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Old 2010-12-23, 12:56   Link #81
synaesthetic
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It causes a number of problems. A planet that's tidally locked will experience bizarre weather conditions, and of course, one whole side of the planet will never receive any light. This would preclude photosynthesis on the night side.

While the atmosphere will keep the night side relatively warm (assuming the planet is close enough to its star to have liquid water), the night side will constantly be swept with fierce winds, toward the solar pole. Additionally, the night side will experience perpetual torrential downpours at the solar pole.

More importantly though, most of the energy released by red dwarf stars is in the infrared range. The "day side" wouldn't exactly be bright. Red dwarfs are also much more unstable in their energy output than our main sequence star is.

It's absolutely possible that life could exist on a tidally-locked planet orbiting a red dwarf star, even carbon-based life. But it would be radically different than life on our own planet... for instance, all plant life on a planet with a red sun would be black to our eyes, in order to maximize absorption of infrared energy. Very alien indeed. And while humans could possibly live on these worlds, it would still be a very hostile environment (though less so than deep space or an atmosphere-less chunk of rock) and much technological measures would be required to maintain our bases and habitats.

Now, if we step away from our arrogant presumption that all life must be carbon-based and must require water, the possibility of other planets supporting life increases substantially... just not our lives.
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Old 2010-12-23, 13:07   Link #82
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Originally Posted by synaesthetic View Post
It causes a number of problems. A planet that's tidally locked will experience bizarre weather conditions, and of course, one whole side of the planet will never receive any light. This would preclude photosynthesis on the night side.
Actually no. Being tidally locked between a planet and its star means that the same side of the planet will face the same side of the sun. Every side will get sunlight because the planet is still rotating on its axis around the sun - it is a different issue from a planet-satellite pair because the sun emits light and the planet doesn't.

For example :

Let the points of the planet P and star S be indicated by x and y. At the start of the year, point x of P will face point x of S.

y-P-x ===== x-S-y

Half a year later, P makes half an orbit around the star, at the same time, turns half on its own axis so point y of P faces point y of S.

x-P-y ===== y-S-x

Mathematically, it has to be a 1:1 rate of rotation : revolution to make sure all points face the similar points at every part of the year, assuming the gravitational flux of either body remains unchanged.
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Old 2010-12-23, 13:39   Link #83
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If it's a 1:1 lock, as the Moon is with the Earth, the same side will always have perpetual day and perpetual night. And by "side" I mean the solar pole, since oblate spheroids don't really have "sides."

Of course, the terminator zone will swap position during the orbit and rotation... that's what it appears you are saying.
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Old 2010-12-23, 15:02   Link #84
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Originally Posted by SaintessHeart View Post
Actually no. Being tidally locked between a planet and its star means that the same side of the planet will face the same side of the sun. Every side will get sunlight because the planet is still rotating on its axis around the sun - it is a different issue from a planet-satellite pair because the sun emits light and the planet doesn't.

For example :

Let the points of the planet P and star S be indicated by x and y. At the start of the year, point x of P will face point x of S.

y-P-x ===== x-S-y

Half a year later, P makes half an orbit around the star, at the same time, turns half on its own axis so point y of P faces point y of S.

x-P-y ===== y-S-x

Mathematically, it has to be a 1:1 rate of rotation : revolution to make sure all points face the similar points at every part of the year, assuming the gravitational flux of either body remains unchanged.
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Old 2010-12-23, 15:20   Link #85
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Who the heck is Sheldon?

Quote:
Originally Posted by synaesthetic View Post
If it's a 1:1 lock, as the Moon is with the Earth, the same side will always have perpetual day and perpetual night. And by "side" I mean the solar pole, since oblate spheroids don't really have "sides."

Of course, the terminator zone will swap position during the orbit and rotation... that's what it appears you are saying.
Pretty much. The one part you left out is that the star emits light and the planet doesn't, meaning which any problems you raised caused by the lack of sunlight would be considered null and void.
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Old 2010-12-23, 15:52   Link #86
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If one were to drop a particle on a nuetron star from the height of one meter, it would reach the surface in 1 microsecond and be traveling 2000km/s.

A supernova occurring from a single star can outshine the entire galaxy it is in for more than a month. During this event, it would also release about the same energy our sun will release over its entire lifetime.

Two quantum entangled particles, even when spatially separated, will interact with each other instantaneously, yes, faster than the speed of light; however, it is impossible to transmit information through them. This has been experimentally verified.

Black holes evaporate, albeit slowly, which is a result of the Heisenberg uncertainty principle. For more on this, read A Brief History of Time.
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Old 2010-12-23, 17:06   Link #87
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The leaves of the Amazon water lily are so big(6ft across) and strong that they can support a child's weight without sinking.

The brain is 1/50th of the human body's weight, but uses up 1/5th of the body's total energy.
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Old 2010-12-23, 17:41   Link #88
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One more astronomy tidbit for ya: the next closest star after our own Sun is Alpha Centurai, at 4.37 light years away from our Sun

tells you how big space and the universe is... far beyond human comprehension
You'll get an even better idea as to how far that is when you figure out the time it would take to REACH that star in a Boeing 747.

Speaking of that, I maybe off by just a little, so bare with me. But the largest known star, VY Canis Majoris has a diameter so big, that if you were to fly around it in a 747, it would take 9,000 years to complete.
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Old 2010-12-23, 19:11   Link #89
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Originally Posted by synaesthetic View Post
Now, if we step away from our arrogant presumption that all life must be carbon-based and must require water, the possibility of other planets supporting life increases substantially... just not our lives.
I was under the impression that it's not because of arrogance, but just how science works. Unless they have found evidence that not all life must be carbon-based and must require water, then that is the only practical presumption they can make.
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Old 2010-12-23, 20:10   Link #90
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I've been in complete Astronomy euphoria this thread. Thanks so much to everyone whose been sharing their vast Space knowledge! I'll be picking up "A Brieft History of Time" at my local book store when I am able as well~

I don't have an amazing knowledge tidbit, but I found it quite interesting: Sherlock Holmes never said "Elementry, my dear Watson." I had to flip through my collective works to see if it were so, but it's quite true~
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Old 2010-12-24, 00:14   Link #91
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The duck-billed platypus is the only mammal that lays eggs (I think... I'm pretty sure its the only mammal that does so, but I could be wrong)
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Old 2010-12-24, 00:37   Link #92
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Originally Posted by Magin View Post
The duck-billed platypus is the only mammal that lays eggs (I think... I'm pretty sure its the only mammal that does so, but I could be wrong)
Echidnas are a mammal that can lay eggs too, but it's the only other one besides the platypus discovered so far.

Coincidentally, both of them are native to Australia.~
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Old 2010-12-24, 01:11   Link #93
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Australia: the only country that's also a continent

Australia: also home to the good majority of the world' most poisonous creatures
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Old 2010-12-24, 06:03   Link #94
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Australia: Where men take their barbecue seriously.
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Old 2010-12-24, 07:29   Link #95
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Hey! We British blokes take BBQing seriously over here too! Just that sometimes you're outside on your own with an umbrella while everyone else is inside waiting....
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Old 2010-12-24, 13:58   Link #96
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The duck-billed platypus is the only mammal that lays eggs (I think... I'm pretty sure its the only mammal that does so, but I could be wrong)
Not just the duck-billed platypus, but the order known as "monotremes." You know how mammals are divided into placentals (like humans, dogs, cats, etc) and marsupials (kangaroos, wallabies, etc)? Early in the evolutionary history of mammals those weren't the only major groups. The monotremes are part of a group of mammals called Prototheria, one of the earliest groups. The problem is, most Prototheria died off and the monotremes, which include the platypus and echidna are the only surviving Prototheria and they only live in Australia and New Guinea. So despite there being three type of mammals you'll usually only hear about placentals and marsupials in the textbooks.

Speaking of the platypus, an interesting fact is what it uses that duck-bill for. It is actually a highly sensitive electro-sensor allowing it to pick up the the electric waves emitted by its prey underwater, since it usually scavenges in lakebeds where sight wouldn't help. It serves as a sixth sense.
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Old 2010-12-24, 14:12   Link #97
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I was under the impression that it's not because of arrogance, but just how science works. Unless they have found evidence that not all life must be carbon-based and must require water, then that is the only practical presumption they can make.
We say that because our only definition of life is one based upon carbon and requiring water. The universe is vast. There may be many other forms of life that work in ways we don't yet understand, which we might not even identify as "life" but still exhibits certain characteristics of life (the ability to make more of themselves).

Check this article out: http://news.nationalgeographic.com/n...lien-life.html

Pretty weird stuff.

Even on Earth, there are forms of life that are extremely alien to our usual definition, such as viruses.

Edit: Science doesn't say things are the only way when we only know one way. Science, unlike religion, is not afraid to say "I don't know." We only know of life that is carbon-based, but that doesn't mean there's other life out there that isn't carbon-based.

For example, it was not until 1920 that we knew how stars produced energy (largely thanks to Einstein's famous mass-energy equivalence E = mc^2). Before that, we saw a great big ball of fire, and scientists did not assume it was an exothermic oxidation reaction. They merely said they did not know how the sun produced so much energy. Some postulated that radioactive decay fueled the sun. But it wasn't until 1920 that we discovered that it did so through nuclear fusion. But we never forced our star into a definition just because it was the only definition we had.
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Old 2010-12-24, 17:05   Link #98
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Originally Posted by synaesthetic View Post
We say that because our only definition of life is one based upon carbon and requiring water. The universe is vast. There may be many other forms of life that work in ways we don't yet understand, which we might not even identify as "life" but still exhibits certain characteristics of life (the ability to make more of themselves).

Check this article out: http://news.nationalgeographic.com/n...lien-life.html

Pretty weird stuff.

Even on Earth, there are forms of life that are extremely alien to our usual definition, such as viruses.
That's an interesting simulation, but even the article implied that we need more proof before we declare that inorganic life exists.
Quote:
Edit: Science doesn't say things are the only way when we only know one way. Science, unlike religion, is not afraid to say "I don't know." We only know of life that is carbon-based, but that doesn't mean there's other life out there that isn't carbon-based.

For example, it was not until 1920 that we knew how stars produced energy (largely thanks to Einstein's famous mass-energy equivalence E = mc^2). Before that, we saw a great big ball of fire, and scientists did not assume it was an exothermic oxidation reaction. They merely said they did not know how the sun produced so much energy. Some postulated that radioactive decay fueled the sun. But it wasn't until 1920 that we discovered that it did so through nuclear fusion. But we never forced our star into a definition just because it was the only definition we had.
I didn't mean it that way, especially the part in bold.

Let's take your example. So someone discovered the sun produces energy via nuclear fusion. And until we discover a star that produces energy via some other means (I assume we haven't), we'll continue to think that stars produce energy via nuclear fusion.

I think that's the same way with the definition of life. The point is not about saying there is only one definition for life, but that until we have more evidence, we can only define life by what we can observe to be living beings. Even the known viruses are organic, I believe.
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Old 2010-12-24, 17:37   Link #99
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Seems odd though, because while we haven't discovered extraterrestrial life, scientists still do not unilaterally say "there are no aliens." In fact, there's a whole friggin' organization (SETI) dedicated to finding aliens!
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Old 2010-12-24, 17:46   Link #100
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Seems odd though, because while we haven't discovered extraterrestrial life, scientists still do not unilaterally say "there are no aliens." In fact, there's a whole friggin' organization (SETI) dedicated to finding aliens!
I don't see the connection here. We're talking about classifying and defining things that we see, not whether or not something that we do not see exists.
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