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New Earth-sister Kepler 452b announced by NASA

  1. Jul 23, 2015 #1

    DaveC426913

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    http://www.nasa.gov/keplerbriefing0723

    As I type this, NASA is announcing discovery of a new planet Kepler 452b that is
    - small and (probably) rocky like Earth
    - orbits a G2 star
    - is in the star's habitable zone
    This is the first candidate that meets all three criteria. (Most Earth-twins so far discovered are around tiny red dwarfs, and orbit in a matter of days) It has a 385 day long year, almost exactly the same as Earth.

    Kepler 452b is a slightly older sibling of Earth - it has lived in its habitable zone for 6 billion years. It's a little bigger, surface gravity is about 2x Earth, but it probably has a thick atmosphere as well as volcanism.

    One implication of this discovery is that these are surely common. We only detect 1 in 50 planets because of alignment issues, so detection of one suggests another 50 out there we can't see with current equipment.

    The one imperfection in this otherwise ideal Earth-sister is that it is more than 1300 light years away.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 23, 2015
  2. jcsd
  3. Jul 23, 2015 #2
    The Kepler telescope is luckily still operational due to an ingenious solution which was found that compensates for the loss of two of it's reaction wheels.
    Is there any similar telescope planned to replace it eventually?, - or is the Kepler data sufficient in itself to answer a number of important questions.
    Anyway now that this planet has been found, I'm sure that other existing telescopes will be used to glean better information about it's composition.
     
  4. Jul 23, 2015 #3

    berkeman

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    Aim the radio telescopes at it! :smile:
     
  5. Jul 23, 2015 #4
    Why?
     
  6. Jul 23, 2015 #5

    berkeman

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    To listen. Didn't we use radio telescopes to listen for ETI in the past? (I'm no expert in this by any means)
     
  7. Jul 23, 2015 #6
    They might be broadcasting their own version of Star-Trek!
     
  8. Jul 23, 2015 #7

    davenn

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    would be interesting to do ...

    keeping in mind any tech advanced civilisation there would have to be well ahead of ours
    We didn't have radio 300 yrs ago, let alone 1300 yrs ago any radio signal you received would have
    been broadcast 1300 yrs ago :wink:


    Dave

    PS ... unless of course, they advanced faster than we did
     
  9. Jul 23, 2015 #8
    Aside from radio scopes, I guess that now we have found a planet which really does resemble Earth in some respects, we should want to do as best we can to determine what state it's atmosphere is (was) in.
    Do we have any technology at present which could provide a clue at that kind of distance?
     
  10. Jul 23, 2015 #9

    Evo

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    But their planet is over a billion years older than earth, any advanced civilization could be long gone, that is if there ever was one.
     
  11. Jul 23, 2015 #10

    Evo

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    StevieTNZ sent me this link this morning, it goes into some detail.

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/science/70502227/nasa-discovers-earthlike-planet
     
  12. Jul 23, 2015 #11
    I suppose Mars and Venus are Earth twins if this is an Earth sister. Seems more like an Aunt.

    What incredible technology! Wah! Makes me wish I was born a hundred years from now. We're on the cusp of discovering so much stuff at the macro and micro level.
     
  13. Jul 23, 2015 #12
    Yes, and the whole plan with Kepler was to look at what possibly is out there in a very narrowly focused area of space.
    I'm not sure offhand, but think the area of sky it focuses on is well less then 1% of the total sky visible from Earth, and now we find a solar system comparable to the one we are living in.
    It can only get more interesting, I want an immortality pill!
     
  14. Jul 23, 2015 #13

    DaveC426913

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    Well to put it in perspective, we don't yet even know if it's rocky. There is a "better than even" chance that it is, but that tells you how little we know so far.
     
  15. Jul 23, 2015 #14

    Astronuc

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    Last edited: Jul 23, 2015
  16. Jul 24, 2015 #15
     
  17. Jul 24, 2015 #16

    CalcNerd

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    When we started SETI or using radio telescopes to listen in, we were certain ALL intelligent advanced civilizations would transmit some type of radio signal that we might be able to listen in. We ourselves have been broadcasting for a century or so. But our new methods of signals (cellular) are encoded and might just look like noise to even our own civilization 30 years ago. And a lot of our data is now transmitted over fiber.
    .
    To summarize, we would never find a civilization that used fiber or copper or used a complex signal that we could mistake for a noise source. Our own civilization might not be visible to anyone if they look for us and are outside of our 150 year transmission window (assuming we advance to where we are not transmitting over the open air in 50 years).
     
  18. Jul 24, 2015 #17
    Or so evolved that we wouldn't recognize them as life, perhaps the entire population has uploaded their minds to Kepler 452b's virtual reality Facebook and exist in a tiny computer in a bunker on the planet.
     
  19. Jul 24, 2015 #18
    First off, no I don't anticipate signs of intelligent life being found on the first Earth-like planet we discover, that does seem very improbable.
    However, a species that had got as far as radio would probably have also got as far as having communications and other orbiting satellites.
    Those can't use fiber connections, so there could be at least some radio transmission still in use (hypothetically)
     
  20. Jul 24, 2015 #19

    mheslep

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    Interesting discovery, but I find it annoying that the artist's concept drawing of the "sister" circulating with the story has been appearing in the media without being labeled as an artist's drawing. NASA certainly includes "artist's concept depicts one possible appearance" prominently in its captions (figure 4)
     
  21. Jul 24, 2015 #20

    mheslep

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    Speculation? As I understand it, what's known with some scientific basis is the age of Kepler 452b's star, the temperature of that star, and know with this observation we know the period of 452b's orbit from which other orbital mechanics calculations can be made. After that, yes it's fun to speculate and assume that the planets formed around that star at the same rate as did the planets in our solar system, but any number of factors could wildly change that assumption, like another planetesimal colliding after initial formation and forming moon as happened with the Earth.
     
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