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#26 2003-03-24 07:06:07

Shaun Barrett
Member
From: Cairns, Queensland, Australia
Registered: 2001-12-28
Posts: 2,843

Re: Extraterrestrial Civilizations - Isaac Asimov's predictions vs"Rare Earth

[color=#000000:post_uid0]As some of you know (to your cost! ), I've often preached about Earth and Mars swapping bits of themselves due to impacts. Dr. Paul Davies agrees with me (! ), or should I say [b:post_uid0]I[/b:post_uid0] agree with [b:post_uid0]him[/b:post_uid0](!!! )  big_smile , that this phenomenon will almost certainly lead to Earth-like organisms being found alive on Mars when we get there. I've even championed the notion that Dr. Gilbert Levin's Labeled Release experiments aboard the Viking landers detected that very same life in 1977. But I digress.

    In a recent informal discussion, Freeman Dyson talked with Bruce Murray and Louis Friedman, of The Planetary Society, about interstellar travel. The discussion was recorded in the latest edition of TPS's magazine, "The Planetary Report".
    They covered the usual stuff about sending unmanned probes first, using powerful lasers or microwaves powered by our Sun to propel giant dish-shaped craft at speeds up to maybe 0.5c (half light speed). Then they moved on to the idea of manned craft - theoretically possible, but not until we've got about another 500 years of technological development under our belts!

    What really interested me, though, was Freeman Dyson's reference to an astronomer called Jack Baggaley in New Zealand, who works with a project called AMOR - the Advanced Meteor Orbit Radar. According to Dr. Dyson: "He actually sees stuff arriving here on Earth from Beta Pictoris, which I find very delightful. So we're already getting interstellar stuff, and it's being measured and observed."
    Later in the same article, he went on to say: "The fact that we're getting stuff from Beta Pictoris also changes one's view of panspermia - the idea of life moving from place to place in space. If there are creatures living around Beta Pictoris, then they're probably already here. If an organism is already adapted to living in a vacuum, interstellar travel is not all that big a problem."

    This was a stunning revelation to me! I had no idea that an ongoing interstellar transfer of material had been established scientifically. It certainly does add weight to the concept of panspermia in general, though perhaps not in this particular case.
    Apparently Beta Pictoris is a blue-white main sequence star, 50 light years distant, roughly 1.75 times the mass of the Sun and about 8 times as luminous. Not a show-stopper for life so far .... but there is a hitch! It is estimated to be only about 200 million years old. Probably not old enough for any circling planets (and there are some) to have yet given birth to life.
    That's not to say that Beta Pictoris couldn't have acted as a gravitational 'relay-runner', whisking dormant life forms in the interstellar dust onwards toward us from somewhere even further away!
    The possibilities are endless!

    And it makes the transfer of viable spores between Earth and Mars look positively pedestrian!! - And all the more likely to have happened very frequently throughout the history of the solar system.
    What a wonderful universe!!!   smile[/color:post_uid0]


The word 'aerobics' came about when the gym instructors got together and said: If we're going to charge $10 an hour, we can't call it Jumping Up and Down.   - Rita Rudner

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#27 2003-03-25 15:05:22

Gennaro
Member
From: Eta Cassiopeiae (no, Sweden re
Registered: 2003-03-25
Posts: 591

Re: Extraterrestrial Civilizations - Isaac Asimov's predictions vs"Rare Earth

[color=#000000:post_uid0]

Also, when you look at the data of extrasolar planet hunters like Geoff Marcy and others wherein we typically find gas giants either very close to their parent stars (we're talking other stars similar to our sun, of course) or otherwise in very chaotic elliptical orbits, our very own solar system may be itself a considerable exception from the norm!  It would seem that any alien civilizations that might be out there are exceedingly inconspiquous by their complete absence.[/quote:post_uid0]

In fact, and I hope you find it good news, quite a number of these extra solar gas giants (there are currently over a 100 of them) do exhibit quite regular Jovian orbits.
Then regarding the specific prerequisites for life in our solar system, such as Jupiter and the Moon, why not consider 47 Ursa Majoris (a G0 star at 45.9 ly), which have two gas giants in nearly circular orbits at a distance of 2.09 and 3.73 AU from their parent star, with 2.54 and 0.76 Jupiter masses respectively?
Let's say their hypothetical homeplanet, at about 1.1 AU, have an even bigger moon than ours, making their world almost a double planet system; now hear them go:
"Because our beneficient gas worlds b and c, functioning like giant vacuum cleaners, not to mention our unique twin planetary constellation, without which we wouldn't exist, have provided life in our solar system with such terrific stroke of luck, we must estimate that intelligent life in the galaxy is probably exceeedingly rare".
big_smile

http://www.solstation.com/stars2/47uma.htm
http://www.extrasolar.net/mainframes.html

By the way, 47 Ursa Majoris is believed to be 7 billion years old. Plenty of time for life to evolve. I'd be damned if there isn't somebody up there right now as we speak.
:;):[/color:post_uid0]

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#28 2003-03-25 15:14:23

Gennaro
Member
From: Eta Cassiopeiae (no, Sweden re
Registered: 2003-03-25
Posts: 591

Re: Extraterrestrial Civilizations - Isaac Asimov's predictions vs"Rare Earth

[color=#000000:post_uid0]

According to Dr. Dyson: "He actually sees stuff arriving here on Earth from Beta Pictoris, which I find very delightful".[/quote:post_uid0]

That sounds not only astoundingly fascinating but also absolutely impossible. How would he know the stuff was from Beta Pictoris? We don't even know the exact distances to nearby stars!
yikes

Any hint how he arrived at his conclusion?[/color:post_uid0]

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#29 2003-03-25 17:43:29

Shaun Barrett
Member
From: Cairns, Queensland, Australia
Registered: 2001-12-28
Posts: 2,843

Re: Extraterrestrial Civilizations - Isaac Asimov's predictions vs"Rare Earth

[color=#000000:post_uid0]Hi Gennaro!
                No! No hint at all was given as to how this conclusion was reached. I was explaining this news to my long-suffering wife the other day and was asking myself the same question.
                I couldn't fathom how anybody could be sure where space debris was coming from.
                However, this wasn't some moron spouting nonsense - it was Freeman Dyson speaking! When he speaks, people tend to listen. I can only assume there are techniques which enable us to determine that certain incoming stuff is from Beta Pictoris ... but don't ask me how!!

                Can anyone else help?
                                                ???[/color:post_uid0]


The word 'aerobics' came about when the gym instructors got together and said: If we're going to charge $10 an hour, we can't call it Jumping Up and Down.   - Rita Rudner

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#30 2003-03-25 19:38:11

Palomar
Member
From: USA
Registered: 2002-05-30
Posts: 9,734

Re: Extraterrestrial Civilizations - Isaac Asimov's predictions vs"Rare Earth

[color=#810541:post_uid9]

Hi Gennaro!
                No! No hint at all was given as to how this conclusion was reached. I was explaining this news to my long-suffering wife the other day and was asking myself the same question.
                I couldn't fathom how anybody could be sure where space debris was coming from.
                However, this wasn't some moron spouting nonsense - it was Freeman Dyson speaking! When he speaks, people tend to listen. I can only assume there are techniques which enable us to determine that certain incoming stuff is from Beta Pictoris ... but don't ask me how!!

                Can anyone else help?
                                                ???[/quote:post_uid9]
*I wish I could shed some light on the matter.  Quoting Shaun again from a few posts up:

"...Freeman Dyson's reference to an astronomer called Jack Baggaley in New Zealand, who works with a project called AMOR - the Advanced Meteor Orbit Radar. According to Dr. Dyson: 'He actually sees stuff arriving here on Earth from Beta Pictoris, which I find very delightful. So we're already getting interstellar stuff, and it's being measured and observed.'"

*By all means, let's ask Mr. Dyson himself.  His ability to answer such questions should match his ability to make said claims.  And is he speaking on behalf of Mr. Baggaley?  Can Mr. Baggaley affirm Dyson's assertions?

I know just about anything and everything is supposedly possible, but I'm really skeptical about what I've read so far.

I'm from Missouri on this:  Show me (this interstellar stuff IS from Beta Pictoris). 

Don't mistake me for a party pooper, though; I'd like to think it is, I *hope* it is...but by what methods and means can this stuff be proven to be from this particular star?

--Cindy   ???[/color:post_uid9]


We all know those Venusians: Doing their hair in shock waves, smoking electrical coronas, wearing Van Allen belts and resting their tiny elbows on a Geiger counter...

--John Sladek (The New Apocrypha)

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#31 2003-03-25 22:20:51

Gennaro
Member
From: Eta Cassiopeiae (no, Sweden re
Registered: 2003-03-25
Posts: 591

Re: Extraterrestrial Civilizations - Isaac Asimov's predictions vs"Rare Earth

[color=#000000:post_uid0]I've looked around on the net somewhat for links on Freeman Dyson. Seems to be a pretty important fellow, though I didn’t find anything on the above and now I really need to go to bed.

“When he speaks, people tend to listen.”

Okay, I hear you. The children are all ears. smile

Later & goodnight![/color:post_uid0]

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#32 2003-10-10 05:12:44

alokmohan
Member
From: india
Registered: 2003-09-14
Posts: 169

Re: Extraterrestrial Civilizations - Isaac Asimov's predictions vs"Rare Earth

[color=#000000:post_uid0]At the moment too far fetched topic.[/color:post_uid0]

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