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Stellarator
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13 Jul 2018 20:24

Yep, the main problem with discussing exoplanets and all their characteristics is that the universe is just too darn big - and we've observed too little of it with all our instruments - THOUGH the amount of data that they collected we are STILL sorting through, even for out of commission projects (not only for exoplanets, but other astronomy projects as well). AI search algorithms has recently helped a lot with this. As it is, our predictions for extraterrestrial life largely revolve around the Drake Equation. At its inception on 1959, it was like all other mathematical equation's - with lots of variables. Now with more astronomical discoveries in the fields of biology, chemistry, geology etc we can eliminate the N's and L's and finally quantify it. TESS, Starshade and the James Webb AS WELL AS other endeavors will be the tools to do this obviously.

But there are quite a few other variable we'll have to plug-into the Equation before its even near completion. This recent business with Potassium be rarer then we supposed in our galaxy due to it not being released in as massive quantities as we thought from large stars dying is a good example - and since a a fair few of these exoplanets Kepler (as an example) has discovered are farther afield then our stellar neighborhood, I wonder if this that is one such unknown we must watch for.Perhaps life, even if many planets evolve suitable conditions, might be clumped here and there in our galaxy depending on region (rather like the galactic habitable zones).

We have so much data, and yet so little (the thrill of Sciencia... ahhh) that we can make only educated guesses as of yet and always question, refine and evolve/discard theories - making this a most interesting time to study astronomy and discuss it!

In the realm of speculation, there is indirect evidence for life on Venus - I believe with the Russian Venera probes they discovered UV absobtive streaks in the cooler upper clouds related to the acid-resistant S8 molecule:https://astrobiology.nasa.gov/news/could-dark-streaks-in-venus-clouds-be-microbial-life/

Oh well, at least they didn't detect blonde-haired "Space Brothers" :lol:
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14 Jul 2018 19:57

I should add a caveat here: Although as of yet the data on exoplanets probably will not include signs of life, I would be surprised if there was not even a methane-farting microbe detected on the studied exoplanets from hereon out via the Kepler, TESS etc projects in the next 20 years or so. Certainly TRAPPIST-1 and Kepler-186f intrigue me.

It would be naive to think the Venera probe found life though, since it was only one mission and we've sent far more to Mars, statistically how many "Martian Life First Detected?" headlines has there been since then? It is a shame that Venus does not get the same attention as the Red Planet though, because it is a highly interesting planet - that Earth might even end up similar to if we don't mitigate climate change! Still, if Venusian life IS discovered, it would again broaden our definition of a 'Life Zone' around stars like Europa did.
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midtskogen
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14 Jul 2018 23:29

Yes, Mars is getting the attention, and given that detection on Mars so far has failed, it seems to me that Veneran life is more likely than Martian life, both having fairly low odds, though.
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Propulsion Disk
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15 Jul 2018 07:06

midtskogen wrote:
Source of the post and given that detection on Mars so far has failed,

Well, not totally, on like, around june 17th or something, it was announced the curiosity rover found unicellular carbon lifeforms! But if you mean intelligent life then yes. :)
I'm good when it comes to Physics, Algebra, Relativity, Space, and SpaceEngine. But I could still use a LOT of help on the things I still don't know. So I hope I get a lot of help on how all that works, here!
 
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15 Jul 2018 10:31

Um, no. Perhaps what you think of is the news that Curiosity found molecules that are building blocks for life.
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15 Jul 2018 10:47

I meant unicellular. I doubt if intelligence resides within our solar-system - aside from humans on Earth, and of course those other very intelligent animals on Earth like chimps, dolphins, octopi and the corvids etc. But the definition of 'intelligence' is very slippery and I always try to avoid using it as a blanket term to describe the 'specialness' of a living organism. A clump of fungi could be an intelligence, but far more alien then we could imagine. The gambit is out on describing intelligence for the time being until we actually understand whats going on in our own minds and what makes us 'intelligent': https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dbh5l0b2-0o

Propulsion Disk, I am aware of the June 7th Curiosity discoveries of the methane variations of Mars and organic MOLECULES in the Gale Crater. Like the smears in the clouds of Venus and the geysers of Enceladus, these may be taken as indirect evidence for life. Sorry for being such a hard cynic, but I would still take the recent findings with a spoonful of salt. I try to keep my optimism.

I want to believe ;)
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15 Jul 2018 18:52

Propulsion Disk wrote:
Source of the post it was announced the curiosity rover found unicellular carbon lifeforms!

If that were true it would be the biggest news of all time.
 
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16 Jul 2018 08:44

Watsisname wrote:
Source of the post If that were true it would be the biggest news of all time.

midtskogen wrote:
Source of the post Um, no. Perhaps what you think of is the news that Curiosity found molecules that are building blocks for life.
Stellarator wrote:
Source of the post Propulsion Disk, I am aware of the June 7th Curiosity discoveries of the methane variations of Mars and organic MOLECULES in the Gale Crater. Like the smears in the clouds of Venus and the geysers of Enceladus, these may be taken as indirect evidence for life. Sorry for being such a hard cynic, but I would still take the recent findings with a spoonful of salt. I try to keep my optimism. I want to believe


Midtskogen, are those not the same things? Stellarator, that's pretty much the answer to the question I JUST asked, thanks! :D and WHN, yeah, it would be all over the place now wouldn't it. I see it now, thanks guys for clearing that up! :lol:
I'm good when it comes to Physics, Algebra, Relativity, Space, and SpaceEngine. But I could still use a LOT of help on the things I still don't know. So I hope I get a lot of help on how all that works, here!
 
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16 Jul 2018 13:20

I wouldn't even call it indirect evidence, but rather a prerequisite for life as we know it.  To claim that it's evidence for life, would be affirming the consequent.

It's a very long way from these organic molecules to unicellular life.  The presence of limestone in Italy is not indirect evidence for the St. Peter Basilica.
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16 Jul 2018 19:49

midtskogen wrote:
I wouldn't even call it indirect evidence, but rather a prerequisite for life as we know it.  To claim that it's evidence for life, would be affirming the consequent.

It's a very long way from these organic molecules to unicellular life.  The presence of limestone in Italy is not indirect evidence for the St. Peter Basilica.

Point taken, that link for affirming the consequent is actually pretty neat. I thought myself well-versed in the art of scientific rhetoric and debate, but as such things will always prove, I'm not as omnipotent as I thought. You are right though, it is a PREREQUISITE. I sort of thought that was what I said, but I guess 'indirect' was the wrong choice of words. I stand corrected. 
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