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 Recent ep of the universe unveils a possible water exo planet

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Luna Dragon
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Number of posts : 11
Registration date : 2009-07-22

PostSubject: Recent ep of the universe unveils a possible water exo planet   Tue Oct 20, 2009 10:22 pm

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gliese_581_d

A recent episode of the universe. (it finished about ten minutes ago in fact) says that there's a debate about planet Gliese 581D being either an ocean world or possibly another gas giant.

As most UFO buffs may know, the search for life outside earth in the so called "Legitimate" scientific circles centers around the Search for water.

Which means that Gliese 581D, which lies in the habitable zone near its star may actually have life on it. It may not necessarily be sentient life, but its a step in the right direction.

Unfortunately, there are several barriers (besides the massive distance it is from us) to humans actually standing on its surface. Gliese 581D is friggin huge compared to Earth, meaning that its gravity will likely leave an explorer flat on their faces rather than walking around freely.

Gliese 581D is close enough to its star that it is tidally locked. For those who do not know what that means, the moon is tidally locked. And all we can see of the moon from the earth is the same side every day and night. That means that only one side of Gliese 581D is ever facing its sun. The other side is pitch dark and if it is a water world covered in surface ice.

From what I'm told, Gliese 581D's core is also made of ice under incredibly high pressure. It did not mention whether or not Gliese 581D had its own magnetic field. Why is this a potential life killer?

Earth protects us from solar radiation because our planet's iron core generates a magnetic field. Anybody who's seen more than three episodes of Xmen knows this. What most people don't realize is that this magnetic field couples with our ozone layer to protect us from space radiation.

Without that protection, cancer rates among all life forms, human and various forms of animal cancer would double, triple, perhaps even quadruple. In other words, so close to its parent star, even if its in the goldilocks zone, the only way Gliese could support life is if there were some form of protection from solar and spacial radiation.

Also, any sentient civilization living on Gliese would need a source of things like iron, fossil fuels, radioactive minerals, all the sorts of things that a civilization needs to progress to the point where it could create something like a flying machine and eventually UFOS.

In other words, Gliese is close, but its no extraterrestrial cigar. And the best we can expect from it as far as life goes is animal life with some form of evolutionary resistance to radiation, high gravitational forces, and extreme cold.

However, if mankind should go there in the far, far off future, any animal life we might find there would certainly give scientists an insight into what forces affect evolution.

So is it an awesome discovery? A bad discovery? or a simple curiousity?
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PostSubject: Re: Recent ep of the universe unveils a possible water exo planet   Wed Oct 21, 2009 5:06 pm

Kepler Space Telescope is designed to find the Earth sized planets to see if they are as common as the gas giants and super Earths that have been found so far.

Robert Temple's "The Sirius Mystery" also states the possibility of a water planet orbiting the Sirius system, most likely the red dwarf which was recently discovered there.
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