SETI Institute Senior Astronomer Seth Shostak, is back to host StarTalk All-Stars and go exploring exoplanets with guest Jason Wright, Associate Professor of Astronomy at Penn State, and co-host Chuck Nice.NOTE: StarTalk All-Access subscribers can watch or listen to this entire episode commercial-free. Find out more at https://www.startalkradio.net/startalk-all-access/
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This is an unofficial transcript meant for reference. Accuracy is not guaranteed.
Skip the commercials support star talk on patriarch to listen to every episode, commercial free on all the time, but also the whole document, all starting to find a better life and, above all, the friends of the shell coming back wriggle out of the rubble, profit that looking back relaxed and alive to abide by a meal. The grass Thyssen start operating. I've retreated crack scientist and scientifically help me they'll start off
me. I welcome one at all to start off all stars and on. We are also opposed to the evening, says shouting scene astronomer? Those Seti instituted s e g? I almost my name, but that's coincidence, said he is economic stands for the search for extra terrestrial intelligence, in other words, not just life in space but life. It is clear, as you are, or maybe even more so not to take anything away from your cleverness. So today we're gonna talk about related topic on that score and in particular, planets joining me, Michael hostess,
very funny Chuck nice man lawyer says I'm just fine chuck glad to have you here. Well, I'm very interested the search for extraterrestrial intelligence right, because the question is: do we even qualify as that? That's that's it! That's a legitimate question! People ask is entitled. Inside the belt way or whatever right, and we have an operational definition of intelligence. Just you know really guided simple, so it can you builder YO transmitted. They have built a radio transmitter, gearing Taylor Lautner themselves, understood nobody did he. The parties I go do is able to do that either. So in our Jason right and he's an associate professor of astronomy, a member of the centre for Excel Planet and habitable worlds and he works at Penn State universities, and stay Pennsylvania, ages and hey Jason. How you doing I'm doing really well! Listen! Actually, young coming to you from asking Colorado of all places at the moment really molasses
terrible plays. I don't wanna be up there now, just sucks to be. You write well what we want from you is what's the status of planets, not around our own son but around other sons and of Europe the big news items recently was the discovery of a planet that may end up being the closest planet to us of of any them in our own solar system, proximate beat up. Tell me all about proximate, be right that vat is big news, so there's, no, maybe about it. This planet is definitely the closest planet to the sun. That's not orbiting the sun, so the stars called proximate. He's always call at proximate Centauri, which is this latin for the closest thing in the constellation of the centre. But now we know that actually the very close the star to the sun anywhere, so it's planets really are the closest. So we ve been finding and its around other stars in the galaxy for little over twenty years now and
to space. Russians like the copper space telescope. Are we now know that thousands of planets in the galaxy- and this one, though, is different. It spent because it's really our neighbour so we're gonna be studying this one in particular, because it's right there forever? Basically, and we're gonna be wondering about it and how to get there and what we can about what You say the causes. One I mean. Maybe we ought to give more number for that. I, how far where is it the stars are really really far away to get technical about it. This one being being close, is off a little over for light years away If you could write on alight being van, it would, Only take you for years to get there so in cosmic terms, that's There are neighbours there right next door, even though, as I beam, I would love to ride on the light being. As a matter of fact, it that's good. That's gonna be the maybe my next album riding on a light being with Chuck nice so so give us an
an idea of for light years. Let's, let's, let's, let's break that damage to human terms. How long would it take us to get there well. If we got our best Rockets launched a province stellar space and we ve done this before. As you know, we know we could do that. Let's see it would take unlike out a hundred thousand years to get there, maybe tens of thousands of years. If we went really fast I figure about a hundred thousand is right. I mean that's a long time to be eating peanuts off your lap in a mental, see right. So I thousand years it yet, but there there It isn't to say that you couldn't get their faster. I mean if you, if you don't want to go yourselves and you just want to send some sort of object. Maybe size of a silver dollars. Something like that to program. You could do that faster than you. Well in principle? Right I mean this used to be all science fiction, but in a recently people have fought hard about this. There's a project I'll break through star shot, but just try
figure out how to do exactly that. So there's this old idea that if you gave a spaceship sale a light sale so just like a big parachute or something then you shot a really powerful laser beam at that parachute. You could accelerate something really fast. And it takes a really powerful laser beam to launch something that could have a person in it. But if you will We wanted to launch like a tiny little microchip or something like that, some other ways less than a reason. Then but only need a superpower laser about a square kilometre across the leaden, it's a very modest requirement now I know well, let's get back to those planets if we could Jason, because you know how many planets out there are not just you kind of worthless planets, like Neptune Yearnest, those guys, but you know, might be
find me the kind you want to build condos on or do you know the kind where you might have oceans atmospheres? I kind of think beachfront property is what we're talking about here at Jason Wright. You want to see you in the water on that thing. A hundred thousand a hundred billion stars, as in the milky way galaxy, and we now know that most or all of them have planets, and so, either way. We know that we ve got many hundreds of millions of planets in the milky way Galaxy and some fraction of them like ten or twenty percent, probably have about the temperature that you would need for liquid water and so we're talking about tens of billions of planets in the the way they could loud. We like those planets that might have water, could we want a steady, I'm and figure out if they do have liquid water or whatever so others? There's a lot of property out there to be to be claimed that so so Are you what you're saying if their tens of billions of planets TAT, are sort of like the earth? The possibility that this is the only place where anything?
interesting is happening. If you think anything interesting fascinated you're right, I mean that that that would that would make us pretty special. Wouldn't it. If they were right, if none of them had lifelike life on earth yeah, that would make earth fantastically any we want wanted him dearly under something like that. That would be maybe very surprising every year, and but what is it possible to me when you think about it? If you were just to play earth out to its logical conclusion, which is the sun will expand and burn assaulted, crisp- is it possible that that has already happened, so there's been life but its expired, because, of course that's what all life does at some point. So is it? How would we be able to find that signature or is that if the idea is to fine life for
and then you can draw those conclusions. Well, it's true. There's gotta be a lot of planets out there that used to be able to have liquid water on an and by the way that determine use. We say that the planets and what's called the habitable zone, that just means it's far enough. Star, so that its boiling all the water away, but its close enough to the star. That is not just a nice ball, so and its are in that habitable zone. That's that's where we think we see this liquid water. As a certainly our planet's that used to be in habitable zones of their stars, but something happened like the star got big and blue opera or burned out or when one of them stars d or something might have happened to the planet and its orbit we give that count. We're talking about the number of planets tat are in there but it today they add the history of the galaxies ten billion a year. And so this by a lot of formerly habitable planet, it sounds to me like Chuck, is,
interested in it in life. That's deceased recycling denied better results and looking for fossils, instead of looking for New Jersey, I'd exact. Yet there are many fossil fuels in some of them are actually New Jersey money. Most of them have been buried by irreparable horses. Jason, I've got to SK you because you're really responsible for this idea being promulgated about a star That has the lovely name gay. I six eight for six. Twenty eight fifty two are never mind the name, a mammogram, Kay. I see a four six twenty fifty two, but it may have to remember that I can never remember that aid just falls off them. The tongue actually have. I call it Bob, whatever its Heracles out. This is it darling. I mean it's, it's not very close to us. Very unusual and was a really in the interesting find about it, but you can tell me about that sure about the copper. Spacecraft was
for planets around other stars and to do that. It looked at a hundred thousand stars and mostly these aren't nearby they're, not like proximate just for light years away. They are more like four hundred light years away, and it was watching the brightness is extremely carefully just in case. Our planet, maybe like earth passion front as it went on the star passed in front of the star and made it a little bit dearer, and so it found thousands of planets like that. It also found lots of star, misbehaving, getting brighter and dim or for other reasons, but there is one that was just totally, unlike all the other it it. It started to get dimmer as if there was a planet going in front of it or something then, instead of getting just maybe one percent dimmer, because there's a planet Jupiter around it, just kept getting dimmer on over the two days like twenty percent dimmer than it never been before and then all of a sudden over a few more days up, writing and went back to normal and stuff like this kept happening it kept having these
strange, dimming events as if very Large amounts of stuff was between us in the star and much did this. That has to be much better something like Jupiter and whatever it was. It wasn't around like a planet or like another star and so Just had all all the austrian completely baffled about what was going on. Well, we don't have too much time, but tell me what The possibilities are mean start getting dim like that. It's unprecedented couldn't the alien handiwork. Oh yeah, there's a lot of possibilities. We ve been scratch on our heads. Looking for lots of natural explanations by one thing: I noticed, is that there was a guy named Luke Arnold. Mr Paper before Kepler Launched- and he said hey. If there are advanced civilizations, they might build giant things in space, maybe collect lots of energy like solar panels or something if that's true than those pass in front of the star Kepler
see that happen and it wouldn't look like a planet. It would look like something we totally didn't understand so in this star, is discovered. I said: hey, you know describing Arnold. He said we might see us and if we do that, we should be on the lookout. It could be solar panels. So could be we're not out of all of our other ideas, but that that one's definitely out there, ok, I gotta ask Edith. Did this is the last? The last question really cool bad Jason, if you're sitting in the local diner there and State College Pennsylvania the guy next, he says okay gave. How much are you willing to bed? That's what we're seeing going on here is the result of a giant, alien a stroll engineering project. What you say overarching given me That's not not very much! You know, we see weird things in space all the time we can talk about other bizarre signals that have come from space and turned out to be not aliens but something
really knew and amazing an interesting in and of itself. So I think we ve almost certainly found a new weird kind of way. Stars can get demur, but we haven't seen before, but I do know how to put ads on aliens. I presume it's very love. Well, Jason Right will be getting back you, but now it's time to go to and the cosmic queries. These have been called as an abyss that test questions on the internet about this subject and maybe others tax exempt, You know. Our listeners are extremely curious as a lot and they have all from Facebook and twitter and every station where you find star talk, they have sent us some queries for you guys to tackle. So you don't know what they are but does make. A difference is not about stumping you it's just about. If, if there is an answer, I'm sure you'll have implied you
so, let's settlers jump right into it must start off with a patriarch patron question. Patriarch. Is there a place where people support start talking monetarily and if they do so, we give them first crack at asking us cosmic just a little just a little perk of buying our love and affection. So this is from kill. I saw this from patriotic. She says killer? Silva's this from Minnesota and my aunt doktor Patty boy from Goddard, help me with this particular question for extra exo plans. You guys know doktor petty boil either one of you, gentlemen, perfection
well. She may be working under a pseudonym dissimilar. Yes, yes, it's like her, like that's her stripper name it after a petty poet. Come she says, besides radio waves, what signs is humanity giving off to other stars that earth possesses in? elegant life. So, aside from the actual signals that we are shooting out into space, is there any other indication from somebody who's looking at us from poor light years away to say? Well, there might be some intelligent life on this little rock from third from the site. I have to say it has an impress them enough for them to send their interstellar battle wagons to earth. So, there's these that the alleged Jason start What what? What do you think is the answer to that Jason? Oh yeah, there's a few ways you might notice tat we were here. One of my favorites is that our large tell us, often shoot it laser beams, and
is to try and correct for the earth's atmosphere. We create little artificial stars and our atmosphere and then to form the mirrors of our telescopes to compensate for the blurring effects of the atmosphere. So what that means as we are always shooting these lasers off into space and self. We shot one. I wanted. You know most of another planet, they might notice the laser it's pretty weak, It's it's conceivable, but it's only a matter of doubt. The couple directions right. You have to be in the right way: ass. It have to be right. Alot we'd have to be intentionally pointing our telescope at them, so that every moment for some other is elements that will be kind of, like you, know the old movies, where the person, what use a mirror yet lost at sea and the plane spotters? What's what's that down there? I think I see something it was always cowboys. Trying to signal at the Indians were afoot that I saw. What was it back Finally, let me say in movies
You stand there and suddenly that little laser beam appears on your on your chest is usually not a good sized. We shouldn't be doing well. I tell you that that's one way there there are other things junk amendment. For example, if you use hairspray that look like you, his hair speed, but if you wanna use moose now, when everyone knows we were in the old days, Hairspray had the floor floor, vibrant sooner and at the kind of changing the contents of the atmosphere. Where I do you remember the ozone hole in all its call, the old. If they had a big enough, tells me I had to be really big telescope it. Maybe they could find that in the atmosphere at what he thinks. Org that doesn't look natural, so maybe maybe that would be a thing and of course, They had. A really big tells me you're talking about telescopes the size of downtown Baltimore, something they ve had a telescope really big, you could see things like freeway interchanges and support. Or can you work this out? actually the lights from New York City. You know you could pick up that light. It see jeez awful awfully close to this
it's a sodium based light right as all that Orange light x ray we're getting rid of those now, but for a long time, and maybe you could do that, it would take really big instruments, the easiest thing, Got the radars, the television, the FM radio? So really it's it's it's it's more the signals than anything I think so I think it that's it that's a point, because that means that since we only been doing that since the Second World WAR really right, probably noble Those were here so you know those people who feel there being abducted. You gotta ask: how can they came now? That's about in addition to that. Does that mean that these signals that we have, however, week like I just regular television in our regular radio, does that escape and go out as well? Would somebody, let's say if they had the right listening equipment B
would a pick up a broadcast from nineteen. Thirty is just right. You know, like ripping legend Javelin Otto said see where they pick pick that up as well. Well, I don't know how they feel about the content, but they wouldn't actually be able to pick it up, because I M radio is refracted by them. I honestly or that sounds kind of turkey, but what it means is bounces around the euro. In fact, that's why you can pick up at Chicago station you're on the EAST coast or whatever. So it has advantages, but it means that all those early radio signals did make it. Do you have a really quick question? Let's get some very, very quick work. You know we're out the question in the moon. Maybe two brigham in will make it a clever anger at work, cliffhanger artists from Nicholas loving on Facebook. Are there any types of planets that have been dear arise to exist but haven't been observed. Yet, if so, can you provide some eggs? You need to know our I well over going to take a short break, but we'll be back shortly answering more of your cosmic queries right here on startup
hey. I've got no secret for you when I consider singing all of the ads on this. Shell there's just one way to get out a hearing, they're good, Patriarch arms last started tall and supporters at the five dollar level or higher to listen. The star talk ad free. You can download all current episodes into your favorite parkers player and never hear another commercial on star talk. Ever again. You will deaf not have to hear me sing if you support us at patriarch dot coms. Last our talk, radio, I mean I'm just thinking I'm just saying.
This is starting to come back to start talk once again. Whilst our host Seth Shaw, stack from the Seti Institute and you're joining me is composed, is come median extraordinary, chap nice of you to come up with extraordinary in skyping. From Penn State University, more or less Jason T rife. Aspirin Colorado is on the same planet. You were just about to throw up
the query: let's go back to that on middle loving right before we had taken a brief respite said to us, the Facebook. Are there any types of planets that have been theorize to exist, but yet haven't been discovered or observed. If so, can you provide some examples? Satellite core question is yes, yoga, cubicle planetary Jason at the top right? Actually, I think it is well. You know we find these planets there about the mass about the radius of earth, but we don't know if they have liquid water on them, so that I think that's the easy one we'd like to really fine one. That's like earth with water, a nice atmosphere like ours, but more exotic things- you know sometimes in science fiction or something like that that there might be a moon of a planet. A moon of another planet like something like Jupiter, a moonlight earth,
and so we haven't actually found any planet sized moons around a bigger planets. Yet I am that something that people are working for that would be really exciting to find we haven't. A binary planet, social planets orbiting each other, that's been theorize, it could happen, but we haven't seen any of those. Then there's also ways that you can put more than one planet in the same orbit, so they have the same time to go. On the Sunday rest in different parts of the orbit. That would also be really need to find that those are my top However, my whistler said. Let me just reverse that very briefly, because one of the most common sort of planets that we are finally are what are called Super earths sensibly. We're right, her capes superpowers it, but we don't have one in our own solar system, supersecret, we ordinary earth, but what what's this earth and wisest so neatly ways of why are they so common yeah? Well, I take it wanted it,
So in the solar system we have what we call. The terrestrial planets tat are mostly rocks and metals like mercury, Venus Earth and Mars and they're all pretty close to the sun and then farther out. We have the giant planets aghast I ain't Jupiter and Saturn than the ice giants here and it's a napkin. So we wish those are the three times the planets and sure enough. We find lots of gas giants. Refine lots of presumably ice giants, but it turns out there than in between kind of planning that. We're not really sure. Is it a sub. Neptune is just an ice, not quite so giant Or is it a super earth not meaning it's much better than we are just, it's much larger and more massive than the earth, and so one of the surprises that's come out of these is it. There are a lot of them back. There are a lot more. For Earth Slash Sub Neptune's, then our eyes giants and gas giants So one of the most common kinds of planets in the Galaxy Weed I have a single example that we know I'm in,
our system and, interestingly, proximate bead. Next store is a little more massive. Then the earth so the very closest x I find it turns out to be exactly one of one of this class super earth all right, earth yeah right, prepare yourself. I think. Well, that's a great great great answer. Lumm, let's move onto Benjamin bottoms was honestly. I just put his name because his name is Benjamin bottoms. Why I find that very Benjamin buttons and buttons, but bottoms- and I dont know I find that so incredibly entertaining
I just want to keep saying Benjamin Bottoms fits sorry, I'm so do without so what's the bottom line is actually going up. Benjamin from Facebook says this. I would still love to know what Seti and NASA have been doing about, seeing what flora and fauna will adapt and what will change under the effects of hyper gravity, including higher masses found with pride most Centauri and other Exo Planet. I hope to do my own research on this, though doing with doing it with minimal resources, in other words, a is no different from us at least, but so anyway, how will the development of flora and fauna be affected by stronger gravity on Exo planets, maybe a super earth. So that is what we will. Let me just start, but I obviously turnest adjacent you know
The gravity of the planet doesn't change very rapidly. When you, you make a plan a little bit bigger loaded, smaller. I remember my high school physics correctly. They get scales is the radius more or less so, in fact, if you get a lot of other things being equal, if you had a planet debts, fifty percent the larger and in diameter than in the earth- and maybe the proximate be planet is like that or twenty percent, or something like that. Then the gravity yet will little stronger and instead a wing a hundred fifty pounds. You know you'd wait, two hundred and thirty pounds or something like that. I don't know that would change things terribly much. I mean the range of weight, so we have even as it is, certainly encompasses those kinds of changes, so high gravity. I mean, I know what you mean by that a hundred times the gravity of vertical you're not gonna, find out on the planet, but I think you keep low to the Jason. What would you what would you say?
I agree with you. We don't expect the gravity believed to be too much higher it. I suppose you could put plants and things and centrifuges and subject them to died. You forces and see how they do, but the topic of how earth life in particular might down to other situations is actually one of considerable research. NASA funds a lot of research into what are called extreme of files. That's earth life that really thrives or lives at all, in very extreme environments. Very hot environments recalled environments, water, that's extremely sailing very acidic. Invite events and the idea is to what degree can life as we know it exists in environments, as we don't know, if I could, we have algae that live on Mars, for instance and that's hopefully gonna give us an idea of what sort of planets are amenable to life as we know it so that we know where the point our telescopes and try and find it? So what you're saying is having a guy?
gravity may be the least of your problems. It may not be attractive, but of course it will be attractive check your on for another questioner. Ok, let's go to. Let's go to John Roberts who's coming to us from Denver Colorado John says this of all the known exo plans that can support life as we know it. How thoroughly are they being observed or listen to for signs of intelligent life? yeah well, let's start with the observe part, because in general this may not be known by everybody. We don't actually see these planets. And how accept failure to observe and maybe have a secret project here. No, no, that's a good point. A lot of the planets tat we ve discovered, we haven't actually taken a picture of it shows little dot since. There is the planet. Next to the star going around, we often infer the planet's existence because, as the planet orbits
star in a small way. The star also kind of orbits the planet, the orbit each other centre of mass, and we can detect that that small wobble of the stars- and there must be a planet there. So in those cases we can't actually study the planet, self at all, and certainly not any planets tat are cold enough that they might have liquid water on the surface might have might have life now. The exception has been one of those planets passes between us and their star, and in that case we can use the stars light back light. The planet and some of the light will pass through this planet atmosphere, and then we can study what the atmosphere is It happened back. That's a subject of intense research is something that the new James Web Space telescope will do once its launched to try. Do exactly that, but for the mother,
you haven't actually identified. Any planets that have atmosphere is like ours that we think do have liquid water on the surface like ours, so we have to find them first, but once we find them and can study them, then absolutely will will will observe them. A lot I could we find things like up. Maybe some oxygen in our atmosphere say you know, I don't want it but there's implant Bob. Try, so there's a lot of talk about what are called Bio signatures. So what would you have to see on our planet to know that there is any kind of life on it if its life? As we know it, then absolutely oxygen would be a great signature, there is some kind of full photosynthetic life. Although for almost any bias signature you can think of some clever GEO chemist, they can think of some natural process that that would have created it without life. So so it's it decided to thoroughly gonna, be Islam Dunk yield chemist. Always the Haters well done too clever
I think that by the way a part of that question was, are we actually pointing a radio telescopes in the direction of these worlds? Deceived we get any signals, and the answer to that is yes, generous. We can we do, but I mean at point out the obvious: do. The Klingons could appointed their antennas in the direction of earth for four and a half bill, years not picked up. I love Lucy right. So the fact that don't pick up a signal so mean there is anybody at all, right and so on and the other thing is they have to be able to build. Something that would allow was too pick up a signal right there right what we were listening for ya get laid. They must have the technology is they said about the six million dollar guy let's go to another question, I write your. We got Matthew, Melvin, ok, Matthew. I think I got your name right. Matthew, Mellaril says this is an alien signal is detected by Seti. How much time would it take before Seti as a team can complement confidently determine that the signal is legitimate
that's from Eric Coronado site and Dismay Matthew, wasn't Matthew Matthew, I'm sorry! I read your question. This last listeners are now I'm gonna get to your question. That's matters! So that's a great question. No, what is the protocol yeah? What is it Exactly is that there is a protocol guy, everybody S. Metabolic rate sounds kind of evil to me frankly, but there is a protocol and aid. It's like three typewritten pages, it's just the gentlemen's agreement. It has no force of law that nobody stands whited nobody's going to the men black or going to show up and and enforce it. I'm gonna do that right. It would be maybe better if they did, because it will be disappointed that there will be some budget somewhere for this sort of our right of J to show up and give us the south. I keep way. We welcome the foregoing, the oddest buddy buddy, I'm done it now. What it says is this: if you find a signal that looks like it's the real deal Think you do is confirm it to make sure that its real and that, of course, the basis of this question. How long does it take the second? you do. Is you tell everybody? And the third
can you do? Is you refrain from sending anything back? I wear the earthlings innocent that without sort of in which we ve gotten a single in which we thought. But maybe this is it right, and so some people reading the protocol Papaya mother of Adobe. Nobody can argue with that, but in fact I can t what really happened, because had false alarms and more than one in which we ve gotten a signal. Which we thought? Well. Maybe this is it right and so Some people reading a protocol, but it is irrelevant to read that, because what really happens is it assumes a signal, there's no policy of secrecy area. Using old tweeting in blogging and whatever rightly at an you're going nuts in your phone is melting down because the liquor Maybe you want to know what? What about that signal right and that's what really happens now the amount of time take to get to the point where you'd say: ok, it's time for a press conference, all of which is, of course, you know water under the bridge by boat by that, when this job faster get into this yeah yeah yeah, where I get into it by now
it taking on the order of five days a week, something I got because you would have to get somebody at another radio observatory to check the signal cos If you were the only one to get it, you know could be a Stanford undergraduate, prank or something so you ve got a role that other Stamford grads. Yeah? I pick on them, but nearby ethics have so basically the that the most important thing is confirmation. Yes, that's me, import? Yes, yes, because you know of, is it's going to be a big story? We know that we ve seen it happen and because the public interest, They see aliens every night on television. You know in the movies with her, and they fully expect that the rather most, and so it would be
very big story, and you dont want to say we found him and then a week later so well. Actually we didn't find them read that, would that would be a bummer, never mind. That's that's pretty cool Eric thanks. A lot less now go to Matthew Melvin, who I I said I would get here and I will from Facebook once and others will there ever be a way to detect Exo planets quickly without the need for long periods of observation. In other words, will there be area whether Ba kind of like could give easy snap to it. Like a mother, so planet there we're yeah, well my put Jason out of a job Jason. What do you think that a well normally we would have to
for it to go all the way around the star. So whatever the planet's Orville period is you want to have two or three of those ends up the star if the planet like the earth is going to take something like three years, but the other way is, if you have a really really good camera, something that can sets and just take a picture of the planet and then use this, like you point you take a picture of the star. Oh look that out there that's the planet and to give them China camera it can tell you right away for the planet. So that's the dream. It's called pornography and there are kroner rafts of existence and they look for a long time, but if they look at the right star in a matter of minutes, they know that they found something that looks like a right, next to it. So yeah hope they will at some point get some space based, Corona, graphic telescopes that can just pointing click and find them pretty. We don't have that kind of, like speaking it'll, take a while. Their towns like Tom Hanks Right was a don't write stuff. Whatever it Tom Hanks
which is thought up in blocks the moon accident? I have made a sort of what you're doing here you trying to block the light from the star cassettes drowned. The light from the planet right. I just want to hold a nickel in front and surrounded this star and see if you can see the planet and its really our problem. People talk about China and find a firefly next to a search life in New York, but you're doing it from LOS Angeles or something I mean the very difficult technical. That's why I didn't do it all the time it's terrific arise. We have it another break we'll be back right up?
This is starting with the start of our stars. I'm set Shasta Eurostar owes chef nice. My committee coast is sitting right over here. That's right and sitting somewhat farther away is Jason right from Penn State University, where study stars their atmospheres, their activity and today show, most importantly, there planets. I thus jump right back into talking about action plans, but we go to check for
Another cause requirement is one come from Jason Cook Jason says this: I've been hearing about the potential planet acts, that's being hunted, could be captured, Exo Planet with this mean that it was a rogue planet or could it have been caught from shots star? So also styles, star yeah yeah. I have never heard shelters, Starbucks Schulz presumably heard about it. Have you heard about that? Shows the star Jason about user no about planet, nine but sure yeah. I haven't heard of shots a star if, if there is Other planet in the solar system way out of our solar system. It's very weakly asked to the solar system and some in principle I suppose it could have been captured by the sun, which would make it a rogue planet, which is one that used to
yet another star by tat some sort of gravitational tussle with another star planet and got ejected and was floating around in space, so I am not an expert on ever that that sounds like a distant possibility will did, though, probably a lot of room planets out there right, I mean people done sort of theoretical. Modeling of all is so they do it in a computer and it we build a whole bunch of planets and may a third or a half, or something like that of them- get kicked out of the nest in the very early days and they just wander in space age Asia. So you never see him again. Maybe this was one, so that's so has the possibility has been so. The answer to your question is yes, and the site is here: we go this one from Tom Donovan says this of all the stars. We can see with the naked eye which are stars in our.
I would and which are galaxies outside of the milky way. What percentage of the stars we see are individual stars and what percentage are actual galaxies right? I think that's a fairly easy one, at least if you're in the northern hemisphere, even if you're in the southern member states, we want to take that sure they are all stars in the milky way galaxy anything you can see with the naked eye. There are a couple examples of other galaxies, but that they don't look like stars. They look like these fuzzy blobs ratio in the northern hemisphere. You can see the great Alex. In Andromeda and from the southern hemisphere. Naked eye. You can see the large and small magellanic clouds and those are other galaxies near near the milky way, get some thirty Theseus a study is eating. Everything is this: now it's like Hollywood right, so by the way. This is something I buy ago found interesting when I first learn about it. Most of them
Cars are what are called giant stars are really big, bright stars. You can you not seeing the typical stars, because our two dim you're seeing the brightest once right? It's like looking at only the front row of your classroom, yearly, seeing the brightest students, that's their work. That way right, ok, very cool! All right! I want to read this question because it sounds like this person might have a little bit of an issue with a use not the first, her God, I'm gonna find out yes, but I lost the actual question, but here's what she wanted to know aren't we overstating the importance of intelligent life. I may isn't the idea just to find life so is, is that is, is who is that an argument to be made
there is, there is actually where I work at a steady institute. Ninety five percent of the scientists. They are not looking for intelligent life looking for life and ended there looking, by what you can get some. You know media data by sending a rocket somewhere Mars or bitter six other places besides Mars, where there might be life, you know essentially next door, there three, of Jupiter, their several moons of Saturn. These are all places you might have some liquids most cases liquid water, and if you have liquids, then you get chemistry and if you have chemistry, maybe a cook up something alive, so yeah You want a fine life, that's maybe the way to do it and that's where the big money is what was NASA's doing right, but in telling life. You know most people give if you say: hey we're. Gonna use your tax dollars I can't go on Mars and as a yell. That sounds ok, but if you say how bout looking for the kind of life they could all up its side of the conversation. Intelligent life, I think, are more interested in that that's my biased
but I think they're more interesting, because those are the kinds of aliens they seen the movies at so true there you go on its excellent. Let's go! Let's listen to Joe coming. He says life as we know it is carbon base with a lot of hydrogen and oxygen. Nitrogen mixed in is it possible that life could have a different elemental make up in a world where other elements may be more suitable for reactions to that lead to life sounds like a perfect question for our astral chemises, a hostile chemist, Jason right just an hour. I am I'm a little weaken the Astor. Absolutely I mean this goes back to the science fiction on STAR Trek. They had the heart of this lookin based creature. They encountered. So we definitely try to keep an open mind about what life could be like it doesn't have to be carbon based. Maybe it doesn't even have to be on the surface of a planet. I may result stories about the dark cloud: the black cloud in space that is itself intelligent. So it's good to keep an open mind.
On the other hand, we also have to tell the engineers build our telescopes and instruments. What it is we think we're looking for and we can't say, look for anything out of the ordinary Amy parameters. So we generally start looking for carbon based life, but it's true that France and silicon- is really common on a lot of planets, and so absolutely we should. We should think about that to actually Isaac Ass, some of the famous rider he was a chemist by training, and he actually router paper in which he investigated what elements in a periodic table could could form the basis for life, and silicon is the best really none of them work as well as carbon. The fact that we're carbon based isn't so much an accident on right. That's because it works, and most likely I mean nature, does what what works best for
Well, I don't do that sooner in an initial race. As soon as you have one kind of life on our planet, probably it beats all comers there. You go awry question now. Here's one from Gabriel Keegan wants to know this. Gabrielle says this is basically for you said what kind of signal is Seti searching for younger you. Do you know what you're looking for me? You listen. I welcome. Only we have to guess at minutes is very analogous to what we just heard about. You know how to build a telescope to look for the signs of life. We look for simply a lot energy one spot on the radio dial? Okay? So it's? What's all the narrow ban signal? All it means is it's a signal. So like, you would pick up on your car radio unity tuning, the dial trying to get that country in western state of knowledge which have listened to you rights end- and you know you just hear static, static, seconding years whose whose squeal and then there's the station- and it's the fact that that stations at once upon a time
wait ten killers or whatever it is that you know that's transmitter, so we're not worried whether they're sending us the value of pi, fibonacci series or price numbers, ravings of they do want to movies. We just want to find a signal that, at one spot on the day that It had to be a lot easier than worrying about what the message may be. So that's what we look for if you find that You can be sure that somebody will have the capability of building a much bigger instrument going backwards. Well. Are they saying anything is our message that everything that you got it? So it really is just a signal. You just want to see the on the air sign is lit exactly okay. Well, listen! We ve had these really excellent question, but now it's time lightning round. It sounds dangers, and so lay it on us, their chocolates
this really vessels and try to answer as many questions as quickly as possible, and you will let us know when you are finished answering by having a little bell right right. So here we go from Chaz. Mary Mary wants to know this, not necessarily about setting or exo peas, but what is being done to detect and avoid incoming objects that could really hurt us. So does the Seti do anything with that in terms of get we we have some asteroid expert. So they worry about it. There two problems, one you got to find them and if you find one that has your name on it, it's headed our way. You got to deflect it and there has been researching both of these. I can tell you if this will make you sleep better at night, that you don't have to worry about really big ones, there is something that could take out. You know a downtown Manhattan, but those we don't know about yet, but bore, cannot ok, all right, no I'm not
sleep better. Sorry to let you know that didn't comfortably at all, maybe medicate making up the destruction of downtown Manhattan and Goodnight suck aright Jason Watson wants to know this once go alien. Do you go back? I guess I think I'll leave every other Jason known. Well, you know most of my research on on stars and acts of planets and stuff, but I've. I started to do a lot of of work with with with steady and in thinking about this, magic, so yeah you can go back and and and work on the other stuff. Ok Leon gold from Twitter says this: how can we detect the presence of intelligent life on an act so planet? So I mean yeah yeah Why would I would I would point one and assess radio telescopes added in and look for their signals,
earlier. We talked about you, you might find something weird and the atmosphere like a chlorofluorocarbons. They could only be created artificially dead. That's the thing I mean you know, maybe they'll send a rocket whether encyclopedia in it and just lands in a field summer doubtful. Already. Neil Caliph from Twitter says this one year on proximate. Centauri is eleven days How could this impact our everyday lives? If we lived on the planet, get into the birthrate annul business cases question is we didn't mention before their proximate b in the habitable zone. It's got there. I distance. Have liquid water, so this isn't appear hypothetical, maybe someday will be there. It means that the seasons only take eleven days cycle through all of them and affected, so it could also mean that the star, is what we call tightly locked which the sun never rises in the sun, never set. So that's a big deal either its daytime or its nighttime.
It's just one times on where you are and the time never change. Yet either be easier for plants, wouldn't they don't have to rotate around to follow the sun. I mean they can always we point in the same direction got, nobody could be could be. I I don't know attended over our anything for Salinas. That's the actual handle anything for Salinas. Sir, wants to know this. Is there an estimate on how old k I see eight for six to eighty five to is and how does a systems age? affect Seti yeah. Well, all eight. So the estimate for the age that stories is pretty poor. We know it's not super young, it's not like an infant star and we know it's not about to blow up, but it is couple billion years are adolescent star out is what we can do is heavy. It could be younger can be older, sweet with that kind of stars very hard enough.
Youngest. Could we all the others like a parties you going to write? Yeah, ok, but but but but at least a few billion years is long enough to cook up something interesting into four billion years to cook up homo sapiens here, but you know maybe four rocket got the dinosaur hundred million years earlier? We would ETA and we have the cure for death by now. I dont get quite all right here we go Bob, oh Ben Harb Ben Hard wants to know this, you think we will be able to mine resources from exile planets in the future. I mean, and transport costs can be something about just do what do you think a yard entering uneasy? If I were you gotta get there. First, that's the problem, but sure you give us a million years. We ve got settlements on those ex a planet. Seattle certainly have those only have. Things to mine, and presumably we will have to mind them too dark settlements are rocket. Ships
supercomputers and whatever else we're doing a million years from now get but we're gonna mine stuff. It's a lot closer to us. My right, asteroids out, is that as a regional power, which is probably more these were mind. An asteroid before we get to now that he's do their companies that are companies that are putting money into it. I mean it's a real, you could be, I don't you want to think you're life savings into a? U good right. I like this, get tattle Barone at. I think that's your name guitar! I'm sorry on the Rhone says this, which conditions would create a stable or visibly non spherical planet such as a disk or a donut donut, Does that plan that so the thing with planets is the the gravity is always gonna pull them into a spiritual shaped, and so, if you want to get some status very biscuits to put it around it, so you
when he's binary planets, you gotta have a ring of material like Saturn, but if you took the, Can you made it into a donor it when just squish itself back into his fear under its own gravity, yeah yeah bill, but of course, that you know good could create an artificial planet. Of course, if you're really an advanced society, no sort of a super duper space station and it may be the donut shape- is not crazy. You go out I, like your eyes, glaze over very, very hungry at that time? the question in a real quickly. If we go for humans, what is the biggest a had? A habitable planet could be or really the smallest for me, the real, quick If you ve got a planet like the earth, it's gonna be smaller than the earth or a little bit bigger than the earth. But if you get you bigger it's probably not made Iraq's, has finally made a gas nice and that wouldn't be very habitable. Our on our planet is pretty much the the size that this is this. Is this
thanks so much to all of our wonderful listeners where those truly amazing questions, unfortunately, we're out of time here on star talk, all stars thanks to chuck nice for co host, tonight and leisure reading, all those great questions and Jason right for sharing his wisdom with us. Thank you, Jake Pleasure I suggest to you that you might want to check out the big picture science. You can find it all the usual podcast locations and it may be on your local radio station as well. This is set us back. I've been your star talk all stars hose and, as always, we'll be watching disguise. Some other Bardell lay all job the organs which you can listen. The star talk commercial, free, Joe. STAR talk on Patriot, on for as little as five dollars per month and the ads will disappear, learn more at patriarch dot com. Last star talk, radio.
Transcript generated on 2020-01-24.