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Thread: Earth-like planet found in "habitable" zone

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    Earth-like planet found in "habitable" zone

    Story here.

    Astronomers on Monday reported the discovery of an Earth-like planet outside the solar system whose size and distance from its own star put it in the "habitable" zone and make for a surface temperature perhaps averaging a balmy 72 degrees.

    The planet, Kepler 22b, about 2.4 times wider than Earth, circles a star about 600 light years away, close by astronomical standards. The Kepler space telescope discovery team announced the find at a briefing at NASA's Ames Research Center in Moffett Field, Calif.

    "It is right smack in the middle of the habitable zone," Kepler scientist Natalie Batalha says. Launched in 2009, the $591 million Kepler space telescope has detected more than 2,000 possible planets observed among about 150,000 stars within 3,000 light years of Earth along the "Orion spur" of our Milky Way galaxy. Kepler 22b's discovery caps a half-decade of astronomers searching for a "Goldilocks" planet not too hot or not too cold to harbor oceans on its surface, like Earth. Liquid water is considered key for development of life.

    "This is a phenomenal discovery in the course of human history," says planet hunting pioneer Geoff Marcy of the University of California-Berkeley, a Kepler investigator. European astronomers discovered the first planet confirmed orbiting a nearby star in 1995, spurring a gold rush of planet discoveries, mostly jumbo planets the size of Jupiter or larger.

    Kepler 22b "is the smallest, most nearly Earth-size, planet ever found in the lukewarm zone around another sun where life could thrive."

    Kepler spotted the planet from tiny dips in starlight caused by partial eclipses, or transits, of the planet in front of the star. It travels on a 290-day orbit around a sun-like star, dubbed Kepler 22a, nearly as bright and warm as our own. Astronomer Francesco Pepe of Switzerland's University of Geneva, says he is "convinced that the report will be solid and the data impressive" from the Kepler 22b discovery. Pepe is a member of a competing European Southern Observatory planet-hunting team that announced an Earth-sized planet on the edge of another star's habitable zone in September.

    The transit detection method yields only a width and orbit time for planets, instead of a weight. Preliminary telescope observation of the planet's star for gravitational wobbles induced on it by the planet indicate only that Kepler 22b cannot weigh more than 36 times more than Earth.

    "There is absolutely no doubt about the reality of this planet," Marcy says, given that the Kepler team has detected three 7.9-hour dimmings of the star, reoccurring at 290-day crossings in front of the star.

    "This discovery is rock solid, even if the planet isn't," Marcy says.
    From early observations, the Kepler astronomers cannot tell whether Kepler 22b is a rocky world, a water-covered world or something else, says team leader William Borucki of NASA's Ames Research Center. Borucki says observations show no signs of other planets in the star's solar system. Pepe estimates that the world would weigh about 14 times as much as Earth if it is built the same way.

    Most likely, Marcy says, "this planet is probably rocky with a thick layer of water and gas, making it more like Neptune in our solar system."

    Among the more than 2,000 possible planets spotted by Kepler are 10 planets less than 2.4 times as wide as Earth that linger in the ocean-friendly "habitable zone" distances from their stars, awaiting confirmation. "(W)e Homo sapiens are straining our reach into the universe to find planets that remind us of home," Marcy says by e-mail. "We are almost there."
    What would discovery of other habitable planets and possibly extra-terrestrial life on such planets mean to Hinduism?

  2. #2

    Re: Earth-like planet found in "habitable" zone

    ancient aliens comming true!
    Mind you I saw an old video of iskcon in an interview and they belive in aliens, so I guess it's natural in the Hindu world. Hence, all the gods came from the sky anyway
    Religion = self idenity = entrapment,
    Only in silence will you find God.

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    Re: Earth-like planet found in "habitable" zone

    Hari Om,

    Just as an aside on this story, then I will step away from stepping on thread. Yesterday at work, an individual who is an acquaintance and a Catholic, sent me an email about this story, out of the blue.

    We have had perhaps five or six conversations over the last few years and have awareness that we believe differently. He was succinct in email message and said that he does not know in reading this story and comments from viewers, how he necessarily believes at present. He questioned if God is not perhaps much different then described in Catholicism.

    Just thought was interesting happening. Perhaps he can permit himself to be freed from his self imposed shackles of believing something that troubles him and find himself on different path.

    Om Shanti.

    FFTW

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    Re: Earth-like planet found in "habitable" zone

    I honestly don't know how extraterrestrial life would mesh with Hinduism except for this (which is admittedly a stretch of the imagination):

    This planet is the locus for Sanātana Dharma. All other planets and existences might simply be other places and existences where souls reincarnate. It would be no different, imo, than being reincarnated as a mushroom or bald eagle or microbe on Earth. One might reincarnate as a being, highly intelligent or primitive, in that location. Why other planets with life? As Adi Shankaracharya explained, creation is the play and recreation of God. God can can no more keep from creating than we can exist without breathing.
    śivasya hridayam viṣṇur viṣṇoscha hridayam śivaḥ

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    Re: Earth-like planet found in "habitable" zone

    Quote Originally Posted by TouchedbytheLord View Post
    I honestly don't know how extraterrestrial life would mesh with Hinduism except for this (which is admittedly a stretch of the imagination):

    This planet is the locus for Sanātana Dharma. All other planets and existences might simply be other places and existences where souls reincarnate. It would be no different, imo, than being reincarnated as a mushroom or bald eagle or microbe on Earth. One might reincarnate as a being, highly intelligent or primitive, in that location. Why other planets with life? As Adi Shankaracharya explained, creation is the play and recreation of God. God can can no more keep from creating than we can exist without breathing.
    I don't see why you would think it a stretch of the imagination. Granting that Sanātana Dharma is correct, it is not a stretch to think in the way you do; you are just exploring the implications of your given worldview. Just the same can be said for Christians and how humanoids from planet V-426 are to be saved without Jesus' atoning sacrifice.

    That said, my view is that, if the earth is the "locus" as you say, then I do not have any problem whatsoever. Some secularists would insist its an act of hubris to think our particular planet has any such importance in the grand scheme of things; to them I would respond that the personal is of infinitely greater importance than anything impersonal. And that includes the cosmos in all its grand sweep. If planet earth is the only place in the universe in which people care for others, then it is worth more than all the billions of galaxies, quasars and supernovas that have ever existed.

    My philosophical view which I think works just as satisfactorily, on the other hand, is that Krsna and all his Associates reveal themselves in the terms and conditions that are present on other worlds. There are unique correctness conditions SD is to meet. You can write the number "Pi" with Indian typography. But you can also do so with other characters.

    Hope that sheds light. Shanti Aum.
    How can I put this in a sentence? Try next time.

  6. #6

    Re: Earth-like planet found in "habitable" zone

    Quote Originally Posted by wundermonk View Post
    Story here.



    What would discovery of other habitable planets and possibly extra-terrestrial life on such planets mean to Hinduism?
    When I read the article earlier in the morning news paper, all the talk about Goldilock zone and how this planet is bang in the middle of the habitable zone - I could only think about how frazile and "luck by chance" life is on our own planet. You have to have the "correct" sun in the first place. The "correct" sun needs to have "correct" planets. And a planet needs to at a correct "distance". Plus many many other factors.

    Yet humans are constantly fighting over certitude of life, creation, god and such nonsense. Such news should be good eye openers, but generally they aren't.

    Ancient religions whether vedic or non-vedic knew the great perils of life and constantly sought to be in harmony and appease the forces of nature out to "kill them". They saught protection from their wrath and support of their powers against foes.

    But a few thousands of years of urbanization - and human head has got damaged. Since I don't relate to much of the modern hinduism which is so much hang up on a creator benevolent mericiful god (which does not exist in my experience) ... I don't know what it means for Hinduism. But this does re-inforces what I thought.

    But then we are constantly looking for affirmations to support our beliefs, and even events which should in reality jolt our beliefs, we manage to find reasons to find affirmations from them. This applies to me and my beliefs as well.
    Last edited by sm78; 08 December 2011 at 01:28 AM.
    What is Here, is Elsewhere. What is not Here, is Nowhere.

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    Re: Earth-like planet found in "habitable" zone

    Quote Originally Posted by TouchedbytheLord View Post
    All other planets and existences might simply be other places and existences where souls reincarnate. It would be no different, imo, than being reincarnated as a mushroom or bald eagle or microbe on Earth.
    Indeed. In Hinduism, the number of souls/Jivas is infinite. At any given point in time, if the number of souls/Jivas on earth is finite, the only other logical option is to posit the existence of life forms elsewhere in this universe.

    Quote Originally Posted by sm78
    But then we are constantly looking for affirmations to support our beliefs, and even events which should in reality jolt our beliefs, we manage to find reasons to find affirmations from them.
    I am not exactly sure why this piece of information disparages Hindu beliefs. I think there may be a verse in Bhagvad Gita where Krishna says this universe is just one part of his manifestation. Presence of multiverses is not necessarily discounted by Hinduism. I think there may also be a Vedic verse that this universe is one fourth (?) of Brahman's manifestation. All this was true even before this piece of news hit the wires.

    That said, I agree with the larger point that you are probably alluding to, and that is that theists of all flavours try and retrofit their religious beliefs to conform to scientific discoveries and advancements.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kismet
    Some secularists would insist its an act of hubris to think our particular planet has any such importance in the grand scheme of things; to them I would respond that the personal is of infinitely greater importance than anything impersonal. And that includes the cosmos in all its grand sweep.
    Yes. If evolution were true and homo sapiens inhabited this new planet and over millenia the conditions on this planet caused humans to speciate into a different species altogether, I am fairly certain that this new species would conceive of an anthropomorphic form of a deity/God that is compatible with their new features and sense of morality.

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    Re: Earth-like planet found in "habitable" zone

    Namaste,

    Read it in the newspaper as well; quite interesting indeed. Not really surprising though, because I think life is very likely to come up in places which happen to come within a suitable "Goldilocks zone" and processes like abiogenesis and evolution take place, which could eventually lead to intelligent life-forms as well. I don't find it contradictory to SD (speaking from the POV of the Advaita philosophy personally) in any way; and after all, the salient goal of our eternal dharma is Self-realization and I think any being with the thirst and dedication for that can eventually achieve it.
    Fully aware of the deficiency of my intelligence, I concentrate my attention on the son of Pavana,
    And humbly ask for strength, intelligence and true knowledge to relieve me of all painful blemishes.

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    Re: Earth-like planet found in "habitable" zone

    Quote Originally Posted by Kismet View Post
    I don't see why you would think it a stretch of the imagination.
    Only because I made it up.

    Just the same can be said for Christians and how humanoids from planet V-426 are to be saved without Jesus' atoning sacrifice.
    Yeah, that one used to give me brain attacks. Now I've resolved it... I'm not Christian so I don't care.

    Some secularists would insist its an act of hubris to think our particular planet has any such importance in the grand scheme of things; to them I would respond that the personal is of infinitely greater importance than anything impersonal.
    And until they can prove me wrong!

    My philosophical view which I think works just as satisfactorily, on the other hand, is that Krsna and all his Associates reveal themselves in the terms and conditions that are present on other worlds. There are unique correctness conditions SD is to meet.
    And there we go back to the Rig Veda verse that says "The Truth is one but the wise know it by many names". It's very true that we should accept that Krishna would reveal Himself in a way meaningful to the inhabitants of another world.
    śivasya hridayam viṣṇur viṣṇoscha hridayam śivaḥ

  10. #10

    Re: Earth-like planet found in "habitable" zone

    Quote Originally Posted by Moonlight View Post
    ancient aliens comming true!
    Mind you I saw an old video of iskcon in an interview and they belive in aliens, so I guess it's natural in the Hindu world. Hence, all the gods came from the sky anyway

    Ah I see why iskcon belives in aliens on other planets!

    "Men of small intelligence worship the Devas, and their fruits are limited and temporary. Those who worship the Devas go to the planets of the Devas, but My devotees ultimately reach My supreme planet." Gita 7:23

    Note: I changed the words "demi-gods" to "Devas" so no one can get offended.

    Pretty cool concept though. Reminds me of an astral concept I know. The theroy is that when you die your end up in what ever you belive in. This reailty is called focus 3 which is a full blown out of body experience and your dead >_> lol but yea! To me it seems to be talking about what iv reserched once.
    Religion = self idenity = entrapment,
    Only in silence will you find God.

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