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Why are humans destroying Earth's atmosphere to seek life on other planets?

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  • P. Neuman self only
    Excerpt from article titled: Solar System May Be One Of A Kind . What has been seen up to now does not bode well for the main purpose of seeking other
    Message 1 of 1 , Aug 8, 2004
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      Excerpt from article titled: "Solar System May Be One Of A Kind".

      "What has been seen up to now does not bode well
      for the main purpose of seeking other planets -- finding
      life outside our solar system."


      --------- Forwarded message ----------
      From: NHNE <nhne@...>
      To: *News List <nhnenews@yahoogroups.com>
      Date: Sun, 08 Aug 2004 13:39:44 -0700
      Subject: [nhnenews] Solar System May Be One Of A Kind
      Message-ID: <BD3BDDA0.783C%nhne@...>

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      Reuters / CNN
      Thursday, August 5, 2004


      WASHINGTON - Our solar system may be unique after all, despite the
      of at least 120 other systems with planets, astronomers said on

      All the other solar systems that have been found have big, gassy planets
      circling too close to their stars to allow them to be anything like Earth
      its fellow planets, the British and U.S.-based researchers said.

      If that is the case, Earth-like planets will be very rare, the
      write in the latest issue of the Monthly Notices of the Royal

      "Maybe these other extrasolar systems ... contain only the giant
      said Mario Livio of the Space Telescope Science Institute in Baltimore.

      Livio and colleagues took a close look at what is known about the other
      planetary systems that have been discovered.

      "In (our) solar system the orbits are very circular. Most of the giant
      planets observed in extrasolar systems have very elliptical orbits,"
      said in a telephone interview.

      This could mean that astronomers have been wrong in assuming that all
      planets formed in basically the same way.

      Livio said most experts thought that planets formed out of dust. "This
      coagulates and forms small rocks and the rocks combine and form small
      and then those bodies form things like Earths," he said.

      "The Earths collect and accrete gas and then they form giant planets like
      Jupiter. That is one model."

      But so far no one has found a planet outside our solar system that looks
      like it formed that way.

      "Then there is a second model that has been suggested specifically for
      formation of giant planets like Jupiter. You start with a gas disk and
      disk becomes unstable and it breaks up into large clumps and those clumps
      are the things that form giant planets," Livio said.

      "In that model it is not obvious at all how planets like Earth may have

      It could be our solar system formed in the first way and most of the
      formed in the second way, Livio said.

      But he said it is hard to tell as planets outside this solar system can
      be detected through indirect observation and these methods are not able
      detect smaller planets like Earth.

      Either way, it is time to start thinking about the possibility that our
      system is unique or at least unusual, Livio said.

      What has been seen up to now does not bode well for the main purpose of
      seeking other planets -- finding life outside our solar system.

      "If the orbit is very elliptical then the planet may come very close to
      sun at some point and that doesn't appear to be very healthy for life,"
      Livio said.


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