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Science and Technology "Somewhere, something incredible is waiting to be known." - Carl Sagan.

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Old November 24 2011, 09:51 AM   #1
Deckerd
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Most liveable alien worlds ranked

Scientists have published in the Journal of Astrobiology speculation as to which moons and planets are "most likely to harbour alien life", which is a bit far-fetched but even scientists gotta dream.

I think the most habitable index is more interesting, from a human perspective, although I don't know why Saturn and Jupiter are on there.

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Old November 24 2011, 12:55 PM   #2
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Re: Most liveable alien worlds ranked

Which of that sounds far-fetched for you? Both rankings go against what my gut tells me, and I'm uncertain if they are a good representation of what we know, but then again I don't think you can have a good ranking right now – you create several that represent different sets of the things we think are important. I don't see how they are in any way far-fetched.

My only complaint is that they limit themselves to two indices. There should be at least one targeting conditions for known life, one that favours liquid water for example. Europa and Enceladus should top at least one ranking. Callisto and Ganymede also might have subsurface oceans.
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Old November 24 2011, 01:38 PM   #3
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Re: Most liveable alien worlds ranked

That's what I meant about far-fetched. Why aren't the moons of Jupiter and Saturn in the list, rather than the gas giants, which let's face it, are totally far-fetched.
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Old November 25 2011, 08:23 PM   #4
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Re: Most liveable alien worlds ranked

I'm particularly flummoxed that Mars scored as high as it did. After all, it ain't the kind of place to raise your kids.
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Old November 25 2011, 11:48 PM   #5
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Re: Most liveable alien worlds ranked

Cold builds character
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Old November 26 2011, 12:04 AM   #6
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Re: Most liveable alien worlds ranked

And breathable air spoils the children.
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Old November 27 2011, 08:58 PM   #7
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Re: Most liveable alien worlds ranked

Yeah, but there's no one there to raise them, if you did.
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Old December 2 2011, 04:12 PM   #8
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Re: Most liveable alien worlds ranked

Don't discard Venus. Has lots of water vapor and CO2 in it's atmosphere, that has just to be cooled down, and chopped up in C and O. That's a project for geo-engineering, and it's in the neighbourhood. The long rotation period of Venus is a bitch, however. 243 of our days.
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Old December 2 2011, 04:38 PM   #9
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Re: Most liveable alien worlds ranked

I don't think there's much water vapour in Venus's atmosphere. Certainly not enough to be useful.
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Old December 2 2011, 11:41 PM   #10
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Re: Most liveable alien worlds ranked

I guess Venus is boring as a candidate for life, but the pictures from the surface that the Russians took during Venera rank at the top of my most amazing pictures of all time. I think we should definitely send hardened nuclear powered robots there. And more of them.
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Old December 4 2011, 02:57 AM   #11
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Re: Most liveable alien worlds ranked

If the atmosphere were better, Venus probably would be habitable. It's closer to the sun, yes, but it's got about the same mass and I don't think it's too close.
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Old December 4 2011, 05:29 PM   #12
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Re: Most liveable alien worlds ranked

Though it's not the temperature that's a problem. It's that the planet is boring, unvaried, homogeneous. On the surface, there's no weather, no potential differences, no flow of energy, no nothing. It's hot and boring.
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Old December 4 2011, 05:34 PM   #13
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Re: Most liveable alien worlds ranked

YellowSubmarine wrote: View Post
Though it's not the temperature that's a problem. It's that the planet is boring, unvaried, homogeneous. On the surface, there's no weather, no potential differences, no flow of energy, no nothing. It's hot and boring.
By that criterion, there isn't any rocky planet ever found that beats the one we evolved on. All of them are either too hot, too cold, too heavy or too light.
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Old December 4 2011, 05:46 PM   #14
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Re: Most liveable alien worlds ranked

Mars is far more interesting than Venus. It has winds and storms at the surface. It has much more energy added to its surface during the day. Hell, it has a day, since Venus doesn't even have a temperature differential across the surface. Things heat up and cool down. Venus stays the same. The only thing that possibly goes on is volcanism, but even there, Enceladus beats it – it's having eruptions of water, and all the fun is happening in the water.
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Old December 4 2011, 05:56 PM   #15
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Re: Most liveable alien worlds ranked

I don't know what you mean by 'energy'. Comparing Mars and Venus, Venus has thousands more times energy in its atmos than Mars. Any colony, which would probably have to be subsurface on Venus, would have limitless engergy from the atmos, whereas Mars has got a many times weaker atmosphere than Earth. Mars' 'storms' would be summer zephyrs on Earth. AFAIK Venus doesn't have an active core; it isn't producing convection which would produce vulcanism, so it's either very hot and keeping the surface very hot or it's much cooler than it should be.
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