PDA

View Full Version : ancient planet found


PCportinc
July 11th 03, 05:34 PM
http://science.nasa.gov/headlines/y2003/10jul_psrplanet.htm

thats nice and exciting to hear. However, if there was intelligent
life on it that would've given the aliens 13B years to settle the galaxy,
perhaps even our own solar system. Surely, they would've found a
way to travel at or close to the speed of light. We simply see no
signs of them or their legacy. No probes, no radio transmissions,
no visitations. In fact, if there was any intelligent life in this or in any
other galaxy, 15B years is long enough for perhaps millions of them
to roam the universe and leave signs saying "I wuz here".

BenignVanilla
July 11th 03, 05:45 PM
"PCportinc" > wrote in message
...
> http://science.nasa.gov/headlines/y2003/10jul_psrplanet.htm
>
> thats nice and exciting to hear. However, if there was intelligent
> life on it that would've given the aliens 13B years to settle the galaxy,
> perhaps even our own solar system. Surely, they would've found a
> way to travel at or close to the speed of light. We simply see no
> signs of them or their legacy. No probes, no radio transmissions,
> no visitations. In fact, if there was any intelligent life in this or in
any
> other galaxy, 15B years is long enough for perhaps millions of them
> to roam the universe and leave signs saying "I wuz here".

I have often had the same thought. We should be finding alien beer cans and
cigarette butts all over the place. Then the Devil's Advocate on my shoulder
jumps up and reminds me that we can't compare other civilizations to ours.
For all we know, they have cleaned up there remains, because we can't handle
the truth.

BV.

Arth6831
July 11th 03, 06:40 PM
i love it...they estimate it is 13 billion yrs old....which is what "experts"
now claim is the age of the universe.....so it was created in the big bang??? i
think not.....this is more ammunition for us who say fred hoyle was right and
it was formed in a previous cycle or oscillation....art swanson

BenignVanilla
July 11th 03, 07:23 PM
"Arth6831" > wrote in message
...
> i love it...they estimate it is 13 billion yrs old....which is what
"experts"
> now claim is the age of the universe.....so it was created in the big
bang??? i
> think not.....this is more ammunition for us who say fred hoyle was right
and
> it was formed in a previous cycle or oscillation....art swanson

Arth, as I understand it the 13-15 billion light year age that is often
quoted, is the "age" of our visible sphere of the universe. The Universe
could and probably is much older then this, it's just that our current
capabilities only allow us to see up to that 13-15 billion mark. So if they
did find a planet that is 13-15 billion, it still fits in with current
models.

BV.

PCportinc
July 12th 03, 04:37 AM
>
>The problem with us simple earth creatures is that we look at things
>in terms of what we currently understand.

if we land on Mars and discover worms it would be very exciting. It was
exciting to find stone age people in Africa and Asia. Why wouldnt aliens
13Billions years more advanced than us be excited about finding a species
possessing space flight, nuclear weapons, radio, and Pam Anderson?

WHY AINT THEY HERE?

mumblin-joe
July 12th 03, 11:09 AM
My question is that we see something that is 13-15 billion light years away.
That means it took 13-15 billion light years for the light from that object
to reach our grasp. Who to say there isnt something that is 20-or more
billion light years away whose light has not yet reached our grasp and won't
for another 5 to 7 billion light years or until we are able to gather more
light. We tend to think that our limitations to gather light from the
greatest distances sets the standard for the universes age, but our
limitations have nothing to do with what is reality. In a few years as our
technology increases as does our ability to gather light or infrared imagery
then all of the sudden the age of the universe increases, but the age of the
universe hasn't increased much just our technology has... Does this make
much sense?
just my thoughts and no I'm not stoned! :0)

"BenignVanilla" > wrote in message
...
> "Arth6831" > wrote in message
> ...
> > i love it...they estimate it is 13 billion yrs old....which is what
> "experts"
> > now claim is the age of the universe.....so it was created in the big
> bang??? i
> > think not.....this is more ammunition for us who say fred hoyle was
right
> and
> > it was formed in a previous cycle or oscillation....art swanson
>
> Arth, as I understand it the 13-15 billion light year age that is often
> quoted, is the "age" of our visible sphere of the universe. The Universe
> could and probably is much older then this, it's just that our current
> capabilities only allow us to see up to that 13-15 billion mark. So if
they
> did find a planet that is 13-15 billion, it still fits in with current
> models.
>
> BV.
>
>

G=EMC^2 Glazier
July 12th 03, 01:12 PM
It shows what a great telescope the Hubble is I knew it was
good,but to pick out a planet some 12 billion light years away is
amazing. PBS had an astronomer discussing this ancient planet,but I
missed most of what he had to say. Seems the planet was part of a
binary system,and the planet was bigger than Jupiter. I can't
imagine the Hubble picking out Binary systems at such great distances.
Bert

Shadowolf
July 12th 03, 06:34 PM
From what I've read, the planet is just 5,600 Light Years away - but that
doesn't make the Hubble any less of an achievement.

If only the mirror had been made correctly in the first place so they didn't
have to remove a the promising Faint Object Camera and some other bits.


"G=EMC^2 Glazier" > wrote in message
...
> It shows what a great telescope the Hubble is I knew it was
> good,but to pick out a planet some 12 billion light years away is
> amazing. PBS had an astronomer discussing this ancient planet,but I
> missed most of what he had to say. Seems the planet was part of a
> binary system,and the planet was bigger than Jupiter. I can't
> imagine the Hubble picking out Binary systems at such great distances.
> Bert
>

David Knisely
July 12th 03, 07:29 PM
Bert once again posted more incorrect stuff:

> It shows what a great telescope the Hubble is I knew it was
> good,but to pick out a planet some 12 billion light years away is
> amazing.

It isn't 12 billion light years away. It is 5,600 light years away in
the globular cluster M4.
--
David W. Knisely
Prairie Astronomy Club: http://www.prairieastronomyclub.org
Hyde Memorial Observatory: http://www.hydeobservatory.info/

**********************************************
* Attend the 10th Annual NEBRASKA STAR PARTY *
* July 27-Aug. 1st, 2003, Merritt Reservoir *
* http://www.NebraskaStarParty.org *
**********************************************

Greg Neill
July 12th 03, 08:19 PM
"mumblin-joe" > wrote in message
...
> My question is that we see something that is 13-15 billion light years away.
> That means it took 13-15 billion light years for the light from that object
> to reach our grasp. Who to say there isnt something that is 20-or more
> billion light years away whose light has not yet reached our grasp and won't
> for another 5 to 7 billion light years or until we are able to gather more
> light. We tend to think that our limitations to gather light from the
> greatest distances sets the standard for the universes age, but our
> limitations have nothing to do with what is reality. In a few years as our
> technology increases as does our ability to gather light or infrared imagery
> then all of the sudden the age of the universe increases, but the age of the
> universe hasn't increased much just our technology has... Does this make
> much sense?
> just my thoughts and no I'm not stoned! :0)

We've already seen back as far as can be seen; WMAP has
imaged the surface of last scattering of the early
universe, before which it is entirely opaque.

More than just imaging the furthest objects is involved
in dating the universe. Given what we do see, a backwards
extrapolation of the motions of it all has the whole lot
coming together to a single spot some 13.5 billion years
in the past.

Even so, there's little doubt that there exists more of
the universe beyond our little 13.5 billion light year
horizon. In fact, it is thought that the universe is
immensly larger than our little observable patch. But
it is also true that we should never be able to see it.
You see, as the universe expands, the further away things
are the faster they are receeding. At some given distance,
the rate at which things recede equals and then exceed
the speed of light. Any light emitted by objects beyond
that radius can never reach us.

G=EMC^2 Glazier
July 12th 03, 11:56 PM
Hi Greg The universe has a man made horizon,and can only move further
from earth much like you say as our detecting photons gets better and
better. A theory that claims the universe is trillions,and trillions of
light years in size is just as good as mine,and I feel the universe is
22 billion LY. (go figure) Bert

G=EMC^2 Glazier
July 13th 03, 12:28 AM
David I don't think we are talking about the same planet. How can 5600
LY away make a planet ancient? Read Greg's post has the planet more than
13 billion LY away. That is an ancient planet.That is the one posted.
Whip the egg of your face. Think just for once. You might find it comes
in handy. Bert

Bob Doyle
July 13th 03, 01:28 AM
"PCportinc" > wrote in message
...
> >
> >The problem with us simple earth creatures is that we look at things
> >in terms of what we currently understand.
>
> if we land on Mars and discover worms it would be very exciting. It was
> exciting to find stone age people in Africa and Asia. Why wouldnt aliens
> 13Billions years more advanced than us be excited about finding a species
> possessing space flight, nuclear weapons, radio, and Pam Anderson?
>
> WHY AINT THEY HERE?

Who says they ain't? Dennis Rodman? Some disguise. (apologies to MIB)

Or who says they weren't? Who taught the Mayans? What do the pyramids point
at?

Who says were not really them, anyway? We are star stuff, are we not?

You got me on the Pamel question, though ;D

I ran into these people years ago, it explains it better than I can:

http://www.alienlogo.com/

Bob Doyle

mumblin-joe
July 13th 03, 05:43 AM
so if the furthest object that can be seen is 13-15 billion light years away
and is receding at light speed, then wouldnt what we see now that is 13-15
billion light years away have been there 13-15 billion light years ago and
now be 26-30 billion light years away? That would assume that we are of
course not moving away from it... or is it moving away from us at half the
speed of light as we move away from it at half the speed of light making it
appear to be moving away at the speed of light?
and why do we always have to be in the middle? with everything moving away
from us or 15 billion light years in all directions? is it mans ego still
refusing to believe that it all doesnt revolve around us? and how do we not
know that objects that are beyond the 15 billion light year limit arent
slowing down or have been slowing down to the speed of light or less and we
simply haven't had sufficient time (billions of light years) to see the
effects of their slowing down. I can conceptualize that the furthest objects
are moving in an opposite direction from us, but wouldnt that put the origin
in the center and not us?


"Bob Doyle" > wrote in message
...
> "mumblin-joe" > wrote in message
> ...
> > My question is that we see something that is 13-15 billion light years
> away.
> > That means it took 13-15 billion light years for the light from that
> object
> > to reach our grasp. Who to say there isnt something that is 20-or more
> > billion light years away whose light has not yet reached our grasp and
> won't
> > for another 5 to 7 billion light years or until we are able to gather
more
> > light. We tend to think that our limitations to gather light from the
> > greatest distances sets the standard for the universes age, but our
> > limitations have nothing to do with what is reality. In a few years as
our
> > technology increases as does our ability to gather light or infrared
> imagery
> > then all of the sudden the age of the universe increases, but the age of
> the
> > universe hasn't increased much just our technology has... Does this make
> > much sense?
> > just my thoughts and no I'm not stoned! :0)
>
> Didn't seem to hurt Carl Sagan, eh? But to your question. I'm only a
> stargazer, not much more. But the 13-15 LY thing can be explained (rather
> well by others) in terms of speed of light issues. Let me see if I can
type
> it out for you.
>
> Nah, I am a little stoned, so I'll just cut and paste some John Dobson for
> you.
>
> "The observable Universe has a border, some fifteen billion light years
> distant in all directions, imposed on us by what is called "the
expansion."
> It is imposed on the observer by the fact that all the distant objects
> appear to be moving away. At some fifteen billion light years from us (at
> the present apparent rate of expansion), they are estimated to be receding
> at the speed of light. It is this apparent" expansion" that imposes a
border
> to the observable Universe because things receding faster than the speed
of
> light are not observable. And if the rate of expansion were increased, the
> border would of course be closer."
>
> Source: http://www.johndobson.org/articles/by/entropy.html
>
> Bob Doyle
>
>

David Knisely
July 13th 03, 06:02 AM
Bert posted:

> David I don't think we are talking about the same planet. How can 5600
> LY away make a planet ancient? Read Greg's post has the planet more than
> 13 billion LY away.

No, you need to *read* the thread more carefully. Greg Neil's posting
said *nothing* about the planet. It stated:

> We've already seen back as far as can be seen; WMAP has
> imaged the surface of last scattering of the early
> universe, before which it is entirely opaque.
>
> More than just imaging the furthest objects is involved
> in dating the universe. Given what we do see, a backwards
> extrapolation of the motions of it all has the whole lot
> coming together to a single spot some 13.5 billion years
> in the past.
>
> Even so, there's little doubt that there exists more of
> the universe beyond our little 13.5 billion light year
> horizon. In fact, it is thought that the universe is
> immensly larger than our little observable patch. But
> it is also true that we should never be able to see it.
> You see, as the universe expands, the further away things
> are the faster they are receeding. At some given distance,
> the rate at which things recede equals and then exceed
> the speed of light. Any light emitted by objects beyond
> that radius can never reach us.

Gred doesn't even mention the word "planet. He only talks about the
observable limit of the universe (13.5 billion light years). The
original posting which started all this contains a reference to the
allegedly ancient planet discovered in orbit about a double star (a
neutron star and a white dwarf) in the globular cluster M4. The article
can be found at:
http://science.nasa.gov/headlines/y2003/10jul_psrplanet.htm

It clearly states that: "The planet lies near the core of the ancient
globular star cluster M4, located 5,600 light-years away in the
northern-summer constellation Scorpius"

Globular clusters are some of the oldest collections of stars in our
universe, with some dating back to the birth of our galaxy. Just
because something is only 5,600 light years away doesn't necessarily
mean that it can't be fairly old.

> Whip the egg of your face. Think just for once. You might find it comes
> in handy.

Why don't YOU read things carefully enough. You appear to be the one
with egg on your face, as is shown by one other person (Shadowolf) who
also spotted your mistake.


--
David W. Knisely
Prairie Astronomy Club: http://www.prairieastronomyclub.org
Hyde Memorial Observatory: http://www.hydeobservatory.info/

**********************************************
* Attend the 10th Annual NEBRASKA STAR PARTY *
* July 27-Aug. 1st, 2003, Merritt Reservoir *
* http://www.NebraskaStarParty.org *
**********************************************

David Knisely
July 13th 03, 06:19 AM
Bert, go read this article and them maybe you will understand.

http://SkyandTelescope.com/news/article_1001_1.asp
--
David W. Knisely
Prairie Astronomy Club: http://www.prairieastronomyclub.org
Hyde Memorial Observatory: http://www.hydeobservatory.info/

**********************************************
* Attend the 10th Annual NEBRASKA STAR PARTY *
* July 27-Aug. 1st, 2003, Merritt Reservoir *
* http://www.NebraskaStarParty.org *
**********************************************

Jonathan Silverlight
July 13th 03, 08:46 AM
In message >, Bob Doyle
> writes
>"mumblin-joe" > wrote in message
...
>> My question is that we see something that is 13-15 billion light years
>away.
>> That means it took 13-15 billion light years for the light from that
>object
>> to reach our grasp. Who to say there isnt something that is 20-or more
>> billion light years away whose light has not yet reached our grasp and
>won't
>> for another 5 to 7 billion light years or until we are able to gather more
>> light. We tend to think that our limitations to gather light from the
>> greatest distances sets the standard for the universes age, but our
>> limitations have nothing to do with what is reality. In a few years as our
>> technology increases as does our ability to gather light or infrared
>imagery
>> then all of the sudden the age of the universe increases, but the age of
>the
>> universe hasn't increased much just our technology has... Does this make
>> much sense?
>> just my thoughts and no I'm not stoned! :0)
>
>Didn't seem to hurt Carl Sagan, eh? But to your question. I'm only a
>stargazer, not much more. But the 13-15 LY thing can be explained (rather
>well by others) in terms of speed of light issues. Let me see if I can type
>it out for you.
>
>Nah, I am a little stoned, so I'll just cut and paste some John Dobson for
>you.
>
>"The observable Universe has a border, some fifteen billion light years
>distant in all directions, imposed on us by what is called "the expansion."
>It is imposed on the observer by the fact that all the distant objects
>appear to be moving away. At some fifteen billion light years from us (at
>the present apparent rate of expansion), they are estimated to be receding
>at the speed of light. It is this apparent" expansion" that imposes a border
>to the observable Universe because things receding faster than the speed of
>light are not observable. And if the rate of expansion were increased, the
>border would of course be closer."

Which is still totally irrelevant to the planet in M4. That's a globular
cluster orbiting "our" galaxy and it's only a few thousand light years
away. This thing is 13 billion years old "now" - whatever that means..
--
"Roads in space for rockets to travel....four-dimensional roads, curving with
relativity"
Mail to jsilverlight AT merseia.fsnet.co.uk is welcome.
Or visit Jonathan's Space Site http://www.merseia.fsnet.co.uk

Jon
July 14th 03, 06:49 AM
How do astronomer's determine the age of stellar objects? I had someone ask
and I told them I am not an astrophysicist and they discounted the whole
story based on my lack of understanding.
--
JON BOURGEOIS

"PCportinc" > wrote in message
...
> http://science.nasa.gov/headlines/y2003/10jul_psrplanet.htm
>
> thats nice and exciting to hear. However, if there was intelligent
> life on it that would've given the aliens 13B years to settle the galaxy,
> perhaps even our own solar system. Surely, they would've found a
> way to travel at or close to the speed of light. We simply see no
> signs of them or their legacy. No probes, no radio transmissions,
> no visitations. In fact, if there was any intelligent life in this or in
any
> other galaxy, 15B years is long enough for perhaps millions of them
> to roam the universe and leave signs saying "I wuz here".
>
>
>

Jon
July 14th 03, 05:35 PM
Ok, give me the technical reason how they determined all the stars are the
same age. What is done to determine this? I know the red-shift method is
used to determine mass and elemental make-up, but how is age determined?

--
JON BOURGEOIS

"Mike Bandy" > wrote in message
...
> On Mon, 14 Jul 2003 05:49:52 GMT, "Jon" > wrote:
>
> >How do astronomer's determine the age of stellar objects? I had someone
ask
> >and I told them I am not an astrophysicist and they discounted the whole
> >story based on my lack of understanding.
>
> QUOTE
>
> "All of the stars in this cluster are about the same age, so the
> presumption is that the planet is that age also," Harvey Richer, an
> astronomer at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada,
> said at a NASA news conference.
>
> END QUOTE
>
> http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,91643,00.html
>
> --
> Mike Bandy
>

Mike Bandy
July 15th 03, 07:39 AM
On Mon, 14 Jul 2003 16:35:35 GMT, "Jon" > wrote:

>Ok, give me the technical reason how they determined all the stars are the
>same age. What is done to determine this? I know the red-shift method is
>used to determine mass and elemental make-up, but how is age determined?

The explanation needs to come from someone more knowledgeable than I,
but here's a starting point.

QUOTE from http://itss.raytheon.com/cafe/qadir/q1591.html

The ages of stars are determined by knowing their current surface
temperatures, luminosities and masses. The masses allow astronomers to
compute from the Theory of Stellar Evolution, how rapidly the star can
evolve in temperature and luminosity as it burns various fusion
'fuels' in its core. The current luminosity and temperature then
pinpoints a particular evolutionary stage in these models. The age of
the star is then estimated from the theoretical evolutionary models
appropriate to the star's mass. A second important parameter in this
calculation is the 'metalicity' of the star which is simply how
abundant the elements heavier than helium are in the star relative to
hydrogen. Other affects that influence the stellar age calculations
are the detailed mechanisms occurring within the star to transport
energy from the core to the surface (convection and radiative
transport) and the degree of rotation of the star.

END QUOTE

QUOTE from http://stardate.utexas.edu/pr/pages/20020107_Sneden.html

To work out the Galaxy's element-formation history, Sneden studies the
oldest stars in the Milky Way. To find the ages of his target stars,
he uses a sleuthing method usually known for its archeological
applications: the radioactive decay of elements. Sneden focuses on
extremely heavy elements like precious metals, lead, europium, barium,
and thorium.

"For example, we can detect thorium in the earliest stars," he said.
"Thorium has a half-life of 14 billion years. So we observe how much
thorium the star has now, and compare that to how much we think it was
born with. Thus, we have a clock," Sneden said. "This method gives us
the ages of these stars directly: 12 to 16 billion years. These
numbers are very similar to what other scientists are saying is the
age of the Galaxy."

Sneden then compares the amounts of different heavy elements in these
old stars. These heavy elements are made by two distinct processes, so
such comparisons offer a unique way to gain insight into exactly how
elements formed early in our galaxy. "All of the elements of the
Periodic Table heavier than iron are mostly made in what are called
neutron bombardment reactions," Sneden said. "That means adding
neutrons to the nucleus of an atom to make a different, heavier
isotope." There are two ways this can happen. In each case, there must
be a source of free neutrons.

END QUOTE

--
Mike Bandy

G=EMC^2 Glazier
July 20th 03, 02:56 PM
Seems Rock planets(like the earth),and gas planets(like jupiter) can
last longer than stars. I would think a rock planet could last
longer than a gas planet. It really all comes from the rate of radiation
created by the pressure force of gravity. Jupiter being so massive has
to be shrinking,and that is why it is radiating. Rock planets don't
shrink. The only think they radiate is a field because of their motion
through space. Someday soon astronomers will study planets much older
than their assessment of the age of the universe,and that will tell them
something Much like some meteors are older than the solar system.
Bert

G=EMC^2 Glazier
July 22nd 03, 08:47 PM
Hi Painius When thinking about size,and age of our universe,always
think very big,and the best theories will just be just behind. The fact
that protons(heavy matter particles) don't seem to decay has a lot to
tell us. Without radiating lots of energy large solid objects are here
to stay.(cool is better than hot). The universe as of now has a temp. of
2.7 K That tells me it is decaying(radiating) at a very slow rate,and
will be around for another trillion trillion,and one more trillion years
(why not) Bert

BenignVanilla
July 22nd 03, 09:28 PM
"G=EMC^2 Glazier" > wrote in message
...
> Hi Painius When thinking about size,and age of our universe,always
> think very big,and the best theories will just be just behind. The fact
> that protons(heavy matter particles) don't seem to decay has a lot to
> tell us. Without radiating lots of energy large solid objects are here
> to stay.(cool is better than hot). The universe as of now has a temp. of
> 2.7 K That tells me it is decaying(radiating) at a very slow rate,and
> will be around for another trillion trillion,and one more trillion years
> (why not) Bert


oooh...but where is it radiating to?

BV.

Richard Hunt
August 1st 03, 11:04 AM
In article >, BenignVanilla wrote:
> "PCportinc" > wrote in message
> ...
>> http://science.nasa.gov/headlines/y2003/10jul_psrplanet.htm
>>
>> thats nice and exciting to hear. However, if there was intelligent
>> life on it that would've given the aliens 13B years to settle the galaxy,
>> perhaps even our own solar system. Surely, they would've found a
>> way to travel at or close to the speed of light. We simply see no
>> signs of them or their legacy. No probes, no radio transmissions,
>> no visitations. In fact, if there was any intelligent life in this or in
> any
>> other galaxy, 15B years is long enough for perhaps millions of them
>> to roam the universe and leave signs saying "I wuz here".
>
> I have often had the same thought. We should be finding alien beer cans and
> cigarette butts all over the place. Then the Devil's Advocate on my shoulder
> jumps up and reminds me that we can't compare other civilizations to ours.
> For all we know, they have cleaned up there remains, because we can't handle
> the truth.
>
> BV.
>
>

Richard Hunt
August 1st 03, 11:25 AM
In article >, David Knisely wrote:
> Bert posted:
>
>> David I don't think we are talking about the same planet. How can 5600
>> LY away make a planet ancient? Read Greg's post has the planet more than
>> 13 billion LY away.
>
> No, you need to *read* the thread more carefully. Greg Neil's posting
> said *nothing* about the planet. It stated:

[snip]

> Why don't YOU read things carefully enough. You appear to be the one
> with egg on your face, as is shown by one other person (Shadowolf) who
> also spotted your mistake.
>
>

The central part of this message is informative, and clarifies what is
written in the previous message. However, if this person is a troll,
then it is the above parts (which are not necessary in the context of
the discussion) which will provoke him. This particular message that Bert
posted was not inflamatory; it just contained an error, which you
corrected in the centre of the message.

Thanks,

--
Richard Hunt

Richard Hunt
August 1st 03, 11:52 AM
In article >, Bob Doyle wrote:
> "PCportinc" > wrote in message
> ...
>> >
>> >The problem with us simple earth creatures is that we look at things
>> >in terms of what we currently understand.
>>
>> if we land on Mars and discover worms it would be very exciting. It was
>> exciting to find stone age people in Africa and Asia. Why wouldnt aliens
>> 13Billions years more advanced than us be excited about finding a species
>> possessing space flight, nuclear weapons, radio, and Pam Anderson?
>>
>> WHY AINT THEY HERE?
>
> Who says they ain't? Dennis Rodman? Some disguise. (apologies to MIB)
>
> Or who says they weren't? Who taught the Mayans? What do the pyramids point
> at?

Why do point to the Mayans particularly? They were the last of the
worlds civilizations to appear, and by this time civilizations were not
so surprising. If there were some other race (who magically evolved on
their own?) that taught the Mayans, then why did they leave such big
gaps in their knowledge, such as a more sensible number system, or the
wheel?

Every civilization has been interested in the sky for the same reason
that we are now: it is an extremely beautiful sight, that is also
extremely obvious in a clear night sky, and it would seem stranger if
the ancient civilizations had no interest in astronomy at all.

Mainstream history can adequately describe the gradual appearance of
civilization without recourse to x-files conspiracy or erich von
daniken. We can discuss the possibility (probability?) of other
life/civilizations on other planets without these poorly composed
theories, and if we can use the scientific information that we possess,
then why do people feel such a need to resort to pseudohistory or
pseudoscience?

When I discovered this ng, I hoped that it would hold scientific
discussion about astronomy, but the majority seems to be either "Why
America never sent men to the moon", or trying to turn any discovery in
astronomy into evidence of extraterrestrial life. For the moment, the
conclusion about et life has to be that we just don't know, and that
since it doesn't matter, we can move onto discussion of things that we
/can/ say things about.

If you want to delve into elementary philosophy of science (all the
philosophy that I know :/) then one possible definition of a science is
that it is falsifiable[1]. eg, relativity is falsifiable because
observations that go against it will show that the theory must be wrong
or inaccurate. By this definition psychoanalysis is not a science,
because psychoanalysts will argue around any problems (this does not
mean that all of Freud has to be discarded, though). Erich von Daniken's
theories are another example. On the other hand, SETI practises real
science, by saying that they /believe/ that et life exists---not that it
/does/ exist---and then continuing to look for evidence. SETI should
continue, but until they, or the Mars rovers, or whatever, find some
data, we should not try to assert either way.

> Who says were not really them, anyway? We are star stuff, are we not?
>
> You got me on the Pamel question, though ;D
>
> I ran into these people years ago, it explains it better than I can:
>
> http://www.alienlogo.com/
>
> Bob Doyle
>
>

[1] I think this claim was first made by Karl Popper decades ago, so
there are no doubt various arguments for and against it. My source for
this is the OUP Very Shory Introduction to Philosophy of Science.

--
Richard Hunt

We apologize for any abuse of semicolons in this posting. Any misuse is
unintentional, and not intended to offend.

Richard Hunt
August 1st 03, 12:07 PM
In article >, Richard Hunt
wrote:
> In article >, BenignVanilla wrote:
>> "PCportinc" > wrote in message
>> ...
>>> http://science.nasa.gov/headlines/y2003/10jul_psrplanet.htm
>>>
>>> thats nice and exciting to hear. However, if there was intelligent
>>> life on it that would've given the aliens 13B years to settle the galaxy,
>>> perhaps even our own solar system. Surely, they would've found a
>>> way to travel at or close to the speed of light. We simply see no
>>> signs of them or their legacy. No probes, no radio transmissions,
>>> no visitations. In fact, if there was any intelligent life in this or in
>> any
>>> other galaxy, 15B years is long enough for perhaps millions of them
>>> to roam the universe and leave signs saying "I wuz here".
>>
>> I have often had the same thought. We should be finding alien beer cans and
>> cigarette butts all over the place. Then the Devil's Advocate on my shoulder
>> jumps up and reminds me that we can't compare other civilizations to ours.
>> For all we know, they have cleaned up there remains, because we can't handle
>> the truth.
>>
>> BV.
>>
>>
um, this wasn't meant to be empty. Must have fouled up my newsreader
somehow, sorry.

What I originally wrote was that because this star came from so long
ago, it was from an early generation system, which would not contain
many heavy elements, because these come from the remnants of novas or
supernovas (elements up to heavy metals can be created without a
supernova, after that the energy required needs a supernova). This
planet was unlikely to have formed near a SNR, and so is unlikely to
have elements heavier than hydrogen or helium (esp. missing elements
such as carbon and oxygen, which are probably essential for all forms of
life). And so there is no discussion about discovering even simple life
on this planet.

--
Richard Hunt

We apologize for any abuse of semicolons in this posting. Any misuse is
unintentional, and not intended to offend.

David Knisely
August 4th 03, 06:23 PM
Richard Hunt posted:

> This particular message that Bert
> posted was not inflamatory;

Well, part of it was, as Bert posted:

> Whip the egg of your face. Think just for once. You might find it comes
> in handy.


--
David W. Knisely
Prairie Astronomy Club: http://www.prairieastronomyclub.org
Hyde Memorial Observatory: http://www.hydeobservatory.info/

**********************************************
* Attend the 10th Annual NEBRASKA STAR PARTY *
* July 27-Aug. 1st, 2003, Merritt Reservoir *
* http://www.NebraskaStarParty.org *
**********************************************