Many other 'earth' worlds out there

2011-12-05 21:15

Washington - Tired of life on Earth? There may be other options, according to a catalogue released on Monday of planets and moons that could have the right conditions to support life, planetary scientists said.

A total of 47 exoplanets and exomoons are potential habitable candidates, according to the online ranking of bodies outside our solar system by the Planetary Habitability Laboratory (PHL) of the University of Puerto Rico at Arecibo.

Two of the exoplanets are confirmed to have the right distance from their star to support water, plus a suitable temperature and atmosphere to support life.

But be warned, it would take Earthlings quite a long trip to get there.

One of the "marginally Earth-like" planets, Gliese 581d, is 20 light years from Earth, and the other, HD 85512b, is 36 light years away.

They are among the 700 exoplanets that have been detected and confirmed by missions such as NASA Kepler space telescope.

The Habitable Exoplanets Catalog (HEC), is the first to classify exoplanets and exomoons them according to their habitability in a somewhat user-friendly format.

The rankings give scientists "the ability to compare exoplanets from best to worst candidates for life," said says Abel Mendez, director of the PHL and principal investigator of the project.

Proposed future missions, such as the Nasa Terrestrial Planet Finder (TPF), would be needed to confirm the suitability for life of the other 45 candidates identified in the catalogue.

"I hope this database will help increase interest in building a big space-based telescope to observe exoplanets directly and look for possible signatures of life," said Jim Kasting, an expert on planetary habitability science from Penn State.

Kepler is Nasa's first mission in search of Earth-like planets orbiting suns similar to ours.

It launched in 2009, equipped with the largest camera ever sent into space - a 95-megapixel array of charge-coupled devices - and is expected to continue sending information back to Earth until at least November 2012.

The space telescope is searching for planets as small as Earth, including those orbiting stars in a warm, habitable zone where liquid water could exist on the surface of the planet.

  • Cracker - 2011-12-05 21:57

    Two hundred million or billion or trillion stars in our galaxy alone. And the the scientists are finding more and more numbers and clusters of stars they have not previously included in the estimations. And the creator of all this plans to come down to earth and moer his adversary so he can claim earth as his own forever and actually take a permanent abode here. Ja, the religious mind is a strange thing.

      Cracker - 2011-12-05 22:25

      Now those thumb downs, where are your rebuttals? Spell them out.

      Cracker - 2011-12-05 22:27

      I do suggest that you go the little trouble for a few minutes each morning to familiarize yourselves with the latest discoveries of note on Science Daily. Fascinating.

      lungelo.yili - 2011-12-06 00:58

      you've made my week. thanks mate

      Squeegee - 2011-12-06 06:36

      You almost understand the Gospel. God created it all. God created man and loves him enough to interact with him. God visited earth in human likeness and once for all dealt with the consequences of sin so that man can have a relationship with Him. No sceptic can ever change that and no sarcasm will ever make a difference. Jesus Christ is the hope of man, the Saviour of those who trust Him.

      Mike - 2011-12-06 07:06

      We are sending the agent there , the bloody agent juju with his father Zuma which they can then control as much as they want

      Peter - 2011-12-06 08:23

      @ Squeegee I think the Jews, Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists and many other religions would disagree with you. They are equally convinced theirs is the only correct religion so what makes you so sure any of you are right?

      Fred - 2011-12-06 09:28

      Squeegee- that is a description of his ability to think rationally. He is a perfect example of how successful religious brainwashing is.

  • rowen.loretz - 2011-12-05 22:26

    too far away for us though...until we can travel faster than the speed of light , or if we can travel the speed of light it would take 20 years ( goodness )...better well try to colonise mars, much closer.

      Phoenix - 2011-12-05 23:03


      Majorus - 2011-12-06 00:44

      SR still spins me out... but my understanding is that, since distances shrink as you approach c (with respect to the planet you're speeding towards), if you can travel at the speed of light itself you should get there instantaneously (i.e. the distance you have to cover to get there then becomes zero). The people left on earth will still measure your journey to take 20 years though. And you'll have to be massless like a photon to be able to do this.

      CosmicBob - 2011-12-12 17:13

      Majorus, by my understanding, if you, yourself were able to travel at the speed of light, it would take 20 years from your perspective, to travel to an object 20 lightyears away. Meanwhile, on Earth, thousands of years will have passed. It doesn't have an effect on the distance you would travel. You would still be travelling the same distances. Carl Sagan puts it quite elegantly: Light does not reach objects instantly. The light from our sun, for example, has taken ±6 minutes to arrive. So if the sun were to explode, we would only be able to observe the explosion 6 minutes after the fact and that is if we don't get incinerated by gamma radiation first. :)

      Majorus - 2011-12-19 20:26

      @CosmicBob: Sorry for two week late reply... Seems we were both wrong - a photon can't experience time at all!

      CosmicBob - 2011-12-19 23:41

      Ah yes, Marjorus, but I wasn't referring to a photon travelling at the speed of light (which it does because a photon is light), I was referring to "you, yourself", a much larger collection of particles (not saying you're fat! :P). While we can use Einstein's Theory of Special Relativity to successfully predict the patterns of large objects, it seems to break down at the quantum level which is the realm where photons reside. It gets very confusing because particles don't seem to obey the laws of physics as commonly understood so we have had to create a new classification of laws in quantum physics to try and predict the nature of the very small. This is why there are the likes of Stephen Hawking and CERN to try and investigate how things work in the quantum universe. One hypothesis is that light operates in an additional, undiscovered dimension that is independent of our familiar 3 dimensions (vertical, horizontal, time). Hopefully, the experiments at CERN could provide us with a little better understanding of the elusive Higgs Boson or god particle. Then we may be able to have a slightly better grasp on the world of quantum physics. All I can say is the more we discover about the cosmos, the more questions seem to arise. I think that is fantastic! :)

  • rowen.loretz - 2011-12-05 22:28

    @ Cracker. You will only ever find HIM , if you seek HIM...try that...i was also once a non - believer. God is REAL

      Cracker - 2011-12-05 22:40

      I was there. I discovered it was a lot of cr.p. We can have a quick little debate on the Christian variety right now. I would quote the unequivocal prophesies of Jesus and Paul concerning Jesus' return that should have taken place in the lifetime of those living at the time. It is amazing how clear the predictions are set out in the books of the Bible. None materialized. So-called context? Where and how? Nonsense. Why sometimes so opposed to religion? The risk all religion poses to our freedoms. Unfortunately but realistic.

      Sheik - 2011-12-06 00:12

      Based on? 1) I talk to him. ( A lot of people in Groen Dakkies) 2) He's real, they wrote a book on him. ( They wrote a book on Tarzan too) 3) He answers my prayers ( Why is this world in a mess?) I WANT PROOF, NOT STORIES OF A NEXT LIFE. That answer is just too easy.

      Majorus - 2011-12-06 01:04

      Imagine having to spend all of eternity in heaven.. how boring

      Jack - 2011-12-06 01:10

      Obviously we are all insignificant little creatures who are dwelling this earth for a short duration and then we die. Imagine our Creator is real and then imagine seeing Him. What a sight it would be. Cracker you raised points about the return of Christ. If you study the scriptures in Daniel 9 particularly you will hopefully see that the return of Christ coincides with the reclaiming of Jerusalem by the Jews. Now you know when that happened. Good luck.

      Michael - 2011-12-06 04:31

      Who created God?

      Fred - 2011-12-06 05:33

      God is REAL?????? Use of full caps does not make him real. He is as real as Santa, the Tooth Fairy and the Easter Bunny. EKbliksemvirjou, the Christian lifestyle is a live fantasy roleplaying game among magic, spirits and demons. Christianity is a fraud. A manufactured money grubbing business that changes its marketing strategies as it goes along. The bible, ever malleable in interpretation, is used as the justification to make tithing sheeple feel superior and to set them apart form the rest of society.

      Fred - 2011-12-06 07:33

      @ekfeugo What a great argument. Jesus must be so proud of you. Pity he and his father, who is his son, is not real.

  • Zion - 2011-12-06 05:40

    So the scientists have discovered 700 exoplanets so what now? We cannot reach them and nor can they reach us. Now we automatically reach out to the stick to beat religion for rather vague reasons we don't understand ourselves. And pepper all with mind blowing statistics that do not apply. Reaching any one of those planets is pie in the sky and that is not King Pie either. Pity our religious tolerance is as low as snake pooh under a mat and we call ourselves a "civilized Western Democracy" Eina.

      Fred - 2011-12-06 07:36

      You said it - religion is snake poo under a mat. Or rather snake oil that makes clever people rich.

      Zion - 2011-12-06 11:27

      Fred dear friend try again but take the specs of first

  • Zion - 2011-12-06 05:42

    So the scientists have discovered 700 exoplanets so what now? We cannot reach them and nor can they reach us. Now we automatically reach out to the stick to beat religion for rather vague reasons we don't understand ourselves. And pepper all with mind blowing statistics that do not apply. Reaching any one of those planets is pie in the sky and that is not King Pie either. Pity our religious tolerance is as low as snake pooh under a mat and we call ourselves a "civilized Western Democracy" Eina.

      Squeegee - 2011-12-06 07:21

      Yep, not only that, but to even consider that all that is came into being by 'accident' is a giant leap of faith. The more science discovers the more I stand in awe of God's creation and of Him as the Creator of it all.

      Fred - 2011-12-06 07:37

      Just because you post your nonsense twice does not make it true. Perhaps you should use FULL CAPS which is usually what religious sheeple do when they want to make things true.

      Zion - 2011-12-06 11:37

      Fred my dear friend I have noticed you have much to say about the accidental duplication but make an idiot of your self by replying to both comments. However what I do wish to say is the uneducated have actually been able to merge Cosmology and cosmogony with religion and their results are bizarre and here I am not referring to followers of religion but rather the atheist who wants to put one over on "GOD" And no Fred no, I am not a religious person but just like the truth now and again.

  • Mark - 2011-12-06 08:21

    Oh CRAP!

  • Cynthia - 2011-12-06 08:52

    How about we send Shaik and Glen Agliotti, Jub Jub and all really bad criminals there to serve out their life sentences. I am sure there won't be any more murders and even corruption will stop. If your sentence is more than 5 years, off you go!

  • hadedah - 2011-12-06 10:38

    Good Morning Cracker, would like to read some of the reports issued by Science Daily how do I get hold of them have you a website address or email address. Thank you

      Guy - 2011-12-06 11:31

  • Ziona - 2011-12-06 11:53

    He he he, thank you Zion and Fred you are real intertaining;-)

  • Otto - 2011-12-06 12:59

    Off course there is life out there. We just have to exceed the speed of light to get there faster than 36 years. In a few decades it will be done. But not untill my philosophical theory gets investigated. I am pretty sure that it is wrong, but it might get somebody to think. What if the speed of light varies through time and space?That would create some interesting theory. At least I think so. Antimatter is the mind and consciousness of all living entities. You are your own universe. Reality is where the minds (antimatter) meets the physical universe. Interested? Then read my philosophical multiverse theory. Google crestroyer theory, and find it instantly.

      Majorus - 2011-12-06 13:40

      "Antimatter is the mind and consciousness of all living entities" Yes, and: Rugby is a game of quantum telephones Coca Cola is the force of chewing gum collapsing under its own gravity Accounting is the substance water is made of

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