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How Many Earth-like planets are out there?

How Many Earth-like planets are out there? | Space | Scoop.it

"Astronomers using NASA data have calculated for the first time that in our galaxy alone, there are at least 8.8 billion stars with Earth-size planets in the habitable temperature zone.  For perspective, that's more Earth-like planets than there are people on Earth."


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Greg Russak's curator insight, December 20, 2013 9:20 AM

I love this kind of news. I just wish it was more scientific and less hyperbolic.

Here's my only gripe with this article. I can't believe someone like a UC Berkley planet hunter named Geoff Marcy would actually talk about the radio silence issue without somehow further qualifying it. It makes me wonder if Seth Borenstein of the AP and/or his editors may have left out some of the more important elements of that topic.

Personally, I find this anthropomorphic attitude about radio silence to be both ridiculous and insulting to the intellect.  

Just because we haven't picked up any electromagnetic signals doesn't mean there isn't life - or even intelligent life - in our galaxy or in the universe. How incredibly egotistical (and incredibly unscientific) it is to assume that life elsewhere will have evolved into beings like us. How silly it is to then assume that that intelligence would invent, just like our species did, technologies like radio, TV, satellite communications, and the like. Even more absurd and overlooked in this so-called question of silence is that that technology would have had to have been invented and put into use at precisely the point in THEIR evolution such that THEIR signals would be reaching us NOW so that we could detect them, assuming that we had the right technology to do so.

Let's put the "radio silence" question into the time and distance perspective of our own species. KDKA broadcast the first commercial radio signals from Pittsburgh in 1920. That's 93 years ago. That means those extremely weak signals would only be detectable as of now to a distance of 93 light years from us.

The Milky Way Galaxy is 120,000 light years across. Those signals have made it 0.075% of the way across our galaxy.

I don't doubt for one second that there's life in our galaxy and elsewhere in the universe, but can we please stop wondering why the Vulcans or Klingons or Romulans haven't shared reruns of their version of I Love Lucy?

Treathyl Fox's comment, December 20, 2013 9:57 AM
The NBC News SCIENCE article uses the word "habitable" but makes no mention of trees. I have a problem with that. :) Seriously!
Nicolle Kuna's curator insight, December 20, 2013 6:09 PM

That's more than enough planets for each one of us.  No doubt humanity will in time find a way to mine and devour these ones too. 

 

Nicolle, Converse Conserve.Com

Home of Eco-Creativity and Sustainability Education

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Mystery behind Saturn's gigantic storm revealed - Daily News & Analysis

Mystery behind Saturn's gigantic storm revealed - Daily News & Analysis | Space | Scoop.it
Mystery behind Saturn's gigantic storm revealed Daily News & Analysis Scientists have for the very first time managed to explain the behaviour of Saturn's storms through the analysis of images sent from the Cassini space probe belonging to NASA and...
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How Google built a 52-terapixel time-lapse portrait of Earth - Ars Technica

How Google built a 52-terapixel time-lapse portrait of Earth
Ars Technica
"Most of the challenges involved dealing with the atmosphere—if it's cloudy, you're not seeing anything. And if it's hazy, you have to look through it.
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Rescooped by Richard MacCallum from Planets
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Solar System

Solar System | Space | Scoop.it
Get information, facts, photos, news, videos, and more about our solar system from National Geographic.

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Kuiper Belt & Oort Cloud

Kuiper Belt & Oort Cloud | Space | Scoop.it

Information about the Kupier Belt and Oort Cloud form NASA.


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The Future of the Spacesuit

The Future of the Spacesuit | Space | Scoop.it

Draper Laboratory, an 80-year-old R&D lab, has been working with MIT and NASA's Johnson Space Center to develop a suit that will function, essentially, like a body-molded version of a traditional spaceship. Instead of floating in free space, at the mercy of forces acting on it, the suit would be able to move on its own


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Earth 'Surrounded By Bacteria Bubble' - Huffington Post UK

Earth 'Surrounded By Bacteria Bubble' - Huffington Post UK | Space | Scoop.it
Earth 'Surrounded By Bacteria Bubble' Huffington Post UK This undated handout image provide by NASA combines data from four different space telescopes to create a multi-wavelength view of all that remains of the oldest documented example of a...
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It had a good run, but space station's first treadmill jettisoned - NBCNews.com (blog)

It had a good run, but space station's first treadmill jettisoned - NBCNews.com (blog) | Space | Scoop.it
It had a good run, but space station's first treadmill jettisoned NBCNews.com (blog) "There has been a history of treadmills, trying to get them to work pretty well in space, and it is no easy feat," said NASA astronaut Sunita "Suni" Williams, who...
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Planets -- National Geographic

Planets -- National Geographic | Space | Scoop.it
Get information, facts, photos, news, videos, and more about planets and their moons from National Geographic.

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