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View Full Version : Galaxy has 'billions of Earths'



tacitus
02-21-2009, 04:50 PM
There could be one hundred billion Earth-like planets in our galaxy, a US conference has heard.

So far, telescopes have been able to detect just over 300 planets outside our Solar System.
Very few of these would be capable of supporting life, however. Most are gas giants like our Jupiter, and many orbit so close to their parent stars that any microbes would have to survive roasting temperatures.

article (http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/7891132.stm)

So where are these 'billons of earths'? No one knows because they haven't found any yet. They are basing their hypothesis on conjecture nothing more.

Lanie
02-21-2009, 05:19 PM
Why would there be so many planets that could not support life. And who is to say it doesn't support a life of some sort? Seems like a big waste of planets.

Moon
02-21-2009, 06:23 PM
The number of planets we can see are only the tiniest fraction of a percent of what's out there. Just because we haven't seen any yet, doesn't mean that they aren't there. Our current technology doesn't allow us to see much detail of any kind in nearby stars.

FlaGator
02-21-2009, 06:45 PM
The number of planets we can see are only the tiniest fraction of a percent of what's out there. Just because we haven't seen any yet, doesn't mean that they aren't there. Our current technology doesn't allow us to see much detail of any kind in nearby stars.

By that same token, it doesn't mean that they are any either. There are about 100 billion stars in the Milky Way and of that 100 billion how many are in the exactly right position to maintain life. Keep in mind that life on Earth is possible because it is precisely balanced between being to close and to far away from the Sun. The moon is large enough to absorb the space debris bombardment the early Earth experienced. The list of circumstances that case the Earth to be compatible for life is huge. Some scientists think that the odds of Earth being so perfectly situated are a billion to one. If that value is in the ball park, then statics show that perhaps there as few as 1000 planets in the galaxy situated for life. It all depends on which scientist you ask and how optimistic they are. The only truthful answer that they can give; if they are really being honest is that they just don't know.

Moon
02-21-2009, 06:55 PM
By that same token, it doesn't mean that they are any either. There are about 100 billion stars in the Milky Way and of that 100 billion how many are in the exactly right position to maintain life. Keep in mind that life on Earth is possible because it is precisely balanced between being to close and to far away from the Sun. The moon is large enough to absorb the space debris bombardment the early Earth experienced. The list of circumstances that case the Earth to be compatible for life is huge. Some scientists think that the odds of Earth being so perfectly situated are a billion to one. If that value is in the ball park, then statics show that perhaps there as few as 1000 planets in the galaxy situated for life. It all depends on which scientist you ask and how optimistic they are. The only truthful answer that they can give; if they are really being honest is that they just don't know.

Of course no one knows. I tend to be optimistic when this issue comes up. It would be an amazing waste of space if we were the only life in the galaxy or universe.

FlaGator
02-21-2009, 06:59 PM
Of course no one knows. I tend to be optimistic when this issue comes up. It would be an amazing waste of space if we were the only life in the galaxy or universe.

Looking at this from a Christian perspective, it wouldn't surprise me in the least if God created other intelligent life else where. I also I suspect the reason He made space so vast was to keep us finding each other and going to war. God is smart like that :)

Mythic
02-21-2009, 07:04 PM
I think it is highly likely that there is life somewhere in the universe. Heck, they found those fossilized bacteria on Mars! Also, who is to say that there is no life on planets that are hot? We only know of life on earth, maybe other creatures live in more extreme climates. Maybe they don't need water or Oxygen. All we can do is guess, but I cannot fathom that out of the huge infinite space of the universe Earth is the only planet with any life.

FlaGator
02-21-2009, 08:53 PM
I think it is highly likely that there is life somewhere in the universe. Heck, they found those fossilized bacteria on Mars! Also, who is to say that there is no life on planets that are hot? We only know of life on earth, maybe other creatures live in more extreme climates. Maybe they don't need water or Oxygen. All we can do is guess, but I cannot fathom that out of the huge infinite space of the universe Earth is the only planet with any life.

Life with out oyxgen I can understand. Plants don't require oyxgen. Water, however, is a different matter. Still, anything is possible. I saw an interesting show on silicon based life. Life based on silicon would move so slowly that we might not even recognize it as life. It would also lead to a crystaline form of life. Trees and plants that appeared to be crystaline rock formations.

CorwinK
02-21-2009, 09:02 PM
I just find it hard to believe that the good lord created all this (the galaxy...universe as a whole) and then made one tiny (relatively speaking that is) planet to put life as we know it on. Then again thats just my opinion.

Troll
02-21-2009, 09:46 PM
So where are these 'billons of earths'?

Presumably, they're approximately 96 million miles away from their parent stars. However, looking at them in any meaningful sense with today's technology is all but impossible. I believe I've heard the analogy of trying to pick out one pixel on your computer monitor from a mile away. I'm of the opinion that the universe is up to its eyeballs in Earth-like planets.

FeebMaster
02-21-2009, 10:20 PM
Sweet, I've been sigged.

It's nuts that they can even find big gas giants, let alone something Earth sized. Although, the French discovered one less than twice the size of Earth a few weeks ago.

Troll
02-21-2009, 10:36 PM
Sweet, I've been sigged.

It's nuts that they can even find big gas giants, let alone something Earth sized. Although, the French discovered one less than twice the size of Earth a few weeks ago.

I've sigged you a few times - you're just not around enough to notice.

The French discovered a new Earth-like exoplanet? Have they gotten SETI started on transmitting their surrender yet - that planet could be inhabited.

FeebMaster
02-21-2009, 10:45 PM
I've sigged you a few times - you're just not around enough to notice.

The French discovered a new Earth-like exoplanet? Have they gotten SETI started on transmitting their surrender yet - that planet could be inhabited.

Well, not quite Earth-like, but rocky.


COROT-Exo-7b: http://www.esa.int/esaCP/SEM7G6XPXPF_index_0.html

The new find, COROT-Exo-7b, is different: its diameter is less than twice that of Earth and it orbits its star once every 20 hours. It is located very close to its parent star, and has a high temperature, between 1000 and 1500C. Astronomers detected the new planet as it transited its parent star, dimming the light from the star as it passed in front of it.

The surrender has been transmitted. The only hope is that it arrives before the invasion. The star is 390 light years away.

jinxmchue
02-22-2009, 01:36 AM
Why would there be so many planets that could not support life. And who is to say it doesn't support a life of some sort? Seems like a big waste of planets.

And what if it did turn out to be "a big waste of planets?" No other life anywhere. Ever.

gator
02-22-2009, 11:10 AM
By that same token, it doesn't mean that they are any either. There are about 100 billion stars in the Milky Way and of that 100 billion how many are in the exactly right position to maintain life. Keep in mind that life on Earth is possible because it is precisely balanced between being to close and to far away from the Sun. The moon is large enough to absorb the space debris bombardment the early Earth experienced. The list of circumstances that case the Earth to be compatible for life is huge. Some scientists think that the odds of Earth being so perfectly situated are a billion to one. If that value is in the ball park, then statics show that perhaps there as few as 1000 planets in the galaxy situated for life. It all depends on which scientist you ask and how optimistic they are. The only truthful answer that they can give; if they are really being honest is that they just don't know.

You have it right. The circumstances that causes earth to be compatible for life is huge. The circumstances for advanced life is even more mind boggling.

Without a large moon to stabilize the rotation of the earth the axis of the earth would shift so often that life could never evolve because every few thousand year the climate would change at a particular location, most likely wiping out life in that area. We think Mars is an example of a planet that is capable of supporting life but is dead because it doesn't have a large moon.

Another happenstance is having a large planet like Jupiter situated so that it can collect many of the asteroids and comets that could bombard earth every few thousands years, wiping out most life.

I think the laws of physics, biology and chemistry are the same all over the universe and it is possible that many earth like rock planets could form with water, oxygen and a good temperature range. I think that rudimentary life forms could evolve in many locations. The question is really how much time the planet can give the life forms to evolve to higher levels. I think that an earth like planet with hundreds of millions years of stability between extinction events could be very rare.

I think the miracle that God gave to the earth is that the earth is relatively stable and us advanced simian mammals could evolve and taste the Fruit from the Tree of Knowledge, which was God's plan.