Discussion » Nonsense » Astronomy

  • Jimi
    Jimi wrote:
    One of my hobbies is to view the night sky. Often have read books and magazine about all the different aspects of the astronomically large subject.

    I find this topic not only enthralling but has the ability to open my mind to such possibilities and puts me into a realm of the physical and spiritual.

    Yes, its nearly impossible to see any stars inside of Beijing. However, if you were to go out to Songshan in Yanqing county, you will find that there has almost perfect viewing conditions. This shocked me!! Because I thought I wouldn't see much.

    I would like to start a thread about the nature of the universe and all in between.

    My first question is:

    Do you think that there are other life forms other than us here on earth?
    Please give some reasons why.
  • Malin Aaker
    Malin Aaker wrote:
    Even here on earth, we have life forms that are different from our own. And I hope everyone understands here that there does not need to be a civilization of weird human looking from outer space alien for it to be life. A simple bacteria is enough to mean there is life on a planet.

    Life can only appear through some special organisms that are able to use energy from the outside environment for themselves. Humans and any animals cannot do this. Plants on earth do this through photosynthesis thus using the sun's energy for themselves. However a star's light is not the only possible source of energy.

    Life does not require an atmosphere or any presence of oxygen. There is life in the deepest parts of the Mariana trench where there is strictly no dioxygen, and no light at all.

    However we do not know yet of any form of life without water.

    Provided this, I see no reason life would not exist on any other planet, provided it has water on it. And I certainly do hope there is!

    Also some of the things I said here might not be 100% accurate, it's been a while since I studied all of that!
  • Rebecca Arnesen
    These trench fellas live off the heat coming from the earths core right Saibo?
  • Malin Aaker
    Malin Aaker wrote:
    Yep, that's what they get their energy from, and if I recall correctly, they use some sulfur-nitrogen based elements instead of oxygen.
  • Ms Bla
    Ms Bla wrote:
    do you believe i can fortunetelling ? okay... pls put your hands on the crystal ball................~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ yeah ....gotcha ...............................

    Jeffrey&peter you two from US and Saibo you from france! lol ..........


    score! \(^o^)/~
  • Ms Bla
    Ms Bla wrote:
    yeaa yea.. you are a fortune-teller you know the vernal equinox is coming ! okay good joke
  • Ms Bla
    Ms Bla wrote:
    certainly there are some guys
  • Ms Bla
    Ms Bla wrote:
    like me ! haha
  • Ms Bla
    Ms Bla wrote:
    I perfer to astrology becoz im a girl
  • Da Fan
    Da Fan wrote:
    how you define "life form" Jeff?
  • Ms Bla
    Ms Bla wrote:
    DF I define it is a mature organism....
  • Da Fan
    Da Fan wrote:
    oh...I see...there are mitosis reproduction, spore reproduction, germiparity, oviparity, viviparity...there are organisms that use nitrogen based engery source to live deep in the ocean...there are sexual and asexual multiplication...so yeah, I don't think that we already know our planet quit all-around, say nothing of life forms in the universe:)
  • Ms Bla
    Ms Bla wrote:
    oh gosh ! DF i'm confusing abt that u talking abt ;(
  • Malin Aaker
    Malin Aaker wrote:
    Here's a definition of life for biologists: a living organism:

    1. is capable of homeostasis (regulation of its inner environment)
    2. is organized (internal structure = of cells in our case)
    3. is capable of metabolism (transformation of energy)
    4. can grow
    5. can adapt to its environment
    6. responds to stimuli
    7. can reproduce / duplicate

    but it seems that those biologists don't consider that something needs to follow all of the 7 previous requirements to be considered as a living organism.
  • Rebecca Arnesen
    So then, good to have some eggheadery going on. Makes a nice change from talking about tits. I've got a question - maybe someone can help me clarify/justify the following points, or point me to a good spot that might.

    I've always maintained that light has no mass, though i was alarmed to hear it has momentum(albeit virtually negligible). Wha' tha' fuck?

    If light is to be considered the 'pure energy no matter' end of the spectrum, would it be reasonable to consider something at absolute zero 'pure matter no energy', and how doe3s this fit in with the old e = mc2 malarky? Though absolute zero is prehaps unacheiveable no?

    Stop me if I'm talking shit.

    Also, is dark matter actually proven?
  • Rebecca Arnesen
    mass i mean, not no matter(though I'm not sure the difference)

  • Malin Aaker
    Malin Aaker wrote:
    The fact that light moves does not prove that it has a mass, sound also moves and does not have any mass.

    The thing with light is that thanks to Einstein, we know that it sometimes behaves like a wave, but sometimes behaves like it's made of particles (photons).

    However we know that the light does not always travel in a straight line but it's trajectory can sometimes be curved when it comes next to very massive stellar objects (mainly black holes). Which is suspected to be an effect of gravitation and therefore would mean that light has a mass.

    Now I don't know of any proof that light has a mass or not, but it definitely has a momentum which would be used to make the Solar Sail spacecraft someday!!!
  • Malin Aaker
    Malin Aaker wrote:
    Arg, now that you launched me on scientific topics, I'm gonna have to see if I can get good scientific magazines here in Beijing, I feel so ignorant after 3 years not keeping up to any scientific stuff!
  • Malin Aaker
    Malin Aaker wrote:
    Silver surfer already can! Go ask him haha!
  • Rebecca Arnesen
    on what basis was pluto declassified? I heard that if pluto is a planet, then a whole bunch of other rocks could be argued planets, but i'm not clear on the current definition
  • Malin Aaker
    Malin Aaker wrote:
    I'm a bit confused at what "it clears material in its orbit" means... actually I really don't get it
  • Joakim Berg Solum
    I'm just guessing without looking up, but it sounds like it means the mass of Pluto itself through gravity and whatnot over the years should be able to clear a path in its orbit so that nothing else shares the same trajectory around the sun as Pluto, hence it does not collide with other objects that are also on the same orbit? Vs like an asteroid belt, which is a collection of rocks sharing the same orbit... Just a guess...
  • 哎呀
    哎呀 wrote:
    "Do you think that there are other life forms other than us here on earth?" is equal to "Do you believe in God?"

    There is no scientific evidence to prove the existence of those two things, but you can choose to convert to that belief.

  • Joakim Berg Solum
    It makes me sad that I probably won't live long enough to ever learn about other forms of life. Stuff that isn't oxygen based, or even carbon based. There could be some wild stuff out there that completely defies our definition of "life" but it's too far away. For all practical purposes, we are the only thing out there, and everything else is just theoretical as it is impossible to reach... Until we invent warp drive, and the Vulcans initiate first contact with us of course!
  • Malin Aaker
    Malin Aaker wrote:
    Our only hope for a proof in the coming years is on Mars. I think it 's been discovered that there was water on Mars at some point and even that it might have had an environment able to hold life as we know it. But no evidence that this life actually existed.

    @Maria, you cannot prove (yet) the existence of life on other places of the universe, but you can make some statistics to get a probability that life (at least in the form we know) could happen. See Drake's equation which is an attempt to that.

    The fastest proof of life and civilization somewhere else in the universe might come from Sethi@Home haha!!!
  • Malin Aaker
    Malin Aaker wrote:
    People will try to colonize the moon before mars!
  • Da Fan
    Da Fan wrote:
    As to mass of light. M=M0/(1-v^2/c^2)^0.5, and for photon, if its speed in vacuum is c, and its still mass M0 is not zero, M will be infinite. And photon never stop, then we will be always in a world full of stuffs with infinite mass~~

    Unitil now, M0 of photon is zero, and its speed in vacuum is a constant c, then we cannot get what its "mass in motion" is by M=M0/(1-v^2/c^2)^0.5, coz it will be a 0/0. The formula we need to use is E=hv, and E=Mc^2, then M=hv/c^2, then p=hv/c, and this is the expression of momentum of photon as we all know.

    Actually the term "mass" is meaningless. It's not an objective reality, but an "artificial" definition. Eg. in general grativity, there is no clear definition of "mass" coz it's not important. The term "Energy" and "Momentum" are comparatively objective and universal.

    And, the fact that light is under the effect of gravitational field doesn't necessarily mean that it must have a still mass, coz the term "mass" can be defined (if we really want to) as the ability to generate gravitational field, or the ability to curve the space-time. Photon does't generate any gravitational field, but it can be affected by gravitational field like everything in the universe. The classic Newton formula of F=mv^2/r and gravitation formula of F=GMm/r^2 are still applicable to photon, and that's how we got the escape velocity formula of v=(2G(M+m)/r)^0.5, then we can see, m=0 wont affect the validity of this formular. And, that's how Schwazschild radius formula came out: R=2GM/c^2.
  • Rebecca Arnesen
    oh damn, the universe is truly fucked up. Cheers dafan, an educational time on WLIB! Who'd a thunk it?

    I guess thats true about mass, since we can only measure 'weight', i.e our downward force due to gravity.
  • Da Fan
    Da Fan wrote:
    there is a typo, "general grativity" should be "general relativity", sy

    yes, the term "mass" is only important within Newton's realm. In the realm of relativity or quantum mechanics, terms like "energy", "state", "phase" are more important. And in our daily life, no one would say "what's the mass of this steak", haha
  • 哎呀
    哎呀 wrote:
    Peter, indeed, I agree with you, it is rational to assume that there is a possibility to witness life on other planets.

    But at the same time I think it is also rational to assume that there is an omnipotent God (not restrictedly refer to "God in Bible") who creat the grandeur of all creation.

    According to Big Bang Cosmology (mostly accepted theory of the origin of the universe), about 12 to 14 billion years ago, the portion of the universe we can see today was only a few millimeters across. It has since expanded from this hot dense state into the vast and much cooler cosmos we currently inhabit.

    So if the whole universe is exploded from a “point”, then what’s the origin of this point? And what’s the past of this point? (This is a question of time) What’s the substance outside this point? (This is a question of space)

    When you think it is almost certain that there is other extraterrestrial life considering “infinite time” and “infinite space” , then what's the exact meaning of “infinite time” and “infinite space”? No origin for all of these? How could human beings TRULY COMPREHEND that? So I think it's also very rational for some of us to believe that there is an Almighty God who create the world and maintain the order.

    For those two beliefs, they are both rational to assume their existence; they both haven't been proved by any scientific studies; they both indwell in our minds and imagination.

    And that’s why I feel believing in life on other planets is equal to believing in God. It’s people’s choice when facing unknown.
  • 哎呀
    哎呀 wrote:
    There are many doubts about God's existence, just as many as the doubts of extraterrestrial life. Both rational and irrational.

    Personaly I don't think God is a completely hypothesis, (although I don't believe in any religion), so does Nicholas Copernicus, Sir Francis Bacon, Johannes Kepler, Galileo Galilei, Rene Descartes, Isaac Newton, Robert Boyle, Michael Faraday, Gregor Mendel, William Thomson Kelvin, Max Planck and other current scientists.


  • 哎呀
    哎呀 wrote:
    Sorry, typo mistake. I want to say " NOR does Nicholas Copernicus, Sir Francis Bacon, Johannes Kepler, Galileo Galilei, Rene Descartes, Isaac Newton, Robert Boyle, Michael Faraday, Gregor Mendel, William Thomson Kelvin, Max Planck and other current scientists."

  • 哎呀
    哎呀 wrote:
    From Albert Einstein, right?
  • Joakim Berg Solum
    But really, your argument for the existence of some sort of "god" is that the universe is so vast and incredible, and since we as humans cannot possibly understand it, there must be some greater power that does understand it. This is simply a natural and human reaction to the unknown, but it is a hypothesis which is based not on logic but on the human need to assign an explanation to things we can't know or understand. I do not see the rationale behind saying that the laws of nature are so harmonious that they had to come from an intelligent design... Maybe our universe sucks! Maybe there's another universe out there where an omnipotent being did exist and our universe's design and the laws of nature as we know them seem crude in comparison.

    This is different from the hypothesis that life could exist on other planets. As mentioned above, there are billions of billions of planets in the universe. If we assume that the Big Bang theory is true, then those planets are made of the same elements as our planet (hydrogen, carbon, nitrogen, etc). And since life did not exist at the point of the origin of our universe, then we also have to assume that life can develop spontaneously via transformations of inanimate molecules into more complex structures that metabolize energy and reproduce. Of the vast number of planets orbiting stars out there, it is logical to assume our planet isn't the only planet where these reactions took place. It would be a wrong to say that life must exist on other planets since we have no way of knowing yet, but it is the most logical conclusion you can draw given the scientific knowledge we currently have available.
  • 哎呀
    哎呀 wrote:
    Jon GU, my original post of comparing these two beliefs is mainly a style of expression. I agree they are not the same in every aspect, but logically and rationally, I really couldn't say which's superior. Anyway, I maybe too dumb.
  • Ms Bla
    Ms Bla wrote:

    see

    thesedays north of china suffer the sandstorm ..this pic is from NASA screen  22nd Mar 2010

  • Malin Aaker
    Malin Aaker wrote:
  • Siliconfish
    Siliconfish wrote:
    Spiritually I always make room for possibilities ...
    At least one day if giant dishes fly over my head I would try to keep myself and my loved ones safe first instead of taking the queue outside shrink's office. . .
  • Åse Marie Strand
    It is statistically probable that there is life out there, somewhere else. Personally when the ewoks come, I am leaving with them :)
  • Arlen Syver Wasserman
    I remember seeing a scientific calculation, which calculated the likelyhood of similar planets possibly holding life in our galaxy alone. I wish I could find this and post it here. I remember the number being at least a dozen.

    Furthermore, scientists have found life in the most harsh and unforgiving environments on earth. What makes you think they can't live on similar planets elsewhere.

    The infanacy of the universe makes it hard to believe that our planet is unique be any stretch of the imagination.

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