New un-confirmed data says Earth-sized planets are extremely common

Kepler Scientist: 'Galaxy is Rich in Earth-Like Planets'

While the data hasn't been confirmed by NASA yet, and the numbers are still being officially crunched, preliminary findings leaked by a Kepler scientist suggest that Earth-sized worlds are very common.

"The statistical result is loud and clear. And the statistical result is that planets like our own Earth are out there. Our Milky Way galaxy is rich in these kinds of planets." --Dimitar Sasselov

A graph of planet sizes:


X-posted in Atheists who love Science and the Origins groups.


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Replies to This Discussion

Nobody doesn't understand something because they're afraid. That doesn't make any sense. If you think that, Mr. Xenopsychology, then you need to study regular psychology for a while so you can make some more sense in what assertions you make at your fellow homo sapiens.
SpaceBoy: Why? Because I'm not afraid to understand that we can not be the only intelligent life in this whole vast universe and if y'all want to call it woo go for it .That just shows your ignorance and if this is truly the reason that guy attacks me...mmmmm. One can be an atheist with no super hero in their head and still understand the reallity of space travel as we ourselves have done you bunch of children...geeeeze what a bunch of assholes.

"You have no right to deride theism if you believe in unsubstantiated gibberish of your own" -- me.
No wonder Felch targeted you then.

Not helping.
Don't expect him to actually give you evidence.
No, I don't, because there isn't any. I really, REALLY wish there was, but there isn't. Back when I was 12-13 I bought into the Daniken stuff...the only really woo stuff I ever bought into, so trust me I'd like to have been right. =D
Evidence of there being other life or evidence of it having visited us?

There's no solid evidence of either, but the argument for other life existing in the universe at all is just a matter of statistical probability, and it's overwhelmingly for it.

I'd love to see what JstN sees as evidence of us having been visited, though. The Pyramids and the Easter Island statues don't get the job done.
I dunno. Assuming this data is accurate the likelihood of species on other planets having similar traits as species on our planet is actually more likely.

I mean yeah they would likely be distinctly not human, like sentient mushrooms or silicon-based life forms or ... well who knows? But things like opposable appendages, language, and bipedal locomotion are all really handy traits for any tool-making, intelligent species on a planet like ours. Heck Dawkins estimates that eyes have evolved independently something like 40+ times just on this planet. We can be pretty sure they'd have eyes. So I wouldn't be all that surprised if convergent evolution generated some very human-like traits in highly evolved extraterrestrial life.

It kind of hinges of what you mean by "remotely".
That is most awesome news, and also the number of planets they are able to find thanks to Kepler have been increasing drastically.
But even if we did develop such technology thru use of dark matter (which eludes us) matter combo, the fuel would likely run out long before reaching the destination (this according to some mathematical models accepted by The Discovery Channel).

Wha? I think you are thinking about anti-matter, not dark matter.

And we can get to say 99.9% light speed, then the trip, time wise, will be very short for the crew thanks to time dilation.
Dark matter is the hypothetical substance that makes up the vast bulk of the universe that we can not see. Anti-matter being that which essentially is the opposite of everything we know and has a rather explosive effect if the two types of matter ever meet.

The time dilation is caused in effect through relativity. The faster you are going, the slower time moves for you in relation to everything else in the universe traveling at regular speed. So when traveling almost at the speed of light, sure it would take... what 4 years to reach Alpha Centari, but for the crew if we can push them fast enough, it might feel like only a few months. I am not awake enough to do the math to calculate, anyone wanna?
To get to Alpha Centauri at 0.9c (90% light speed) it would feel like about 9 and a half months, but it would appear as 4 years to people on Earth. At 0.99c (99% light speed) it would feel like just under 1 month. At 0.999c (99.9%) it would seem to take 3 days. At 0.9999c (99.99% speed of light) it would seem to take 7 hours.

Seven hours doesn't sound too bad to me, just make sure to empty the fridge and put all your money into an interest drawing account, as you'll be gone more than 8 years to Earth. =P
Interesting, I've not heard of using dark matter for fuel anywhere outside of Futurama. Since we don't know what it is, I wonder how that justified that...

And the awesomeness that is time dilation:


Note that the speed approaches 1 (the speed of light) the time dilation approaches infinity. Basically the time dilation factor is the number you divide the "at rest" time with to get how much time is experienced by the fast moving traveler. So at a time dilation factor of 10, 1 second would pass for the traveler for every 10 seconds sitting on your butt on Earth.

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