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Space Science

11 New Multi-Planet Star Systems Discovered 109

astroengine writes "The number of known multi-planetary star systems has just tripled. What's more, the Kepler space telescope science team has just announced that they have doubled the number of confirmed exoplanetary sightings made by the observatory. Some of the newly discovered worlds are only 1.5 times the size of Earth, while others are bigger than Jupiter. Fifteen exoplanets are between Earth and Neptune in size, but further observations will be needed to determine if any have a rocky surface like Earth, or a gaseous consistency like Neptune."
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11 New Multi-Planet Star Systems Discovered

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  • by jd ( 1658 ) <> on Thursday January 26, 2012 @08:48PM (#38835291) Homepage Journal

    I don't see why so many people equate aggression with the thirst for discovery. Aggressive societies don't always do much in the way of exploration (several of the Andeman Island cultures being examples) and have a propensity to self-destruct when they expand too far (the Romans, the Norse, the British and the Americans being examples).

    True, passive societies don't always do much in the way of expansion either, but to assume that this is a purely linear spectrum just doesn't match what we know of societies or indeed people.

    Even the simplest models of individual behavior need four independent variables (Briggs-Meyers) and these clearly differentiate between tendencies to discover vs. tendencies to control. Politics is usually defined along three additional axes which do not equate to any of the behavioral axes. Aggression-Passivity isn't amongst any of the axes so far, so we need to add that as well. So societies require at least 8 parameters to describe them, probably a great deal more.

    We aren't remotely advanced enough to know what ranges of values within what parameters would make for safe vs unsafe contact. 95% of the problems between cultures on Earth are down to that fact alone - and that's with us being 99.5% identical. We certainly can't begin to figure out what the requirements are for safe contact with life that evolved along totally independent paths.

Have you ever noticed that the people who are always trying to tell you `there's a time for work and a time for play' never find the time for play?