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Space

New Telescope Hunts for Earth Sized Planets 104

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the do-you-see-what-i-see dept.
TENxOXR writes "The French-led Corot mission has taken off from Kazakhstan on a quest to find planets outside our Solar System. The space telescope will monitor about 120,000 stars for tiny dips in brightness that result from planets passing across their faces. The multinational mission will also study the stars directly to uncover more about their interior behavior."
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New Telescope Hunts for Earth-Sized Planets

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  • even if... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by FudRucker (866063) on Wednesday December 27, 2006 @02:52PM (#17379378)
    even if a planet was found that could support life we will never be able to get there, at least not until "Faster than light-speed" space travel is possible, will i highly doubt will ever happen...
  • by erice (13380) on Wednesday December 27, 2006 @03:10PM (#17379682) Homepage
    It's a bit like outsourcing manufacturing to China except there is no learning curve. The Russians already have the expertise and infrastructure built in the Soviet era.

    Sure, the Americans and Europeans have better technology but it isn't being used. The rockets that are flying are still 60's tech, mostly military derivations at at that. Maybe when SpaceShipThree and it's counterparts start getting into the game, it will be different. For now, no one does 60's space tech better than the Russians.
  • by silentounce (1004459) on Wednesday December 27, 2006 @03:16PM (#17379784) Homepage
    Generation ship [wikipedia.org]
  • by THE anonymus coward (92468) on Wednesday December 27, 2006 @06:00PM (#17381660) Homepage
    Europa is an example of something that has no atmosphere, but does have liquid water under the ice. You're right to think that there has to be something to contain the liquid, so that it doesn't boil off into space, but solid works just as well as gas for that task.
  • by bhiestand (157373) on Thursday December 28, 2006 @07:29AM (#17385982) Journal

    Although, besides breathing purposes, our atmosphere also protects us from harmful radiation from the sun, as well as protecting the planet from impacts from most stellar objects.
    Right, but what does that have to do with possible requirements for alien life? Certainly life as we know it, based on DNA/RNA, can not generally do well in an environment with excess radiation, but that does not mean that DNA is the only way to code life. Hell, a planet with a much higher concentration of lead, and lead on the surface, could result in creatures with an exoskeleton made of lead (or gold, for that matter).

    All of the above scenarios make it possible for life forms to exist on the surface of a planet, but why would we even assume we would find alien life on the surface of a planet, respirating atmosphere? The Earth is literally covered with subterranean and aquatic life. The quantity of aquatic life on Earth dwarfs that of us surface-dwellers.

    I would be extremely disappointed to discover alien life forms and realize they functioned in nearly the same way as those found on Earth.

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