Is extra-terrestrial life getting closer?

  MAJ 19:41 30 Sep 10

With the discovery of Gliese 581g click here at only 20 light years away, should we be getting ready to start rolling out the red carpet?

  Forum Editor 19:47 30 Sep 10

so rolling out a red carpet might be a tad optimistic. If life does exist there we are unlikely to know about it for a very long time.

  MAJ 20:05 30 Sep 10

What makes you say that, FE, the speed of light?

  morddwyd 20:38 30 Sep 10

If there is life there they may have discovered us many years ago.

We are not necessarily the most advanced life from in the Universe.

Having had a chance to study us, and now having been "discovered", they may well decide that they don't want us poking around their solar system (and who can blame them?) and at this very moment their fleets are on their way to destroy us.

  Yimbo 20:40 30 Sep 10
  Grey Goo 21:48 30 Sep 10

Rolling on the floor laughing more likely than not.

  Uboat 22:06 30 Sep 10

Isnt a light year something like "3" generations forwards.?

  OTT_B 22:35 30 Sep 10

It's somewhere to point more telescopes and get more information on how this planet (and probably many other like it) formed. I, for one, thought this was very interesting news. It's relatively close proximity to earth makes the prospect of finding other rocky, inhabitable (or dare i say inhabited?) planets all the more likely.

  Forum Editor 22:39 30 Sep 10

A planet that is 20 light years away is effectively beyond our reach in terms of communication - it would take forty years just to exchange 'hello' with any intelligent life.

We can obviously use powerful telescopes to take a look, but we won't see too much at that range. Exploration is out of the question - any kind of spacecraft would take centuries to make the trip.

Put away the red carpet,and concentrate on more earthly matters.

  Strawballs 22:40 30 Sep 10

That all depends on how fast you are travelling

Light yr = 186,000 X 60 X 60 X 24 X 365 miles

  Mr Mistoffelees 23:00 30 Sep 10

So that is what those rather odd looking people are, who moved-in last week, just down the road from here.

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