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Space Science

Vega Older Than Thought: Mature Enough To Nurture Life 130

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the goa'uld-staging-center dept.
sciencehabit writes about new estimates of Vega's age giving hope that any planets it might have are old enough to harbor life. From the article: "Shining just 25 light-years from Earth in the constellation Lyra, Vega is the fifth brightest star in the night sky. In 1983, astronomers discovered dust orbiting the star, suggesting it had a solar system, and Carl Sagan chose to make Vega the source of a SETI signal in his 1985 novel Contact. At the time, Vega was thought to be only about a couple hundred million years old, probably too young for any planets to have spawned life. Since then, however, estimates of Vega's age have increased to between 625 million and 850 million years old. So suitable planets have probably had sufficient time to develop primitive life." With improvements in telescopes allowing detection of the rough atmospheric composition of exoplanets on the way, this could be pretty exciting.
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Vega Older Than Thought: Mature Enough To Nurture Life

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  • by aNonnyMouseCowered (2693969) on Monday December 03, 2012 @11:00PM (#42175695)
    If we grant the reasonable assumption that the laws of physics are the same across the galaxy, then we can combine our "ridiculously scant data" on exoplanets with the information and knowledge we already have about life on Earth and the conditions on Mars and other planets visited by space probes. This is the same as in any crime investigation. By itself, a blood stain would be meaningless. You have to compare it to an existing database of DNA samples and corroborate it with other evidence.
  • Re:If not (Score:5, Informative)

    by hutsell (1228828) on Tuesday December 04, 2012 @01:21AM (#42176313) Homepage

    Yea, there is some law of the cosmos that causes you to royally fuck up your grammar when criticizing spelling/typing of others.
    Never flails.

    Prevailing Consensus:

    "Skitt’s Law" (1999) "Any post correcting an error in another post will contain at least one error itself” or “the likelihood of an error in a post is directly proportional to the embarrassment it will cause the poster.”

    Contenders:

    "McKean’s Law" (2001) “Any correction of the speech or writing of others will contain at least one grammatical, spelling, or typographical error.”

    “Hartman’s Law of Precriptivist Retaliation.” (1999) "Any article or statement about correct grammar, punctuation, or spelling is bound to contain at least one error.”

    “Bell’s First Law of Usenet” (1990) "Flames of spelling and/or grammar will have spelling and/or grammatical errors.”

    ... and I thought I was going to read a sort of warm and fuzzy thread starting out with a reference to Carl Sagan's, Contact. Instead, the Nazism was about grammar; not Germany's bounced message returned from the Vega.

Simplicity does not precede complexity, but follows it.

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