Beta

Slashdot: News for Nerds

×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Earthlike Planet Orbiting Nearby Star

kdawson posted more than 7 years ago | from the 13-days-a-year dept.

Space 617

The Bad Astronomer writes "Astronomers in Europe have announced the discovery of a planet with only 5 times the Earth's mass, orbiting a red dwarf star 20 light years away. It orbits the star so closely that it only takes 13 days to go around... but the star is so cool that the temperature of the planet is between 0 and 40 Celsius. At this temperature there could be liquid water. Models indicate the planet is either rocky like the Earth or covered in an ocean. While it's not known if there actually is liquid water on the planet, this is a really big discovery, and indicates that we are getting ever closer to finding another Earth orbiting an alien star."

cancel ×

617 comments

Montreal? (0, Offtopic)

montreal!hahahahah (880120) | more than 7 years ago | (#18864207)

Hahahahahahah

Only one thing to do! (0, Flamebait)

AssCork (769414) | more than 7 years ago | (#18864221)

Send the Republicans to conquer it immediately!

Re:Only one thing to do! (4, Funny)

Wonko the Sane (25252) | more than 7 years ago | (#18864327)

You could send them in the third ark, but then who would sanitize our telephones?

Strange new worlds (3, Insightful)

richdun (672214) | more than 7 years ago | (#18864235)

This is a really big discovery...

And that, my friends, is the understatement of the millennium.

Uninhabital new worlds (1, Insightful)

Harmonious Botch (921977) | more than 7 years ago | (#18864421)

1)It has 2.25G's,
2)It's probably tidal-locked which means quakes so living underground is not easy
3)The surface is probably soaked with radiation where it faces the sun and cold where it does not.
4)If there is any atmosphere it is probably turbulent due to hot and cold sides.

Even if I could travel a light-year a minute for a buck, I'd never consider trying to live there. Next?

Re:Uninhabital new worlds (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18864581)

It's important because it has the potential for life. The little green men we may find there might even know of a location we could send ignorant assholes like you.

Re:Uninhabital new worlds (1)

644bd346996 (1012333) | more than 7 years ago | (#18864597)

Where did you get the idea that being tidal locked would subject it to frequent quakes? I don't see a connection there. Also, TFA says that there shouldn't be a huge temperature difference between the sides of the planet.

A : ) (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18864633)

Indeed quite unlike our windless, quake-free, constant-temperature planet.

Re:Uninhabital new worlds (5, Interesting)

SignalX (959353) | more than 7 years ago | (#18864785)

It is good to see everyone has a positive attitude for space exploration. I must assume that, in your opinion, there is no good reason to go to Mars or the Moon?

Also remember that were you got the information on gravitational pull and the atmosphere for this planet is speculative at best.
1) 2.25 times that of our own gravitational pull would not be ideal for us to live but, it doesn't mean nothing could live there. I pull 2.25g's with my car on a dry skid pad, I have not died yet.
2) Really?
3) Yes the planet is closer to its sun that ours, but if this planet is like ours, the atmosphere filters out most of the radiation. The star closest to them does not spit out the magnitude of radiation that ours does due to its size.
4) If there is atmosphere like ours with water in it, it will hold some of the heat as it passes out of its suns rays and therefore should be just as turbulent.

Also some things to think about:

Even if the planet is 2 times as big as our planet, it could be spinning faster than ours. This would help off set the gravitational pull on our bodies at the surface.

No one is saying this is a planet to colonize, but with some of our technology and determination, it could be a waypoint in the stars for us to refuel and grab water before we continue our adventures further into space.

Just my two cents,

-X

How long to get there? (1, Redundant)

tentimestwenty (693290) | more than 7 years ago | (#18864441)

20 light years. So that would take us 20 years to get there travelling at the speed of light, or slightly longer going not quite as fast?

Re:How long to get there? (3, Interesting)

Wonko the Sane (25252) | more than 7 years ago | (#18864473)

So that would take us 20 years to get there travelling at the speed of light
20 years by the perspective of an observer on earth, instantaneously by the perspective of the traveller.

Re:How long to get there? (5, Insightful)

s20451 (410424) | more than 7 years ago | (#18864583)

instantaneously by the perspective of the traveller

Unfortunately the traveller would not percieve the passage of time any more, having been transformed into raspberry jam by the accelleration forces.

Re:How long to get there? (5, Funny)

Wonko the Sane (25252) | more than 7 years ago | (#18864625)

having been transformed into raspberry jam by the accelleration forces.
I like to think of it as salsa, actually.

Re:How long to get there? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18864733)

>20 years by the perspective of an observer on earth, instantaneously
>by the perspective of the traveller.

Don't think so. If that were the case, it could be 2,000,000,000 light years, and it would still be instantaneous. It doesn't make any sense. Of course, neither does the ability to travel at light-speed.

Re:How long to get there? (5, Informative)

Wonko the Sane (25252) | more than 7 years ago | (#18864809)

Don't think so. If that were the case, it could be 2,000,000,000 light years, and it would still be instantaneous. It doesn't make any sense. Of course, neither does the ability to travel at light-speed.
As you approach the speed of light, your perception of time changes with respect to a stationary observer. If you could actually achieve the speed of light (you can't) the transit time would be 0, no matter how much distance you had traveled.

Re:How long to get there? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18864801)

Methinks you misunderstand relativity.

Time always passes by at the same rate for an observer in a local frame of reference. If it takes 20 years for light to get there, and you're going damn close to the speed of light, you experience a little more than 20 years. The person on Earth also experiences 20 years, if he watched you go all the way. However, one of your years would seem to be about 2.3 years to someone On earth, assuming you were traveling at C.

Re:Strange new worlds (1)

TheGreatHegemon (956058) | more than 7 years ago | (#18864559)

Definately. Due to it *relatively* close distance to us, the reasonably similar environment (or capable of supporting a similar environment) means that we could be looking at the first possible colonization project outside of our solar system some time in the future (probably later rather than sooner, mind)

Re:Strange new worlds (4, Funny)

vivin (671928) | more than 7 years ago | (#18864607)

Earth-like planet only 5-times the Earth's size...

That's like saying "I'm dating this girl who's like Jessica Alba. She's latina, has dark hair, and is only five times Jessica Alba's size! So you see, she is plainly like Jessica Alba!".

Heh.

Disclaimer: I am very excited by this news; I'm just being a smartass!

Re:Strange new worlds (5, Insightful)

JanneM (7445) | more than 7 years ago | (#18864713)

That's like saying "I'm dating this girl who's like Jessica Alba. She's latina, has dark hair, and is only five times Jessica Alba's size! So you see, she is plainly like Jessica Alba!".

But it's still a living, breathing girl. By the same token, other discovered extrasolar planets would like trying to have a meaningful relationship with a bulk freighter.

Re:Strange new worlds (1)

Peter Cooper (660482) | more than 7 years ago | (#18864637)

And this! :)

Earthlike Planet Orbiting Nearby Star

Might just pop over there now..

Tag: theresnoplacelikehome (2, Insightful)

rjamestaylor (117847) | more than 7 years ago | (#18864663)

I, for one, am beginning to sense the need for a revolt against the "grass is greener" bandwagon seeking to promote colonization of another planet in lieu of taking proper care of the planet that has always been here for us, Earth. Join me in this revolt by tagging stories inciting the thought of fleeing Earth like some kind of foreclosed duplex -- trashed and slashed -- for the chance at taking over a pristine ecosystem with the tag "theresnoplacelikehome".

Thank you for your support.

Clone planets? (0, Offtopic)

Chouonsoku (1009817) | more than 7 years ago | (#18864237)

... and indicates that we are getting ever closer to finding another Earth orbiting an alien star.
I wasn't aware those existed. Except in alternate universes. In which case, we'll need the Professor to make us a box.

NOT so fast.... (5, Funny)

heauxmeaux (869966) | more than 7 years ago | (#18864245)

Turns out it's just Rosie O'Donnell

Re:NOT so fast.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18864261)

I know you got modded down, but I found that damn funny.

Re:NOT so fast.... (1)

huckda (398277) | more than 7 years ago | (#18864367)

And the Red Dwarf is Donald Trump?

Re:NOT so fast.... (3, Funny)

DigiShaman (671371) | more than 7 years ago | (#18864675)

...and you can wipe it with ONE SQUARE!!!

Hi-rez imaging (5, Funny)

pyro_peter_911 (447333) | more than 7 years ago | (#18864249)

Hi-rez imaging of the planet shows that there's already three Starbucks stores, a bridge project sponsored by Ted Stephens, and fourteen RIAA lawyers looking for copyright infringers.

Peter

Re:Hi-rez imaging (1)

Lunix Nutcase (1092239) | more than 7 years ago | (#18864323)

Damnit and someone is already clogging up the internet tubes there with their home movies!

Re:Hi-rez imaging (5, Funny)

linzeal (197905) | more than 7 years ago | (#18864333)

So it is devoid of life, culture and civilization in other words.

Re:Hi-rez imaging (5, Funny)

gotgenes (785704) | more than 7 years ago | (#18864471)

So it is devoid of life, culture and civilization in other words.

No, it's just devoid of intelligent life.

Re:Hi-rez imaging (1)

Lunix Nutcase (1092239) | more than 7 years ago | (#18864661)

Hey that's not fair, it takes at least some intelligence to get the foam on the latte.

Re:Hi-rez imaging (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18864379)

That was funny enough to score a 5, don't you think?

Re:Hi-rez imaging (5, Funny)

celerityfm (181760) | more than 7 years ago | (#18864397)

I say nuke the site from orbit, it's the only way to be sure.

Re:Hi-rez imaging (5, Funny)

celerityfm (181760) | more than 7 years ago | (#18864503)

Regret dawned after that post, as this came to mind:

"It is of course well known that careless talk costs lives, but the full scale of the problem is not always appreciated. For instance, at the very moment that Arthur said `I seem to be having tremendous difficulty with my lifestyle,' a freak wormhole opened up in the fabric of the space time continuum and carried his words far far back in time across almost infinite reaches of space to a distant Galaxy where strange and warlike beings were poised on the brink of frightful interstellar battle. The two opposing leaders were meeting for the last time . . . and a dreadful silence fell across the conference table as the commander of the Vl'hurgs, resplendent in his black jewelled battle shorts, gazed levelly at the G'Gugvant leader squatting opposite him in a cloud of green sweet-smelling steam, and, with a million sleek and horribly beweaponed star cruisers poised to unleash electric death at his single word of command, challenged the vile creature to take back what it had said about his mother.

The creature stirred in his sickly broiling vapour, and at that very moment, the words `I seem to be having tremendous difficulty with my lifestyle' drifted across the conference table. Unfortunately, in the Vl'hurg tongue this was the most dreadful insult imaginable, and there was nothing for it but to wage terrible war. Eventually of course, after their galaxy had been decimated over a few thousand years, it was realised that the whole thing had been a ghastly mistake, and so the two opposing battle fleets settled their few remaining differences in order to launch a joint attack on our Galaxy -- now positively identified as the source of the offending remark.

For thousands more years the mighty ships tore across the empty wastes of space and finally dived screaming on to the planet Earth, where, due to a terrible miscalculation of scale, the entire battle fleet was accidentally swallowed by a small dog.

Those who study the complex interplay of cause and effect in the history of the Universe say that this sort of thing is going on all the time, but are powerless to prevent it.

`It's just life,' they say."

Indeed. RIP, Mr. Adams.

Fuck Twofo (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18864251)

http://goatse.ch [twofo.co.uk] [goatse.ch]

omg omg (5, Funny)

drfrog (145882) | more than 7 years ago | (#18864267)

planet orbiting a red star?
on the same day kryptonite is found

coincidence?

of course!

Re:omg omg (1)

iminplaya (723125) | more than 7 years ago | (#18864411)

No, I think they meant, In Soviet Russia [amazon.com] , Red Star orrrbeeet plahnet.

Re:omg omg (1)

drfrog (145882) | more than 7 years ago | (#18864523)

oh so it was rosie o'donnell

Interesting, but... (1)

Genocaust (1031046) | more than 7 years ago | (#18864271)

Sliders, anybody?

americans are hungry (0, Offtopic)

racecarj (703239) | more than 7 years ago | (#18864275)

Alien steak anyone?

Only 5X the mass of Earth! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18864279)

You're saying, I'd weigh only 1000 lbs. there?
Sweet!

Re:Only 5X the mass of Earth! (4, Informative)

644bd346996 (1012333) | more than 7 years ago | (#18864337)

You forgot to account for the fact that the radius is 1.5 times that of Earth. The best estimate puts that planet at around 2.25 times earth gravity.

Re:Only 5X the mass of Earth! (4, Funny)

Cromac (610264) | more than 7 years ago | (#18864479)

How do you know he didn't account for that? Maybe he's a 500 lb chair bound computer geek.

Re:Only 5X the mass of Earth! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18864535)

Oh, gee, I'd weigh only 450 lbs. then. That takes a load off!

Re:Only 5X the mass of Earth! (2, Funny)

pescadero (1074454) | more than 7 years ago | (#18864653)

Whew! As long as it's below 2.5G, we're okay. I learned that from Spaceward Ho!

quick maths on gravity (5, Informative)

quenda (644621) | more than 7 years ago | (#18864439)

Assuming its the same density as Earth, cube root of 5 is 1.7, so 1.7x the radius. Gravity is mass/r^2, 5/1.7^2 x earth, so 1.7 or 70% more. ie surface gravity only goes up with the cube root of mass, for a constant density, so 5x isn't as bad as it sounds. But if it has more rock, and less iron core, the surface might me much nicer.

Re:quick maths on gravity (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18864701)

So in other words, the average overweighted Americans after liposuction would be able to move around on this planet . On the other hand, they probably don't move much on Earth.

Re:Only 5X the mass of Earth! (1)

Guppy06 (410832) | more than 7 years ago | (#18864463)

Only if the radius is the same as Earth's. The moon has roughly 1% of Earth's mass but 16% of its surface gravity because of it's much smaller radius.

Remember: gravitational acceleration is directly proportional to the mass of the planet but inversely proportional to the square of the radius.

If this planet is made of the same stuff as Earth, my guesstimate is that surface gravity would be something like 1.71 times what we're used to.

More links: (5, Informative)

Beolach (518512) | more than 7 years ago | (#18864281)

The BBC [bbc.co.uk] and Scientific American [sciam.com] have good quotes from Stephane Udry of the Geneva Observatory, lead author of the scientific paper reporting the results. Others [world-science.net] are already calling it "possibly habitable".

Very cool news!

Caturday reply to the news (5, Funny)

steak (145650) | more than 7 years ago | (#18864295)

I threw this together in a couple minutes after reading this.

http://x014.uploaderx.net/x/astronautcat.jpg [uploaderx.net]

[m]

Re:Caturday reply to the news (1)

huckda (398277) | more than 7 years ago | (#18864341)

I'm glad I'm not your cat ;)

Re:Caturday reply to the news (1)

steak (145650) | more than 7 years ago | (#18864621)

not my cat, just one of many pictures of stupid cats [acc.umu.se] that are also not my cats.

When do tickets go on sale? (4, Interesting)

644bd346996 (1012333) | more than 7 years ago | (#18864311)

So, the temperature range indicates that it can probably be made hospitable for humans. Sure, we might have to bring a lot of our own oxygen and water to start with, but otherwise, we just need a colony ship. And, of course, the gravity is pretty strong (2.25 Gs) so we will have trouble with that. And, it being so close to the star, there might be a big radiation problem, forcing humans to go underground. But that wouldn't be too bad, because it would make gravity a bit less of a problem.

What I think is the coolest thing is that this is the smallest extrasolar planet found so far. We are getting close to being able to detect earth-sized planets. Once we do, I think the number of potentially colonizable planets will go up quite a bit.

Re:When do tickets go on sale? (1)

BiggerIsBetter (682164) | more than 7 years ago | (#18864361)

Of course, it is a 20 light year journey. Better buy some tickets for your children too :-)

Re:When do tickets go on sale? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18864453)

Better buy some tickets for your children too :-)

I hope there's a discount. Oh- plus I'll be a senior by then too. So it should balance out.

Re:When do tickets go on sale? (1)

icebrain (944107) | more than 7 years ago | (#18864475)

"Of course, it is a 20 light year journey."

That's pretty close for a star. I suppose the biggest question is whether or not humanity as a whole will have the drive (and the balls) to try and colonize other solar systems--or even our own.

Re:When do tickets go on sale? (1)

celerityfm (181760) | more than 7 years ago | (#18864549)

Well, it'll definitely take balls. Generational transport or whatever it's called... there's a name for it.. I'll google for something else instead to make a joke.. here: Turns out it may not take balls after all! [bbc.co.uk]

Re:When do tickets go on sale? (1)

Wonko the Sane (25252) | more than 7 years ago | (#18864585)

Well, it'll definitely take balls. Generational transport or whatever it's called... there's a name for it.. I'll google for something else instead to make a joke.. here: Turns out it may not take balls after all!

I like you. You have balls. I like balls. [imdb.com]

Re:When do tickets go on sale? (1)

celerityfm (181760) | more than 7 years ago | (#18864697)

olo :P

*nostalgic researching on your username*

Huh I didn't know Christian Slater played your namesake in the radio series. No way.

Re:When do tickets go on sale? (1)

Wonko the Sane (25252) | more than 7 years ago | (#18864779)

*nostalgic researching on your username*
Talk about nostalga...
I started using this username for pretty much any web site I registered with back in high school. I'd been reading slashdot for a while before I registered this account... So probably middle of '99... Since when did I get old enough that the age of my slashdot account is pushing two digits??

Re:When do tickets go on sale? (1)

xENoLocO (773565) | more than 7 years ago | (#18864639)

What if we already have? ;)

Re:When do tickets go on sale? (4, Informative)

Scott Ransom (6419) | more than 7 years ago | (#18864647)

Actually, this is not the smallest planet yet found. The first extrasolar planets are still the smallest known: the planets around the millisecond pulsar B1257+12: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/PSR_B1257+12 [wikipedia.org]

The optical planet hunters often conveniently forgot this system (or dismiss it for various reasons).

Re:When do tickets go on sale? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18864693)

Gravity shouldn't be an issue for future generations, they'll be called heavy-worlder's! [wikipedia.org] :)

Re:When do tickets go on sale? (1)

Onan (25162) | more than 7 years ago | (#18864703)

And, it being so close to the star, there might be a big radiation problem, forcing humans to go underground. But that wouldn't be too bad, because it would make gravity a bit less of a problem.

You have a pretty generous definition of either "underground" or "a bit".

Its diameter appears to be around 20,000Km. To reduce net gravity to 1G, you'd need to go just over 10,000Km deep. Which is awfully close to being as deep as Australia is--from Europe. Reducing net gravity by 1% would require a couple orders of magnitude deeper excavation than humans have ever accomplished on Earth. And would, of course, have to be performed with only the tools that you've hauled five parsecs, in 2.25G of gravity.

I'm not saying don't go, or don't be excited. You just might want to scratch this one bullet point off your pitch to nasa.

This is worth sending a probe. (5, Interesting)

plasmacutter (901737) | more than 7 years ago | (#18864317)

We are currently developing technologies which allow a maximum speed of 0.6 X the speed of light.

if you create a probe with an ion drive and send it off in the next 10 years we could be looking at surveys of the planet in question by 2070.

Re:This is worth sending a probe. (4, Insightful)

Dr. Eggman (932300) | more than 7 years ago | (#18864417)

But then our probe's signal transmitter would also be 20 light years away =(

Re:This is worth sending a probe. (1)

Xinef Jyinaer (1044268) | more than 7 years ago | (#18864507)

He definitely included the fact that the single would have to travel 20 light years, in his calculations. 1.Sent in 2017 2.Arrive in 2037 3.?????? 4.Signals Return 2057 5.Government cover up of how the hell it turned to be alien porn 6.Data released in 2070 [ 7.Profit ]

Re:This is worth sending a probe. (1)

644bd346996 (1012333) | more than 7 years ago | (#18864681)

If the probe was only traveling at .6c top speed, it would take closer to 35 years to reach the planet, when you allow for some acceleration and deceleration time. That means that we could start getting close-ups about 55 years after launch.

Re:This is worth sending a probe. (4, Informative)

plasmacutter (901737) | more than 7 years ago | (#18864513)

as i said.. sent 10 years from now.. 20 light years at an average of 0.4 times the speed of light.. 2058 would be the arrival time.. then it communicates back data by laser.. 2078 would be the time we see the signals. of course this would require an international effort to prevent losing track of this project should a certain bloated government disappear *cough*.

still, this is within the realm of practicality, and if it returns promising results it could usher in a new era of colonization.

caught myself doing bad addition.. deedeedee! (1)

plasmacutter (901737) | more than 7 years ago | (#18864627)

forgot to add the 10 years development time.. 2088.. still worth it imho. it's time for our species to look at long term goals, even if i'm too tired to remember to add the 10

Re:This is worth sending a probe. (1)

Dr. Eggman (932300) | more than 7 years ago | (#18864649)

Well, I never was very good at math...

Still, It is 20 light years away which makes any reasonable kind of controlling it impossible. It would have to be artificial intelligence surveying, which means we're not getting anything out of it beyond what we put in. But, the signal is already present, here on Earth, in the of observable phenomenons. Perhaps in less time than it would take for the probe to reach it's destination and send back it's information, we could have already developed methods of reading and interpreting these signals, much as we do today but even more precise and detailed. It might be that we could do our surveying here on Earth, with data that is only 20 light years older than when recieved it rather than..um insert-math-formula-here.

I'm all for space exploration and if a human habitable planet (or even lunar-like conditions) were found to be present, I would certainly advocate sending us there. But just for a survey, I think we can stick to LEO.

Re:This is worth sending a probe. (1)

OrangeTide (124937) | more than 7 years ago | (#18864445)

It would still take 20 years for those radio signals to get to us though. I think it would be a pretty good idea to put together a project to push out a probe to likely locations to send a narrow beam signal back to us. It would have to have a power source capable of lasting that long though. Talk about building something to stand the test of time. Pioneer 10 gave up a while ago, and Voyager 10 probably doesn't have much life left in it. but to be fair these probes were not designed to last 30 years, they just happened to do better than expected. Perhaps if we carefully designed a probe enough of it might still be working by the time it got there.

Don't they find our warp signature in 2063? (1)

gelfling (6534) | more than 7 years ago | (#18864705)

and make contact in Bozeman, MT?

Re:Don't they find our warp signature in 2063? (1)

plasmacutter (901737) | more than 7 years ago | (#18864805)

if only... at this point i'd be the first one going .. "please take me away.. disect me i dont care"

More information... (4, Informative)

Barkmullz (594479) | more than 7 years ago | (#18864343)


The link in the blog seems to be broken. There is some more information about the planet (Gliese 581 c) on Wikipedia [wikipedia.org] , MSN [msn.com] , and Space.com [space.com] .

Just remember (2, Funny)

iminplaya (723125) | more than 7 years ago | (#18864353)

When we talk to these people, we don't discuss religion or politics, or work. That just leaves the weather and women. Nothing else matters. Got it?

Re:Just remember (2, Funny)

Dr. Eggman (932300) | more than 7 years ago | (#18864483)

Well, I guess I'll have to settle for non-verbal research...*Charges up the Probulator*

The real question is (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18864369)

How long do you think it will take use to ruin the atmosphere and can we somehow one-up ourselves and ruin it from this distance!?

Re:The real question is (1)

SengirV (203400) | more than 7 years ago | (#18864763)

Don't you have some carbon offsets to go buy

My Hope (2, Interesting)

Brad1138 (590148) | more than 7 years ago | (#18864385)

I am not religious, I am an Atheist. I have no "God" to look forward to meeting (I don't believe anyone else does either but anyway). My biggest hope is that before I die we will have proof of alien life, hopefully a spaceship will land in Times Square so there will be know question about it. This is a very exciting time, every time Scientists make a new discovery like this I feel that much closer to my dream.

Re:My Hope (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18864631)

Ohhhh, isn't that such a warm and fuzzy sentiment.

WTF does your atheism have to do with anything?

I notice you wrote "Scientists" not "scientists" in the middle of a sentence. That indicates you're wrapped up in the "cult" of science, and aren't really the "atheist" you proclaim to be.

Re:My Hope (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18864679)

I have no "God" to look forward to meeting (I don't believe anyone else does either but anyway).

Actually I'm more looking forward to seeing Carl Sagan. Boy, will his face be red! Because he's in hell.

Re:My Hope (1)

virgil_disgr4ce (909068) | more than 7 years ago | (#18864753)

I'm with you. I know how you feel, and I want to see that happen before I die, too.

5 times Earth size! (1)

yoprst (944706) | more than 7 years ago | (#18864395)

Even if the planet consists of zephyr, gravity must be a bitch here

And the designation is... (3, Funny)

dominique_cimafranca (978645) | more than 7 years ago | (#18864437)

So should we classify a planet like this as Class "M"?

Re:And the designation is... (2, Funny)

n0dna (939092) | more than 7 years ago | (#18864589)

Leela: "Well, it's a type M planet, so it should at least have Roddenberries."

Re:And the designation is... (4, Funny)

3vi1 (544505) | more than 7 years ago | (#18864603)

Actually, Minshara would be the correct designation... and the Vulcans would be the ones classifying it at this stardate.

How come it's so easy to learn from Star Trek, yet I haven't a freaking clue what happened at work today?

Jinx? (1)

jkndrkn (1092917) | more than 7 years ago | (#18864487)

Anyone else reminded of Larry Niven's fictional colony world of Jinx?

JEM? (1)

Grishnakh (216268) | more than 7 years ago | (#18864531)

With the red star, it sounds like the planet JEM in Frederick Pohl's book of the same name.

So when are we going to invent tactran so we can travel there? And are we going to have wild orgies under the gasbags?

HOLY SHIT (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18864547)

Any evidence of global warming on their planet???

22m/s^2 gravity huh.. (1)

laggist (784355) | more than 7 years ago | (#18864551)

..then these new exoskeletons [japantimes.co.jp] will sure come in handy for moving around..

5x the mass = impossible gravity (2)

ILuvRamen (1026668) | more than 7 years ago | (#18864641)

Sorry but no intelligent life there. Nothing that weighs more than a couple milligrams could ever have the energy to move around on its own with the gravity from that much mass. The eath has triple the mass of the moon and 6x the gravity or something like that. So 5x the earth's mass equals....like a freakin lot of gravity! I would weigh a couple thousand pounds there. Even a little alien chipmunk couldn't move around. I don't care if they would get their energy from food or the sun or magic or whatever, the amount of energy it would take to take a couple steps or even just slither around at 1 MPH would be more than the caloric energy of all the creature's matter being burned and sunlight doesn't give nearly enough either. So yeah, anything alive there is standing still and is very small which means it can't possibly be intelligent. And before you even say it, a couple feet down in a body of water, any organic cell structures would instantly be crushed from the pressure. Water magnifies gravitational pressure even more since it doesn't compress.

Rocky like Earth? (3, Insightful)

dreamchaser (49529) | more than 7 years ago | (#18864659)

Models indicate the planet is either rocky like the Earth or covered in an ocean.

Last time I checked, the Earth's surface is 75% covered by water.

hmm (0, Troll)

pak9rabid (1011935) | more than 7 years ago | (#18864677)

so how long until the republicans start drilling for oil on it

Re:hmm (1)

DigiShaman (671371) | more than 7 years ago | (#18864747)

If drilling for oil was the motive for planetary colonization, why would it be bad? I know I shouldn't feed the trolls, but seriously. I wish Mars had oil. You can make and use oil in an abundant assorted methods.

gotta love this quote.. (1)

Travy.b (815549) | more than 7 years ago | (#18864717)


"Models indicate the planet is either rocky like the Earth or covered in an ocean"

Wow, they've really narrowed it down haven't they. Might as well say "we've no idea what it's composed of so we will just say it could be water or it could be land"

Re:gotta love this quote.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18864727)

As opposed to a gas giant, or covered with methane ice.

H2G2 (1)

hansamurai (907719) | more than 7 years ago | (#18864771)

And right now my Guide describes it as only "Harmless"! Let's go!

Question... (1)

p_trekkie (597206) | more than 7 years ago | (#18864773)

Has anyone found their real science paper on the matter? I searched the usual [arxiv.org] suspects [harvard.edu] to no avail and I'm getting mildly annoyed that they'd make a press release without also releasing the scientific paper at the same time or earlier....

I don't doubt that they've done it, I'm just curious to find out how they came about it...
Load More Comments
Slashdot Account

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Don't worry, we never post anything without your permission.

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>
Create a Slashdot Account

Loading...