and a half ago | (#42219487)

I don't see speculation anywhere in the scientific method.

You don't? Perhaps you should reflect on the meaning of the word "hypothesis."

A scientific hypothesis quite a different thing to the usual definition of speculation. Conjecture is a better fit to what you mean.

Re:Less Speculation, Please (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42214077)

How about "scientists" stick to what they're supposed to do, which is hypothesize, test, analyze, and conclude?

I don't see speculation anywhere in the scientific method.

You have obviously never met a real scientist then. Most scientists speculate and then go and check their data to see if it is plausible. If it is plausible, then they develop an experiment to rigorously confirm it or reject it. This is how real science is done. It isn't the scientific method taught in school because that method was written by philosophers. Real scientists want to discover things and are motivated to do so. They will almost always look at existing data and speculate before deciding to do anything else. Find me a scientist that doesn't speculate and I'll find you a person who isn't going to get tenure in his science field.

Re:Less Speculation, Please (2)

AlecC (512609) | about a year and a half ago | (#42214257)

As others have pointed out, a hypothesis is just speculation that looks good enough to take seriously. My experience is that scientist speculate continuously and wildly. Of course, most such speculations get shot down before they get further than lunchtime gossip. It is when a speculation stands up to quite a lot of lunchtimes that scientists begin to take it seriously and start working on it as a hypothesis. But a speculation is just a baby hypothesis.

Just 21 light-years from Earth (2)

dohzer (867770) | about a year and a half ago | (#42213997)

Anyone free this weekend for a trip?

Re:Just 21 light-years from Earth (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42214089)

Just wait until they build that warp drive that is apparently right around the corner.

Re:Just 21 light-years from Earth (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42214131)

Just wait until they build that warp drive that is apparently right around the corner.

Yes, but you have to turn the corner into the 8th dimension.

It's too bad we've wrecked this planet before (0, Flamebait)

mark_reh (2015546) | about a year and a half ago | (#42214079)

our technology enabled us to leave it behind. We are stupid and doomed to die on this rock.

Re:It's too bad we've wrecked this planet before (3, Interesting)

SteveFoerster (136027) | about a year and a half ago | (#42214191)

"...however it may deserve respect for its usefulness and antiquity, [predicting the end of the world] has not been found agreeable to experience." -- Edward Gibbon, "Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire"

Re:It's too bad we've wrecked this planet before (1)

Nidi62 (1525137) | about a year and a half ago | (#42215255)

We are...doomed to die on this rock.

We are, yes. However humanity still has a chance and plenty of time to get off this rock.

Despite all the complaining... (4, Insightful)

Covalent (1001277) | about a year and a half ago | (#42214225)

...this is a statistically important discovery. This is a nearby solar system that is remarkably similar to our own. Find a few more like these (and we're well on our way in that department) and you'll have compelling evidence that solar systems like ours are very common. And this, in turn, suggests that habitable worlds are common.

This would leave the Fermi paradox without one of its better possible explanations: that habitable worlds are exceedingly rare.

It also means that human colonies in other solar systems may be more plausible than it currently seems.

Re:Despite all the complaining... (5, Interesting)

AlecC (512609) | about a year and a half ago | (#42214269)

I agree. When I considered the Drake Equation, I always used to put a much lower value than most on the term expressing the probability of planets in a solar system. I was wrong: it looks as if planets are plentiful, and therefore habitable planets more plentiful than I had thought,

The best replacement I have to solve the Fermi paradox is the possibility that the step from prokaryotic to eukaryotic life is very hard, as some biologist suggest,

Re:Despite all the complaining... (2)

Covalent (1001277) | about a year and a half ago | (#42214313)

That's an interesting hypothesis, and personally I hope it's right. I've always worried that the Fermi Paradox results from the enormous costs of traveling interstellar distances. Societies that could attempt it simply don't because it is prohibitive to do so. I'd much rather our species travel to another planet only to find it covered in algae than to have our species bottled up here for eternity.

Reminds me very much of "The Mote in God's Eye". http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Mote_in_God's_Eye [wikipedia.org] The humans discover faster-than-light travel and encounter an intelligent species that never discovered the secret. They have degenerated into a civilization / crash / rebuild cycle.

I hope the same doesn't happen to us, as I don't think faster-than-light travel is possible.

Re:Despite all the complaining... (1)

myowntrueself (607117) | about a year and a half ago | (#42214527)

That's an interesting hypothesis, and personally I hope it's right. I've always worried that the Fermi Paradox results from the enormous costs of traveling interstellar distances. Societies that could attempt it simply don't because it is prohibitive to do so. I'd much rather our species travel to another planet only to find it covered in algae than to have our species bottled up here for eternity.

Reminds me very much of "The Mote in God's Eye". http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Mote_in_God's_Eye [wikipedia.org] The humans discover faster-than-light travel and encounter an intelligent species that never discovered the secret. They have degenerated into a civilization / crash / rebuild cycle.

I hope the same doesn't happen to us, as I don't think faster-than-light travel is possible.

I'll never forget, as a child, having my respect for Carl Sagan completely destroyed when I heard him say that, since the distances involved in interstellar travel were so huge it was impossible that any alien species would ever make such journeys. Even at as a child I could conceive of aliens for whom a journey of 1000 years would be acceptable. Why couldn't Carl Sagan conceive of it?

Re:Despite all the complaining... (2)

Rockoon (1252108) | about a year and a half ago | (#42214719)

..because species with 1000 years lives dont evolve all that quickly.

Re:Despite all the complaining... (1)

Intrepid imaginaut (1970940) | about a year and a half ago | (#42215029)

You don't need to evolve physically, just build up a volume of knowledge and the means to record it. In fact this process may very well lead to a species living on average 1000 years all by itself, even if it didn't before, by biological self improvement. Sentience is the ultimate evolution.

Re:Despite all the complaining... (1)

myowntrueself (607117) | about a year and a half ago | (#42221529)

..because species with 1000 years lives dont evolve all that quickly.

The problem I had was that he COMPLETELY discounted the possibility. For him it was inconceivable. Carl FUCKING Sagan. I mean WTF was he smoking?

Re:Despite all the complaining... (1)

smaddox (928261) | about a year and a half ago | (#42218327)

When did Carl Sagan say that? In the Cosmos series, episode 8, he says, "... if we do not destroy ourselves, I believe that we will one day venture to the stars."

As for Fermi's Paradox, I think that one solution that is oft overlooked is that we simply haven't spent enough time looking. We've only had radio telescopes advanced enough to really detect extraterrestrial intelligence for about 50 years. It's almost comical that we would expect it to be so easy.

Re:Despite all the complaining... (1)

myowntrueself (607117) | about a year and a half ago | (#42221565)

When did Carl Sagan say that? In the Cosmos series, episode 8, he says, "... if we do not destroy ourselves, I believe that we will one day venture to the stars."

As for Fermi's Paradox, I think that one solution that is oft overlooked is that we simply haven't spent enough time looking. We've only had radio telescopes advanced enough to really detect extraterrestrial intelligence for about 50 years. It's almost comical that we would expect it to be so easy.

I'm not sure. There was a series on TV that I was addicted to, I watched every episode, I think it was aimed at kids. It wasn't specifically about space and I'm not sure that it was a 'Carl Sagan' series. But what he said is burned into my mind.

Actually I guess its one of the things that really started me believing in myself and my thinking since here was some famous scientist saying something that, to me, was just obviously false. So if I can *see* that, well I must be smart. :)

Anyhow I'm prompted to download Cosmos and watch it to see if its what I was watching.

Re:Despite all the complaining... (1)

myowntrueself (607117) | about a year and a half ago | (#42221809)

Ok wasn't Cosmos; Cosmos was 1980. I was still at school when I saw this on TV and I'm very very old :P

Re:Despite all the complaining... (1)

marcosdumay (620877) | about a year and a half ago | (#42218717)

The best replacement I have to solve the Fermi paradox is the possibility that the step from prokaryotic to eukaryotic life is very hard, as some biologist suggest,

We still don't know how prokaryotic life appeared, we have no idea how hard it is. Also, there are lots of other things that look like hard steps before this one, like the 3 times we added a base into your protein expressing codons, or how we started to use DNA. There are also still the oxygenation of our athmosphere the apearance of multicelular organisms and the transition of life into dry land, that nobody has any idea about how hard they are.

And, of course, there is the elephant in the room: how hard it is to develop inteligent life. Let's face it, we are near (at a geological timescale) the end of the usefull lifetime of our planet, if we didin't appear there would probably never be nobody else here.

Re:Despite all the complaining... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42219403)

The best replacement I have to solve the Fermi paradox is the possibility that the step from prokaryotic to eukaryotic life is very hard, as some biologist suggest,

N = R* *fp *ne * f *fi *fc

Baring any jokes about human stupidity, this is at least lower bounded by 1. The question is then, given so many nearby stellar systems that looks like the Solar system, why does N seem like it's also upper bounded by 1?

Mechanisms that give rise to stars (gas, dust clumping) should result in many planets. I've yet to see a theory that permits star but not sub-stellar accumulations in nebula, i.e. planets. There are many theories that do give additional mechanisms to make more planets (proto-stellar nebula instability.) This means that at least R* and fp should be high and now we are seeing confirmation of that. (Apropos that the captcha is 'enriched')

ne and f depend on your definition of life. The eukaryote->prokaryote barrier may indeed be important here. However, if bacteria and/or mites can survive being tossed off Earth you don't even have to consider aboigenesis events. This planet has been spewing rock into interstellar space for the entire time we've had cellular and multi-cellular life, which is quite a few rotations around the galaxy (Panspermia theory.)

Personally I suspect that fi, the fraction that develops "intelligent" life, is also high given its advantages for any environment that contains change (Ice ages, seasons or even frequent meteor impacts). For a certain IQ point, I'm saying that g - general intelligence - is 100% of any complex organism. (Also for a certain point you could argue this is effectively 0, including humanity.)

But I think that fc, those that develop a technology which is detectible, is vanishingly small. Not just because of the self-censorship ideas. Not just because of the radio-to-cable conversion. Not just because of unstable civilization self-destruction.

Just because of trees.

I think that trees, or more importantly wood, may be rare in the universe. Imagine if after at the start of the last ice age that every tree on earth was destroyed. Leave no woody grasses, bushes or shrub at well. What would that do to the fledgling humans just starting to use complex tools?

Humans on Earth may be blessed with a killer advantage that quickly let us dominate our environment. Was our salvation in the form of a carpenter? :-)

Just how much longer could it take for humans to develop to even a bronze age tech using nothing but weaving, pottery and stone? Would they have stagnated or gone extinct without the ability to even make a bow?

Also, Edgeworth-Kuiper? Stigler’s law. Lot's of people theorized about and observed members of a belt of planetesimals at distance from the sun.We don't call it the Leonard-Tombaugh-Edgeworth-Kuiper-Cameron belt.

Re:Despite all the complaining... (1)

strikethree (811449) | about a year and a half ago | (#42220251)

I am of the opinion that there are less than a dozen other planets with advanced life on them in this "portion" of the galaxy. I am not entirely convinced that life was possible any earlier in this portion and that is why we do not see any other space faring civilizations yet. We, meaning all of the planets with life forms, are in a massive race to see who will be the dominant life form in this portion of the galaxy and we seem to be doing fairly well in advancing so far.

I do wonder about other "portions" of the galaxy. Are they able to support an environment with advanced life forms or are supernovas too near and too common closer to the center of the galaxy? Being out near the edge in an arm that is not very dense seems to be quite the advantage so far.

 

Re:Despite all the complaining... (2)

JWSmythe (446288) | about a year and a half ago | (#42214295)

It also means that human colonies in other solar systems may be more plausible than it currently seems.

    I wouldn't hold your breath on that one. We haven't even done the baby steps of having a human walk on the next planet. We stopped all that with the "we walked on our satellite", which hasn't even been repeated for decades. The idea of doing that again is met by a resounding "Meh..." and is buried under an avalanche of tweets and Facebook posts about arbitrary pseudo-celebrities. More people can tell you who Honey Boo Boo, Kim Kardashian, and Snooki are, than can name more than two men who walked on the freaking moon.

Re:Despite all the complaining... (1)

Bucc5062 (856482) | about a year and a half ago | (#42214539)

...I'm so sorry...

Honey Boo Boo, Lim, and Snooki can walk on my moon anytime they want

[it's the media, they made me think that, blame them, not me for the loss of brain function]

Re:Despite all the complaining... (1)

fyngyrz (762201) | about a year and a half ago | (#42216247)

You are responsible for your own actions and choices, including paying attention to the pap the media spews.

Re:Despite all the complaining... (1)

Bucc5062 (856482) | about a year and a half ago | (#42216777)

Whooosh!!!

Re:Despite all the complaining... (1)

JWSmythe (446288) | about a year and a half ago | (#42222691)

I'm afraid to ask what a Lim is... On second thought, I don't want to know. I've been lucky enough to not have it forced at me in pseudo news stories.

Letting them all go for a leisurely stroll on the moon doesn't sound like a half bad idea.

Atmospheric pressure of 10^-7 Pa. Day/Night temperature range of 107C to -153C. They'd survive for ... well ... NASA estimates up to 15 seconds of consciousness with no chance of recovery after about 1.5 minutes.

It'd make for a very short reality show. Of course, they way they do repeated shots, they could probably stretch each one out for several episodes.

I wonder if it'll be a NASA channel exclusive, or if they'll syndicate it to all the networks. :)

Re:Despite all the complaining... (1)

medv4380 (1604309) | about a year and a half ago | (#42215857)

You think that a Red Dwarf solar system is statistically important? It's funny that the article would even consider this solar system to be anything like our own given one of the important parts is radically different. It's nice we're getting to the point where we can see details like the article is pointing out, but we're still a ways away from having anything that would sway the Fermi Paradox to one conclusion or the other.

Re:Despite all the complaining... (1)

argStyopa (232550) | about a year and a half ago | (#42216209)

You may already be aware, but it's worth mentioning to the gallery: Our current planet-finding tech is ONLY successful at finding planets whose ecliptic is in line with us.

Imagine solar systems are disks.

The ONLY ones we have a chance of (currently) detecting are the ones that happen to be 'edge-on' to us.

So, what proportion of systems do we even have a chance of detecting? 1%?

I'm not an astronomer, there's obviously a Milky Way ecliptic, but as I recall our solar system ecliptic is pretty far off this (45 degrees?) so this might suggest there's not much likelihood that the systems across the local galaxy are at all synchronized with the galactic ecliptic, their orientations may be distributed truly randomly...

Re:Despite all the complaining... (1)

Kethinov (636034) | about a year and a half ago | (#42221425)

It's not a nearby "solar system." The term Solar System is a proper noun, not a generic term. It's a nearby planetary system. I wish people (especially journalists) would stop getting this wrong.

Re:Despite all the complaining... (1)

0111 1110 (518466) | about a year and a half ago | (#42221821)

We still haven't confirmed a single habitable planet. I don't think this suggests that habitable worlds are at all common. Besides, when it comes to Fermi's paradox remember that,with all of our technology, we still have no idea how to make life from some sort of primitive chemical soup. It is still like magic to us that these dumb simple molecules can arrange themselves into complex machines by chance alone. It could still be such a rare event that only a handful of life forms exist in each galaxy and only a fraction of those worlds may ever have a life form which develops intelligence of the kind that we would recognize as such. Think about the countless thousands of species on our world since life began and think about the fact that evolution only chose intelligence as the optimal path exactly once. One time. If it is such a powerful advantage for survival why haven't more species become as intelligent as we are. Or at least close. Monkeys, parrots, corvids ,cephalopods, and dolphins may all be remarkably intelligent but I haven't noticed any building giant radiotelescopes or computers or motor vehicles or spaceships.

Also, keep in mind that even with impossibly large space-based optical telescopes only star systems within maybe 200-500 light years would know that we are an intelligent, technology using world. For everyone else we are just skinny hairless apes. Of course if life is rare in the galaxy then Earth would still be a major find and they would likely want to plot a course to our system to get a closer look. Even the dinosaurs would have been quite an interesting sight for alien scholars.

Boasts (1)

msk (6205) | about a year and a half ago | (#42214499)

A red dwarf star boasts . . . about its longevity?

Wouldn't the habitable zone be so close that an otherwise-habitable planet would likely be tidally locked?

Re:Boasts (1)

MyLongNickName (822545) | about a year and a half ago | (#42214635)

Does tidal lock preclude habitability? i know this means one side of the planet would be much hotter than the other, but given the right conditions, I don't know that this precludes life. I would imagine there would be some very interesting weather patterns, but if the hot side is within a reasonable range, it would simply mean that only half the planet would be inhabitable, I would think.

Re:Boasts (1)

deimtee (762122) | about a year and a half ago | (#42216445)

I think the usual argument is that all the volatiles condense out on the dark side. However, I just had a thought, this only applies to solid planets.
What if there was a lot more water in the planets makeup, so that the surface was an ocean a couple of hundred km deep?
I think you would end up with a hot sea facing the star, massive rainfall starting near the terminator line, and suficient glaciation to balance whatever water made it all the way into the dark side.
Also, one hell of an ice cap on the dark pole. :)

Re:Boasts (1)

deimtee (762122) | about a year and a half ago | (#42216269)

Larry Niven pointed out that a binary pair would be tidally locked to each other, rather than the star. While probably a lot rarer than single planets they would likely be a lot more comfortable too.

Re:Boasts (1)

wierd_w (1375923) | about a year and a half ago | (#42216995)

Hot jupiter on outer edge of habitable zone with small rocky moons resolves this problem.

Specifially for the moons.

The moons will tidelock with the gas giant, not the star. This gives the moons a defined day/night, and seasonal eclipses. Day and night would be long, depending on the orbit of the moon around the giant, but well defined.

Needs to be on the far outer edge of the habitable zone because of tidal heating.

here we go (1)

Tastecicles (1153671) | about a year and a half ago | (#42214847)

cue awful movie with talentless hack wannabe singer and desperate-for-work-since-getting-bisected-by-darth-maul in 5... 4... 3...

Nothing like us (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42219467)

The Gliese 581 system looks nothing like ours : it's all made of super Earths and Neptunes close to the star. No gas giants, no Earths.
I agree that it vaguely resembles ours but only if you consider the fact that we have found not one that looks like ours yet.

It is a little advertised fact that both Kepler and radial velocity results show a lot of terrestrial planets all *very* close to the star, some hot jupiters and some warm jupiters. See :
http://oklo.org/2012/11/10/the-mmen/
Kepler has found more jupiters in the habitable zone than Earth type planets.

Not a Earth-like planet and a very few cold jupiters. These results are not due to a bias in the data, especially for cold jupiters :
http://oklo.org/2011/02/13/an-analogy/

The blogs above are from respected astronomer Greg Laughlin, not some creationist pushing the rare-Earth for stupid reasons.
It's not completely definitive yet, pending more Kepler observations because stars are noisier than expected, but I don't think it's going to change things a lot.

Not it does not! (1)

s.petry (762400) | about a year and a half ago | (#42219599)

Good lord people are pathetic sometimes, perhaps mom should have given them more attention? "Looks like home" in terms of space is a sad joke at best, and absolutely false at worse. We receive light from far out places, we don't actually "see" far away solar systems. Based on wobbles in the light we can guess on how many planets there are and what we think their sizes would be, but it's all hypothesis which could be found to be wrong on every account. Then based on those speculations, we guess at things like whether or not planets would be in habitable zones. It is all (yes, all of it) guess work!

I don't mean to rant only on the person posting TFA, I'm just tired of reading speculation presented as fact from so called "Scientists". I also don't mean to imply theories and speculation are bad since they are required for getting to the truth, but enough with the bull shitting already. Scientists are supposed to be the rational guys dealing with rational objects and data. What we see making media is anything and everything but rationality.

Coming soon to a theater near you (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42220387)

Nearby Solar System Looks Like Home

That's what the Glieseans said 500 years ago...

Now they are about to arrive here...

...a major motion picture, coming soon to a theater near you!

huh (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42221369)

The moon doesnt have life, tell me why?

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