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

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Old May 2 2013, 05:47 PM   #31
Pavonis
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Re: Planet around Alpha Centauri - lets talk about it

ConRefit79 wrote: View Post
They listened for radio transmissions. I still haven't seen anywhere, where we've deliberately sent a message to a single star system.
National Geographic supported a "reply" to the Wow! signal last year, but as far as I can tell, it's just a publicity stunt. Certainly there's no scientific reason to beam signals deliberately into space. What's your rationale for seeing it done, ConRefit?

Given the vast stretches of both time and space over which the universe exists, the odds that another technological civilization exists within meaningful communications range are very low. There may be an advanced technological society that exists right now, contemporaneous with us, but it may exist in the Andromeda galaxy. Alternatively, there may be a technological civilization within a relatively close distance (say, a few hundred lightyears of us), but it could've gone extinct millions of years ago or not arise for millions of years yet. Either way, communication is not realistic.
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Old May 2 2013, 05:59 PM   #32
Crazy Eddie
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Re: Planet around Alpha Centauri - lets talk about it

Metryq wrote: View Post
You mean like this evidence?

Cometary Asteroids
There are ALOT of things wrong with that page, too many to make an exhausive list. But at a glance:

Comets are often called “dirty snowballs” by astronomers.
No, they're called "dirty snowballs" by journalists, usually because they don't know any better. Astronomers let them go on calling them that because they know the journalists don't know any better.

Comet Tempel 1 resembled an asteroid more than a chunk of muddy slush. Craters, boulders, and cliffs were observed—nothing like a snowball venting. Water vapor was discovered near the comet, but there was too little ice on the surface to account for it.
Which, if scientists had expected to see any evidence of surface ice or active venting, would mean something.

Shoemaker-Levy 9 exploded when it encountered Jupiter’s magnetosphere,
No, it exploded in the upper atmosphere. Jupiter's magnetosphere is millions of kilometers in diameter and SL-9 passed through it twice before finally crashing into the planet.

Comets travel through a differential electric potential as they move toward the Sun. The variable electric fields cause visible glow discharges. Rather than “dirty snowballs” or even “snowy dirtballs,” comets are electrically active, solid bodies.
... said no data, ever.

So hot that extreme ultraviolet light and X-rays were detected radiating from comet Hyakutake.
No they weren't. And the page this links to demonstrates a very poor understanding of how X-ray telescopes work or how they are used.

“The flaw in the conventional approach is that only gas-phase chemical reactions and reactions induced by solar radiation (photolysis) are considered. The far more energetic molecular and atomic reactions due to plasma discharge sputtering of an electrically charged comet nucleus are not even contemplated…The hydroxyl radical, OH, is the most abundant cometary radical…It is chiefly the presence of this radical that leads to estimates of the amount of water ice sublimating from the comet nucleus.
The thing is, hydroxyls are not often found as free radicals in and of themselves on asteroids OR comets, not in remote sensing or by fragment samples. Their presence in the first place is difficult to explain except as a constituent of volatiles, including -- but not limited to -- water and ammonia ices. It could easily be (and is sometimes theorized) that the hydroxyls originate from clays or hydrated minerals that are broken down and sublimated at high temperatures (much the way the combustion of some hydrocarbons release water vapor as a byproduct).

Which is the biggest flaw in your source: the "dirty snowballs" objection is a strawman, and the rest is mainly just scientific ignorance.

What the public didn’t realize, he said, was that academic science, too, was becoming a business. “There are scarce resources, you need grants, you need money, there is competition,” he said. “Normal people go to the edge to get that money. Science is of course about discovery, about digging to discover the truth. But it is also communication, persuasion, marketing. I am a salesman. I am on the road. People are on the road with their talk. With the same talk. It’s like a circus.”
This is indeed true and is a serious problem with many of the more abstract fields -- particularly psychiatry and cosmology, where hard data is hard to come by and sophistry is a way of life.

Astronomy, however, isn't generally of them, and the study of comets tends not to have this feature since it's so much easier -- and more important -- to locate and track them than to figure out what they're made of.
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Old May 2 2013, 06:05 PM   #33
Crazy Eddie
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Re: Planet around Alpha Centauri - lets talk about it

ConRefit79 wrote: View Post
gturner wrote: View Post
^ Not finding sunken treasure, establishing contact with a mermaid.

One of the earliest things SETI did was sweep local stars, since those are the ones from which we could receive the strongest signal and within a human lifetime. Nothing has been received, so it would be like going scuba diving in a pond yet again on the theory that maybe a bluegill evolved into a mermaid since the last time you went fishing.
They listened for radio transmissions. I still haven't seen anywhere, where we've deliberately sent a message to a single star system.
Actually I believe they have done exactly this on several occasions, even knowing that the chance of anyone receiving -- let alone understanding -- those signals was effectively zero.
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Old May 2 2013, 09:54 PM   #34
ConRefit79
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Re: Planet around Alpha Centauri - lets talk about it

Pavonis wrote: View Post
National Geographic supported a "reply" to the Wow! signal last year, but as far as I can tell, it's just a publicity stunt. Certainly there's no scientific reason to beam signals deliberately into space. What's your rationale for seeing it done, ConRefit?
I had not read anywhere that we have deliberately sent messages to nearby star systems. The thought being, our random transmissions may not have enough power to be discernible at such distances. If memory serves, we still have to point dishes at the Voyager probes to send and receive messages from them. And they're still relatively nearby.
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Old May 2 2013, 11:43 PM   #35
Gary7
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Re: Planet around Alpha Centauri - lets talk about it

WeirdWarp wrote:
Comets and asteroids may have brought water to the Earth. This has largely been disproved for comets as a ratio called the deuterium hydrogen ratio of the water on comets (which has actually been measured by probes) is different to the water that exists in the oceans of Earth. These differences shows that almost definitely the water does not come from comets. It could be that different comets brought water to the Earth from the Kuiper belt at the edges of the solar system or from the Oort cloud. Asteroids may have brought water to the Earth. Recently evidence of water ice and organic material on the asteroid 24 Themis was found. This was a bit of a surprise as the surface of the asteroid was too hot to support water ice as the asteroid was close to the Sun. The water is thought to come from the interior of the asteroid and this would support a theory that the asteroid added to water on the Earth.
Interesting... so, it's a real long shot that comets or asteroids brought over a majority of Earth's water. More than likely it was a fraction, if any. (See Article for more details)


As for extraterrestrial life, I'm in agreement with TJ... the "coincidence" of sentient life with sufficient technology that is able to communicate at just the right timing so that other sentient life may receive it is up against extremely poor odds. The fact that radio waves must travel hundreds or thousands of years due to the distance and the fact that just 100 years ago we weren't even capable of picking up any transmissions just goes to show you how remote it really is.

Of course, this is all with respect to the start of technologically capable societies... the other side of the coin is the longevity of sentient life. If other sentient species also have to struggle with the incompatibility between civility and primal instincts the way we are presently struggling, the odds of success are not very good. While we can all chat here in extreme comfort, our lives are far more tenuous than most people realize. The infrastructure for distributing essential life sustaining supplies is very weak. Something like the "Dust Bowl" of the 1930's could easily happen again and with a significantly larger population dependent upon a steady food supply (and aging power grids susceptible to failure) , our societies could easily break down into mass chaos, setting us back technologically for many decades to come... assuming we are even able to recover.
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Last edited by Gary7; May 3 2013 at 02:16 AM.
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