APOD: Kepler 22b: An Almost Earth Orbiting... (2011 Dec 07)

Comments and questions about the APOD on the main view screen.
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Re: APOD: Kepler 22b: An Almost Earth Orbiting... (2011 Dec

Post by zloq » Wed Dec 07, 2011 7:47 pm

Chris Peterson wrote: The Kepler site itself calls the star Kepler 22 most of the time
This is where an example would help make your point - especially if it is "most of the time" breaking from the convention. Do you have a few examples (links) of this at a kepler.nasa.gov site, where they explicitly refer to the star alone as Kepler 22? Here is an example where they are using the convention with care, with Kepler-22 referring to the *system* and not the star:

http://kepler.nasa.gov/news/nasakeplern ... NewsID=165

I doubt there are any peer-reviewed papers that would depart from the convention either. wiki's, blogs, and news flashes might well not know the difference, though. But that's where APOD can help.

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Re: APOD: Kepler 22b: An Almost Earth Orbiting... (2011 Dec

Post by islader2 » Wed Dec 07, 2011 8:36 pm

IMHO==our moon, Luna, has been an unavoidable protector of life. Theia struck Earth at just the right low speed and the perfect angle to give us our "binary planet" configuration. Then, there is the matter of Jupiter's gravity as our aegis. [Perhaps Zeus lent his goatskin to Selene.] These are random events that have a very low potential for occurring elsewhere. So we find microbes on Kepler 22b==what do we do: what a billion years for that lifeform to evolve into devotees of "I Love Lucy"? There is no economic potential for finding life elsewhere==the quest is purely metaphysical {cosmology} intellectual curiosity. Quit posting this event as the hype that it is: People want to be able to say that extra-geal life was certified as a physical entity
in their lifetime. Give it a century to develop the technology. Thanx. :!: :!: :!: :!:

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Re: APOD: Kepler 22b: An Almost Earth Orbiting... (2011 Dec

Post by Chris Peterson » Wed Dec 07, 2011 8:57 pm

zloq wrote:This is where an example would help make your point - especially if it is "most of the time" breaking from the convention. Do you have a few examples (links) of this at a kepler.nasa.gov site, where they explicitly refer to the star alone as Kepler 22?
Here's an example at a primary site for extrasolar planet information.

Note that exoplanets.org, which is the primary database for extrasolar planets, names the star as Kepler 22. Even NASA's official Kepler list of discoveries references exoplanets.org as its source (and doesn't otherwise name the star, just the planet).
I doubt there are any peer-reviewed papers that would depart from the convention either. wiki's, blogs, and news flashes might well not know the difference, though. But that's where APOD can help.
I wouldn't be sure about that. After all, they are calling this a "planet", even though it is, by IAU convention, no such thing. I think that in a paper, unless catalog details are at issue, it is entirely possible that the star would be called the same thing as the system, Kepler 22. It would normally be obvious from the context what was being referred to. A good writer would do better to distinguish the star from the system explicitly, rather than relying on the conventions of one particular catalog, which many readers would be unfamiliar with.

I note that on the NASA Kepler site they don't seem to refer to the star as 22a. They just refer to the Kepler 22 system, or to the star in the system.
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Re: APOD: Kepler 22b: An Almost Earth Orbiting... (2011 Dec

Post by Case » Wed Dec 07, 2011 9:17 pm

islader2 wrote:Our moon, Luna, has been an unavoidable protector of life. Then, there is the matter of Jupiter's gravity as our aegis. These are random events that have a very low potential for occurring elsewhere.
Why do you think our Earth situation is so special? Lots of planets have moons. Lots of solar systems have gas giants.
islader2 wrote:So we find microbes on Kepler 22b==what do we do: what a billion years for that lifeform to evolve into devotees of "I Love Lucy"? There is no economic potential for finding life elsewhere==the quest is purely metaphysical {cosmology} intellectual curiosity.
I think it's more than that. We need to find a suitable planet to expand to. Not now, not in our lifetime, not all of us, but humanity needs more room than this overcrowded sphere we call home. If we're lucky, we'll also find an almost earth somewhat closer than 600 ly.

"I don't think the human race will survive the next thousand years, unless we spread into space. There are too many accidents that can befall life on a single planet. But I'm an optimist. We will reach out to the stars." — Stephen Hawking
I, for one, like Roman numerals.

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Re: APOD: Kepler 22b: An Almost Earth Orbiting... (2011 Dec

Post by Flase » Wed Dec 07, 2011 10:07 pm

I reckon we can look after this planet, particularly as technology increases our ability to prevent any asteroid collisions. I believe we will be actively terraforming Mars before global warming gets us, learning how to keep our own planet's temperature artificially stable. We are actually supposed to go through another ice age in the next century or so, but I don't think anybody wants that either.

We'll probably start with bases on the moon within a century...

I suppose what I'm saying is that we'd have to look to our solar system for colonisation first, since with our current knowledge of spaceship propulsion, it would take something like 100,000 years to even reach the nearest star system.

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Re: APOD: Kepler 22b: An Almost Earth Orbiting... (2011 Dec

Post by Chris Peterson » Wed Dec 07, 2011 10:32 pm

Flase wrote:I reckon we can look after this planet, particularly as technology increases our ability to prevent any asteroid collisions.
Probably.
I believe we will be actively terraforming Mars before global warming gets us, learning how to keep our own planet's temperature artificially stable.
We're probably no more than decades away from global warming "getting" us. We sure aren't going to be terraforming any other planets in that time frame.
We are actually supposed to go through another ice age in the next century or so, but I don't think anybody wants that either.
I don't think any climate scientists are predicting an ice age anytime soon.
We'll probably start with bases on the moon within a century...
Maybe. If we haven't been knocked back a few hundred years technologically, or had our economies totally ruined by environmental change.
I suppose what I'm saying is that we'd have to look to our solar system for colonisation first, since with our current knowledge of spaceship propulsion, it would take something like 100,000 years to even reach the nearest star system.
While I don't see us colonizing anything in our own system (nor any real reason to do so), I agree that if colonization is the plan, this is the place to do it!
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Re: APOD: Kepler 22b: An Almost Earth Orbiting... (2011 Dec

Post by TNT » Wed Dec 07, 2011 11:09 pm

To me, a habitable zone is basically the area around a central star that has the most probability of a planet containing life. The larger and hotter the star, the larger the habitable zone, and the smaller the central star, the smaller.
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Re: APOD: Kepler 22b: An Almost Earth Orbiting... (2011 Dec

Post by Flase » Wed Dec 07, 2011 11:18 pm

We'll probably start with bases on the moon within a century...
Maybe. If we haven't been knocked back a few hundred years technologically, or had our economies totally ruined by environmental change.
Economies and the environment are at the mercy of the people who control money and power. Money of course is a completely man-made invention, so it's not really linked to the environment. All decisions are just up to a few powerful men who wield the human race with money and therefore control all life on Earth. Will they change and become all nice like Darth Vader or will we go down? It's up to them.

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Re: APOD: Kepler 22b: An Almost Earth Orbiting... (2011 Dec

Post by NoelC » Wed Dec 07, 2011 11:19 pm

Only here could we have a thread span from a serious discussion of exoplanet habitability to Aquaman and Darth Vader - and have that be okay.

Thanks for never letting us forget that the universe is really just all one big joke, Neufer and everyone! :) Never change!

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Re: APOD: Kepler 22b: An Almost Earth Orbiting... (2011 Dec

Post by kjardine » Wed Dec 07, 2011 11:39 pm

Hundreds of new visitors have arrived at Galaxy Map over the past two days looking for a map showing the location of Kepler-22b.

To meet the demand, I've created a poster here:

http://galaxymap.org/kepler22b/poster.png

and will be supplementing this with a new article further explaining the poster over the next few days.

Comments are welcome!

Edit: I've added a blog post describing the map here:

http://galaxymap.org/drupal/node/181
Last edited by kjardine on Thu Dec 08, 2011 7:35 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: APOD: Kepler 22b: An Almost Earth Orbiting... (2011 Dec

Post by zloq » Wed Dec 07, 2011 11:58 pm

Chris Peterson wrote: I note that on the NASA Kepler site they don't seem to refer to the star as 22a. They just refer to the Kepler 22 system, or to the star in the system.
Precisely - I still don't know of an example at the NASA Kepler site where they refer to the star specifically as Kepler 22, as does the APOD caption. That was my point. Instead, they are focused on the system itself and the exoplanet, as in my example from the Kepler site, and I don't see any evidence they are casual with the nomenclature as you imply.

The links you provided to are not part of the Kepler site, and they are interactive web forms rather than text written by an astronomer associated with the project where the star is specifically referred to improperly. I view the encyclopedia web page as a case of improperly labeled fields in automatically generated content.

I think a strong case would have to be made to justify such a departure from nomenclature in the caption of an astronomy web page that encourages education and outreach - and specifically attempts to tell people the name of a star. I think it was probably just an oversight motivated by the Wiki page - but a fixable one. Just by adding an 'a' and removing the Wiki link.

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Re: APOD: Kepler 22b: An Almost Earth Orbiting... (2011 Dec

Post by Chris Peterson » Thu Dec 08, 2011 12:01 am

Flase wrote:Economies and the environment are at the mercy of the people who control money and power. Money of course is a completely man-made invention, so it's not really linked to the environment.
Well... the environment is only partly at the mercy of humans. And while your observation about money might be accurate in some technical sense, there is good historical evidence of economies being influenced- for better or worse- by environmental factors. And I see nothing that makes me think things are different now.
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Re: APOD: Kepler 22b: An Almost Earth Orbiting... (2011 Dec

Post by Flase » Thu Dec 08, 2011 12:21 am

...there is good historical evidence of economies being influenced- for better or worse- by environmental factors
I suppose you mean like crops failing and causing famine. Of course if the environment seemed unsaveable, the powers that be will have an incentive to build Moon bases and the like and only the unwashed masses will perish. I have a hunch that things will get better, though, that the human race will learn to wield its power over the globe more benevolently. I hope nobody believes the totally ridiculous 2012 movie where a whole kludge of things like global warming and the nemesis planet X will suddenly make the planet explode in a few short days...

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Post by neufer » Thu Dec 08, 2011 2:15 am

http://www.literature.org/authors/doyle-arthur-conan/study-in-scarlet/part-01/chapter-02.html wrote:
  • A Study In Scarlet Part 1
    Chapter 2 - The Science Of Deduction
    Arthur Conan Doyle
<<[Holmes's] ignorance was as remarkable as his knowledge. Of contemporary literature, philosophy and politics he appeared to know next to nothing. Upon my quoting Thomas Carlyle, he inquired in the naivest way who he might be and what he had done. My surprise reached a climax, however, when I found incidentally that he was ignorant of the Copernican Theory and of the composition of the Solar System. That any civilized human being in this nineteenth century should not be aware that the earth travelled round the sun appeared to be to me such an extraordinary fact that I could hardly realize it.

"You appear to be astonished," he said, smiling at my expression of surprise. "Now that I do know it I shall do my best to forget it."

"To forget it!"

"You see," he explained, "I consider that a man's brain originally is like a little empty attic, and you have to stock it with such furniture as you choose. A fool takes in all the lumber of EVERy sort that he comes across, so that the knowledge which might be useful to him gets crowded out, or at best is jumbled up with a lot of other things so that he has a difficulty in laying his hands upon it. Now the skilful workman is VERy careful indeed as to what he takes into his brain-attic. He will have nothing but the tools which may help him in doing his work, but of these he has a large assortment, and all in the most perfect order. It is a mistake to think that that little room has elastic walls and can distend to any extent. Depend upon it there comes a time when for EVERy addition of knowledge you forget something that you knew before. It is of the highest importance, therefore, not to have useless facts elbowing out the useful ones."

"But the Solar System!" I protested.

"What the deuce is it to me?" he interrupted impatiently; "you say that we go round the sun. If we went round the moon it would not make a pennyworth of difference to me or to my work."
>>
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Re: APOD: Kepler 22b: An Almost Earth Orbiting... (2011 Dec

Post by TNT » Thu Dec 08, 2011 2:40 am

Flase wrote:I hope nobody believes the totally ridiculous 2012 movie where a whole kludge of things like global warming and the nemesis planet X will suddenly make the planet explode in a few short days...
http://www.universetoday.com/14094/no-doomsday-in-2012/
http://www.universetoday.com/18977/2012 ... -reversal/
http://www.universetoday.com/14645/2012 ... lar-flare/
http://www.universetoday.com/15167/2012 ... ot-nibiru/
http://www.universetoday.com/14486/2012-no-planet-x/
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Re: APOD: Kepler 22b: An Almost Earth Orbiting... (2011 Dec

Post by Ann » Thu Dec 08, 2011 3:14 am

Art, thanks for that Study in Scarlet quote! It is my favorite Sherlock Holmes quote. So funny! :D

As for us ruining the Earth, but terraforming Mars... I don't know. In the long run, we're going to need a biosphere to survive. We are dependent on the Earth's precipitation cycle and the photosynthesis of green plants here, which gives us oxygen to breathe and food to eat. Why is it that it will be so much easier to terraform a piece of rock that is really too small to hold on to much atmosphere and that has, in a best-case scenario, perhaps a total biomass that is one part in a thousand the biomass of the Earth? Why will it be easier for us to "create an Earth" out of Mars than to take care of the Earth that we have already got and not ruin it?

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Re: APOD: Kepler 22b: An Almost Earth Orbiting... (2011 Dec

Post by Guest » Thu Dec 08, 2011 3:16 am

Ann wrote:
revloren wrote:I'd like to know how the boundries of the green disc of the habitibal zone was arrived at. For our solar system, it seems to show orbit of Venus almost within the zone, while I've always imagined Venus as an extremely inhospitible place, with no chance for liquid water. Mars is pictured well within the zone, yet almost all water there would be perpetually frozen solid, yes?

I always thought Earth was the only planet in our system with 'Goldilocks' status. :?:
When I first got interested in astronomy, in 1969 (after I had seen 2001: A Space Odyssey), the common wisdom seemed to be that Venus was within the habitable zone of our solar system. Or at the very least, that's what I read in my first few books on astronomy.

As for Mars, I think that Chris Peterson, one of the most knowledgeable members of these boards, is of the opinion that Mars is definitely habitable. (I may have misunderstood him.) However, if I have understood him correctly, what makes Mars habitable would be that one or more species of hardy microbes could survive there. Whether or not there actually are any microbes on Mars is of less importance for the question of habitability, or so I believe that Chris's reasoning goes. The important thing is that there might well be microbes there, and if, for example, we humans were to accidentally send microbes to Mars on some of our probes or rovers, these microbes may survive there.

I note that Kepler 22b seems to be located rather close to the "inner edge of the habitable zone of its solar system". What that actually means for the temperature and general climate of Kepler 22b is anybody's guess. It is possible, however, that Kepler 22b may turn out to be a "Venus", a planet that is too hot to be an abode of life, even if it "ought to be" hospitable.

Or else Kepler 22b may not only be "habitable" in the sense that Mars is "habitable", but actually "very inhabited" and very full of life. Who knows? For now, it is anybody's guess.

Ann
I was under the impression with Mars the issue isnt so much the atmosphere, rather the lack of a molten core to provide a magnetic field in order to sustain an atmosphere? Mars is much smaller than Earth and such its core has solidified quicker than ours will. The lack of a magnetic field seems to suggest no matter how many microbes you introduce the sun will wipe away any substantial atmospheric increase with its solar wind.

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Re: APOD: Kepler 22b: An Almost Earth Orbiting... (2011 Dec

Post by Chris Peterson » Thu Dec 08, 2011 3:22 am

Ann wrote:Why will it be easier for us to "create an Earth" out of Mars than to take care of the Earth that we have already got and not ruin it?
Exactly.

And why would anybody think that we understand enough about planetary climate systems to actually convert a hugely inhospitable planet into something we could comfortably live on? After all, we are inadvertently "un-terraforming" our own planet, in part through ignorance of climate systems.
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Re: APOD: Kepler 22b: An Almost Earth Orbiting... (2011 Dec

Post by neufer » Thu Dec 08, 2011 3:39 am

Chris Peterson wrote:
Ann wrote:
Why will it be easier for us to "create an Earth" out of Mars than to take care of the Earth that we have already got and not ruin it?
Exactly. And why would anybody think that we understand enough about planetary climate systems to actually convert a hugely inhospitable planet into something we could comfortably live on? After all, we are inadvertently "un-terraforming" our own planet, in part through ignorance of climate systems.
Image
http://www.phrases.org.uk/bulletin_board/28/messages/653.html wrote:
<<THE GRASS ALWAYS LOOKS GREENER ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THE FENCE - "Although the phrase of this familiar proverb is surprisingly recent, sayings centered on the underlying idea of envy date back to the sixteenth century. Richard Taverner's 'Erasmus' Adagies' rendered the saying:

'The corne in an other mans grounde semeth EUER more fertyll and plentyfull then doth oure owne. By this is noted the lightness, new gangelnesse and constancye of mankynde which estemeth euen straunge thynges better than his own.'.

It was not until 1956 that the current version was first mentioned, in a play titled 'The Grass is Greener.'." From "Wise Words and Wives' Tales: The Origins, Meanings and Time-Honored Wisdom of Proverbs and Folk Sayings Olde and New" by Stuart Flexner and Doris Flexner (Avon Books, New York, 1993). This reference doesn't lists the authors of the play. But a Goggle search indicates that they were Hugh and Margaret Williams and that "The Grass is Greener" was a popular London stage play.>>
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Re: APOD: Kepler 22b: An Almost Earth Orbiting... (2011 Dec

Post by Flase » Thu Dec 08, 2011 3:45 am

I'm sure terraforming Mars would takes centuries and that the consideration given to controlling the climate of Mars and Earth will be mutually beneficial. If it were possible, and of course it remains in the realms of science fiction, the Mars atmosphere would have to be continually monitored and replenished to preserve an unnatural state. The Titan atmosphere is a similar density to our own, so it has to be replenished from some source.

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Re: APOD: Kepler 22b: An Almost Earth Orbiting... (2011 Dec

Post by Beyond » Thu Dec 08, 2011 4:03 am

Ann wrote:Art, thanks for that Study in Scarlet quote! It is my favorite Sherlock Holmes quote. So funny!
My favorite Sherlock Holmes saying is - When you have eliminated all the possibilities, then that which remains is the solution.
But the problem with that is who is smart enough to figure out just what all the possibilities are?
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Re: APOD: Kepler 22b: An Almost Earth Orbiting... (2011 Dec

Post by neufer » Thu Dec 08, 2011 4:14 am

Beyond wrote:
My favorite Sherlock Holmes saying is - When you have eliminated all the possibilities, then that which remains is the solution.
But the problem with that is who is smart enough to figure out just what all the possibilities are?
  • "You WILL not apply my precept," he said, SHAKING his head. "How often have I said to you that when you have eliminated the impossible, whatEVER remains, howEVER improbable, must be the TRUTH? We know that he did not come through the door, the window, or the chimney. We also know that he could not have been concealed in the room, as there is no concealment possible. When, then, did he come?"
The Sign of the Four, ch. 6 (1890)
Sherlock Holmes in The Sign of the Four (Doubleday p. 111)
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Re: APOD: Kepler 22b: An Almost Earth Orbiting... (2011 Dec

Post by Beyond » Thu Dec 08, 2011 4:36 am

neufer wrote:
Beyond wrote:
My favorite Sherlock Holmes saying is - When you have eliminated all the possibilities, then that which remains is the solution.
But the problem with that is who is smart enough to figure out just what all the possibilities are?
  • "You WILL not apply my precept," he said, SHAKING his head. "How often have I said to you that when you have eliminated the impossible, whatEVER remains, howEVER improbable, must be the TRUTH? We know that he did not come through the door, the window, or the chimney. We also know that he could not have been concealed in the room, as there is no concealment possible. When, then, did he come?"
The Sign of the Four, ch. 6 (1890)
Sherlock Holmes in The Sign of the Four (Doubleday p. 111)
Ah, Having never read the book or seen a movie of The Sign of the Four, i see there have been some people that have taken liberties with what Holmes actually said. I guess I'll have to check with the resident Quotidian Quotationist first, before i do that again.(of course if I'm sneaky,i can do it on purpose, so i can get someone else to look it up for me.)
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Re: APOD: Kepler 22b: An Almost Earth Orbiting... (2011 Dec

Post by neptunium » Thu Dec 08, 2011 4:55 am

My dear Watson! What have you found?... Ah! It all ties together now! Back to London, quick! I have figured it out..... :mrgreen:

Ron

Re: APOD: Kepler 22b: An Almost Earth Orbiting... (2011 Dec

Post by Ron » Thu Dec 08, 2011 5:49 am

The chances of finding life on any particular exoplanet in the universe must be millions:1 or billions:1 or even trillions:1. The chances of finding intelligent life on that same planet must be astronomically higher again.

Why then would we automatically assume that there is going to be life on the nearest suitable planet to earth so far found ? Won't find it if we don't look for it, but....