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What exoplanet might reply us back?

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posted on Jul, 14 2018 @ 04:55 PM
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a reply to: james1947

I just copy and pasted, I didn't count digits.
But the claim was that Windows Calculator would choke. It didn't.

With a number like that the least significant digit is quite insignificant though. Wouldn't you agree?



edit on 7/14/2018 by Phage because: (no reason given)




posted on Jul, 14 2018 @ 05:20 PM
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Excel != Windows Calculator

I'll gladly put my own knowledge to the test on that claim.

Excel was a primary tool of my last job.

I am a Tommy level Pinball Wizard, when it comes to Excel.

It has atrocious errors after a certain digit count.

(To clarify on my Excel knowledge, I am one of the few people that ever hit an IF THEN statement cap in Excel.)

Excel can only have up to 64 nested if statements IIRC.

I made a function with 120+.

((PS my fix was to perform the function in two separate columns, then combine the output, to avoid the nested IF error.))
edit on 14-7-2018 by Archivalist because: meh

edit on 14-7-2018 by Archivalist because: clarify

edit on 14-7-2018 by Archivalist because: meh2 revenge of the meh



posted on Jul, 14 2018 @ 05:22 PM
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a reply to: Archivalist
Of course it doesn't.

I used Windows Calculator. It didn't choke.

I use Excel when I want to run simulations and stuff.



posted on Jul, 15 2018 @ 09:01 AM
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originally posted by: whereislogic

originally posted by: Soylent Green Is People

Granted, liquid-methane based life is hypothetical, but there are scientists, such as NASA astrobiologist Chris McKay, who feel it is possible, such as the potential for microbial life on Titan (see link below).

Perhaps that sort of talk is better for Hollywood than a taxfunded organization like NASA or a magazine supposedly about "astrobiology" (see your link), implying that what's in it is "science" rather than "science fiction". Who knows, maybe the pink unicorn is flying around on a flying carpet out there somewhere and you don't even need to look for a planet.


Life that uses methane on place of water may be hypothetical, but the study of potential methane-life is real science, not science fiction. The Astrobiology magazine artilcle was based on real NASA research, specifically from NASA astrobioogist Chris McKay. This astrobiology research on methane-based (as opposed to water-based) life is also carried out by other serious and respected scientific institutions.


Here are some articles from NASA (from the NASA website) that discusses the possibility of methane-based life.

Does Titan’s Hydrocarbon Soup Hold A Recipe For Life?

NASA researchers have confirmed the existence in Titan’s atmosphere of vinyl cyanide, which is an organic compound that could potentially provide the cellular membranes for microbial life to form in Titan’s vast methane oceans. If true, it could prove to us that life can flourish without the ubiquitous HO.

Earth-based cell membranes are made of phospholipids: molecular chains with phosphorus-oxygen heads and carbon-chain tails that bind to each other to form a flexible membrane in water. Methane-based life, should it exist, would need an alternative to Earth’s phospholipid-based existence and would open up a much wider range of planets and moons to the possibility of extraterrestrial life. one possible alternative is vinyl cyanide.



An older NASA article that might have some out-of-date info, but one that shows the research into life that uses methane instead of water is real and is something NASA actively engages in:

What is Consuming Hydrogen and Acetylene on Titan?


One key finding comes from a paper online now in the journal Icarus that shows hydrogen molecules flowing down through Titan's atmosphere and disappearing at the surface. Another paper online now in the Journal of Geophysical Research maps hydrocarbons on the Titan surface and finds a lack of acetylene.

This lack of acetylene is important because that chemical would likely be the best energy source for a methane-based life on Titan, said Chris McKay, an astrobiologist at NASA Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, Calif., who proposed a set of conditions necessary for this kind of methane-based life on Titan in 2005. One interpretation of the acetylene data is that the hydrocarbon is being consumed as food. But McKay said the flow of hydrogen is even more critical because all of their proposed mechanisms involved the consumption of hydrogen.

"We suggested hydrogen consumption because it's the obvious gas for life to consume on Titan, similar to the way we consume oxygen on Earth," McKay said. "If these signs do turn out to be a sign of life, it would be doubly exciting because it would represent a second form of life independent from water-based life on Earth."


I'm not sure where you get your science information, but the idea that life might not require water and instead use other liquid compounds to carry out life processes is a real and serious area of study in mainstream science. I suppose the existence of such life is technically "fiction" until actual life is found -- but I wouldn't call the research being done "science fiction."

It's real science: i.e., propose a hypothesis and then find ways to test that hypothesis.

edit on 15/7/2018 by Soylent Green Is People because: (no reason given)



posted on Jul, 15 2018 @ 11:35 AM
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Excel can only have up to 64 nested if statements IIRC. I made a function with 120+.


Excel, the general purpose tool which eventually sends the user to a programmer.
edit on 7/15/2018 by roadgravel because: typo



posted on Jul, 17 2018 @ 03:54 AM
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originally posted by: Soylent Green Is People

originally posted by: whereislogic

originally posted by: Soylent Green Is People

Granted, liquid-methane based life is hypothetical, but there are scientists, such as NASA astrobiologist Chris McKay, who feel it is possible, such as the potential for microbial life on Titan (see link below).

Perhaps that sort of talk is better for Hollywood than a taxfunded organization like NASA or a magazine supposedly about "astrobiology" (see your link), implying that what's in it is "science" rather than "science fiction". Who knows, maybe the pink unicorn is flying around on a flying carpet out there somewhere and you don't even need to look for a planet.


Life that uses methane on place of water may be hypothetical, but the study of potential methane-life is real science, not science fiction. The Astrobiology magazine artilcle was based on real NASA research, specifically from NASA astrobioogist Chris McKay. This astrobiology research on methane-based (as opposed to water-based) life is also carried out by other serious and respected scientific institutions.

In the words of John Lennox:

Statements by scientists are not necessarily statements of science.

The same counts for 'peer reviewed' publications. McKay is just catering to the market. He's selling what people want to hear. He's just using speculation along with a dose of imagination and wishful thinking. The pressure of 'Publish or perish' along with the popularity of philosophical naturalism seriously reduces the quality of publications and news articles about science. There's also the matter of honesty vs marketing value.



posted on Jul, 17 2018 @ 07:51 AM
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originally posted by: whereislogic

originally posted by: Soylent Green Is People

originally posted by: whereislogic

originally posted by: Soylent Green Is People

Granted, liquid-methane based life is hypothetical, but there are scientists, such as NASA astrobiologist Chris McKay, who feel it is possible, such as the potential for microbial life on Titan (see link below).

Perhaps that sort of talk is better for Hollywood than a taxfunded organization like NASA or a magazine supposedly about "astrobiology" (see your link), implying that what's in it is "science" rather than "science fiction". Who knows, maybe the pink unicorn is flying around on a flying carpet out there somewhere and you don't even need to look for a planet.


Life that uses methane on place of water may be hypothetical, but the study of potential methane-life is real science, not science fiction. The Astrobiology magazine artilcle was based on real NASA research, specifically from NASA astrobioogist Chris McKay. This astrobiology research on methane-based (as opposed to water-based) life is also carried out by other serious and respected scientific institutions.

In the words of John Lennox:

Statements by scientists are not necessarily statements of science.

The same counts for 'peer reviewed' publications. McKay is just catering to the market. He's selling what people want to hear. He's just using speculation along with a dose of imagination and wishful thinking. The pressure of 'Publish or perish' along with the popularity of philosophical naturalism seriously reduces the quality of publications and news articles about science. There's also the matter of honesty vs marketing value.



Part of that study on mysterious imbalances of hydrogen and acetylene on Titan was also done by Johns Hopkins University, which I think (maybe you don't) is a highly respected institution. What about another major well-respected research University such as Cornell?

Chemical and molecular scientists at Cornell are doing research on theoretical life with a totally different type of cell structure that use nitrogen-based membranes to control the flow of nutrients in and out of the cell rather than Earth life that uses fatty-acid membranes called liposomes.

On Earth, water is the solvent in which nutrients are dissolved and then used for life processes. But liquid methane is also a solvent that could hypothetically be used in life processes, but these liposomes break down in liquid methane, so alternative membranes made from compounds (such as nitrogen compounds) that could be found on methane-worlds are being considered.

These theoretical nitrogen-base membranes are being called "azotosome", and they work like a liposome, with one major difference -- liposomes work because the fatty acids are non-water soluble, so they can act as a barrier between the water inside and outside the cell, controlling the flow of nutrient in and out of a cell. These fatty acids would break down in a hydrocarbon environment, like methane.

Instead, this azotosome membrane, being made of nitrogen, hydrogen, and carbon, would be non-hydrocarbon soluble, and be able to control the flow of nutrients in and out of a cell that uses liquid methane in place of water. Simulated models have been tested of liquid methane-based life with these "azotosome" membranes rather than liposome membranes containing the cell show that the methane world Titan has azotosome compounds, and (importantly) those compounds share some of the same abilities as liposomes and also show stability.

That is to say, this is a potential mechanism that would allow life-processes to happen in a liquid methane world, such as Saturn's moon Titan, or other world that might be beyond the liquid water habitable zone, but be within the liquid methane habitable zone.

Life 'not as we know it' possible on Saturn's moon Titan


On Earth, life is based on the phospholipid bilayer membrane, the strong, permeable, water-based vesicle that houses the organic matter of every cell. A vesicle made from such a membrane is called a liposome. Thus, many astronomers seek extraterrestrial life in what’s called the circumstellar habitable zone, the narrow band around the sun in which liquid water can exist. But what if cells weren’t based on water, but on methane, which has a much lower freezing point?

The engineers named their theorized cell membrane an “azotosome,” “azote” being the French word for nitrogen. “Liposome” comes from the Greek “lipos” and “soma” to mean “lipid body;” by analogy, “azotosome” means “nitrogen body.”

The azotosome is made from nitrogen, carbon and hydrogen molecules known to exist in the cryogenic seas of Titan, but shows the same stability and flexibility that Earth’s analogous liposome does. This came as a surprise to chemists like Clancy and Stevenson, who had never thought about the mechanics of cell stability before; they usually study semiconductors, not cells.


Here's their research paper on the azotomone subject:
www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov...



Linked below is another research paper from Cornell on potential biological chemistry that might take place on Titan:

Polymorphism and electronic structure of polyimine and its potential significance for prebiotic chemistry on Titan



Other research by the National Academy of Sciences Engineering and Medicine is looking at what other biosolvents besides water might be used for life processes on other worlds in place of liquid water:

www.nap.edu...


IF NOT WATER, THEN WHAT SOLVENT?
Nature presents a large number of atomic and small molecular species that might be discussed as biosolvents. Table 6.1 lists some of these, together with their freezing and normal (i.e., at 1 atmosphere) boiling points. It is important to note another contribution of pressure to physical properties. The physical properties of the substances listed the Table 6.1 are described by a phase diagram that relates the state of a material (solid of various types, liquid, or gas) to temperature and pressure. Above a critical point in the phase diagram, the substance is a supercritical fluid, neither liquid nor gas. Table 6.2 shows the critical temperatures and pressures for some substances common in the solar system.



The bottom line is I'm not sure what your definition of "good science" is.

Well-respected research institutions all over the world are actively engaging in studies in alternatives to liquid water as the main ingredient to life. Much od that research seems to be pointing in the direction that life processes could in fact work in places where liquid water is not availble.

Understanding how the specific mechanisms of how such life could work will help detrmine ways to test for that life on places such as Titan. We can test for "Life as we know it", because we know what to look for. However, how do we exven spot "Life as we DON'T know it" if we don't even know what to test for when searhcing for that life? What bio-markers should we test for?

edit on 17/7/2018 by Soylent Green Is People because: (no reason given)



posted on Jul, 18 2018 @ 12:24 AM
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originally posted by: Soylent Green Is People

The bottom line is I'm not sure what your definition of "good science" is.

It's a nice story about so-called "methane-based life", but I'm not a believer and I don't evaluate its value in discussions or publications about science as one. Just to be clear, I never used the term "good science" (in case someone got that idea or the idea that there is such a thing as "bad science" in a literal sense, rather than a figurative but incorrect way of talking about that which is falsely/incorrectly called knowledge/science; where you see a slash I'm using a synonym as a reminder and as a clue how I understand and use the word "science"). Maybe these quotations will help further clarify what I consider to be "science" (from the Latin "scientia" meaning "knowledge" which essentially means a familarity with facts/truths/certainties/realities acquired by personal experience, observation, or study; "knowledge" is also a synonym for "science").

Rule I. We are to admit no more causes of natural things than such as are both true and sufficient to explain their appearances.
...
Rule IV. In experimental philosophy we are to look upon propositions collected by general induction from phenomena as accurately or very nearly true, notwithstanding any contrary hypotheses that may be imagined, 'till such time as other phenomena occur, by which they may either be made more accurate, or liable to exceptions,

This rule we must follow, that the argument of induction may not be evaded by hypotheses.

As in Mathematicks, so in Natural Philosophy, the Investigation of difficult Things by the Method of Analysis, ought ever to precede the Method of Composition. This Analysis consists in making Experiments and Observations, and in drawing general Conclusions from them by Induction, and admitting of no Objections against the Conclusions, but such as are taken from Experiments, or other certain Truths. For Hypotheses are not to be regarded in experimental Philosophy.

- Isaac Newton (from Philosophiæ Naturalis Principia Mathematica)


The engineers named their theorized cell membrane an “azotosome,” “azote” being the French word for nitrogen.

Theorize and imagine away. I know there's a little more to actual cell membranes (and what is known in biology as "transport") than oversimplifying the matter by zooming in on 'non-water solubility' as the main important factor to consider for "controlling the flow of nutrient[s] in and out of a cell" (or vaguely referring to "stability and flexibility") followed up by comparing and conflating apples and oranges (so-called "azotosome membranes", or "theorized cell membrane" with actual cell membranes). Or imagining "molecular species" as if they're alive, or as if it's almost the same thing, more conflating apples and oranges (not imagining the molecules and atoms themselves, in case anyone feels tempted to twist my point or is inclined to read something else into it; various molecules and atoms exist but the description "molecular species" as if they're alive or similar enough to species of lifeforms to use the word "species" as used in the article you were quoting from is highly dubious to me). That one is nice and subtle, cause one can always deny that implication and impression the word "species" gives to the reader (and all the subtle influences that has on people's thinking).

I could say a lot more about it, but it's perhaps a bit too irrelevant to this thread (or off-topic).
edit on 18-7-2018 by whereislogic because: (no reason given)



posted on Jul, 18 2018 @ 08:51 AM
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a reply to: whereislogic

Yeah well, that's the way science is done.

A person forms a hypothesis or asks a question (e.g., "If [compound X] were a biosolvent instead of water that dissolves nutrients and carries them for life processes, what would a cell structure be like that uses [compound X]"), and then they do experiments or calculations or simulations that test the hypothesis or provide answers to the question.

Sure, there is no hard evidence that life exists that uses methane (or ammonia, or sulfuric acid, or whatever) as a biolsolvent, but the science being done in order to understand if such life can exist can still be good science.

That is to say, a biochemist can produce experiments that to test a hypothesis that a cell can exist that uses a non-water biosolvent, and if those cells can be of a structure that could plausibly be part of life processes.

I mean, that's science. That's what it does.

edit on 18/7/2018 by Soylent Green Is People because: (no reason given)



posted on Jul, 19 2018 @ 10:49 PM
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Mispost, apologies
edit on 19-7-2018 by Archivalist because: misposted




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