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Space Science

Recently Discovered Habitable World May Not Exist 231

sciencehabit better let Greg Dean know that "Two weeks ago, U.S.-based astronomers announced the discovery of the first Goldilocks planet circling another star: just the right size and just the right temperature to harbor alien life. But yesterday at an exoplanet meeting in Turin, Italy, Switzerland-based astronomers announced that they could find no trace of the prized planet in their observations of the same planetary system."
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Recently Discovered Habitable World May Not Exist

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  • Theory... (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday October 12, 2010 @06:55PM (#33877302)

    Aliens stole the planet because they noticed us eyeing it and that we're already wrecking the one we have...

  • Re:sigh (Score:5, Interesting)

    by siddesu ( 698447 ) on Tuesday October 12, 2010 @08:16PM (#33878036)

    Don't be too depressed.

    Considering the distances and the sizes involved, I'd say it is a huge improvement that we can even try to attempt detecting planets at light year distances.

    It was only 120 something years ago when Schiappareli "discovered" the Martian canals, and stirred the great debate about civilization there.

  • by geekmux ( 1040042 ) on Tuesday October 12, 2010 @08:45PM (#33878236)

    Discovering new habitable planets while seemingly not researching ways to get us there is kind of like going to a whorehouse with no money. You usually end up very pissed off that all you could do is look.

    Prioritization usually has value. This would be no exception.

  • by Literaryhero ( 1379743 ) on Tuesday October 12, 2010 @09:21PM (#33878470)
    So we found this planet by measuring gravitational changes on light. If the planet were in fact cloaked, then wouldn't that be akin to just turning off the gravity for the whole planet? How could they keep everything from floating away? I guess this fancy pants alien technology is just too advanced for me to understand.
  •     Don't underestimate the possibilities of mythical and theoretical equipment.

        Look at Star Trek, since others have used that imaginary universe in this thread already. Cloaking shields to make a ship or planet disappear. Sure, perfectly rational. The ships in the Star Trek universe have gravity plating. If you can create it, you can negate it. Why not? The good old "suspension of disbelief" stands firm. But why stop there. What if the planet (if it was one) were in a trans-dimensional state, where it could be seen but only sometimes has a physical presence.

        Or to step into one of my favorite imaginary universes, what if it was an object such as the Tardis. Hell, not only can it show up at any place, at any time in the universe (and sometimes alternate universe), but it can tow objects as large as a planet when needed. And of course, the door isn't a door, it's a transdimensional portal, so you're not stepping inside, you're stepping through. The physical "inside" isn't inside, it's actually somewhere else. Well, unless it's convenient for it to be effected by outside forces and the occupants are thrown around in a Star Trek like drama (Everyone lean left. Everyone lean right. Now fall down.)


  • Re:that was close... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by arth1 ( 260657 ) on Tuesday October 12, 2010 @10:47PM (#33879014) Homepage Journal

    Glad this story came up before we launched a probe for a 400,000 year flight. Wow would that have been a letdown.

    It wouldn't take a probe 400 000 years. Gliese 581 is in our own back yard, a "mere" 20 light years away. A probe can accelerate all the way, and then radio its findings back as it flies past. Using pulsed plasma propulsion, it can probably be done in 3-4 centuries.

    But, when something sounds to good to be true, it probably is. Whether it's a Nigerian president's widow wanting to share her fortune with you, a car that runs on water, or a Goldilocks planet in our own neighbourhood.
    Exceptional claims require exceptional evidence.

You will never amount to much. -- Munich Schoolmaster, to Albert Einstein, age 10