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Hubble Discovers a Hundred New Planets

CowboyNeal posted more than 10 years ago | from the space-real-estate dept.

Space 395

Spudley writes "The BBC is reporting that the Hubble Telescope has discovered over a hundred new exoplanets - a number which almost doubles the total known. Apparently they are also expecting to be able to analyse the atmospheres of up to 20% of them. The discovery will be confirmed within the next seven days."

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Sad News (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9592053)

I just heard some sad news on DrudgeReport - The man called the greatest actor of all time, Marlon Brando, has died at 80. There weren't any more details. I'm sure everyone in the Slashdot community will miss him - even if you didn't enjoy his work, there's no denying his contributions to popular culture. Truly an American icon.

Re:Sad News (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9592079)

This actually is on Drudge...however, no source outside of Drudges source (a tv station in Phoenix) is carrying the story. It's not on the news wires, not on cnn, msnbc, etc.

methinks it's a mistake has been made.

Re:Sad News (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9592346)

A link on drudge says "Greatest Actor of all Time" - I thought that was Sir Lawrence Olivier? Or was Olivier just the "greatest actor alive", and when he passed away, every other actor moved up one notch?

Re:Sad News (-1, Offtopic)

LoneStarGeek (626553) | more than 10 years ago | (#9592110)

That is sad news. He had some tragedies in his life for sure. His acting skills will be missed. "He could have been a contender."

Woohoo! . . . . (0)

Brie_Eye (793477) | more than 10 years ago | (#9592061)

More aliens to hate us!

Re:Woohoo! . . . . (0, Offtopic)

Azrael Newtype (688138) | more than 10 years ago | (#9592073)

Well I for one welcome our new far off, freshly discovered, alien overlords. Well, that and moving my home PC to Gentoo.

hmmmm.... (1, Funny)

TheHonestTruth (759975) | more than 10 years ago | (#9592173)

More aliens to hate us!

hmmm.... I wonder if they have oil.

<firing six shooters in the air>Bring it on!</firing six shooters in the air>

-truth

Re:Woohoo! . . . . (1, Funny)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 10 years ago | (#9592319)

More aliens to hate us!

Don't you see? It's a big left wing liberal conspiracy to get NASA to continue to repair and support that aging hulk of a telescope!

;-)

Re:Woohoo! . . . . (0, Offtopic)

AviLazar (741826) | more than 10 years ago | (#9592350)

Only if Bush is in office when we make first contact ;)

The mighty galaxy (-1, Offtopic)

Guitar Wizard (775433) | more than 10 years ago | (#9592063)

That's pretty cool. I wonder how many planets children in today's current public education system learn about(?).

Re:The mighty galaxy (2, Insightful)

Osgyth (790644) | more than 10 years ago | (#9592078)

Probably just the ones in our solar system......

Re:The mighty galaxy (-1, Troll)

ViolentGreen (704134) | more than 10 years ago | (#9592114)

That's pretty cool. I wonder how many planets children in today's current public education system learn about(?).

Oh please there are much more important things for people in education to focus on then some planet hundreds of light years away. What practical reason would they have for teaching (what little they know) about the contants of a planet's atmosphere in another galaxy.

Re:The mighty galaxy (5, Insightful)

BradleyUffner (103496) | more than 10 years ago | (#9592177)

Oh please there are much more important things for people in education to focus on then some planet hundreds of light years away. What practical reason would they have for teaching (what little they know) about the contants of a planet's atmosphere in another galaxy.

Yeah, getting kids interested in other planets so they study science is a worthless endevor.

Re:The mighty galaxy (1)

ViolentGreen (704134) | more than 10 years ago | (#9592212)

Yeah, getting kids interested in other planets so they study science is a worthless endevor.

I didn't say anything about the planets in our solar system. Just the ones so far away that we don't know anything about anyway. I still say there is no practical reason for this.

Re:The mighty galaxy (3, Insightful)

bruce_the_moose (621423) | more than 10 years ago | (#9592222)

Oh please there are much more important things for people in education to focus on then some planet hundreds of light years away. What practical reason would they have for teaching (what little they know) about the contants of a planet's atmosphere in another galaxy.

That was meant to be sarcastic, I hope. If we force education on our childrent to focus solely on the exactly what they need to know to be another cog in the machine, and not a thing more, we will be turning out a generation of proles. Things like "No Child Left Behind" and its emphasis on standardized testing are likely to do just that.

Cosmology teaches us about the joy and wonder of the universe, and impresses us that we are able to gain even a glimmer of an understanding of it. That's enough "practicality" for me, and I sure do hope my little boy learns this in school and not just from me.

Re:The mighty galaxy (5, Interesting)

wanerious (712877) | more than 10 years ago | (#9592329)

Yep, I teach physics and astronomy at the local community college, and I diffuse such statements at the beginning of each semester. "Are we ever going to use this stuff?" students typically ask physics and math professors at some point during their studies (always at the difficult parts --- no one has objections to learning irrelevant easy stuff). "Nope!" I say, proudly beaming. Teaching astronomy to the general public has no practical value, aside from the (perhaps) 2nd order effect of funding for space missions that help make technological advances. Rather, I hope to teach them how to think critically, expose them to scientific ideas, methods, and principles, and instill some sense of appreciation for the amazing universe we are embedded in. If we stimulate imaginations and a little "shock and awe" at ideas not yet imagined, hopefully that is some slight public service. This is especially important for children, whose romantically large sense of wonder should be occasionally inflated. As Feynman said, "science is like sex; occasionally something practical comes out of it, but that's not the reason we're doing it."

I can see the new acronym now.. (2, Interesting)

JoeBar (546577) | more than 10 years ago | (#9592171)

My very educated mother just served us nine pizzas. -- Call me Ishmael. Some years ago- never mind how long precisely- having little or no money in my purse, and nothing particular to interest me on shore, I thought I would sail about a little and see the watery part of the world. It is a way I have of driving off the spleen and regulating the circulation. Whenever I find myself growing grim about the mouth; whenever it is a damp, drizzly November in my soul; whenever I find myself involuntarily pausing before coffin warehouses, and bringing up the rear of every funeral I meet; and especially whenever my hypos get such an upper hand of me, that it requires a strong moral principle to prevent me from deliberately stepping into the street, and methodically knocking people's hats off- then, I account it high time to get to sea as soon as I can. This is my substitute for pistol and ball. With a philosophical flourish Cato throws himself upon his sword; I quietly take to the ship. There is nothing surprising in this. If they but knew it, almost all men in their degree, some time or other, cherish very nearly the same feelings towards the ocean with me

Re:The mighty galaxy (1)

kpansky (577361) | more than 10 years ago | (#9592184)

Really though. Do teachers even need to teach the existence of more planets? Every child who has gone through fifth grade science would assume there are other planets -- a scientifically flawed induction, but oftentimes simple intuitions tend to be at least partially accurate.

Re:The mighty galaxy (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9592207)

42

hm (-1, Troll)

spee (778164) | more than 10 years ago | (#9592070)

well, hubble... that names is inappropriate if anything written in "angels and demons" is true :P
and that aint that much, i'n it?
btw, can anyone, if possible, give me an invitation for gmail to dom_scheel@hotmail.com? ,D

yay more Planets (5, Funny)

Braingoo (771241) | more than 10 years ago | (#9592071)

I wonder if one of them is the planet of the apes.....Oh wait staue of libetry AGGGGGGGh that was earth!!!

Re:yay more Planets (0, Offtopic)

k4_pacific (736911) | more than 10 years ago | (#9592162)

Oh, my gosh, I was wrong.
It was Earth, all along.
You finally made a monkey,
Yes we finally made a monkey,
out of you, out of me.

Re:yay more Planets (0, Offtopic)

Braingoo (771241) | more than 10 years ago | (#9592357)

Luke be a jedi tonight! Luke be a jedi tonight! Luke if you have ever been a Jedi to begin with. Luke be a jedi tonight!

Re:yay more Planets (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9592247)

It's a madhouse! A maaaadhooouuussse!

It'll be interesting... (2, Interesting)

Gorffy (763399) | more than 10 years ago | (#9592072)

To see what kind of planets they are, what kind of systems etc. anyone have a link to specific data?

Re:It'll be interesting... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9592098)

You can already bet that these planets are Jupiter or Saturn-class ones.

There's an equation . . . (3, Interesting)

TheLetterPsy (792255) | more than 10 years ago | (#9592129)

That I read about recently that predicts the number of planets which are capable of supporting carbon-based life. Does anyone know where I can find it? The guy that came up with it has used his own numbers/functions to predict that there are some 200,000 (maybe more?) planets in our galaxy alone that can support carbon-based life. Of course, this is all hinges on my memory being correct . . . hmmmmm.

Found It!! (5, Informative)

TheLetterPsy (792255) | more than 10 years ago | (#9592158)

The Drake Equation [monstrous.com] .

So how many of those 200-odd planets that we know of are capable of supporting carbon-based life? You crunch the numbers . . .

Re:There's an equation . . . (1)

benhocking (724439) | more than 10 years ago | (#9592183)

I think the equation you're thinking of is the Drake [seti.org] equation.

Re:It'll be interesting... (5, Funny)

VivianC (206472) | more than 10 years ago | (#9592164)

The real exciting news is that they've only confirmed 18 Starbucks locations on those 100 new planets...

Re:It'll be interesting... (1)

Opie812 (582663) | more than 10 years ago | (#9592317)

I suspect this is quite accurate....

http://www.supershadow.com/starwars/map.html

Maybe... (-1, Offtopic)

Richard Whittaker (759551) | more than 10 years ago | (#9592074)

Maybe the Daleks are on one of them!

Re:Maybe... (0, Offtopic)

Braingoo (771241) | more than 10 years ago | (#9592103)

Maybe one is endor where the wookies live!!

Re:Maybe... (0, Offtopic)

kpansky (577361) | more than 10 years ago | (#9592219)

That would be the planet Kashyyk. Now, the presence of wookies on Endor would not make sense. But there is Chewbacca on Endor. Therefore France must quit surrendering to the beowulf cluster of our linux alien overlords and acquit OJ.

Too bad... (5, Insightful)

FortKnox (169099) | more than 10 years ago | (#9592081)

Too bad Congress is pretty much convinced to let the Hubble die...

Re:Too bad... (1)

RebelWebmaster (628941) | more than 10 years ago | (#9592111)

I thought it had been given a reprieve to go for a few more years longer thanks to some congressmen making noise about it.

Re:Too bad... (-1, Offtopic)

Fearless Freep (94727) | more than 10 years ago | (#9592116)

"I'm a bank robber..."

Re:Too bad... (1)

Brie_Eye (793477) | more than 10 years ago | (#9592118)

wasn't that after the hubble had suposedly seen to the edge of the universe?

Re:Too bad... (5, Informative)

lphuberdeau (774176) | more than 10 years ago | (#9592180)

Actually, an other space telescope will be brought in space a few years after hubble 'dies', and it will be a lot better. The shuttle incident really caused problems in space explorations. The shuttles are all still locked on the ground (in pieces) and when they will fly again, the ISS will be their only destination. This is the reason why hubble won't be repaired, there is simply no shuttle going that way and they just don't consider the repair is worth a $500 million launch.

But it's not too bad since there will only be a 4 year gab (or so) between both satelites.

Re:Too bad... (0, Flamebait)

presarioD (771260) | more than 10 years ago | (#9592300)

The shuttle incident really caused problems in space explorations

Actually it wasn't the shuttle incident that killed Hubble. It was the "War on TerrrrrrrAr" and the need to send a Man on Mars for the glory of the Greatest Nation of the Galaxy (and that's about it!)...

I am too lazy to provide the necessary links for that, it's still early in the morning...

More like... (4, Funny)

siokaos (107110) | more than 10 years ago | (#9592084)

A hundred new specs of dust on the lens.

Re:More like... (1)

Surt (22457) | more than 10 years ago | (#9592337)

It's in space. Everyone knows space is empty. Hence no dust to get on the lens.

And we are retiring this why? (5, Insightful)

webwalker (15831) | more than 10 years ago | (#9592085)

Hate to say it; I'm with the folks who would prefer to explore by robot and orbiting camera first. That buys us time to do a a nanotube 'beanstalk' right.

What a shame that the only thing that has frequently motivated us to look to the skies and spend the money to get there is fear and politics.

RMW

Re:And we are retiring this why? (-1, Offtopic)

Scorchsta (793014) | more than 10 years ago | (#9592119)

I wonder if they'll let me have it.

Irony (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9592087)

we can discover hundreds of planets in other solar systems, yet are unable to sort out just one of our own.

This is good (5, Insightful)

Mr. Spontaneous (784926) | more than 10 years ago | (#9592089)

As a long time follower of our space exploits, I was dismayed when NASA announced their plans to not service hubble. When the massive outcry came forth, they were smart and decided to do the robotic mission thing. My two cents on this matter: we can learn more from using telescopes such as hubble than we can by going back to the effing moon. This article shows that, even after all these years, hubble is a key part of our space exploration program - and it should stay that way.

They Should Make Their Time... (-1, Offtopic)

bcolflesh (710514) | more than 10 years ago | (#9592091)

Soon All Their Base Will Belong To Us...

Exploration at any price?! (-1, Offtopic)

quadra23 (786171) | more than 10 years ago | (#9592093)

I wonder exactly when we all we know what the price tag will be for all this exploration...At least now they won't have to worry about me trying to do it -- it's expensive to explore something like this if your not the first person to do it! Mind you, if they have enough quality pictures why would we ever need to explore these planets again!

Wow. (2, Funny)

MachineShedFred (621896) | more than 10 years ago | (#9592095)

Good think O'Keefe is going to let it fall out of the sky, because I want to have a time when Hubble doesn't see something that vastly increases our knowlege of the surrounding universe again...

Re:Wow. (3, Interesting)

ajs (35943) | more than 10 years ago | (#9592170)

Unless this observation was done in a wavelength atenuated by atmosphere (e.g. in near UV), then I don't see why the fate of Hubble is relevant. Ground-based scopes out-power hubble and new scopes that are planned out-power those.

Hubble should be replaced at some point. My only question (as asked previously here on /.) is: should we build it as an orbital device like Hubble, or should we put it on the moon? A moon-based scope has many advantages and disadvantages which should be considered.

I for one... (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9592096)

welcome our new exoplanetary masters.

Now here's the catch... are they all gas giants like the ones we've already discovered or are some of them smaller rock planets?

That's no exoplanet! (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9592097)

I think they've discovered the galactic salvage yard where the empire discards worn out death stars.

Vector in the locations viewed from 2000 years ago (0)

sammyo (166904) | more than 10 years ago | (#9592101)

Subtract a bit of fudge factor.

And some one will use this to prove that the apocolypse is just 15 days away!

We welcome out new planetary overlords.

Overachiever (5, Funny)

stoneymonster (668767) | more than 10 years ago | (#9592105)

Clearly its just trying to pad its resume now that the axe has fallen. -C

Class M (1)

millahtime (710421) | more than 10 years ago | (#9592106)

I guess the next question is how many of those are Class M planets?

Re:Class M (1)

JeanBaptiste (537955) | more than 10 years ago | (#9592146)

is calling something 'class M' a star trek thing, or a real life thing? or both?

Re:Class M (1)

CommieLib (468883) | more than 10 years ago | (#9592208)

Star Trek thing. It was revealed on Enterprise that this stands for 'Minshara', whatever that means.

It would be interesting if, when we do find one, that habitable planets ended up being referred to like that.

Re:Class M (1, Funny)

MikeDX (560598) | more than 10 years ago | (#9592318)

Well any of them are indeed "M Class" planets then they should at least have rodden-berries.

Re:Class M (4, Informative)

arth1 (260657) | more than 10 years ago | (#9592157)

I guess the next question is how many of those are Class M planets?

None. If you RTFA, you'll see that the method used is to measure a dimming of a star, which can (but doesn't have to) be from a planet passing in front of it. For this to be measurable over the natural fluctuations of a star, the planet will have to be a giant.
Of course, the precense of one or more giant planets in a system increases the chance of habitable planets, as the giants acts like vacuum cleaners, keeping the smaller ones relatively undisturbed.

Regards,
--
*Art

Re:Class M (1)

suso (153703) | more than 10 years ago | (#9592239)

Somehow, thinking of giant planets as vacuum cleaners makes me think of Mel Brooks. Hmmm.

MUST SHUT DOWN HUBBLE! (4, Funny)

Deflagro (187160) | more than 10 years ago | (#9592107)

Yes now I definitely see that we need to be rid of this useless piece of space junk. It does nothing apparently but further our knowledge and increase our view of the universe. Worthless piece of junk.

Are they still planning on scrapping this thing? That would be sad.

Re:MUST SHUT DOWN HUBBLE! (4, Informative)

stuffman64 (208233) | more than 10 years ago | (#9592330)

RTFA. At the bottom of the article, it clearly states:

The US space agency Nasa is studying options to refurbish the Hubble telescope using unmanned spacecraft following a decision earlier this year that, in the wake of the Columbia disaster, it was too dangerous to send astronauts to it on the space Shuttle.


Hopefully the upgrades will be good enough to complement the James Webb Space Telescope [nasa.gov] scheduled to launch in 2011. I can't wait to see if they redo "deep field" picture with this, it would be truely stunning.

SETI (3, Interesting)

Osgyth (790644) | more than 10 years ago | (#9592112)

I wonder if SETI will examine these areas more closely.....

SETI covers a small area (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9592242)

SETI covers a small area of the galaxy, I don't know exactly but I think it has a diameter of about 5 light-years.

Okay then... (4, Interesting)

k4_pacific (736911) | more than 10 years ago | (#9592115)

If this doubles the number of known planets, does this make Earth half as significant? I mean, is Earth at all significant in the big scheme of things? I am reminded of that picture from Carl Sagan's book showing Earth as a mere speck against the vastness of space. I think the book was called The Pale Blue Dot. Wow, this makes me feel a lot better about forgetting to pay my phone bill.

Re:Okay then... (1)

meringuoid (568297) | more than 10 years ago | (#9592272)

If this doubles the number of known planets, does this make Earth half as significant?

0/2 = 0. You may rest easy: our planetary prestige is undamaged!

Re:Okay then... (2, Interesting)

James Lewis (641198) | more than 10 years ago | (#9592342)

Everything depends on how you look at it.

Like some people would say it increases the importance of earth, as everything else was obviously created as scenery just for us.

Others would say that until life is discovered on another planet, we can be as egotistical as we want about our presence. We can speculate all we want, but the fact is that there aren't any signs of life that we've encountered, and that makes us quite unique. On the other hand, others would look at that and say that it's because life only occurs in brief flashes before it becomes intelligent enough to wipe itself out.

Pick your poison. Reality gets pretty flimsy when talking about the unknown.

Re:Okay then... (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9592345)

First off if they don't have life, then that would "make" the earth twice as significant as it currently is.

Secondly, seeing as how the ping time between solar systems is in the order of thousands of years, there will never be any meanfull interaction or exchange between planets. I mean we can watch them and they can watch us, but since it will be centuries before a response comes back, there is no real chance for real communications. Transportation is even worse. If you really wanted to, you could travel across the universe and end up in a place completely different than it was when you left, and every one you left has been dead for centuries. So it would be the most awesome retirement ever, but you can throw out any concept of trade or diplomicy between planets.

It's one of those cruel ironies, that after years of dreaming about space creatures, we found out nearly simultaneously that statistically they are certain to exist, and physically they are certain to never play any role in our lives.

Unless we find some big loophole that allows us to get around relativity, the earth really is an island to itself, and while it may be one of millions, it is the only one that will ever have any significance whatsoever to us. That makes it pretty darn important in my eyes.

-jackson (don't have my password to 'pavon' at the moment)

A plan! (0)

BhAaD (692949) | more than 10 years ago | (#9592122)

Why dont they attach a module to Hubble, which will allow communication between Hubble and the new telescope(forgot what it was) and fire hubble off into outer space.

This would be quite amazing, because than they would be able to see farther and farther into the neverending universe.

Re:A plan! (1)

PhuCknuT (1703) | more than 10 years ago | (#9592289)

Why would they be able to see farther? Even if they launched it out of the solar system, which would cost billions and take many years, it would only be like .01% closer to the nearest star.

I, for one, (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9592142)

hope they name some of them starting with ur.

Much more fun and interesting than Gamma X or T-252 IMHO. How about urass or urasshole for starters.

In other news (-1, Offtopic)

JoeBar (546577) | more than 10 years ago | (#9592143)

Snoop Dogg discovered 65 new indoplanets

Re:In other news (-1, Offtopic)

kpansky (577361) | more than 10 years ago | (#9592280)

Do those plantes orbit the binary star system Gin and Juice?

yet bin Laden and WMD are still elusive... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9592148)

it had to be said

What if... (-1, Troll)

margal (696859) | more than 10 years ago | (#9592154)

Hypothetically, what would happen if we were to discover an atmopshere capable of sustaining life? What if we discovered oceans, trees, oxygen? What if we discovered life hundreds of millions of years away? Would we attack? Would AMERICA attack? What would happen? What would we do?

Re:What if... (-1, Offtopic)

BhAaD (692949) | more than 10 years ago | (#9592193)

America would see the oil, call them terrorists and bomb the fuck outta them

Terran Empire baby! (1)

LiSrt (742904) | more than 10 years ago | (#9592243)

Applications for the Imperial Space Invader force are being accepted now (formation flying experience desirable).

so wait... (3, Insightful)

spacerodent (790183) | more than 10 years ago | (#9592174)

Is anyone even clear now on how many planets are in just our solar system? We found two more even smaller than pluto but now they're saying not even pluto counts as a planet..so rather than just be like WEE LOOK A ROCK hows about we get some unified standards of some sort

Me love you long time (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9592175)

Sucky-Sucky five dolla

Atmosphere? (1)

Fooby (10436) | more than 10 years ago | (#9592178)

It was my understanding the exoplanets are detected by analyzing the "wobble" of the star that they orbit. How is it possible to determine anything about the atmosphere of the planet?

Re:Atmosphere? (1)

benhocking (724439) | more than 10 years ago | (#9592290)

I believe these planets (or many of them, at least) were discovered by the dimming of their parent stars. Some of this dimming will be due to the atmosphere of the planet, and the absorption lines that show up during this dimming will reveal magnitudes of information about the composition of that atmosphere.

Re:Atmosphere? (2, Informative)

aquabat (724032) | more than 10 years ago | (#9592297)

Spectral analysis. In some cases, the planet crosses between us and the star, and if it has an atmosphere, then the gasses in the atmosphere will absorb some of the light from the star. Different compounds in the atmosphere will absorb different colors of light, so the colour of the star will appear different to us when the planet is in front of the star. By analysing the colour difference, you can determine the chemical composition of the planet's atmosphere.

Re:Atmosphere? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9592327)

RTFA (cough, cough). From the article: Some of the stars observed were seen to dim slightly in brightness. It is thought that a planet passing in front of the star is responsible for the dip in its light output.

Thus, it should be possible to do a spectroscopic analysis (looking at changes in the wavelengths of light coming from the dimmed region) to determine what the light is bouncing off of (or passing through). Likely can only be done with 10% of the planets since some are probably too small to have gathered enough light that would have been changed by passing through an atmosphere (too far away or planet too small)

Re:Atmosphere? (1)

Alexis Brooke (662281) | more than 10 years ago | (#9592344)

Well, see, if it wobbles to the left, that means there's oxygen. If it wobbles to the right, that means there's carbon dioxide. And if it wobbles allllll over the place, that means there's lots and lots of methane.

Invasion Targets (0, Troll)

stinkyfingers (588428) | more than 10 years ago | (#9592182)

Some long lost descendent of George Bush, who undoubtedly will have skated by in life and fall bass-ackawards into the galaxy presidency, will invade at least one of these planets in an effort to take attention from his failed policies. It will have the opposite effect.

Re:Invasion Targets (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9592277)

more likely some religious fanatic, a remote descendant of Arabia, who skated by in life and never had to work due to all his family oil money, will try to convert entire planets to fundamentalist islam by bombing school buses and running spacecraft into buildings.

Prime Directive (0, Redundant)

scoser (780371) | more than 10 years ago | (#9592185)

Looks like it's time to speed up discussions on the ethics and implementation of the Prime Directive!

Re:Prime Directive (1)

kpansky (577361) | more than 10 years ago | (#9592315)

Actually the prime directive is kind of bastardly. Letting species die because of incurable disease is not really nice. Think anyone on earth would be pissed after we meet our new alien overlords and they say, "Yeah. We coulda cured AIDS and cancer, but, we didn't want to bother you." The appropriate response: "...." *gunshot*

How do they analyze the atmospheres of... (2, Informative)

Dagny Taggert (785517) | more than 10 years ago | (#9592205)

...these planets? Is it some kind of spectrum analysis?

WHAT... (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9592211)

Excuse my ignorance, but I didn't know that there were any other know planets outside of are solar system.

Amazing...

Does anyone know:

A) When the first exo-planet was discovered.

B) A good source of of info on this.

Thanks.

I wonder... (1)

FreemanPatrickHenry (317847) | more than 10 years ago | (#9592233)

...what this means for the SETI guys. I mean, it's not conclusive evidence of anything, but it'll be interesting to see who's working overtime this week.

This doesn't surprise me (4, Interesting)

SsShane (754647) | more than 10 years ago | (#9592234)

The discovery will lend support to the idea that almost every sunlike star in our galaxy, and probably the Universe, is accompanied by planets.

If you've ever read anything about star formation the co-effect of planet formation seems a no-brainer. Just eddies in an accretion disk. It would seem more unlikely to me that an accretion disk would perfectly aggregate into a lone star. In fact, you can apply this to other things, such as ring formation, and more sporadically I would imagine, life. The universe is a BIG place.

I claim Ceti Alpha 5 (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9592245)

For myself and my followers. It should be good for a few hundred years.

Woo hoo (-1, Offtopic)

Timesprout (579035) | more than 10 years ago | (#9592250)

At last I can see my house from here.

Let it die (5, Funny)

nearlygod (641860) | more than 10 years ago | (#9592251)

It's a good thing that we are going to let the Hubble fall into disrepair. All of these new discoveries mean that we will have to keep revising our Science textbooks and that is an expense that our school systems cannot afford. At least when that damn telescope stops working we will can content that we know all that it is possible to know without the burden of having to keep up with these new "facts."

Sorry now (5, Funny)

jeorgen (84395) | more than 10 years ago | (#9592305)

So now all those who have criticised Hubble should be sorry. They have to eat Hubble pie.

The Main Question is ... (0, Offtopic)

Tibor the Hun (143056) | more than 10 years ago | (#9592312)

Whether the aliens prefer OGG to AAC?

Wonderous (5, Interesting)

werdnab (556710) | more than 10 years ago | (#9592328)

The discovery will lend support to the idea that almost every sunlike star in our galaxy, and probably the Universe, is accompanied by planets.

This is even beyond Carl Sagan's reasoning of the likleyhood of the existence of life in the Universe. It is hard to imagine the possible abundance of extra terra life, but this theory is reasonable, and this discovery is one step closer to proving it.

I just wish I could be around to witness the presentation of absolute proof that life exists elsewhere in the Universe.

Zips up space suit (1)

AviLazar (741826) | more than 10 years ago | (#9592332)

"Beam me up Scotty, I'm going home"
I have always loved space and the notion of other planets and potentially with life. I hope we find one that does have an atmosphere that can support life.
Even if we do not make it in my lifetime, to know it is there, waiting, is an amazing thing indead.
I am feeling inspired right now - I am glad I read that article :)
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