Exoplanets News

NASA says new Earth-like planet found

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Nasa scientists have announced the discovery of Kepler 452b, also known as ‘Earth 2.0’, an earth-like planet in our galaxy.

Over the course of years of data-gathering by the Kepler space telescope and even more analysis and work here on Earth, scientists confirmed the existence of the distant exoplanet, which is the most earth-like planet ever discovered.

Although the planet is far too far away to photograph, advanced Nasa technology means we know a surprising amount about this ‘New Earth’.

Earlier this year, there were eight of them. We shall see.

The new planet is slightly larger than Earth, and is estimated to have twice the gravitational pull of our own planet. However, according to the scientists on the Kepler team, this doesn’t mean it couldn’t support life.

But have we ever established that Earth-like conditions are even essential to life?

It seems reasonable to rule out certain types of conditions on probability grounds. That is, we wouldn’t waste time looking in certain environments. But is there an accepted hypothesis on the subject of whether Earth-like conditions are essential to life?

Well, a single alien life form, however weird or simple, would decide the matter, right?

See also: Why the space alien fingertips must exist.

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12 Replies to “NASA says new Earth-like planet found

  1. 1
    daveS says:

    But have we ever established that Earth-like conditions are even essential to life?

    It seems reasonable to rule out certain types of conditions on probability grounds. That is, we wouldn’t waste time looking in certain environments. But is there an accepted hypothesis on the subject of whether Earth-like conditions are essential to life?

    Isn’t that the gist of the “privileged planet” hypothesis?

    Well, a single alien life form, however weird or simple, would decide the matter, right?

    If it were found on a non-Earthlike planet, yes. But if they find life on this newly discovered planet, then no.

  2. 2
    bornagain77 says:

    “But have we ever established that Earth-like conditions are even essential to life?”

    Part 1: Fine-Tuning for Life in the Universe

    Part 2: Fine-Tuning for Intelligent Physical Life

    Part 3: Probability Estimates for Features Required by Various Life-Forms

    Part 4: Probability Estimates on Different Size Scales for the Features Required by Advanced Life

    Dr Hugh Ross Interview ( Pt 1 ) – video

    Dr Hugh Ross Interview ( Pt 2 ) – video

  3. 3
    ppolish says:

    Looking for alien life in California:

    “Just to be clear: finding an organism that didn’t need phosphorus, that used arsenic instead, would be one of the most significant scientific discoveries of all time. It would mean that Mono Lake was home to a form of life biologically distinct from all other known life on Earth. It would strongly suggest that life got started on our planet not once, but at least twice, that the origin of life on Earth was not a freak accident requiring highly specialized circumstances, but a relatively commonplace event. And that in turn would strengthen the argument that life is likely to be present on other worlds as well. Not too shabby a result for an afternoon stroll by a mountain lake.”
    See more at: http://www.astrobio.net/topic/.....w3c3A.dpuf

  4. 4
    Zachriel says:

    ppolish: Just to be clear: finding an organism that didn’t need phosphorus, that used arsenic instead, would be one of the most significant scientific discoveries of all time.

    The claim has been contradicted by further investigation. Erb et al., GFAJ-1 Is an Arsenate-Resistant, Phosphate-Dependent Organism, Science 2012: “we conclude that GFAJ-1 is an arsenate-resistant, but still a phosphate-dependent, bacterium.”

  5. 5
    ppolish says:

    Zachriel, do you think Common Descent is a universal property? Each planet with life will have its own CD?

  6. 6
    Virgil Cain says:

    At least the host star isn’t a red dwarf. And there is a huge difference between being able to support life and being able to support technologically capable life.

  7. 7
    Zachriel says:

    ppolish: Each planet with life will have its own CD?

    Possibly. While life may have started many times, one or another lineage will tend to reach fixation.

  8. 8
    ppolish says:

    This earth-like planet has stronger gravity and is 2 billions earth years older than Earth. So, “Take me to your leader” will get you….

    I’m guessing miniature hyper-intelligent reptilian-brained mini-Dinos. Feathered. Will get very angry when “I Love Lucy” broadcasts reach them in about 1350 earth years. Why would they get angry? Don’t ask me, ask those mini Dinos.

  9. 9
    Mapou says:

    Since Singularitarians and other evolutionist/materialist bozos believe that the contents of their brains and their consciousnesses can be transferred into a computer where they can live forever in eternal geek bliss, why should they expect only carbon-based life in the universe? Silicon-based life should be just as prolific as carbon units, assuming, of course, that most intelligent civilizations have already evolved past the carbon phase. Never mind that, after brain uploading, they had to murder all the worthless carbon units in order to prevent consciousness duplication and obtain immortality.

    All this chicken feather voodoo science is very entertaining and pathetic at the same time.

  10. 10
    KevNick says:

    NASA really needed this one as Obama admin is more and more reluctant to sponsor mediocre projects that have no benefits to society except big corporations….

    I don’t think this is going to save NASA as Obama several times tried to scrap it because the Russians are not investing in this crap and Americans couldn’t convince the Chinese to invest the space race…. If NASA doesn’t find a well competing team or some aliens soon, they are dead meat….

  11. 11
    bornagain77 says:

    As pointed out previously, the odds of finding a planet able to support life, particularly intelligent life, are ‘astronomical’:

    Linked from Appendix C from Dr. Ross’s book, ‘Why the Universe Is the Way It Is’;
    Probability for occurrence of all 816 parameters approx. equals 10^-1333
    dependency factors estimate approx. equals 10^324
    longevity requirements estimate approx. equals 10^45
    Probability for occurrence of all 816 parameters approx. equals 10^-1054
    Maximum possible number of life support bodies in observable universe approx. equals 10^22

    Thus, less than 1 chance in 10^1032 exists that even one such life-support body would occur anywhere in the universe without invoking divine miracles.

    Hugh Ross – Evidence For Intelligent Design Is Everywhere (10^-1054) – video

    But the Privileged Planet hypothesis is a bit more nuanced than just finding the probability of a life supporting planet in the universe. The Privileged Planet hypothesis, besides pointing out the rarity of conditions necessary for a planet to support intelligent life, also holds that any planet able to support intelligent life in the universe will also be ‘privileged’ for making observations of the universe.

    The very conditions that make Earth hospitable to intelligent life also make it well suited to viewing and analyzing the universe as a whole.
    – Jay Richards

    “The same narrow circumstances that allow us to exist also provide us with the best over all conditions for making scientific discoveries.”
    “The one place that has observers is the one place that also has perfect solar eclipses.”
    – Guillermo Gonzalez – Astronomer – The Privileged Planet – The Correlation Of Habitability and Observability

    The Privileged Planet (refutation of mediocrity principle) – video playlist

    Robin Collins was able to use the Privileged Planet hypothesis to make a correct prediction concerning the light coming to us from the Cosmic Background Radiation (CMB).

    The Fine-Tuning for Discoverability – Robin Collins – March 22, 2014
    Excerpt: Examples of fine – tuning for discoverability.
    The most dramatic confirmation of the discoverability/livability optimality thesis (DLO) is the dependence of the Cosmic Microwave Background Radiation (CMB) on the baryon to photon ratio.,,,
    …the intensity of CMB depends on the photon to baryon ratio, (??b), which is the ratio of the average number of photons per unit volume of space to the average number of baryons (protons plus neutrons) per unit volume. At present this ratio is approximately a billion to one (10^9) , but it could be anywhere from one to infinity; it traces back to the degree of asymmetry in matter and anti – matter right after the beginning of the universe – for approximately every billion particles of antimatter, there was a billion and one particles of matter.,,,
    The only livability effect this ratio has is on whether or not galaxies can form that have near – optimally livability zones. As long as this condition is met, the value of this ratio has no further effects on livability. Hence, the DLO predicts that within this range, the value of this ratio will be such as to maximize the intensity of the CMB as observed by typical observers.
    According to my calculations – which have been verified by three other physicists — to within the margin of error of the experimentally determined parameters (~20%), the value of the photon to baryon ratio is such that it maximizes the CMB. This is shown in Figure 1 below. (pg. 13)
    It is easy to see that this prediction could have been disconfirmed. In fact, when I first made the calculations in the fall of 2011, I made a mistake and thought I had refuted this thesis since those calculations showed the intensity of the CMB maximizes at a value different than the photon – baryon ratio in our universe. So, not only does the DLO lead us to expect this ratio, but it provides an ultimate explanation for why it has this value,,, This is a case of a teleological thesis serving both a predictive and an ultimate explanatory role.,,,

    Moreover, besides the light from the CMB being ‘privileged’ for observers like us to discover, there are a few more anomalies in the CMB that strongly suggest that the earth is indeed ‘privileged’:

    Why is the solar system cosmically aligned? BY Dragan Huterer – 2007
    The solar system seems to line up with the largest cosmic features. Is this mere coincidence or a signpost to deeper insights?
    Caption under figure on page 43:
    ODD ALIGNMENTS hide within the multipoles of the cosmic microwave background. In this combination of the quadrupole and octopole, a plane bisects the sphere between the largest warm and cool lobes. The ecliptic — the plane of Earth’s orbit projected onto the celestial sphere — is aligned parallel to the plane between the lobes.

    Here is the actual graph of the solar system’s alignment with the CMBR from Huterer’s 2007 paper. As they say, the picture is worth a thousand words:

    Of note: The preceding article by Huterer was written before the Planck data (it was written with WMPA & COBE data), but the multipoles observed were actually verified by the more robust Planck data in 2013.

    A Large Scale Pattern from Optical Quasar Polarization Vectors – 2013

    Testing the Dipole Modulation Model in CMBR – 2013

    Ecliptic alignment of cosmic microwave background anisotropy
    Some anomalies in the background radiation have been reported which are aligned with the plane of the Solar System, which contradicts the Copernican principle by suggesting that the Solar System’s alignment is special.[11] Land and Magueijo dubbed this alignment the “axis of evil” owing to the implications for current models of the cosmos,[12]
    10 Anthony Challinor (2012). “CMB anisotropy science: A review”. v1. arXiv:1210.6008 [astro-ph.CO].
    11 Mariano, A.; Perivolaropoulos, L. (2013). “CMB maximum temperature asymmetry axis: Alignment with other cosmic asymmetries”. Physical Review D 87 (4). arXiv:1211.5915. Bibcode:2013PhRvD..87d3511M. doi:10.1103/PhysRevD.87.043511. edit
    12 Land, Kate; João Magueijo, João (2005). “Examination of Evidence for a Preferred Axis in the Cosmic Radiation Anisotropy”. Physical Review Letters 95 (7). arXiv:astro-ph/0502237. Bibcode:2005PhRvL..95g1301L. doi:10.1103/PhysRevLett.95.071301.

  12. 12
    bornagain77 says:

    Planck reveals an almost perfect Universe (Disconfirms inflationary models) – video
    Quote at 2:00 minute mark: “What’s surprising in Planck’s latest findings and is inconsistent with prevailing theories, is the presence of unexpected large scale anomalies in the sky. Including a large cold region. Stronger fluctuations in one half of the sky than the other. And less light signals than expected across the entire sky.”
    Planck spokesman: “When we look at only the large features on this (CMBR) map you find that our find that our best fitting theory (inflation) has a problem fitting the data.”
    “Planck launched in 2009,, is the 3rd mission to study the Cosmic Microwave Background to date. While these unusual features in the sky were hinted at the two previous US missions, COBE and WMAP, Planck’s ability to measure the tiniest of fluctuations in the Cosmic Microwave Background has made these so called anomalies impossible to ignore.”
    Planck spokesman: “Because of these features that we are finding in the sky, people really are in a situation now where they cannot ignore them any more. ,,, We’ve established them (the anomalies) as fact!”.

    Moreover, besides the solar system, the earth’s rotation also seems to uniquely line up with “anisotropies in the sky distributions of powerful extended quasars and some other sub-classes of radio galaxies”. Particularly as they relate to a plane passing through the two equinoxes and the north celestial pole.

    Is there a violation of the Copernican principle in radio sky? – Ashok K. Singal – May 17, 2013
    Abstract: Cosmic Microwave Background Radiation (CMBR) observations from the WMAP satellite have shown some unexpected anisotropies (directionally dependent observations), which surprisingly seem to be aligned with the ecliptic\cite {20,16,15}. The latest data from the Planck satellite have confirmed the presence of these anisotropies\cite {17}. Here we report even larger anisotropies in the sky distributions of powerful extended quasars and some other sub-classes of radio galaxies in the 3CRR catalogue, one of the oldest and most intensively studies sample of strong radio sources\cite{21,22,3}. The anisotropies lie about a plane passing through the two equinoxes and the north celestial pole (NCP). We can rule out at a 99.995% confidence level the hypothesis that these asymmetries are merely due to statistical fluctuations. Further, even the distribution of observed radio sizes of quasars and radio galaxies show large systematic differences between these two sky regions. The redshift distribution appear to be very similar in both regions of sky for all sources, which rules out any local effects to be the cause of these anomalies. Two pertinent questions then arise. First, why should there be such large anisotropies present in the sky distribution of some of the most distant discrete sources implying inhomogeneities in the universe at very large scales (covering a fraction of the universe)? What is intriguing even further is why such anisotropies should lie about a great circle decided purely by the orientation of earth’s rotation axis and/or the axis of its revolution around the sun? It looks as if these axes have a preferential placement in the larger scheme of things, implying an apparent breakdown of the Copernican principle or its more generalization, cosmological principle, upon which all modern cosmological theories are based upon.

    As well, the chemistry of the universe is ‘set up’ to be of maximum benefit for intelligent life such as ourselves:

    Privileged Species – How the cosmos is designed for human life – video

    Dr. Michael Denton Interview
    Excerpt Question 14: 14. Q: ,,,you also detail that nature isn’t fine-tuned for just any kind of life, but life specifically like human life. Would you expound on this for our readers?
    A: there are certain elements of the fine-tuning which are clearly for advanced being like ourselves.
    We are warm-blooded, terrestrial aerobes; we use oxidation to get energy, we’re warm-blooded and we breathe air. We get our oxygen from the air. First of all, a warm-blooded organism needs to maintain a constant temperature. To do that we are massively assisted by the high specific heat of water, which buffers our body against rapid changes in temperature. In getting rid of excess heat, we utilize the evaporative cooling of water. That’s why dog’s pant, we sweat, etc. Warm-blooded organisms have to get rid of excess heat, and the evaporative cooling of water is the only way you’ve really got to get rid of heat when the temperature reaches close to body temperature. When it’s hot you can’t radiate off body heat to the environment.
    These critical thermal properties are obviously of great utility to air breathing, warm-blooded organisms like our self. But what relevance do they have to an extremophile living in the deep ocean, or a cold-blooded fish living in the sea? It’s obvious that these are elements of fitness in nature which seem to be of great and specific utility to beings like us, and very little utility to a lot of other organisms. Of course it is the case that they are playing a role in maintaining the constancy of global climate, the physical and chemical constancy of the hydrosphere and so forth. No doubt the evaporative cooling of water plays a big role in climatic amelioration; it transfers heat from the tropics to the higher latitudes and this is of utility for all life on earth. But definitely water’s thermal properties seem particularly fit for advanced organisms of biology close to our own.,,,

    The Place of Life and Man in Nature: Defending the Anthropocentric Thesis – Michael J. Denton – February 25, 2013
    Summary (page 11)
    Many of the properties of the key members of Henderson’s vital ensemble —water, oxygen, CO2, HCO3 —are in several instances fit specifically for warm-blooded, air-breathing organisms such as ourselves. These include the thermal properties of water, its low viscosity, the gaseous nature of oxygen and CO2 at ambient temperatures, the inertness of oxygen at ambient temperatures, and the bicarbonate buffer, with its anomalous pKa value and the elegant means of acid-base regulation it provides for air-breathing organisms. Some of their properties are irrelevant to other classes of organisms or even maladaptive.
    It is very hard to believe there could be a similar suite of fitness for advanced carbon-based life forms. If carbon-based life is all there is, as seems likely, then the design of any active complex terrestrial being would have to closely resemble our own. Indeed the suite of properties of water, oxygen, and CO2 together impose such severe constraints on the design and functioning of the respiratory and cardiovascular systems that their design, even down to the details of capillary and alveolar structure can be inferred from first principles. For complex beings of high metabolic rate, the designs actualized in complex Terran forms are all that can be. There are no alternative physiological designs in the domain of carbon-based life that can achieve the high metabolic activity manifest in man and other higher organisms.

    The following site is also very interesting to the topic of the centrality of human observers in the universe;

    The Scale of The Universe – Part 2 – interactive graph (recently updated in 2012 with cool features)

    The preceding interactive graph and video points out that the smallest scale visible to the human eye (as well as a human egg) is at 10^-4 meters, which ‘just so happens’ to be directly in the exponential center of all possible sizes of our physical reality. As far as the exponential graph itself is concerned, 10^-4 is, exponentially, right in the middle of 10^-35 meters, which is the smallest possible unit of length, which is Planck length, and 10^27 meters, which is the largest possible unit of ‘observable’ length since space-time was created in the Big Bang, which is the diameter of the universe. This is very interesting for, as far as I can tell, the limits to human vision (as well as the size of the human egg) could have, theoretically, been at very different positions than directly in the exponential middle.

    Verse and Music:

    Colossians 1:15-20
    The Son is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him. He is before all things, and in him all things hold together. And he is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything he might have the supremacy. For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross.

    Brooke Fraser – Hillsong: “Lord Of Lords” – music

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