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NASA Space Science

NASA's Kepler Telescope Launched Successfully 82

Posted by Soulskill
from the take-that-gravity dept.
Iddo Genuth writes "At precisely 10:49 p.m. EST, NASA's 'Kepler' telescope was successfully kicked off into space, embarking on a mission that the agency says 'may fundamentally change humanity's view of itself.' The telescope will search the nearby region of our galaxy for the first time looking for Earth-size planets, which orbit stars at distances where temperatures permit liquid water to endure on their surface — a region often referred to as the 'habitable' zone."
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NASA's Kepler Telescope Launched Successfully

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  • by Slumdog (1460213) on Saturday March 07, 2009 @03:21AM (#27102809)
    Congrats to everyone involved! And what a way to start off Spring IYA 2009!
  • by Sasayaki (1096761) on Saturday March 07, 2009 @03:58AM (#27102933)

    Another way to look at this is:

    When in human history has encountering a more advanced civilisation ever been good for a less advanced civilisation?

  • by ILuvRamen (1026668) on Saturday March 07, 2009 @04:38AM (#27103079)
    I know this is obvious to most people but the "habitable zone" is awfully generous. It's hard to gauge the exact amount of heat given off by a star from as far away as we are. Plus, the atmosphere content is extremely important. Our moon is basically the same distance away from the sun as us and with no atmosphere it goes from like -180 to +200 F or something like that. So yeah, it kinda needs to have an exact amount of certain gases to keep water from boiling and freezing repeatedly, which would probably kill everything organic in it. And how are be supposed to tell if it's 40% as opposed to 50% CO2 in the atmosphere from all the way out here? It's impossible and that could mean a huuuuge temperature difference. So even if they find one that's supposedly perfect from what we can detect, it's still extremely likely that it's not.
  • by WindBourne (631190) on Saturday March 07, 2009 @05:52AM (#27103329) Journal
    Problem is, you are talking about HUMAN RANGE. It is quite possible for other forms of life to live over much broader range of specs. What is will come to, is if a planet has life, we will probably only figure it out IFF it the planet is similar to us, or if life has made it to similar or further on the evolutionary scale.
  • by IceDiver (321368) on Saturday March 07, 2009 @06:35AM (#27103443)

    Same as in the movie "The Day The Earth Stood Still" I think?

    Which one? The remake and the original take different views.

  • Re:Totally Silly (Score:3, Insightful)

    by rossdee (243626) on Saturday March 07, 2009 @10:36AM (#27104339)

    If we can find (by telescope) somewhere worthwhile to go to (ie a habitable planet that we can colonize) then it will be a lot easier to get investment and support for developing ways (FTL drives, ships etc) to go there.
     

  • by ScentCone (795499) on Saturday March 07, 2009 @01:29PM (#27105581)
    To be fair, though, for the tribes that were under Aztec domination, the arrival of the Spaniards was simply the exchange of one brutal enslaver for another.

    Well yeah, but at least the Spaniards only shot them or occasionally burned them at the stake, instead of ripping their beating hearts of out their chests as part of the daily ritual in the town square. I mean, come on, you have to acknowledge progress, even when it's just incremental. Also, the Spaniards spoke Spanish, which was already being used all across central and south America, so there's that bit of convenience, too.
  • by im_thatoneguy (819432) on Saturday March 07, 2009 @03:57PM (#27106541)

    Or:

    1) They know global warming is true and a hopeless cause.
    2) They are looking for a replacement earth. :D Earth 2!

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