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PostPosted: Fri Jul 25, 2014 12:48 pm
 


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Washington (AFP) - Earthlings often wonder if life exists on other planets, and researchers said Wednesday that hunting for traces of pollution from distant worlds could provide the answer.

Under certain conditions, astronomers in the next decade might be able to detect the presence of an industrialized alien society, according to a study by the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics.

Already, astronomers can study the atmospheres of planets outside our solar system for the presence of oxygen and methane, which could be produced by intelligent life or by microbes.

But an extraterrestrial civilization might also spew chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) into the atmosphere, much the same way we do on Earth, said the study.

CFCs are chemicals used in solvents and aerosols that destroy the ozone layer.

Astronomers may be able to detect evidence of these CFCs on faraway planets using the James Webb Space Telescope, an $8.7 billion project that NASA is scheduled to launch in 2018.

The JWST will be between 10 and 100 times more powerful than NASA's Hubble Space Telescope, according to the US space agency.

However, there are limits to what kinds of pollution the JWST might find, and under which conditions, the Harvard astronomers said.

For instance, atmospheric levels of CFCs would have to be 10 times those on Earth for the JWST to be able to detect them.

Also, the JWST would only be able to hunt for this pollution on Earth-like planets that are circling white dwarfs, which are once-potent stars that have died and lost all their hydrogen fuel.

An even stronger instrument, which has not been invented yet, would be necessary to find pollution on a planet like Earth that is orbiting a bright star like our sun, said the report in The Astrophysical Journal.

The study authors raised the possibility that while this method aims to detect intelligent life, it might lead not to actual life, but instead to a civilization that has annihilated itself.

Some pollutants can persist in Earth's atmosphere for 50,000 years, while others last just 10 years -- and the absence of the latter might suggest that living sources are gone.

"We could speculate that the aliens wised up and cleaned up their act," said co-author Avi Loeb.

"Or in a darker scenario, it would serve as a warning sign of the dangers of not being good stewards of our own planet."


http://news.yahoo.com/alone-alien-pollu ... 52500.html


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 25, 2014 12:56 pm
 


The hubris of man knows no limit. Why it's instantly assumed that aliens would have the same foundational technologies as we do is sheer arrogance.

What about an intelligent race that arises on a planet that's absent abundant resources in metals and carbon fuels? They'd adapt and develop technologies based on what they have available and the markers of those technologies would end up being considerably different from our own.

Silly, narrow-minded people with no imagination come up with this crap.


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 25, 2014 1:23 pm
 


BartSimpson wrote:
The hubris of man knows no limit. Why it's instantly assumed that aliens would have the same foundational technologies as we do is sheer arrogance.

What about an intelligent race that arises on a planet that's absent abundant resources in metals and carbon fuels? They'd adapt and develop technologies based on what they have available and the markers of those technologies would end up being considerably different from our own.

Silly, narrow-minded people with no imagination come up with this crap.


That was my thought when I first read a similar article. CFCs? What odds that they'd have evolved along the same lines as us?


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 25, 2014 2:06 pm
 


I maintain that the first planet we find with visible life will be wild animals.


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 25, 2014 2:29 pm
 


Public_Domain wrote:
I maintain that the first planet we find with visible life will be wild animals.


I maintain that the first thing we'll do is kill some of them but for 'research purposes', of course.

Image


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 25, 2014 2:41 pm
 


I can't wait for all the exciting optional toppings for pizza we'll have in the future


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 25, 2014 2:43 pm
 


Public_Domain wrote:
I can't wait for all the exciting optional toppings for pizza we'll have in the future


Hmmm. That's a thought!

Of course, what's to say we won't be the pizza topping for them?


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 25, 2014 2:45 pm
 


Also something I'm oddly okay with. We taste like pork apparently; we'd probably go well with bacon and ham.


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 25, 2014 2:46 pm
 


The first life we find on another planet will probably be something close to bacterial, or unicellular... nothing spectacular in itself, but still one of the greatest discoveries we'll ever make.


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 25, 2014 2:46 pm
 


Public_Domain wrote:
Also something I'm oddly okay with. We taste like pork apparently; we'd probably go well with bacon and ham.


And, reportedly, we pair well with chianti. [B-o]


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 25, 2014 2:59 pm
 


DrCaleb wrote:
That was my thought when I first read a similar article. CFCs? What odds that they'd have evolved along the same lines as us?

I thought that life on all habitable planets in this section of the galaxy was spawned by the same extremely advanced alien race about 3.8 billion years ago.

In that case, stands to reason that we all evolved along pretty much the same lines. 8)


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 25, 2014 3:08 pm
 


raydan wrote:
DrCaleb wrote:
That was my thought when I first read a similar article. CFCs? What odds that they'd have evolved along the same lines as us?

I thought that life on all habitable planets in this section of the galaxy was spawned by the same extremely advanced alien race about 3.8 billion years ago.

In that case, stands to reason that we all evolved along pretty much the same lines. 8)

...and would you believe, that on every single one of these planets, the Israel/Palestine conflict isn't resolved yet, climate change is the most discussed topic in the media and Brazil was humiliated in the last World Cup. 8O


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 25, 2014 4:13 pm
 


DrCaleb wrote:
BartSimpson wrote:
The hubris of man knows no limit. Why it's instantly assumed that aliens would have the same foundational technologies as we do is sheer arrogance.

What about an intelligent race that arises on a planet that's absent abundant resources in metals and carbon fuels? They'd adapt and develop technologies based on what they have available and the markers of those technologies would end up being considerably different from our own.

Silly, narrow-minded people with no imagination come up with this crap.


That was my thought when I first read a similar article. CFCs? What odds that they'd have evolved along the same lines as us?


Look for lots of Methane and Hydrogen Sulfide. They probably haven't found a cure for farting, yet.


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 25, 2014 4:35 pm
 


raydan wrote:
...and would you believe, that on every single one of these planets, the Israel/Palestine conflict isn't resolved yet, climate change is the most discussed topic in the media and Brazil was humiliated in the last World Cup. 8O


And on at least one of those planets Canada is the dominant superpower, Ukraine invaded Russia, the moslems are an oppressed minority, Australian Aborigines attacked Tokyo to start World War Two (which they won), no one ever cared to hunt whales, Britney Spears never made it past being a cashier at the Canadian Tire in Baton Rouge, the largest and most powerful corporation in the world are those greedy bastards at Molson, Sam Walton's kids are broke, hockey and curling are the only sports in the Winter Olympics, and the number one killer of people worldwide isn't guns but poutine.

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PostPosted: Fri Jul 25, 2014 5:57 pm
 


BartSimpson wrote:
Public_Domain wrote:
I can't wait for all the exciting optional toppings for pizza we'll have in the future


Hmmm. That's a thought!

Of course, what's to say we won't be the pizza topping for them?


Ok now all I can think of is some old scfi the aliens had a book called How to Serve Humans turned out to be a cook book. Cant remember the title it may have even been black and white. Funny what sticks in the mind


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