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Forum » SpaceEngine » Off-topic Discussions » Life in the Universe (Any and all hypothetical discussions about life elsewhere)
Life in the Universe
TalismanDate: Friday, 14.10.2011, 23:36 | Message # 1
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I'm curious as to what you guys think, is there life in the Universe? What about Intelligent life like us? How close? Etc.

Personally I believe life is probably parasitic, and if a planet has certain characteristics/chemicals it will develop life after a certain amount of time, and if it survives for around 5-10 billion years then intelligent life will eventually emerge.





 
RobbieDate: Saturday, 15.10.2011, 00:22 | Message # 2
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I personally believe there is life out there. In our solar system I think it is only microbial, or frozen in time as fossils. I think it's only a matter of time before we find it - in whatever form it is. Our technology needs to be more advance first to see it. I also believe that there are higher intelligent life forms (beings) watching our planet, and other planets for that matter. I would speculate that they are watching us now (like animals in a zoo), but they are only here observing us. In their eyes (assuming they have eyes ofc smile ) they see us as an under-developed species, and view us as too immature to even understand their existence. I would say they perceive us as just another animal behaving instinctively to a conditioned environment, it's just a part of human evolutionary process to them.

I have seen one UFO in my lifetime, so I can easily believe in other intelligent life forms from some other place other than Earth. It was quite an extraordinary experience for me. My brother witnessed it with me too.





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TalismanDate: Monday, 17.10.2011, 03:24 | Message # 3
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Quote (Robbie)
I personally believe there is life out there. In our solar system I think it is only microbial, or frozen in time as fossils. I think it's only a matter of time before we find it - in whatever form it is. Our technology needs to be more advance first to see it. I also believe that there are higher intelligent life forms (beings) watching our planet, and other planets for that matter, I would speculate that they are watching us now (like animals in a zoo), but they are only here observing us, in their eyes (assuming they have eyes ofc ) they see us as an under-developed species, and view us as too immature to even understand their existence. I would say they perceive us as just another animal behaving instinctively to its conditioned environment, it's just a part of the human evolutionary process to them.

I have seen one UFO in my lifetime, so I can easily believe in other intelligent life forms from some other place other than Earth. It was quite an extraordinary experience for me. My brother witnessed it with me too.


Ah yes, I agree, If we really luck out there might be some more complex tiny fish like animals under the ice of Europa or in Titan.

If you want can you share the UFO experience? That stuff has always intrigued me as I've never seen one and I observe the sky quite frequently via a telescope.





 
RobbieDate: Monday, 17.10.2011, 06:59 | Message # 4
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If you want can you share the UFO experience? That stuff has always intrigued me as I've never seen one and I observe the sky quite frequently via a telescope.


Ever since my experience I have always been fascinated by these objects. My brother and I saw this event when we were teenagers, during a very hot summer month. I was about 18 at the time. My mum and dad had gone out for the evening and my brother and I were watching a late night film on TV. After the film finished I went out into the garden to get some fresh air and to cool myself, because it was very warm that night. I stared up into the night sky, which was very clear with no clouds, and the stars were most noticeable. That's when the UFO caught my attention. I saw a white luminous egg-shapped bright light. If I had to compare it to anything in size it would be about 3x the size of a bright star. I had no point of reference to tell me what altitude it was flying at, so its actual true size was unknown to me. But what really struck me about it was the way in which it flew. It didn’t just fly in a straight line, it jumped from left to right, it bounced backwards and forwards, it skipped across the sky, (similar to when we throw a stone that bounces across a pond). Sometimes it would stop still for several seconds, then shoot forward at amazing speed, then stop again dead in its tracks. It was like watching someone being playful. I shouted to my brother to come and see it too. He then came out to watch. Just as I pointed it out to him we both witnessed the object suddenly fly away at enormous speed, it vanished from our view within a second. It was really extraordinary. That experience has left an indelible impression in my mind to this day.





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TalismanDate: Monday, 17.10.2011, 08:25 | Message # 5
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Quote (Robbie)
That experience has left an indelible impression in my mind to this day.


That sounds amazing, I thought I saw a UFO the other day, my dad ran in and told me there's something in the sky and it's moving around and just passed over head. So I ran out there and looked at it, I was just really boggled and I ran to bring out my giant 8 Inch telescope so I could finally see perhaps a UFO up close, I sighted in on it and It was a weather balloon (the ones with sensors! The sun reflected off of it giving it a yellow glow. Yours sounds more strange though.





 
RobbieDate: Monday, 17.10.2011, 13:16 | Message # 6
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I tend to be very dismissive when one person (or several people) claimed to have seen UFOs, (I guess we should apply that same reasoning to me as well, if you're reading my story smile ) and then gone and reported the account to other people and authorities. Because TBH, those accounts can so easily be fabricated for its sensationalism. What's needed is a good body of evidence, such as the mass sightings that get reported, or where several people (who are unknown to each other) report the sightings in their vicinity, but they all see it from several different locations, and at the same time. Those kind of claims can be corroborated and validated, those are the ones that are genuine. What also reinforces the existence of these UFOs more so today, is when a mass sighting has many people recording the same event on their phone-video-cameras, giving even more evidence but from different perspectives.

But be wary of the youtube vids today and those claiming they captured UFOs on their camcorders. Most, if not all of those are fake or some kind of Earth-phenomena believed to be a UFO. And of course, with today's super computers, 3D graphics quality is nothing short of spectacular. I particular loved the mother-ship in the film District 9 - it was one of the most believable and convincing space ships I've seen for realism. But Youtube is turning UFO sightings into a computer-graphics-generated wankfest IMO. Which is a shame really, because it's such a fascinating phenomenon to study.





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SpaceEngineerDate: Tuesday, 18.10.2011, 01:08 | Message # 7
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I too believe that life and alien civilisations are common in space. Thousands of them spread out in the galaxy, and with a mean distance between them of ~100 ly. They do not use radiowaves or lasers for communication, because it is a very primitive technology to them. I believe they can travel between stars at faster-than-light speeds, so their communications are faster than light too (so we can't detect it with our instruments). They do not build huge constructions like Ring-worlds or Dyson Spheres (that we could observe using modern telescopes), because they use the energy of a vacuum instead of utilizing energy from stars. I believe they are here, but they only observe us. Maybe they're interested in observing civilizations that are at an early stage of development, so they can compare it with their own history. This is one solution of the Fermi paradox (we can't see them because they are invisible to our instruments; they don't contact us, because they only want to observe us).

BTW, there is a mistake in the movie "District 9" and "Independence day". Those huge ships cast a shadow to the ground and buildings, but do not cast a shadow inside the atmosphere. It should look like a dark cone, such as a big cloud would cast

**





 
RobbieDate: Tuesday, 18.10.2011, 09:37 | Message # 8
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Another thing that fascinates me with my particular sighting was the notion that if there were alien beings inside the UFO, they must be utilizing technology very similar to Star Trek's inertia-dampener system (IDS). Let's say the object I saw was flying at ~10 km/second and had stopped immediately in flight, has me presuming they must be using some kind of 'IDS' technology, else they'd all end up as mince meat inside thier ship. smile

Of course, then again, who knows, I may have witnessed some kind of drone ship, without alien occupants at all, thus making it possible for this UFO do such crazy maneuvers.





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gpaw5765Date: Tuesday, 18.10.2011, 19:32 | Message # 9
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I´ve always assumed there must be plenty of life in the Universe. There are so many stars that I find impossible to believe that none of them has developed any lifeforms. In fact I don't think the Solar System is particularly "special", so I wouldn't be surprised at all if most stars had some planet with life orbiting them. If it is confirmed some day that Mars had life at some point in the past (even if it was only microbial life) that would force to re-think everybody's perception of how widespread life really is in the Universe.
As for intelligent/civilized life I'm not so certain, but if life has developed this way at Earth I see no reason to think it cannot reach a similar state at some other planet.

About the matter of intelligent life, I have an hypothesis related to cosmology and I would like to know SpaceEngineer's opinion about it (or any other astronomer in the forum):
According to recent observations, a large amount of mass in the galaxies is in the form of Dark Matter because the observed movement of galaxies requires a larger amount of mass than it can be seen in the stars forming them. But what if there were more stars than we can see? If an advanced civilization built a solid Dyson Sphere (not a Dyson Swarm) around a star we wouldn't be able to see its light. If that Sphere was designed to absorb all the energy emitted from the star and used all of it efficiently, the outer surface of the sphere could stay cold so we wouldn't be able to detect it with an infrared radiotelescope. My question is: could something like that be consistent with the behavior of Dark Matter or this hypothesis is total nonsense?





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SpaceEngineerDate: Wednesday, 19.10.2011, 02:29 | Message # 10
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Quote (gpaw5765)
If an advanced civilization built a solid Dyson Sphere (not a Dyson Swarm) around a star we wouldn't be able to see its light. If that Sphere was designed to absorb all the energy emitted from the star and used all of it efficiently, the outer surface of the sphere could stay cold so we wouldn't be able to detect it with an infrared radiotelescope. My question is: could something like that be consistent with the behavior of Dark Matter or this hypothesis is total nonsense?


It is impossible, because it violates the law of thermodynamics. Electromagnetic energy that a star emits must be converted to some other form. Aliens can't hold the energy inside the sphere: otherwise temperature inside the sphere will grow to infinity. They must use this energy to generate electricity, move spaceships etc. Due to impossibility of making mechanisms with 100% efficiency, some part of the energy will converted to heat. It would be impossible to hold the heat inside the sphere, its external surface would begin to warm and would therefore emit infrared radiation.

If you believe in the possibility of wormhole technology, or some other way of transporting ships or energy bypassing the sphere surface, you might say that aliens emitt their parasitic heat somethere in intergalactic space, so their sphere remains cool. But then we would see abnormal infrared sources in intergalactic space. Their bolometric luminosity must equal to bolometric luminosity of their parent star, so total average of infrared luminosity of intergalactic space must be 10 times greater than luminosity of galaxies (assuming that there are 10x more dark matter than usual matter).

The only way to hide all energy generated by star is to throw it into a black hole smile

BTW, modern cosmological models impose restrictions on dark matter nature: it must be non-baryonic. If the Universe has more baryonic matter than is accepted now, its nucleosynthesis stage will create another composition of chemical substances observed in space compared to actual oservations. It also leads to producing a different amount of antimatter, that annihilates with matter and generates a different amount of photons, resulting in wrong temperature of Cosmic Microwave Backdround Radiation. So dark matter can't be composed of invisible stars or planets. It must be composed of some new particles, that are still undiscovered.

*





 
TalismanDate: Wednesday, 19.10.2011, 03:18 | Message # 11
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SpaceEngineer, why do you think Aliens do not contact us? I don't think there would be too much chaos if they just landed somewhere and contacted the president and gave us a nice summary of how there are many other intelligence's and such and showed us some technology, or simple just gave us a message stating that they exist and they will contact us once we reach a certain technological or sociological level.

Also, you seem like a very smart person, do you have any guesses as to how the interstellar travel problem will be solved? I'm assuming it will be done by heating up a part of space to immense heat with laser and "ripping" it creating a wormhole or bubble that can break the speed of light or something, but it just seem so hard.





 
gpaw5765Date: Wednesday, 19.10.2011, 18:18 | Message # 12
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It is impossible, because it violates the law of thermodynamics. Electromagnetic energy that a star emits must be converted to some other form. Aliens can't hold the energy inside the sphere: otherwise temperature inside the sphere will grow to infinity. They must use this energy to generate electricity, move spaceships etc. Due to impossibility of making mechanisms with 100% efficiency, some part of the energy will converted to heat. It would be impossible to hold the heat inside the sphere, its external surface would begin to warm and would therefore emit infrared radiation.


Well, I was thinking that an advanced alien civilization would be able to achieve an efficiency close to 100%. Most of that energy would be used to reduce entropy within the sphere (to extend the lifespan of the star, among other things), and that would require energy-absorbing reactions. Obviously a small fraction of the energy would still be lost and dissipated as heat, but as long as the heat was low enough we wouln't be able to detect it with our radiotelescopes, would we? (I honestly don't know how much precision our best radiotelescopes have).

Of course if Dark Matter must be non-baryonic, it cannot be explained by any amount of "invisible" stars. However I'm not convinced that an (almost) invisible Dyson Sphere is not theoretically possible, it seems to me that it would only depend on the degree of efficiency that could be obtained in harnessing all the energy that came from the star.





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HarbingerDawnDate: Saturday, 17.12.2011, 08:28 | Message # 13
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[Merged from this thread]

(Talisman)
due to how easily (and relatively quickly) life evolved on earth from its early hostile time leads me to believe that any planet with the right vague parameters and chemicals will eventually happen to conceive life after a certain amount of time

I'm not sure I agree with this (though I certainly hope it is true, life is awesome). The reasons for my skepticism are as follows:

IF all life on Earth today shares a single common ancestor, then either:

1) Life originated in only a single "freak" incident, despite having millions or billions of separate opportunities to arise throughout the history of our planet, implying that life in the universe is either rare or unique to Earth,

2) Life originated in multiple incidents, but all lineages except for one died off, or all lineages merged together, or

3) Life arrived on Earth from somewhere else (i.e. meteorite delivery, extraterrestrial intelligence).

IF none of the above are true, then not all life on Earth today shares a common ancestor.

So it seems to me that either the current scientific consensus on the origin of life is flawed, or life rarely forms on Earth-like planets, which have long been thought to be among the most likely to harbor life.

(My original note on the matter).

My logic here may be full of gaping holes, and if so I would love to be corrected. But it is something to think about.





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HarbingerDawnDate: Saturday, 17.12.2011, 08:41 | Message # 14
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(Talisman)
Intelligent civilizations are too far apart in space or time

I think that this is quite likely. I have run the Drake equation several times and each time I have come up with N<10, often N<1 (where N=the number of communicative technical civilizations in the galaxy at any given time). This means that there are few if any civilizations in the galaxy at any given time; we may well be the only one. I don't think I've seen a truly realistic run-through of the Drake equation yield a number >100, which means that even in the best case civilizations are separated by thousands of light-years and would probably not exist for a long enough period of time to establish meaningful relations with any others.
But that's all just speculation or at best educated guesswork. Perhaps one day we will know. Perhaps we will never know. How we deal with either case will be a telling sign of human character.





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TalismanDate: Saturday, 17.12.2011, 09:36 | Message # 15
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I'm not a big fan of the drake equation, I don't agree with the severe rapings of a few variables due to "intelligent" beings somehow having an extremely high chance of destroying themselves. If a species is intelligent enough to collaborate together as nations and design ICBM's carrying one of the most powerful forces of the universe they will not stupidly eradicate themselves like apes. Being at that technology level describes the extreme urge for life to prosper and expand and want to live. Even if for example the Cuban Missile Crisis went horribly awry by some crazy ruler and they started global nuclear war, even mass targeting of capitals attempting to eradicate life it would not extinct the world. Planets are just too large and have too many places,

It's possible yes, I math-crafted it out and found with my own calculations perhaps only perhaps 100,000 or so of ALL intelligent beings EVER existed in the entire universes timeline causing their own extinction in very rare cases out of all the others.

But other then that, I love the drake equation, it's mold-able and a great experimental equation by Drake.

Anyways,
I wrote a small excerpt describing some of my thoughts on life in the universe, I'm somewhat of an extreme optimist though. but I could of course be completely wrong:

Personally, there's most likely billions of civilizations that are at around our level of intelligence in the observable universe right now, perhaps 500 or so in the milky way. Which is reasonable since the FARTHEST possible detected thing we know of (narrow band radio signals) we can only detect them in around an 80 light-year radius (http://www.faqs.org/faqs/astronomy/faq/part6/section-12.html)
, and the milky way is 100,000 light-years around, we're on the end of the spiral, so we're much farther from the average stars then the ones closer to the middle, even if we were looking for them and listening to that particular place in the sky it would have to be broadcast from their planet right at the technological level we are at, 80 years back in time, to coincide with just now when we've started looking.

There's most likely a form of intelligence within 500 light years away.
Recent estimates give the milky way galaxy a population of at least 50 billion planets, 500 million of which could be located in the habitable zone of their parent star. This doesn't include how many other moons of gas giants could be in the habitable zones, there could be a gas giant somewhere, with 20+ suitable condition terra type planets. At least 5 of the 54 Kepler found solar systems with earth planets (or ones with gas giants) in the habitability zones will have some form of basic life on them, or moons of the gas giants.

It's only a matter of time before we advance enough to explore them.







Edited by Talisman - Sunday, 18.12.2011, 02:07
 
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