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Wed Sep 11, 2019, 06:50 PM

Water found for first time on potentially habitable planet

By Pallab Ghosh
Science correspondent, BBC News
5 hours ago



Waterworld: up to 50% of the atmosphere of K2-18b may be composed of water

Astronomers have for the first time discovered water in the atmosphere of a planet orbiting within the habitable zone of a distant star.

The finding makes the world - which is called K2-18b - a plausible candidate in the search for alien life.

Within 10 years, new space telescopes might be able to determine whether K2-18b's atmosphere contains gases that could be produced by living organisms.

Details were published in the scientific journal Nature Astronomy.

The lead scientist, Prof Giovanna Tinetti of University College London (UCL) described the discovery as "mind blowing".

More:
https://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-49648746

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Reply Water found for first time on potentially habitable planet (Original post)
Judi Lynn Sep 11 OP
Ghost Dog Sep 11 #1
cstanleytech Sep 11 #3
Ghost Dog Sep 12 #5
Javaman Sep 12 #6
cstanleytech Sep 13 #7
Moostache Sep 11 #2
cstanleytech Sep 11 #4

Response to Judi Lynn (Original post)

Wed Sep 11, 2019, 07:08 PM

1. Nice. But, donning my grammar-police hat,

since this planet's sun, the red dwarf star K2-18, is about 111 light-years away, should the BBC not write in the past tense? The planet had water 111 years ago.

And the same principle should apply, I say, to everything we observe near or far away in this galaxy and in the universe: we are lookibg back in time.

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Response to Ghost Dog (Reply #1)

Wed Sep 11, 2019, 09:01 PM

3. "Nice. But, donning my grammar-police hat" Ahem, "lookibg"?

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Response to cstanleytech (Reply #3)

Thu Sep 12, 2019, 04:42 AM

5. Aaargh. The fat finger police!

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Response to Ghost Dog (Reply #5)

Thu Sep 12, 2019, 09:00 AM

6. Grammer Cop! and his sidekick, Fat-finger! nt

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Response to Javaman (Reply #6)

Fri Sep 13, 2019, 01:34 AM

7. Cute LOL

What I personally find funny though is my spelling as well as my writing is horrible (let us not even discuss my handwriting which looks worse than a 3 year olds) and I often forget when to use a period and comma but I am usually pretty good about seeing errors in other people's work.
Not sure why but its always been that way for me though it does come in handy such as when my brother needed help editing his resume when he had to find a new job 5+ years ago after his old employer (Bi-Lo) fired him and a number of other workers.
Worked out in the end though as he is earning almost $16 an hour now as a produce clerk for Publix vs the $12.30 Bi-Lo was paying him as an assistant produce manager.

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Response to Judi Lynn (Original post)

Wed Sep 11, 2019, 07:12 PM

2. While a very cool discovery for sure...

Here is a partial list off the top of my head of why there are so vanishingly small opportunities for us to contact or discover life on other worlds...it almost undoubtedly exists, but it is also almost assuredly out of the grasp or potential for us to contact it...

1) Distance to Star / Orbit - this one seems to be OK for K2-18b...
2) Star's Radiation Intensity - this sounds a bit more sketch for K2-18b...
3) Planet's Magnetic Fields (to allow for protection from complete planetary irradiation and sterility)...sounds like an unknown for sure...

Then there's a bunch more concerns too for intelligent life to develop...

- the ability to access the water (if it is vapor, that may indicate a surface temperature too high for conventional life, but possible for extremophiles)...
- the life's ability to coordinate something akin to opposable thumbs and brain capacity increase along the lines of homo sapiens and the hominidae line in general's success...
- the presence (or absence) of a large planet to deflect or absorb meteors, asteroids and comets the way Jupiter protects the Earth from more frequent, and more catastrophic impacts...
- the lack of a suicide society such as has grown up on Earth - where the survival of the species and protection of the environment are shortsightedly sacrificed for temporal gains and transient things like "wealth" and "privilege"...

The chances of ever meeting "E.T." are about as likely as TRump dropping dead of a massive stroke this very second....damn, just checked and he did not acquiesce (yet?)!!

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Response to Moostache (Reply #2)

Wed Sep 11, 2019, 09:05 PM

4. Agree there are a number of variables however the biggest you mentioned is clearly

the infeasibility our current tech imposes on travel to other solar systems.
Until or unless we can solve that the entire discussion is actually moot.

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