Author Topic: Propellantless Field Propulsion and application  (Read 666026 times)

Offline mlorrey

  • Member
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2133
  • International Spaceflight Museum
  • Grantham, NH
  • Liked: 9
  • Likes Given: 0
Re: Propellantless Field Propulsion and application
« Reply #1140 on: 02/23/2011 02:32 AM »
if it can explain Fermi´s Paradox (the great silence) it doesnt explain the Fermi Paradox on the question of why they havent contacted us, because its probable there would be hundreds if not thousands of civilizations on the Milky Way alone using ME Drives. In fact, we may have arrived too late to claim any other planet to us.

There are many possible explanations for Fermi's Paradox:

a) all species eventually destroy themselves
b) all species eventually are destroyed by some inimical entity
c) species that evade destruction by some inimical entity do so by learning to shut the heck up and fake their own destruction in the interstellar airwaves.
d) the use of active high powered radio wave transmissions by intelligent species is a short-lived phase of technological development lasting 100-200 years on average, so unless another species is at the same exact phase of development we are at when their transmissions pass through our solar system, we will never detect them.
e) species developing technological civilizations are extremely rare due to the rarity of planets existing under the right conditions of gravity, crustal metallicity, radiation, meteoric bombardment, stellar stability, orbital eccentricity, frequency of nearby supernovae, etc.
f) all species that survive their own developmental risks eventually transcend into artificial technological life forms that have little or no interest in exploring other star systems, or find it easy to hide on planets they explore as "crypto-dirt" (nanotech digital civilizations whose network traffic is highly encrypted and low power to be indistiguishable from a slightly elevated level of background radiation noise), or find it easier to create artificial universes with engineered singularities operating quantum simulation programs (i.e. The Simulation Argument).

It is likely that more than one of the above options is true.

Even with the wormhole technology, it is still rather energy intensive to send ships to destination star systems to construct stargate destination gates. Given the rate of technological advancement, and the energy/mass cost of sending an initial interstellar mission, it is more likely that once a civilization builds their first interstellar stargate connection, by the time it is completed, the civilization has transcended into a post-biological state and only needs to transmit data to the destination star system. Thereafter, it is only interested in sending star probes that carry a wormhole based interstellar data router to expand their data networks.

If this scenario is the likely one, then the stage human beings are currently in is like asking a modern internet broadband company why they dont wire fiber optic cables to the most primitive jungle tribes of people still living in the stone age, only a billion times more extreme.

The human species is not a profitable market for such services..... Yet.
« Last Edit: 02/23/2011 02:34 AM by mlorrey »
VP of International Spaceflight Museum - http://ismuseum.org
Founder, Lorrey Aerospace, B&T Holdings, ACE Exchange, and Hypersonic Systems. Currently I am a venture recruiter for Family Office Venture Capital.

Offline cuddihy

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 795
  • Liked: 143
  • Likes Given: 142
Re: Propellantless Field Propulsion and application
« Reply #1141 on: 02/23/2011 02:38 AM »


Ok, I'll bite: how? Gravity and mass fluctuations propagate at light speed. The 'faster than light' observed effect of inertial reaction is caused by the fluctuations propagating fwd& bkwds through time along the lightcone, an effect that only works because the initial mass and the inertial reaction are symmetrical. And by that I mean they originate in the same mass at the same location in space-time. So how does this in any way allow FTL communication that is not symmetrical?

I don't know exactly. I'm just repeating what I've read in one of Paul's presentations. It seems I can't attach a ppt file, so I've posted the link at the bottom of my post.

Relevant part:

"If the Momenergy transmitted and received from the FOAM is truly instantaneous, then a means is at hand to implement an instantaneous communications link to any-where and any-when in this universe.

Since this G/I communication link is via non-E&M means, and since normal metals and dielectrics do not shield G/I disturbances, these G/I communication links could be received underwater or on the other side of the world"

If this is true, doesn't it have implications for Fermi's paradox?

http://www.cphonx.net/weffect/Stair-Steps-to-Stars-5-6.ppt

Thanks. I still don't get it, it would still propagate at lightspeed as far as I can tell. (and how you make two UFGs 'resonant' to each other is an additional mystery to me).

Offline GeeGee

  • Full Member
  • *
  • Posts: 130
  • Liked: 1
  • Likes Given: 0
Re: Propellantless Field Propulsion and application
« Reply #1142 on: 02/23/2011 02:41 AM »
if it can explain Fermi´s Paradox (the great silence) it doesnt explain the Fermi Paradox on the question of why they havent contacted us, because its probable there would be hundreds if not thousands of civilizations on the Milky Way alone using ME Drives. In fact, we may have arrived too late to claim any other planet to us.

Why would they want to contact us?

We don't have anything to offer for a civilization that has perfected deep space travel. Assuming M-E drives, wormholes and the like are real and practical, it seems to me such a civilization would only communicate with civilizations of the same caliber. We could be a scientific curiosity to them, but that doesn't imply in any way that they would come here and have breakfast with the president while negotiating a technological exchange.

Offline Star-Drive

  • Member
  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 825
  • TX/USA
  • Liked: 866
  • Likes Given: 9
Re: Propellantless Field Propulsion and application
« Reply #1143 on: 02/23/2011 04:48 AM »


Ok, I'll bite: how? Gravity and mass fluctuations propagate at light speed. The 'faster than light' observed effect of inertial reaction is caused by the fluctuations propagating fwd& bkwds through time along the lightcone, an effect that only works because the initial mass and the inertial reaction are symmetrical. And by that I mean they originate in the same mass at the same location in space-time. So how does this in any way allow FTL communication that is not symmetrical?

I don't know exactly. I'm just repeating what I've read in one of Paul's presentations. It seems I can't attach a ppt file, so I've posted the link at the bottom of my post.

Relevant part:

"If the Momenergy transmitted and received from the FOAM is truly instantaneous, then a means is at hand to implement an instantaneous communications link to any-where and any-when in this universe.

Since this G/I communication link is via non-E&M means, and since normal metals and dielectrics do not shield G/I disturbances, these G/I communication links could be received underwater or on the other side of the world"

If this is true, doesn't it have implications for Fermi's paradox?

http://www.cphonx.net/weffect/Stair-Steps-to-Stars-5-6.ppt

Thanks. I still don't get it, it would still propagate at lightspeed as far as I can tell. (and how you make two UFGs 'resonant' to each other is an additional mystery to me).

Cuddihy:

My ideas on FTL communications have evolved since I authored that Stair-Steps to the Stars presentation some eight years ago.  Now think about driving a toroidal ring of dielectric that is bulk accelerated and driven with enough ac power (dP/dt) to evoke the M-E wormhole term that in turn creates a nano-to-micro OD wormhole at the center of this toroid with its destination in space and time at X & Y.  Next aim a modulated laser beam into your end of the wormhole while having your partner put a laser receiver at the other end of the wormhole.  You will note that just a few nano seconds is used for the laser beam to traverse the wormhole no matter where or when in the universe the wormhole exit and reciever may be placed. 

I vote for Mike Lorrey's Fermi Pardox solution D.  ("D) The use of active high powered radio wave transmissions by intelligent species is a short-lived phase of technological development lasting 100-200 years on average")  ... To be replaced by near instantaneous M-E wormhole comm links...
Star-Drive

Offline MP99

Re: Propellantless Field Propulsion and application
« Reply #1144 on: 02/23/2011 06:39 AM »
(and how you make two UFGs 'resonant' to each other is an additional mystery to me).

It's my understanding that the FCC regulates spark gap radio transmitters because they cause too much interference to more sophisticated communications systems, exactly because they don't use resonance. (EG http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ultra-wideband#Regulation).

Imagine some interstellar equivalent of the FCC coming here to investigate why we're suddenly broadcasting all that interference.



Now think about driving a toroidal ring of dielectric that is bulk accelerated and driven with enough ac power (dP/dt) to evoke the M-E wormhole term that in turn creates a nano-to-micro OD wormhole at the center of this toroid with its destination in space and time at X & Y.  Next aim a modulated laser beam into your end of the wormhole while having your partner put a laser receiver at the other end of the wormhole.  You will note that just a few nano seconds is used for the laser beam to traverse the wormhole no matter where or when in the universe the wormhole exit and reciever may be placed.

OK, that sounds more like point-to-point, ie equivalent to a fibre optic cable rather than broadcast.

But I don't understand how you determine where the far end of the wormhole comes out (X & Y).

cheers, Martin

Offline kkattula

  • Member
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2506
  • Melbourne, Australia
  • Liked: 10
  • Likes Given: 3
Re: Propellantless Field Propulsion and application
« Reply #1145 on: 02/23/2011 06:59 AM »
I vote for Mike Lorrey's Fermi Pardox solution D.  ("D) The use of active high powered radio wave transmissions by intelligent species is a short-lived phase of technological development lasting 100-200 years on average")  ... To be replaced by near instantaneous M-E wormhole comm links...

On another thread, someone posted that recent modeling suggests high powered radio wave transmissions get lost in the background noise after just 3 to 4 lightyears. Which would:

a)  Solve Fermi's Paradox unless Alpha Centauri has inhabited planets, and

b)  Makes SETI a huge waste of time.

http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=24157.msg694889#msg694889
« Last Edit: 02/23/2011 07:06 AM by kkattula »

Offline mlorrey

  • Member
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2133
  • International Spaceflight Museum
  • Grantham, NH
  • Liked: 9
  • Likes Given: 0
Re: Propellantless Field Propulsion and application
« Reply #1146 on: 02/23/2011 07:03 AM »
(and how you make two UFGs 'resonant' to each other is an additional mystery to me).

It's my understanding that the FCC regulates spark gap radio transmitters because they cause too much interference to more sophisticated communications systems, exactly because they don't use resonance. (EG http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ultra-wideband#Regulation).

Imagine some interstellar equivalent of the FCC coming here to investigate why we're suddenly broadcasting all that interference.



Now think about driving a toroidal ring of dielectric that is bulk accelerated and driven with enough ac power (dP/dt) to evoke the M-E wormhole term that in turn creates a nano-to-micro OD wormhole at the center of this toroid with its destination in space and time at X & Y.  Next aim a modulated laser beam into your end of the wormhole while having your partner put a laser receiver at the other end of the wormhole.  You will note that just a few nano seconds is used for the laser beam to traverse the wormhole no matter where or when in the universe the wormhole exit and reciever may be placed.

OK, that sounds more like point-to-point, ie equivalent to a fibre optic cable rather than broadcast.

But I don't understand how you determine where the far end of the wormhole comes out (X & Y).

cheers, Martin

Well the simple answer to what determines the far end is that you have to go out *there* and set up another stargate where you want the far end to be.

However, lets imagine that alien cultures develop much like current futurists project our own culture will develop: some time in the 21st or 22nd centuries, most of our species will become either fully integrated into an information infrastructure (i.e. augmented intelligence) or fully uploaded (i.e. becoming post-human) or replaced with AI offspring, or a combination of these three options.

Assuming this projection is typical of technological civilizations that are able to avoid self-destruction due to nuclear warfare, exhaustion of natural resources, or excessive toxic pollution, and assuming that development of M-E based wormhole stargates is also typical, then there should be stargate based GAN (Galactic Area Network) routers in every star system that has evolved to such a level of technology, which we should be able to tie into as soon as we develop our own stargate GAN router technology. As soon as we create a M-E generated wormhole on our end, then that wormhole should find a connection somewhere else, and we should immediately start seeing a rather large torrent of data coming through it.

Some of this data may be malicious data seeking to hack our own IT infrastructure, either to take control of our information civilization, or to destroy it. For this reason, whoever develops this technology had better isolate it physically within a shielded envelope, if not entirely *away* from Earth to utilize light speed latency as an insulation.

(Greg Egan's novel Accelerando is a good portrayal of some features of this threat.)
VP of International Spaceflight Museum - http://ismuseum.org
Founder, Lorrey Aerospace, B&T Holdings, ACE Exchange, and Hypersonic Systems. Currently I am a venture recruiter for Family Office Venture Capital.

Offline MP99

Re: Propellantless Field Propulsion and application
« Reply #1147 on: 02/23/2011 07:34 AM »
Now think about driving a toroidal ring of dielectric that is bulk accelerated and driven with enough ac power (dP/dt) to evoke the M-E wormhole term that in turn creates a nano-to-micro OD wormhole at the center of this toroid with its destination in space and time at X & Y.  Next aim a modulated laser beam into your end of the wormhole while having your partner put a laser receiver at the other end of the wormhole.  You will note that just a few nano seconds is used for the laser beam to traverse the wormhole no matter where or when in the universe the wormhole exit and reciever may be placed.

OK, that sounds more like point-to-point, ie equivalent to a fibre optic cable rather than broadcast.

But I don't understand how you determine where the far end of the wormhole comes out (X & Y).

cheers, Martin

Well the simple answer to what determines the far end is that you have to go out *there* and set up another stargate where you want the far end to be.

No, it's clear that the wormhole is created with the location of the far end somehow "specified" ("X & Y"): "M-E ... creates a ... wormhole ... with its destination in space and time at X & Y. Next ..."



However, lets imagine that alien cultures develop much like current futurists project our own culture will develop: some time in the 21st or 22nd centuries <snip>

(Greg Egan's novel Accelerando is a good portrayal of some features of this threat.)

Yeah, recognised the book as I was reading your comment. Good book, BTW.

cheers, Martin

Offline Star-Drive

  • Member
  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 825
  • TX/USA
  • Liked: 866
  • Likes Given: 9
Re: Propellantless Field Propulsion and application
« Reply #1148 on: 02/23/2011 01:35 PM »
All:

Below is a response from Jim W. on 93143's 02/22/2011 comment about a local M-E device coupling with the FOAM:

93143 observation's:

"The key question, I think, is this:  what is the thruster pushing on?  What is the relative velocity of the Far-Off Active Mass?  On Earth, if you drive a car you're pushing on the ground to go faster, and it's very efficient, but it's not over-unity because the ground is at a set reference velocity and doesn't move to help you along.  But if an M-E thruster is pushing on distant matter, there's no substantial difference between 0 km/s and 1 km/s, because the matter in the universe is flying all over the place.  And it seems to me that in order to achieve a measurable thrust efficiency, an M-E thruster would have to preferentially interact with matter near its own velocity.  Any way you slice it, the conditions seen by the thruster do not change markedly as the vehicle accelerates.  In other words, the ground moves with the car."

Woodward's comment:

"Paul,

Just a quick observation.  The reason why you need a local reaction mass in a Mach effect device is because it is the thing that is anchored in the distant matter that you push and pull off of.  It plays the role of the earth in the accelerating car analogy.  The thermal motion of distant matter doesn't have anything to do with the effects I think.

Best,

Jim"


I'm not sure I agree with Woodward on this one or not, but I'm willing to wait and see what the experimental data brings to the table first...
Star-Drive

Offline Star-Drive

  • Member
  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 825
  • TX/USA
  • Liked: 866
  • Likes Given: 9
Re: Propellantless Field Propulsion and application
« Reply #1149 on: 02/23/2011 02:56 PM »
(and how you make two UFGs 'resonant' to each other is an additional mystery to me).

It's my understanding that the FCC regulates spark gap radio transmitters because they cause too much interference to more sophisticated communications systems, exactly because they don't use resonance. (EG http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ultra-wideband#Regulation).

Imagine some interstellar equivalent of the FCC coming here to investigate why we're suddenly broadcasting all that interference.



Now think about driving a toroidal ring of dielectric that is bulk accelerated and driven with enough ac power (dP/dt) to evoke the M-E wormhole term that in turn creates a nano-to-micro OD wormhole at the center of this toroid with its destination in space and time at X & Y.  Next aim a modulated laser beam into your end of the wormhole while having your partner put a laser receiver at the other end of the wormhole.  You will note that just a few nano seconds is used for the laser beam to traverse the wormhole no matter where or when in the universe the wormhole exit and reciever may be placed.

OK, that sounds more like point-to-point, ie equivalent to a fibre optic cable rather than broadcast.

But I don't understand how you determine where the far end of the wormhole comes out (X & Y).

cheers, Martin

Martin:

Steering the exit port of a traversable wormhole has never been done before, so what I'm going to say next is just speculations on my part, but here goes.  If one were to build the M-E toroidal...whoops, spherical dielectric structure in geodetic like segments that are driven separately so as to be able to control the magnitude of the wormhole term being expressed in each segment, one could then hope that the end results of such a control system could direct the exit port of the wormhole to location X, Y, Z within a spherical zone around the wormhole generator.  This would be much like a phased array radar being able to direct an E&M beam over a surface area, but with the distance of the destination exit port being determined by the average strength of the evoked exotic G/I matter in each of the segments. 

As to how one is to be able to determine the time t coordinate of the exit port, I would have to guess that it would have to involve some form of AM and/or FM modulation of the G/I exotic matter amplitude and/or frequency being expressed in each segment, but one would have to go back to Einstein's GRT gravity field tensor equation to get a better handle on what needs to be done before diving off building anything along these lines...
Star-Drive

Offline aceshigh

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 608
  • Liked: 171
  • Likes Given: 16
Re: Propellantless Field Propulsion and application
« Reply #1150 on: 02/23/2011 04:52 PM »


lol, it seems you wrote it directly to GoatGuy, expecting me to copy your answer and post there. Gee, you could cut me the trouble and post directly there, haha.



Sorry aceshigh, NextBigFuture does bad things to my IE. I try to stay away.

Chrome
http://www.google.com/chrome/intl/en/landing_chrome.html?hl=en

Firefox
http://www.getfirefox.net/


get rid of IE. You wont regret.

Offline kurt9

  • Member
  • Posts: 31
  • Liked: 0
  • Likes Given: 0
Re: Propellantless Field Propulsion and application
« Reply #1151 on: 02/23/2011 08:00 PM »
First, I finally splurged and bought a copy of the Millis book "Frontiers of Propulsion Science". It look very interesting and seems to be the definitive discussion of all breakthrough physics concepts as they relate to space propulsion.

Second, I have a question about wormholes. Supposing you can make one in a lab, would it "punch through" on its own? Or would you just create two wormhole openings in the lab, then have to transport one opening by conventional means to the target destination to create the tunnel? Wormholes that punch through are obviously the more useful ones.

Thirdly, it seems to me the most plausible answer to the Fermi question is that we are alone (at least in the Milky Way).

The Kepler results actually suggest this. Although it has found many planets, even the Earth-sized ones found are much less dense than rocky planets. The preliminary data suggests that even small planets tend to be miniature gas or ice planets rather than rocky planets. If rocky planets are rare, complex life is rare as well.

Another explanation for Fermi's question is the emergence of Eukaryotes. This happened only once on Earth (suggesting its a rare event) and appears to be due to the Hydrogen Hypothesis of endosymbiosis, which is not an evolutionarily favored process, again suggesting that its a rare event. The emergence of the Eukaryote maybe a singular rare event.


Offline JohnFornaro

  • Not an expert
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 9162
  • Delta-t is the salient metric.
  • Planet Eaarth
    • Design / Program Associates
  • Liked: 610
  • Likes Given: 314
Re: Propellantless Field Propulsion and application
« Reply #1152 on: 02/24/2011 04:00 PM »
get rid of IE. You wont regret.

Just spent a while recreating a win2k machine with ie6, after my first major crash in 15 years.  No regrets.  Guess there's all sorts of room on the internets hiway.
Sometimes I just flat out don't get it.

Offline JohnFornaro

  • Not an expert
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 9162
  • Delta-t is the salient metric.
  • Planet Eaarth
    • Design / Program Associates
  • Liked: 610
  • Likes Given: 314
Re: Propellantless Field Propulsion and application
« Reply #1153 on: 02/24/2011 04:09 PM »
BAcking up to Fermi's Paradox for a sec.  There's another explanation.  If it takes as long as it has for our species to evolve out of the goo,  it takes about the same amount of time for the second, thrid, and so on species to evolve to the same level.  If we just happened to be first, or nearly first, with our current abilities, we couldn't even detect another species with similar technical abilities to our own, nor could they us.

In other words, the distant species that evolved the day before, or the day after we did, would look at the universe, and say, "where are they?"

And what about those intelligent civilizations who are walking upright but still living in caves, and looking at the night sky with wonder?  We can't see them and they can't see us.
Sometimes I just flat out don't get it.

Offline aceshigh

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 608
  • Liked: 171
  • Likes Given: 16
Re: Propellantless Field Propulsion and application
« Reply #1154 on: 02/24/2011 11:55 PM »
And what about those intelligent civilizations who are walking upright but still living in caves, and looking at the night sky with wonder?  We can't see them and they can't see us.

they should behave and wait for us to colonize them and use them as slaves!! Modern sports, bah! How about some fun with alien gladiators fighting to death? :)

Offline truth is life

  • Full Member
  • **
  • Posts: 278
  • Liked: 7
  • Likes Given: 8
Re: Propellantless Field Propulsion and application
« Reply #1155 on: 02/25/2011 04:51 AM »
(Greg Egan's novel Accelerando is a good portrayal of some features of this threat.)

Accelerando is actually by Charlie Stross, not Greg Egan.

/nitpick

Quote from: kkattula
On another thread, someone posted that recent modeling suggests high powered radio wave transmissions get lost in the background noise after just 3 to 4 lightyears. Which would:

I thought SETI was actually assuming that already and was looking for non-stray transmissions, instead. Surely a tight beam aimed at nearby stars wouldn't get drowned out so quickly?

Offline kkattula

  • Member
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2506
  • Melbourne, Australia
  • Liked: 10
  • Likes Given: 3
Re: Propellantless Field Propulsion and application
« Reply #1156 on: 02/25/2011 05:49 AM »
...
I thought SETI was actually assuming that already and was looking for non-stray transmissions, instead. Surely a tight beam aimed at nearby stars wouldn't get drowned out so quickly?

Well the example used in the calculator required some pretty big & powerful equipment to both send and detect a tight beam at 20 LY.

If the criteria now includes the alien civilization has to be making a massive effort to communicate, and is within say 100 LY, and has targeted our system, then there could be thousands in our galaxy, and we still wouldn't know.

Offline GeeGee

  • Full Member
  • *
  • Posts: 130
  • Liked: 1
  • Likes Given: 0
Re: Propellantless Field Propulsion and application
« Reply #1157 on: 02/25/2011 06:34 AM »


Well the example used in the calculator required some pretty big & powerful equipment to both send and detect a tight beam at 20 LY.

If the criteria now includes the alien civilization has to be making a massive effort to communicate, and is within say 100 LY, and has targeted our system, then there could be thousands in our galaxy, and we still wouldn't know.

If this is really the case, then I'd probably agree with what you said earlier: SETI is a huge waste of time.

Also, some scientists believe the lack of evidence for Dyson spheres and mega-scale engineering is reason enough to discount the existence of advanced ET's in the galaxy. Well, if we consider the possibility of extracting energy from the zero-point field (what is Woodward's view on this, by the way?) or this gravinertial field which is potentially enormous, they would really have no reason to create something like a Dyson sphere. We can't rule out other potential sources of novel energy that we may not be aware of yet. It could also be that these megastructures may be hard to detect with current technology.

If Woodward's ideas pan out, perhaps we'll get some solid answers for these questions. Heck, this breakthrough might be the spark that initiates contact.
« Last Edit: 02/25/2011 06:42 AM by GeeGee »

Offline Lampyridae

  • Veteran
  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 1645
  • Liked: 64
  • Likes Given: 120
Re: Propellantless Field Propulsion and application
« Reply #1158 on: 02/25/2011 08:47 AM »
Dyson Spheres and other megastructures were made under the limitless growth paradigm where it looked like industrial economies were just going to keep on growing indefinitely - due to population growth. Europe and Japan show that that's not going to happen as a given. Our own civilisation will cap growth at 12 billion.

Advanced civilisations will do who knows what. They may just virtualise themselves and live in a small lump of computronium.
« Last Edit: 02/25/2011 09:04 AM by Lampyridae »
SKYLON... The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen's preferred surface-to-orbit conveyance.

Offline Lampyridae

  • Veteran
  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 1645
  • Liked: 64
  • Likes Given: 120
Re: Propellantless Field Propulsion and application
« Reply #1159 on: 02/25/2011 09:59 AM »
The Kepler results actually suggest this. Although it has found many planets, even the Earth-sized ones found are much less dense than rocky planets. The preliminary data suggests that even small planets tend to be miniature gas or ice planets rather than rocky planets. If rocky planets are rare, complex life is rare as well.

The Kepler data does not suggest that. Masses for the vast majority of planetary candidates have not been measured. From NASA's Kepler FAQ: http://kepler.nasa.gov/Science/about/ScientificGoals/expectedResults/

Quote
The Kepler Mission begins to collect data immediately after launch and checkout and begins to produce results in a progressive fashion shortly thereafter.

   1. The first results come in just a few months when the giant inner planets are seen, those with orbital periods of only a few days.
   2. Objects that are in Mercury-like orbits of a few months are detected within the first year.
   3. Earth-size planets in Earth-like orbits require nearly the full lifetime of the four year mission, although in some cases three transits are seen in just a little more than two years.

      Other results that require the full four years of data are:
   4. Planets as small as Mercury in short period orbits, which utilizes the addition of a dozens or more transits to be detectable; and
   5. The detection of giant-inner planets that do not transit the star but do periodically modulate the apparent brightness due to reflected light from the planet.

The Kepler mission would have a hard time detecting the Earth even if it was edge-on. It would have to observe two transits of a small diameter making a very small, rather brief dip across a very strong signal. How small a dip? I've been doing Zooniverse for a while and I still can't spot an Earth-sized planet in the simulated data. Plus it has to observe at least *three* transits to confirm a planet sighting.

Quote
Kepler launched in 2009, and the soonest we anticipate announcing an Earth-size planet orbiting a Sun-like star would be sometime in 2012-2013.
« Last Edit: 02/25/2011 10:35 AM by Lampyridae »
SKYLON... The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen's preferred surface-to-orbit conveyance.

Tags: