Archive for Universe

6 New Super Earths Discovered!

Posted in Exoplanet, extra-solar planet with tags , , , on December 17, 2009 by Rick Buggy's Rants & Ravings

Please read on Bugg’s Blog

The race to find Earth-like planets around stars similar to our sun edged closer to a finish with the announcement on Monday that up to six “super-Earths” have been found orbiting sun-like neighbor stars.Astronomers have found up to six new planets orbiting stars that resemble the sun, paving the way forward for the discovery of a truly extraterrestrial Earth. NASA

The smallest of the bunch weighs in at about five times the mass of Earth and orbits a star known as 61 Virginis, which is visible with the naked eye in the constellation Virgo. The star is 28 light-years from Earth and closely resembles the sun in size, age and other attributes.

Two other newly detected planets — each about the size of Neptune — are part of 61 Virginis’ family.

Another planet that is 7.8 times larger than Earth orbits HD 1461, a sun-like star located 76 light-years away in the constellation Cetus. Two sibling planets may orbit this same star, though confirmation is still pending, astronomer Gregory Laughlin, with the University of California’s Lick Observatory, told Discovery News.

“I think this is really the tip of the iceberg” Laughlin said. “There’s so many planets that have been detected now; it’s completely clear that planets aren’t rare. With our program, we’ve been focusing very intently on finding low-mass planets that orbit very nearby solar-type stars.”

An international team of researchers detected the new planetary systems by combining information collected during years of observations at the Keck Observatory in Hawaii and the Anglo-Australian Telescope in Australia.

The astronomers combed the data looking for minute variations in the starlight caused by gravitational tugs of orbiting planets.

“This was not the kind of ‘ah-ha’ moment where you look into the telescope and see the planet sitting there,” Laughlin said. “The signal builds up over time.”

Refinements in planet-hunting techniques should make detection of Earth-sized planets possible in about a year, he added.

“The practical limits for finding terrestrial planets around nearby stars is a lot more optimistic than what was thought to be the case a few years ago,” Laughlin said.

The newly discovered planets are too close to their parent stars for liquid water to exist on their surfaces, a condition that is believed to be necessary for life. Still, scientists say the discoveries, announced in this week’s Astrophysical Journal, are paving the way toward finding the first true extraterrestrial Earth.

“We are knocking on the door right now of being able to find habitable planets,” said Paul Butler, with the Carnegie Institution.

In other news, a “super-Earth” has been discovered orbiting a red dwarf star on our cosmic doorstep, only 42 light years away. But here’s the best bit: it’s composed primarily of water, possibly in liquid form.

A “super-Earth” is an exoplanet (or “extra-solar planet”) with a mass of 5-10 Earths. Only one other super-Earth has been confirmed (and a few more candidates have just been announced), the other 400 exoplanets we know of are many times bigger and are often referred to as “hot Jupiters” (many orbit very close to their host stars, getting roasted).

In this case, the exoplanet called GJ 1214b is 6.5 times the mass and 2.7 times wider than our planet, so it is certainly closer to our planet’s characteristics. As a comparison, this world is a celestial body somewhere between the mass of Earth and Uranus.

Although this is exciting news, even more impressive is the fact that astronomers have worked out that its density is low enough to contain large quantities of water. As the exoplanet is so close (in astronomical scales) we should soon be able to analyze its atmosphere to confirm the presence of this water.

Although this particular waterworld might not be suitable for habitation, the researchers who made this discovery think we’re on the right track.

“These planets are like mileposts on the road rather than a destination itself,” said Greg Laughlin of the University of California, Santa Cruz, a coauthor of the paper published in the Dec. 17 edition of the journalNature. “It’s very exciting to know that we’re getting close.”

Original posts on Discovery News

Who Are They? In My Opinion…

Posted in Alien Technology, EBE, Extraterrestrial, Intelligent Design, UFO with tags , , , , on October 17, 2009 by Rick Buggy's Rants & Ravings

They – the ET’s, the Aliens, the EBE’s as they are nowadays called. They are not so much a what as a who in my opinion. I ascribe to the philosophy of Intelligent Design and that these beings are as human as we are. They are only alien to us in appearance, method of transport and other technology that might put them a million or more years in advance of us. A million years in the scheme of the cosmos is basically nothing, considering the universe is between 13.5 and 14 billion years old. What’s a million or two?

Picture ourselves as an anthropologist studying our own early ancestors. If we had the ability to go back in time and visit Australopithecus (3.9 to 3.0 million years ago) or Cro Magnon (30,000 to 17,000 years ago) how would they react at seeing us? What would they think? Would they be hostile or in awe? Would we be considered their Gods? What could we teach them (if they had the mental capacity to understand and learn what we had to teach them). Would we try to interfere in there way of life, or would some sort of “prime directive” not to interfere with their evolution, override how we would interact with them. How would we inspect them physically, biologically, emotionally and spiritually, again without negatively interfering with their evolutionary processes? Apply these same questions to the EBE’s relative to ourselves. Now where does that put your feelings on the matter?

The center of the Milky Way galaxyWell first of all, you’d have to be someone who actually believes that intelligent life actually does exist elsewhere in the Universe. If you don’t then there’s no convincing you on this blog. The sheer size of our own galaxy, never mind the universe is amazing. As an example, our own corner of the universe, the spiral Milky Way galaxy, is 100,000 light years in diameter. It contains 200 billion to 400 billion suns (known as stars). This is just our own galaxy. Consider that there are 100 billion galaxies in the observable Universe, or that can be seen from earth. The observable universe contains 30 to 70 sextillion stars (that’s 30 to 70,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 suns). So far, as of October 7 2009, we have only found 373 planets rotating around other stars like we rotate around our sun!

I know this might not convince you that life must exist elsewhere in the universe, but I think it helps you to understand that the possibility is extremely high, given the huge number of opportunities out there. Now, if you are open minded to the notion that it is possible for intelligent life to exist elsewhere in the cosmos, then I think you understand and are able to grasp the concept that these entity’s (500,000 to 1,000,000 years in advance of us) are visiting us now, have visited us in the past, and to do this, they must have harnessed physics and technologies beyond anything we can hope to know anytime soon.

Are they benevolent or are they malevolent? My guess is, based on everything said above thus-far, that they are indeed benevolent! If we can again imagine their civilization to be 500,000 to a 1,000,000 years older than us, and that they too have struggled in their evolutionary ladder with war, time after time, and diseases, nuclear weaponry or whatever will proceed it one can only surmise that they have mastered and transcended the base instincts of fight fire with fire and an eye for an eye, kill or be killed and survival of the fittest. I think the key word here is transcended. They have moved beyond these base instincts that we wrestle with and suffer from.

To be continued…

Okay – my head is about to explode at this point. I’ll come back to this after a few coffee’s and some fresh air. Stay tuned…

The Law of Accelerating Returns

Posted in Alien Technology, Communication, Extraterrestrial, The Future with tags , , , , , on February 3, 2009 by Rick Buggy's Rants & Ravings

Let’s assume that EBE’s are much more advanced than we are. Somewhere on the magnitude of only a million years. What would their technologies look like? How would they communicate with each other? What would be their life span? Would the biological entity and their manufactured machines have already converged to create a super being? Would they still have their baby toes and pinky fingers? We can only imagine (or not) what these beings would be like a million years in advance of our present biology and technology.

I can’t imagine them being afraid of anything, especially us. I can imagine them to be a benevolent and compassionate creature. Why don’t they show themselves? Bottom line, we can’t handle it and they know it. Big Brother knows it too.

Why hasn’t SETI heard their radio transmissions? Perhaps radio isn’t used by these beings any longer. When we ourselves flip to digital broadcasting, we won’t be polluting space with our analog radio signals anymore. Let’s think about that aspect a million years from now. Perhaps SETI is searching for ET using an outdated paradigm. Radio? Come on! Here’s a link to an excellent article by futurist Ray Kurzweil. He talks about the exponential growth of technology and machine/human convergence over the next thirty or so years. That’s thirty years, not one million! He also has some thoughts on the SETI project in this article.

A Declaration of Human Sovereignty…

Posted in Extraterrestrial with tags , , , on February 1, 2009 by Rick Buggy's Rants & Ravings

Interesting read from

We, the People of Earth, extend greetings to all races in the Greater Community of the Universe. We acknowledge our common heritage before the Creator of all the Universe, both visible and invisible. We declare the planet Earth as humanity’s Planet of Genesis, our Homeworld, and our sacred inheritance. We pledge henceforth to sustain and preserve the Earth for all generations to come. We call upon all humanity to treat all races everywhere with wisdom and justice, here on Earth and throughout the Universe…

Read on

%d bloggers like this: