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This morning I am grateful that the sun, moon, stars alligned to allow evolution. My son works for NASA. He recently told me that hundreds of planets have been identified that may have the same conditions as earth. What do you know about this?

suepel51 4 Apr 9

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This is exciting.. There is no planet B that we can reach anytime soon.. but it sure is nice to dream.

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Watch the expected NASA/SpaceX TESS satellite launch live on Wed 4/18 to see the latest planet-hunter spacecraft leave Earth for a new and unique orbit for observing exoplanets! Time for launch on Wed not yet announced after yesterday's scrubbbed mission, but you can Google it or go to the SpaceX site for the time to watch it live. These are exciting times we live in. OF COURSE there are millions BILLIONS of planets orbiting billions of stars, just in our little Milky Way Galaxy! Once you understand how stars are made there's no way to realistically believe the selfish notion of Earth being alone in any sense of the word. But even more amazing than the numbers of 'neighbors' we have had might be, the distances and time of formation of them are even more astonishing. Civilizations likely evolved and died among the stars in far less time than it took for the light to get to us. What a story!

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The sun has been vital, of course. I don't think the (other) stars had anything at all to do with evolution, but the moon's role in stabilising the Earth's axial tilt might have helped somewhat.

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Cool!

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Well, I know that evolution is not allowed or disallowed due to astronomical alignments.

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Are they in a Goldie Lox zone? Are they in this galaxy? How far away are they? Have they detected radio wave transmission?

All the planets detected so far are in this galaxy. There is some indirect evidence, though, supporting the existence of planets in other galaxies. And, of course, it would be very surprising if there weren't. Heaps of them. Heaps and heaps.

@Coffeo I had heard of the Morse effect before where it is most likely that for every so much space a life form possibility increases.

The scientific capability of NASA and other international space organizations have compiled such interesting data.

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I know that none of them are within commuting distance at this point in our techniocal development.

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I know very little about it, but it is only logical that it should be so.

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I am no expert, but the sheer size of the universe (potentially multiple universes) strongly suggests there will be an infinite number of planets much older than Earth, with similar environmental conditions. It logically follows that life would have evolved similarly there, and potentially, intelligent and technologically-advanced life, far more advanced than Earth's, exists an infinite number of times. I think also that such intelligent life is aware of earth, but Humanity is so primitive as to not be worth interacting with, yet.

This is an area that I'm quite interested in. We are mamals bound to this earth, yet the universe holds so many myseries.

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I believe they have found what are to be considered inhabitable zones around some stars. I read too much and a lot of information gets pushed out as new comes in.

One of the initial tidbits I learned long ago that made religion seem pointless was that the light from stars takes much time to get here and what I am looking at has changed or could not exist anymore. The vastness of everything is amazing.

Exactly! Thank you for your comment.

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What's more impressive than the number of exoplanets discovered is the rate at which new ones are being discovered.

None have been verified to have earth like conditions, but planets the size of Jupiter and larger are a lot easier to detect. The detection system used measures fluctuations in light output from stars that are caused by the planets passing in front of them. Planets with very long orbital periods may not be in a position that would reveal their existence for centuries.

JimG Level 8 Apr 9, 2018

Interesting observation. Thank you.

Furthermore, there must be a huge number of planets that never pass in front of their primary star as viewed from Earth. Only the most massive of these can be detected by the 'wobble' they produce in their primary. There must be lots of smaller ones still not detectable with present technology.

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I recently saw a documentary saying that a new exoplanet was discovered only 13ly away, didn't catch the name of it but apparently it's very likely to be able to support life. Due to the fact that it doesn't have axial rotation showing the same face to its sun, like our moon, it doesn't have seasons so half of it would be too hot and the other half too cold but at the dawn/dusk zone, so to speak, where the sun light would be constantly the same, might be the perfect place for life to thive. I thought it was an interesting discovery. But in reality we know already that there are lots of exoplanets that could potentially host life in our galaxy so, very likely we're not alone ?

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Hundreds of planets wow. Probably too far away in our lifetime?

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I'm not familiar with that but there may certainly be life on other planets.

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Your son is a lucky guy, those jobs don't come around easy now a days. We all wanted to be an astronaut as little rascals. Anyhow, great question and my answer always has been "Its a BIG place out there"

My son is lucky. His university provided advanced degrees in Radiation Effects EE. This was a very small niche. The students in his program all were placed in fantastic positions long before graduation. He has some understanding of HOW BIG and still growing it is!

Yup, still expanding as we speak..... Cheers !!

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