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Two Earth-Like Exoplanets Don't Actually Exist

Unknown Lamer posted about 5 months ago | from the there-go-my-retirement-plans dept.

Space 102

Two suspected exoplanets, Gliese 581g and 581d, have been shown to not exist, and are instead misinterpretations of data from starspot activity. From the article: "Gliese 581g doesn't exist," said lead author Paul Robertson of Penn State University in State College, Pennsylvania. Neither, he said, does another planet in the same solar system, known as Gliese 581d, announced in 2009—less clearly hospitable to life, but still once seen by some astronomers as a possible place to find aliens. ... What's happening, they say, is that magnetic disturbances on Gliese 581's surface — starspots — are altering the star's spectrum in such a way that it mimics the motion induced by a planet. The star itself rotates once every 130 days, carrying the starspots with it; the disputed planets appeared to have periods of almost exactly one half and one fourth of the 130-day period. When the scientists corrected for the starspot signal, both planets disappeared.

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Get it right (5, Interesting)

Nkwe (604125) | about 5 months ago | (#47390731)

I certainly hope that before we send a generational ship on a one way mission to check out one of these "Earth like" planets that isn't there, we get this right... Of course it would be a good plot for a movie.

Re:Get it right (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47390819)

Im pretty sure that was the plot of a Star Trek story.

Re:Get it right (2)

olsmeister (1488789) | about 5 months ago | (#47390835)

Before we sent a generation ship, we would need to know a hell of a lot more about what's going on than just a sneaking suspicion there may be a planet and it may be in the habitable zone. At a minimum, we would want to have directly imaged the planet and verified from its spectra that it has a decent atmosphere and hopefully already has life.

Re:Get it right (5, Funny)

MrP- (45616) | about 5 months ago | (#47390929)

I say we only go once we've communicated with the life forms on the planet and made reservations.

Would suck to go that far only to have to turn around because they don't have any spare beds.

Re:Get it right (3, Insightful)

willaien (2494962) | about 5 months ago | (#47390983)

You joke, but, there exists a problem with that idea.

How do you even establish a communication protocol with an entirely alien (technologically) civilization?

We can possibly work on showing a basic data format with numbers first, but after that, what then? Send Fibonacci sequences at each other ad nauseum?

There's some interesting ideas, but, how would we even move beyond mere shouting math at each other? How would we establish even a more advanced data format capable of handling characters? And then, how would we develop an intermediary language?

All of this with hundreds of years in gaps between sending and receiving communications, at that. It's not just hard, it's going to be effectively impossible within the lifespans of the people who sent the first message.

Re: Get it right (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47391047)

That describes the entire history of the human race. Microsurgery exists in part because of the Edwin Smith Papyrus.

If it is important, it will be written. It will be translated and it will be understood across many generations.

Re:Get it right (1)

AK Marc (707885) | about 5 months ago | (#47391133)

You send the entire works of Shakespeare. Let them figure it out. We've decoded harder from scraps of dead languages.

Re:Get it right (1)

msk (6205) | about 5 months ago | (#47391327)

This assumes that any thoughts more complex than mathematics will be mutually comprehensible or that the written language will use a recognizable grammar.

We also still make a big assumption that meat-based life forms will develop similar enough brains that communication will be possible.

Re:Get it right (2)

AK Marc (707885) | about 5 months ago | (#47391459)

Every baby (with perhaps a tiny number of exceptions) on the planet learns language. Nearly every "higher" species has some language or communication. I'm making the assumption that they are able to teach their babies communication. You are assuming they have no linguistic capabilities at all. That seems absurdly improbable for a civilization capable of communicating with us.

Re:Get it right (1)

willaien (2494962) | about 5 months ago | (#47391623)

But, we learn it from pure saturation and situational awareness. We had to have access to the Rosetta stone to make sense of Ancient Egyptian.

There has to be at least some sort of context to work with.

You're not talking to the ancient Egyptians... (1)

denzacar (181829) | about 5 months ago | (#47391845)

You're talking to a species that understands math, chemistry, physics...
You share the same Universe. There's your context.

And simple 1+1=2 vs 1+1=3 (i.e. something like: .^.-.. .^.-...) is enough if you'd just want to match up two vocabularies of terms.
You got your TRUE and FALSE right there.
And then there are entire languages already constructed for just such a purpose.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/C... [wikipedia.org]

Re:You're not talking to the ancient Egyptians... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47392237)

We could send documentaries on astronomy!

Re:Get it right (1)

AK Marc (707885) | about 5 months ago | (#47391875)

Every language on Earth, including ones that evolved completely separately, have the concept of noun and verb. You would obviously use those as points of commonality for deciphering it. Even if looking at the Earth languages where nouns are optional, they are still implied.

I've seen sci fi that implied the foreign language was all adjectives, but that doesn't seem very practical.

Re:Get it right (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47391931)

Every language on Earth, including ones that evolved completely separately, have the concept of noun and verb.

Including those of whales and dolphins?

Re:Get it right (1)

rezme (1677208) | about 5 months ago | (#47400417)

Darmok and Jalad at Tanagra

Re:Get it right (1)

king neckbeard (1801738) | about 5 months ago | (#47391899)

Fortunately, we have an abundance of data to send, including educational material.that exists explicitly for the purpose of educating people who don't know our language, and we have people that have studied language construction extensively, and have created systems for communicating with both the deaf and blind. Assuming there is overlap in our sensory ranges, this would be a peace of cake if the distance to cover is Ancient Egyptian.

Re:Get it right (1)

msk (6205) | about 5 months ago | (#47392561)

It may be that placing babies with the aliens will be the only way to gain effective communication. For an exploration of this, see Suzette Haden Elgin's _Native Tongue_.

Re:Get it right (1)

davester666 (731373) | about 5 months ago | (#47391587)

make sure to use IPv4 TCP frames, as those are universal...they are unlikely to have upgraded to IPv6 due to the additional cost, just like we haven't.

Re:Get it right (1)

AK Marc (707885) | about 5 months ago | (#47391867)

Why are you using TCP for a transmission with no confirmation? UDP would be more appropriate. Even your jokes are technically incorrect.

Re:Get it right (1)

davester666 (731373) | about 5 months ago | (#47391889)

I'm expecting a response, even if you aren't.

Re:Get it right (1)

davester666 (731373) | about 5 months ago | (#47391891)

Oh, yeah, welcome to Independence Day.

Re:Get it right (1)

geekoid (135745) | about 5 months ago | (#47396777)

I like when people try to pick apart ID4 to look smart, only to look really stupid.

Re:Get it right (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47392109)

Oh god, now we don't only bore masses of hs and college students with this crap, but the rest of the universe too?

Re:Get it right (2)

The Grim Reefer (1162755) | about 5 months ago | (#47391185)

And even after all of that, how do we know that, once we send a generational ship, their civilization will even be standing by the time we get there. Or since the generation that invited us will (possibly) be long dead, will their descendants still be keen on the idea of a bunch of ship born ape descendants arriving on a one way trip to consume resources? Since those on a generational ship will be more or less technology stagnant and isolated, who knows what kind of superstitions they may develop, or how primitive they would seem to be once they arrived.

Re:Get it right (1)

dbIII (701233) | about 5 months ago | (#47391757)

How do you even establish a communication protocol with an entirely alien (technologically) civilization?

Greg Egan had one in a novel that relied on being able to copy and modify human minds then run them as software. You make a copy, tweak it so it has some understanding of the alien and is human enough to communicate with the mind upstream, then another and so on until you have a chain of a dozen or more intelligences that pass a message from the human to the alien.

For a less optimistic view there's Lem's novel "Solaris" (the main theme doesn't make it into the two movies). Spend a century+ studying an alien and end up with just a vast amount of paper listing weird shit it's done with still no idea why. Meanwhile the alien has made perfect copies of people from the memories of human researchers but the copies have no clue about the alien either.

Re:Get it right (1)

ultranova (717540) | about 5 months ago | (#47392265)

Spend a century+ studying an alien and end up with just a vast amount of paper listing weird shit it's done with still no idea why.

But that's not really credible. The basic motivations for all living things on Earth are reasonable simple to understand, once you know their environment and evolutionary/personal history. And while an alien planet is alien, it still exist in the same universe under the same basic principles of existence. Thus, an alien would still experience the same archetypes - conflict, birth, death, success, failure, discovery, hunger, etc. - and need to respond to them. And getting those responses wrong means you won't be around for long, so they're filtered by the requirement to be at least somewhat rational rather than completely random.

Evolution works within constraints given by the rest of reality, so while it might produce weird-looking aliens, it can't produce incomprehensible ones.

Re:Get it right (1)

dbIII (701233) | about 5 months ago | (#47392629)

Thus, an alien would still experience the same archetypes - conflict, birth, death, success, failure, discovery, hunger, etc

Not necessarily. Lem's lone planet sized alien in Solaris seems to avoid at least a few of those and for the rest nobody can work it out at the time of the story.

it can't produce incomprehensible ones.

Irrelevant since easily comprehensible and incomprehensible are not the only choices. Lem's example is a century+ of almost no progress but that doesn't mean forever. In reality we've had that long since Einstein trying to work out non-Newtonian gravity.


Anyway, that wasn't the only example from fiction I put up, it's just one extreme that has been thought of. It's a good book but since a lot of it is a series of descriptions of academic papers that never existed I'm amazed that it was turned into a movie, let alone two. It's almost as if it was declared unfilmable and was taken up as a bet.

Re:Get it right (1)

ultranova (717540) | about 5 months ago | (#47393993)

Lem's lone planet sized alien in Solaris seems to avoid at least a few of those and for the rest nobody can work it out at the time of the story.

Lem's planet and its inhabitant exist in the land of make-believe, and doesn't have any actual history, but actual planets existing in actual spacetime are still subject to be guided by actual archetypes over actual time.

Irrelevant since easily comprehensible and incomprehensible are not the only choices. Lem's example is a century+ of almost no progress but that doesn't mean forever. In reality we've had that long since Einstein trying to work out non-Newtonian gravity.

I presume you mean quantum mechanical gravity, since General Relativity already describes non-Newtonian gravity.

The difference, of course, is that we don't have a century's worth of observational data - or, really, any observational data - on objects that are both very small and very massive, for which it would apply.

Re:Get it right (1)

dbIII (701233) | about 5 months ago | (#47396901)

exist in the land of make-believe

Nice put down if we were not speculating about something nobody has observed. Of course we are using examples from the land of make-believe.

Re:Get it right (1)

ultranova (717540) | about 5 months ago | (#47400047)

Nice put down if we were not speculating about something nobody has observed. Of course we are using examples from the land of make-believe.

I once read a story about an alien who didn't have to eat because it was powered by a perpetual motion engine. Does such an alien make a good example of something we might actually encounter? No, because it's at odds with reality as we know it.

Just because we are using imaginary examples doesn't mean all such examples are equally credible.

Re:Get it right (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47392007)

How do you even establish a communication protocol with an entirely alien (technologically) civilization?

Very carefully.

BOOM BOOM! HAHAHAAH.

-- Basil Brush.

Re:Get it right (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47392051)

Send a semiprime (product of two primes) number of pulses, mixed short and long. There's only one way to factorise it, so there's only one way to wrap it into an image. Long pulses give you the "on" pixels, short pulses give you the "off" pixels. Do this repeatedly, and you have monochrome video.

Re:Get it right (1)

FalcDot (1224920) | about 5 months ago | (#47392123)

We have managed to establish a basic form of communication with some chimpanzees, well within human liftetimes, because they are able to see us (visual sensors in the right frequancy band) and they are able to make delicate motions that we can see.

If we make contact with aliens of approximately that level of sophistication, we should be fine.

Add to that the possibility of them hearing us (again, sensors in the right range) and hopefully vice-versa, and we should not have too much problems that cannot be overcome.

Re:Get it right (1)

willaien (2494962) | about 5 months ago | (#47392955)

To be able to visually see, and audibly hear each other, we would have to figure out how to even communicate with each other to begin with - video and audio file formats.

Re:Get it right (1)

Ihlosi (895663) | about 5 months ago | (#47392153)

How do you even establish a communication protocol with an entirely alien (technologically) civilization?

You don't. You use the parts of your own protocol that aren't too compressed (think .bmp instead of .jpg, .wav instead of .mp3), and hope the other side can figure it out. Since the messages will be travelling for tens or even hundreds of years, a few decades for understand the other side's protocol shouldn't delay things too much.

Once you think you have figured out the other side's protocol, you send them a message in (your understanding of) their protocol and hope that the other side will know that any horrible insults and breaches of etiquette you commit are only a sign that you're still learning.

Re:Get it right (1)

geekoid (135745) | about 5 months ago | (#47396793)

No. You use basic universal truths to start.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/V... [wikipedia.org]

Re:Get it right (1)

Ihlosi (895663) | about 5 months ago | (#47397729)

No. You use basic universal truths to start.

"Truth" is a heavily cultural thing. If anything, you use facts.

And the Voyager record does basically exactly what I mentioned. It uses a subset of our own communication protocols with very low compression.

Re:Get it right (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47392165)

>How do you even establish a communication protocol with an entirely alien (technologically) civilization?

You send the Andromeda Strain.

Re:Get it right (1)

excelsior_gr (969383) | about 5 months ago | (#47395267)

You might want to check out Stanislaw Lem's "His master's voice". He writes about the futile attempts of humanity in decoding an alien signal sent to earth, not only because of the difficulty of the encoding itself, but also due to the chasm between the two civilizations, mindsets etc. It is very dark and pessimistic, but definitely a good read.

Re:Get it right (1)

C0R1D4N (970153) | about 5 months ago | (#47391139)

Maybe there's room in the manger =p

Re:Get it right (1)

Tablizer (95088) | about 5 months ago | (#47391561)

Isn't that how Jesus was born?

Re:Get it right (1)

Dabido (802599) | about 5 months ago | (#47404249)

Alien Reply: Sure, come. We'd love to serve man.

Re:Get it right (1)

kamapuaa (555446) | about 5 months ago | (#47390889)

Right, well the generational ship is going to be sent any day now so I'm glad the scientists at least put the brakes on this one.

Re:Get it right (1)

rossdee (243626) | about 5 months ago | (#47390913)

We could still send the B-Arc

Re:Get it right (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47392383)

Don't you see? It's a conspiracy of scientists to falsify their data so they can get rich off of grant money to fund development of FTL technologies. I mean, after all, scientists can't ever change their minds about something. Nobody ever changes their minds about anything, even when new information is presented. That's not the American Way (tm). So if somebody does it must be because they're being deceitful.

Re: Get it right (1)

Applehu Akbar (2968043) | about 5 months ago | (#47392475)

Standard astronomical procedure now is to confirm detection of an expoplanet using toe or more detection methods before trumpeting the existence of MyWorld.

Re:Get it right (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47392927)

Good movie plot... but no need to search, as no one will ever get physically near one of those other millions of planets that are populated with other humans. The best way to get in touch is by the use of the mind... that's the closest thing that humans will be able to be of another humans in another planets here on Earth. No need to worry as must of the humans in this planet will disappear in the next few years, because have change from spiritual humans to rationality humans... when only those that believe in God and follow it's Laws in their daily lives stay alive then big thing will happen, contacting another humans in another planets can probably be one of them... but humans will achieve a higher level on their lives. Until then you will need to wait. If someone wants to get ahead of the "game" can learn more by searching "The Ten Commandments of God & The lord's prayer" and "In the light of truth" by Abd-ru-shin. It's free, you can learn online (no registration required)... and when the new millennium starts you can be one of those few millions to stay here on Earth... no guns, atomic shelters, space ship, boat... will get you live in the new millennium that is almost starting, only the correct thinking and acting in the day to day life will make you stay alive.

Re:Get it right (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47394077)

This is VERY common. There are very few checks and very little actual concrete proven "things" to base other "things" off of in the galactic world. This is why I will ALWAYS question anything anyone claims about things outside of earth. Claiming some planet 1000 light years away is made of some specific material, revolves around a star, and is a certain average temperature is complete bullshit. It may turn out that is not even a planet, it is not revolving around anything, it's not even close to the temperature they thought, and what they are observing may not even be close to 1000 light years away. No one in our lifetime will ever know. We don't even know much about the planets in our own solar system or even what our own planet is made of and we are expected to believe people can reasonably predict what things XXX light away are and what they are doing with any accuracy at all? They all sit around and pat each other on the back though.

Yeahhh (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47390783)

I love physics, but I've really felt like the exoplanet thing has been irresponsibly laid on pretty thick for the common man (mostly by scientific media and then mainstream media, in order to sell copies/ads, of course).

There's a lot of zeal in announcing newly found planets, pontificating on their atmospheres and doing up artists impressions and whatnot. It's just not good to take back that type of information and say "ah shit, it was actually just a sunspot". It's really the only true vector of doubt in the religious mind - when science corrects itself. This type of stuff does not help.

But then again, it's mostly the mainstream media who create such a house of cards.

Re:Yeahhh (3, Informative)

kenwd0elq (985465) | about 5 months ago | (#47390999)

Ditto here. The "New planet may support life!!!! meme is so COMPLETELY overblown based on a telescope that detects occultations, and doesn't generate any images. The "artist's renderings" were way off in fantasyland, entirely unsupported by the data.

Re:Yeahhh (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47391777)

I feel the same way about the overhyping of 3D printing ....

Re:Yeahhh (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47392897)

It shouldn't be that surprising anyway that some were wrong. Even if just ignoring systematic errors and mistakes, if announcements of planets were made at a 95% confidence interval, one in twenty would be wrong. And with hundreds of such planets having been announced, even higher confidence would produce a few false positives, while some planets get mentioned at lower confidence between some more help is needed with observation.

Re:Yeahhh (2)

P51O45YNDgCVY (2246696) | about 5 months ago | (#47397767)

It's just not good to take back that type of information and say "ah shit, it was actually just a sunspot".

You are wrong, exactly this is the power of science, that it can correct itself. In fact, this is always exciting because you found something new, you can use this in future to recheck data and thus improve findings. In science you can challenge findings, learn and improve. Religion just stays as it is.

Or maybe (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47390791)

Some aliens came along and vaporized them with a futuristic weapon?

Re:Or maybe (2)

linearz69 (3473163) | about 5 months ago | (#47390829)

Or the DOD just finished its Death Star?

Actually, our world doesn't exist either (1)

Mister Liberty (769145) | about 5 months ago | (#47390803)

"my sysop types all this in."

Re:Actually, our world doesn't exist either (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47391147)

Being has a ground. How it manifests to consciousness may be pure illusion, and all our science may be completely wrong, but something supports that consciousness (including yours).

This is not a matter of stipulation, but a logical inference from the immediate fact that perception occurs.

Wow. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47390807)

When the scientists corrected for the starspot signal, both planets disappeared.

So they possibly just committed genocide on two planets?

Re:Wow. (1)

Mister Liberty (769145) | about 5 months ago | (#47390815)

They're now 'Ex-o-planets".

Re:Wow. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47391187)

former Irish planets?

Great headline, guys (1)

NoNonAlphaCharsHere (2201864) | about 5 months ago | (#47390831)

They're in good company - there's an infinite number of earth-like exoplanets that don't exist.

Re:Great headline, guys (2)

iggymanz (596061) | about 5 months ago | (#47390851)

there are also an infinite number of you that don't exist, and one that does.

Re:Great headline, guys (1)

LynnwoodRooster (966895) | about 5 months ago | (#47391161)

<Keanu Mode>WHOA</Keanu Mode>

Re:Great headline, guys (1)

geekoid (135745) | about 5 months ago | (#47397249)

and at least one that does exist.
Infinite space, finite arrangement order of particles = small infinite subset of everything.

Re:Great headline, guys (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47390853)

They're in good company - there's an infinite number of earth-like exoplanets that don't exist.

Maybe we're misreading the data and Slashdot editors don't really exist either.

Re:Great headline, guys (1)

NoNonAlphaCharsHere (2201864) | about 5 months ago | (#47390919)

They exist, but they're a lot like neutrinos - they almost never interact with anything.

Pluto is still a player (1)

turkeydance (1266624) | about 5 months ago | (#47390855)

nothing Ex-O here.

Re:Pluto is still a player (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47390917)

nothing Ex-O here.

What they did to Pluto is nothing short of a travesty. It will have its revenge.

Re:Pluto is still a player (1)

dltaylor (7510) | about 5 months ago | (#47390965)

Don't know about the god/animated characters' love lives, but get over the "Pluto is a planet" nonsense. Just because there are ossified grooves in your brain doesn't make it true.

There are still people around from BEFORE Pluto was discovered (named in 1930), and there was plenty of time when some of the larger asteroids, such as Ceres in the 1800s, were considered "planets", and if we have to end up counting all of the Kuiper Belt Objects (KBOs) as planets, why not comets (at least the ones with millenial scale stable orbits)? You STILL don't get nine. You either settle for the current eight, or you will, eventually, have hundreds, at least.

Re: Pluto is still a player (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47392097)

They don't have moons. Pluto has four of them. A big difference.

Re: Pluto is still a player (1)

Pembers (250842) | about 5 months ago | (#47392255)

Mercury and Venus don't have moons either, and I don't think anyone would seriously argue that we shouldn't call them planets.

Re: Pluto is still a player (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47392439)

We didn't know Pluto had even one moon until 1978, and Eris has at least one moon (Dysnomia), so your argument is invalid.

Re:Pluto is still a player (1)

FatLittleMonkey (1341387) | about 5 months ago | (#47392119)

You STILL don't get nine. You either settle for the current eight, or you will, eventually, have hundreds, at least.

Not necessarily. If you make the definition of "planet" as wide as possible, you can then create (non-exclusive, overlapping) sub-categories for different classes. Terrestrial, gas-giant, dwarfs, KBOs, super-Jupiter, hot-Jupters, hot-Earths, super-Earths, rogue (or free flying) planets, etc.

And, of course, then you can have "Traditional Planets", which is the nine.

Everyone gets a toy, everyone goes home happy.

[Except I'd make the definition wide enough to include large moons (eg, "non-stellar bodies over 500km diameter and/or hydrodynamically spherised"), then "major moons" would be one of the sub-categories of "planet", which would piss off the sort of people twisting their knickers over Pluto.]

Re:Pluto is still a player (1)

geekoid (135745) | about 5 months ago | (#47397287)

Yes, lets butcher science so the ignorant plebes can be happy. What could go wrong?
Plane was ill-defined. So now it has a more specific definition. That is all.

You know what? we will probably find more data and cause it to become even more specific.

Re:Pluto is still a player (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47392583)

Don't know about the god/animated characters' love lives, but get over the "Pluto is a planet" nonsense. Just because there are ossified grooves in your brain doesn't make it true.

There are still people around from BEFORE Pluto was discovered (named in 1930), and there was plenty of time when some of the larger asteroids, such as Ceres in the 1800s, were considered "planets", and if we have to end up counting all of the Kuiper Belt Objects (KBOs) as planets, why not comets (at least the ones with millenial scale stable orbits)? You STILL don't get nine. You either settle for the current eight, or you will, eventually, have hundreds, at least.

Well, in YOUR planetary system, Uranus is by far the biggest planet.

Bogus headline? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47390959)

Lack of proof of existence is not the same as proof of lack of existence.

If we follow the link to the story, we get the headline "One of the Most Earthlike Planets Ever Found May Not Exist". The slashdot headline on the other hand appears to be quite certain. I wonder if Unknown Lamer has a warp drive and visited the solar system in question to be that certain.

So Clease 581g and d don't actually exist (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47390975)

However, I saw Clease 64 Tons with my own eyes.

Great, more ammo for the deniers (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47390989)

So many Republicans don't believe in the existence of space, and this sort of conspiracy just makes them more bold.

Re:Great, more ammo for the deniers (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47392313)

So many Democrats are cocksucking, lisping faggots who can't say anything unless it is cloaked in faggy, passive-agressive sarcasm.

Re: Great, more ammo for the deniers (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47393847)

Preach it, brother.

Re:Great, more ammo for the deniers (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47392427)

..and so many Democrats think what plants and water have feelings. Nuts on both sides.

I always wonder about things like this (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47390995)

Isn't it probably that ALL astronomy is riddled with misunderstandings like this? Why are they so sure they know so much when they clearly don't know a fucking thing?

Re:I always wonder about things like this (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47391021)

Funding.

Re:I always wonder about things like this (5, Informative)

dltaylor (7510) | about 5 months ago | (#47391067)

This is why most discoveries are double-checked by someone else.

Whether it is table-top cold fusion, stem cells, planets, or the Higgs boson, you publish "we found X by doing Y". Someone else tries and does or doesn't succeed. If they do, it adds evidence to your discovery. If they don't, they go back through your "Y" and see where it doesn't add up for them. In this case, it was found that "Y" didn't take into account "Z" (rather like the "faster than light" neutrinos a few years back where the timing signal was slowed by a weak electical coupling).

Additionally, there's a lot of data coming from the space-based and, still, Earth-based, telescopes. A data item can show up after you've started your analysis that you didn't know at the time, for example, the stellar rotation period for which to account might not have been known.

On the plus side, this will require all of the to-be-published research to check for this factor, reducing that type of erroneous reporting.

Re:I always wonder about things like this (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47391341)

yut #1: Science offers to people what religion cannot...
yut #2: What's that?
yut #1: Absolutely nothing.

Re: I always wonder about things like this (0)

Applehu Akbar (2968043) | about 5 months ago | (#47392507)

There is one exception to the double-checking rule though: climatology. Since the discipline went political, questioning a researcher's work in the field is 'denialism'.

Re: I always wonder about things like this (1)

geekoid (135745) | about 5 months ago | (#47397327)

Wrong. That's just an accusation present by people who have no data to back there assertions.

Have you ever notice that deniers don't actual attack the science? They make ad homs. lies, non sequitors, or cherry pick something they consider 'wrong' even though it's within error bars.

Blindly ignoring facts is denial-ism. If it was wrong it could be solidly shown to be wrong with high school level of scientific understanding.

Let start with AGW, No, it's not the same as Climate change.

These are all scientific facts, that you can test for yourself. Interesting note: If you can show they are wrong you would change are understanding of physics and win a number of prizes, and end up being worth a lot of money.
I use the term 'visible light' and IR. They are referring to parts of the EM spectrum.

1) Visible lights strike our planet.
2) CO2 is transparent to visible light
3) When visible light strike something IR is generated.
4) Some energy is captured from the IR by CO2
5) CO2 is levels are rising
6) Human put out many,many gigatones of CO2 above that which is part of the normal cycle. This is because we dig petroleum up and burn it.

So, deniers need to explain which point up there is wrong, and as I have said, it would be trivial to do.

That AGW.
So now with climate change:
Climate change is the changes in the climate due to the increased amount of trapped energy from AGW.

If you have some way to show adding energy to a system in now way impacts that system, by all means, write a paper.

It's not hard.
The only hard thing is predicted what will happen with increased climate at a specific level. We know what the trends will be.

The basic science is so simply,, you really need to be on some sort of agenda, a tool, or just fucking stupid.

Saying Climate change isn't real is like saying gravity doesn't accelerate all objects at the same rate.

But you stick with just screeching like an idiot.

Re: I always wonder about things like this (1)

Applehu Akbar (2968043) | about 5 months ago | (#47402299)

A whole rant in "response" to a post in which I made no assertions about the validity of AGW. All I said was that it has become a political pet project of the left, like man-hating feminocracy. Just as any criticism of the latter is "rape culture," any criticism of AGW is called "denialism."

I'm personally neutral on AGW, because I trust the scientific process to eventually come up with the truth on Arrhenius' venerable hypothesis.The outcome will be either:

1. AGW will turn out to be nonexistent or (more likely) overhyped as just one cause of climate change among many natural ones. We will get some melting ice here and there and some shifting of weather patterns, but mankind will survive. Since those who politicized the problem insist that only their favorite doomsday scenario is the only valid one, the left will lose all credibility at making scientific pronouncements. Nobody will ever listen to you again. Your heads explode.
OR...
2. AGW will be proven out, and will be as apocalyptic as you claim. We will have to immediately stop using fossil fuel and rebuild the world's baseload power in nuclear, including in Germany. We will also have to geoengineer away existing CO2 by seeding millions of square miles of open ocean with iron to promote algal blooms, which will in dying carry large amounts of carbon with them to abyssal depths. Your heads explode.

no more bonearth (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47391045)

eight equals equals equals equals dee

And 400 Hippie Cries Were Felt Around the World (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47391095)

Because this is a terrible thing for them.

Damn (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47391121)

Before you 3D print your FTL private colony ship, better check twice.

co3k (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47391181)

downw4rd spiral. In

I felt a great disturbance in the Force... (3, Funny)

Biff Stu (654099) | about 5 months ago | (#47391405)

as if millions of voices suddenly cried out in terror and were suddenly silenced. I fear something terrible has happened.

According to Darrell Issa, (1)

Tablizer (95088) | about 5 months ago | (#47391565)

it's Lois Lerner's fault for deleting planets.

Well that sucks. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47391601)

I really thought scientists, and I say that broadly, had more evidence. Really had us all going for a minute, I for one have no clue what it takes to discover planets but I guess I should learn, I really thought they had it right, I guess gotta check everything yourself nowadays

Known issue, Has workarounds: (1)

arisvega (1414195) | about 5 months ago | (#47391877)

M dwarfs [wikipedia.org] are very interesting because they are the most common kind of star, and they have a very high potential of hosting planets able to support DNA-based life as we know it. M dwarfs are also expected to exhibit strong magnetic activity (star spots are magnetic features) as they are highly convective. Star spots appear darker in the optical wavelength, and can easily be mistaken for planets.

There is active research going on that tries to filter out this interference caused by the magnetic effects, and as most public-funded science is unfortunately (and audaciously) paywalled [harvard.edu]

Shhhh (1)

Lost Penguin (636359) | about 5 months ago | (#47392399)

Don't tell the Gliesians....

Can't we call them sunspots? (1)

wonkey_monkey (2592601) | about 5 months ago | (#47392831)

Can't we call them sunspots instead of starspots? It's the same phenomenon. It seems needlessly ambiguous to call them one thing when they're on one star, but another thing when they're on any other star.

Neither, he said, does another planet in the same solar system

Aha! It's a star system. Nyah.

Re:Can't we call them sunspots? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47393159)

The Sun is the name of the star Earth orbits. Spots on our star are called sunspots. Spots on stars in general are called starspots. This isn't needlessly ambiguous, you've just been using one specific form of the term and haven't needed to apply it to other stars before. Lots of terms are like this. Orbital terms like apogee and perigee are specific to Earth orbit. Around Jupiter the terms are apojove and perijove. Around the Sun they are apohelion and perihelion. If you want to use the terms generically, you'd use apoapsis and periapsis.

Re:Can't we call them sunspots? (1)

geekoid (135745) | about 5 months ago | (#47397341)

IT's another step away form we are special and towards accuracy.

The 'sun' gets its name from when we thought it was not the same as stars.

I am getting pretty old, and I am very grateful I'm not the 'it'was this way when I was a kid and it should stay that way!' type of old person.

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