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The headline is irresistable, as is the subhead:

Meet the Sun’s new neighbors

A pair of brown dwarfs has been spotted slightly more than six light years away.


Luhman_map_3-2012-640x640.jpg

Today, an astronomer announced that by scanning archival images dating back to 1978, he has located a binary star system only 6.5 light years from Earth. This is close enough that it qualifies as the third-closest star system to our Solar System. The system is composed of two brown dwarfs orbiting each other with a period of about 25 years.

The stars were first noted in the WISE survey, which cataloged objects in the infrared. Because the mission lasted longer than planned, it was able to complete two scans of the sky. Astronomer Kevin Luhman spotted the system, which is going by the name of WISE J104915.57-531906, because it moved significantly between the two scans. Going back to earlier surveys, he was able to spot the same object moving across the sky for decades. (His home institution, Penn State, is hosting a nice animated GIF of its progress.)

Since these observations were obtained at different locations (some of them in orbit), it was possible to calculate a distance to the object using a method called parallax. This produced a result of 6.5 light years with an error of less than half a light year, which places it just beyond Barnard's Star, the second closest star to Earth after the members of the Centauri system. Luhman also turned a telescope toward the new object to get its spectroscopy. This revealed that the item wasn't a single object, but two—based on the low apparent temperature, they appear to both be brown dwarfs and too cool to ignite hydrogen fusion.

Reading that and beyond, my fantasist wants to make the word "Parallax" a technical term when discussing thorny Objectivish things. The fantasist also wants to utter mock outrage on behalf of 'brown' minority collectivities and the 'little people' collectivities. Brown Dwarfs indeed!

But frig the fantasist -- how to use parallax in an ordinary O-conversation, using it to stitch together disparate doctrine.

Er, "'Parallax Lost: the story of Objectivism's encounter with objectivity.' A two-person duologue presented by Canadian 'friendlies' Daunce Lynam and William Scherk. Chigago OL Meetup, May 24th, 2014."?

or, "'The Peikovian Doctrine of the Arbitrary Assertion: Asserting Parallax to crush your opponent in debate so badly that he or she will never interlocute again,' presented by Robert Campbell. [scheduled for 'Smokey's Piano Bar and Jazz Patio' on the patio if the weather is not dire. Free balloons for the kiddies. Red Rose for the first few (3) ladies. Discounted 'house special' for all attendees at PARALLAX: the Objective-ish Convergence."]

or, "'George H Smith's Parallax Paradox: how to write 12,000 words of clean, crisp prose. Every week. For 51 weeks.'-- part of the Patio Series of 'speed-speaking': No speech shall last more than 240 seconds. Applause determines the winner. Winners pay the bar tab. Our speakers include:

[by Skype+Smokey's Ultra Patio Sports Screen/avaiable for gifts and curses on thumbdrive ($12) or speech-to-text ($0.89): Hecklers given priority for 'ripostes' *(60 seconds, five drink minimum charge)]

Etcetera,.

"So, a couple of brown dwarfs wandered into a bar. The bartender said ... ____________"

___________________________________

More seriously, I have been having fits of Party Planning. Perhaps watching too much "Gypsy Weddings on Crack/Appalachia,"** but I am hoping we could, with the miracle of the internet and T1 backbones, six sturdy folks on a Planning Collective could probably organize a "OL Summit" that requires nothing from attendants but that they open to a LiveStream Channel on that particular fated day.

To put my devalued currency where my mouth is, I am providing a subvention backstage to Kat and Michael this week. Seed money, so to speak.

_________________________________

** -- more seriously still, tomorrow I am attending 6 1/1 hours of lunacy as a 'friendly skeptic' at a conference (a 'Summit') in Vancouver (link to latest summit story in the shoppers press). Gawd help me, but I am. And I can't even get rid of my extra ticket. If I can maintain an internet connection in the Hallowed Halls (the summit is occuring on University Property, though not endorsed), I shall report "Live In Vancouver" to OLers who would like to be there with me -- biting lips bloody to not scream with laughter, getting personal with Wackaloons, etc.

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Vunderbar/ on the Space Oddity.

I have a pretty full ischedule of new petticoat fittings and lotto ticket buying, but am prioritizing your Summit coverage. Why don't you foist the extra ticket on Gary-ji? Tell him it is a strategy session for Canucks boosters.

Um, those event planners you asked for a spec 2014 schedule have listed my hymn sing as a "prayer breakfast". I don't eat breakfast.

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They are not NEW neighbors. They have been there for billyuns and billyuns of years.

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Carol on the Streetcar yarned:

-- yadda yadda "I don't eat Breakfast."

Bill in Rainville yarned back: "Then drink it, honey. Don't bother me. One way. Or the other."

Badabing.

More seriously, heavensake girl, at Breakfast, you sing for your supper. At Supper, you chat up a dinner. At Dinner, you lay traps for nightcaps. If Nightcaps, well, you walk up a lot of steps or march around the block a bit. And then some.

Or ... you could be the stern lady on a fast: glaring from the A/V booth (not because of the onerous duties, not the fast, not the folks in the bar, not because you got sussed as NOT-A/V competent and now you are butchering the internet feed, but because you:

Forgot Your Glasses and Can't See Anybody. Hungry and Crabby. NO hockey in this gawdforsaken bar. Whiskey tango foxtrot.

Carol, anybody justabouts would glare and frown, heavensake. I seriously think you should take breakfast. Like me and Hitch and that f***head not-yo-mater Teresa & nutz-ta-yer-fader Brant. Just knock one back.

IF that doesn't do it, knock back two more. IF that was too much, see above, what to do at Breakfast if YOU are TOO hungover to eat and you skipped Dinner last night in favour of Frowning and Fasting.

Seriously, you will be able to see everybody from the A/V booth, and you will be able to heckle them mercilessly via the A/V mic which blares out over the disco.

Until shift change and George H Smith takes over.

See, as Stephen Boydstun would say, a.

Also as he would say, b.

Edited by william.scherk
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http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/03/130312152047.htm

Earth-Sized Planets in Habitable Zones Are More Common Than Previously Thought

According to his findings, "The average distance to the nearest potentially habitable planet is about seven light years. That is about half the distance of previous estimates," Kopparapu said. "There are about eight cool stars within 10 light-years, so conservatively, we should expect to find about three Earth-size planets in the habitable zones."

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http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/03/130312152047.htm

Earth-Sized Planets in Habitable Zones Are More Common Than Previously Thought

According to his findings, "The average distance to the nearest potentially habitable planet is about seven light years. That is about half the distance of previous estimates," Kopparapu said. "There are about eight cool stars within 10 light-years, so conservatively, we should expect to find about three Earth-size planets in the habitable zones."

Even if true we are not going there any time soon nor will any of our probes with current propulsion technology be of any use. Even if we sent a probe out it would not get there for tens of thousands of years by which time our civilization will be dust in the wind.

Ba'al Chatzaf

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http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/03/130312152047.htm

Earth-Sized Planets in Habitable Zones Are More Common Than Previously Thought

According to his findings, "The average distance to the nearest potentially habitable planet is about seven light years. That is about half the distance of previous estimates," Kopparapu said. "There are about eight cool stars within 10 light-years, so conservatively, we should expect to find about three Earth-size planets in the habitable zones."

Even if true we are not going there any time soon nor will any of our probes with current propulsion technology be of any use. Even if we sent a probe out it would not get there for tens of thousands of years by which time our civilization will be dust in the wind.

Ba'al Chatzaf

Earth like planets in habitable zones are interesting but the real gold are the many trillions of smaller bodies between here and there. Enough materials to build billions of civilizations.

Dennis

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To have a rational discussion about habitable planets--those with complex life--you first need to read "Rare Earth."

--Brant

I have not read it - what could it possibly have to say that has not been diiscussed in thousands of articles?

Dennis

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Myriad and numerous articles do not provide a focused locused reference for a layman's discussion.

--Brant

It might be a good place to start a discussion for those not familiar with the subject matter. The book is over 9 years old which means it is a little out of date but most of the recent developments have been anticipated for some time.

Dennis

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http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/03/130312152047.htm

Earth-Sized Planets in Habitable Zones Are More Common Than Previously Thought

According to his findings, "The average distance to the nearest potentially habitable planet is about seven light years. That is about half the distance of previous estimates," Kopparapu said. "There are about eight cool stars within 10 light-years, so conservatively, we should expect to find about three Earth-size planets in the habitable zones."

Even if true we are not going there any time soon nor will any of our probes with current propulsion technology be of any use. Even if we sent a probe out it would not get there for tens of thousands of years by which time our civilization will be dust in the wind.

Ba'al Chatzaf

Earth like planets in habitable zones are interesting but the real gold are the many trillions of smaller bodies between here and there. Enough materials to build billions of civilizations.

Dennis

And none of which we shall visit, unless a miracle breakthrough occurs in physics. As Yodah recommends, I am not my breath holding because blue turn I will.

Ba'al Chatzaf

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http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/03/130312152047.htm

Earth-Sized Planets in Habitable Zones Are More Common Than Previously Thought

According to his findings, "The average distance to the nearest potentially habitable planet is about seven light years. That is about half the distance of previous estimates," Kopparapu said. "There are about eight cool stars within 10 light-years, so conservatively, we should expect to find about three Earth-size planets in the habitable zones."

Even if true we are not going there any time soon nor will any of our probes with current propulsion technology be of any use. Even if we sent a probe out it would not get there for tens of thousands of years by which time our civilization will be dust in the wind.

Ba'al Chatzaf

Earth like planets in habitable zones are interesting but the real gold are the many trillions of smaller bodies between here and there. Enough materials to build billions of civilizations.

Dennis

And none of which we shall visit, unless a miracle breakthrough occurs in physics. As Yodah recommends, I am not my breath holding because blue turn I will.

Ba'al Chatzaf

The technology already exists to go to nearby low-g bodies of interest. There is no need for any kind of breakthrough in physics or engineering. First you go to near Earth bodies, then the asteriod belt and low-g moons, then the Kuiper belt, then the Oort cloud, then free bodies between the Oort cloud and the Oort cloud of other star systems. From there you continue the same pattern of expansion for billions of years and many billions of civilizations. The movement to the first low-g bodies could have been done any time in the last 40+ years. There is no excuse.

The idea of going straight from the Earth to other Earth like planets in other star systems is the false narrative to keep the wealth and power with central planners here on Earth.

A false narrative that is entirely transparent and has been obvious to me since sometime in the late 70's.

Dennis

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http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/03/130312152047.htm

Earth-Sized Planets in Habitable Zones Are More Common Than Previously Thought

According to his findings, "The average distance to the nearest potentially habitable planet is about seven light years. That is about half the distance of previous estimates," Kopparapu said. "There are about eight cool stars within 10 light-years, so conservatively, we should expect to find about three Earth-size planets in the habitable zones."

Even if true we are not going there any time soon nor will any of our probes with current propulsion technology be of any use. Even if we sent a probe out it would not get there for tens of thousands of years by which time our civilization will be dust in the wind.

Ba'al Chatzaf

Earth like planets in habitable zones are interesting but the real gold are the many trillions of smaller bodies between here and there. Enough materials to build billions of civilizations.

Dennis

And none of which we shall visit, unless a miracle breakthrough occurs in physics. As Yodah recommends, I am not my breath holding because blue turn I will.

Ba'al Chatzaf

The technology already exists to go to nearby low-g bodies of interest. There is no need for any kind of breakthrough in physics or engineering. First you go to near Earth bodies, then the asteriod belt and low-g moons, then the Kuiper belt, then the Oort cloud, then free bodies between the Oort cloud and the Oort cloud of other star systems. From there you continue the same pattern of expansion for billions of years and many billions of civilizations. The movement to the first low-g bodies could have been done any time in the last 40+ years. There is no excuse.

The idea of going straight from the Earth to other Earth like planets in other star systems is the false narrative to keep the wealth and power with central planners here on Earth.

A false narrative that is entirely transparent and has been obvious to me since sometime in the late 70's.

Dennis

I assume you are referring to ion-drive. Yes a space vessel so propelled has been launched. I believe it was the size of a back-pack.

And why do you make a paranoid assumption about why it is not happening? It is simple. Those with the money do not see a profit in it. If you do, then invest your money in such technology. No one is stopping you. I would rather invest in breeder-reactors to make electricity right here on Earth.

Ba'al Chatzaf

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Where are the aliens? Why aren't they here?

--Brant

I have discussed this in various forums on line for over ten years. My solution to the Fermi Paradox

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fermi_paradox

is essentially a military solution. Encoded broad band impulse radio is the way to communicate in secure military channels - common knowledge when I was in the Air Force. SETI can't see it because when well done it appears to be white noise. WoMD in space creates a situation where to be seen means to be dead if there are other players with hostile intent. Since I support an indefinitely old model of the universe that implies players with hostile intent do in fact exist. The successful way to nullify WoMD in space is the Superstealth [Dan Ust] or Stealth Nomadic Dispersed SND [Dennis May] strategy. Your civilization is camoflaged, on the move, and decentralized. We don't see aliens because they have a military strategy not to be seen. Elements of this strategy are seen in nature and in modern warfare. As WoMD proliferate on Earth I expect to see more of it.

Dennis

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Another solution to the paradox is the conclusion of "Rare Earth": that this planet and its complex, intelligent life is extraordinarily rare.

--Brant

Extraordinarily rare indeed and implying a young universe or intelligent life dying out regularly when it does occur.

Finding primitive extraterrestial life and/or authenticated alien fossil remains will be the next question. That will

be less interesting if the genetics is of Earth panspermia origin or Earth life originating elsewhere in the solar

system and spread here by lithopanspermia.

Dennis

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http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/03/130312152047.htm Earth-Sized Planets in Habitable Zones Are More Common Than Previously Thought According to his findings, "The average distance to the nearest potentially habitable planet is about seven light years. That is about half the distance of previous estimates," Kopparapu said. "There are about eight cool stars within 10 light-years, so conservatively, we should expect to find about three Earth-size planets in the habitable zones."

Prometheus and Pandora, here we come! Sorry. The prospects just kinda sprang into my mind.

An amazing fact (one of the few that astound me) is that there are some exoplanets that rain diamonds.

Where are the aliens? Why aren't they here?

--Brant

 I have discussed this in various forums on line for over ten years.  My solution to the Fermi Paradox http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fermi_paradox is essentially a military solution.  Encoded broad band impulse radio is the way to communicate in secure military channels - common knowledge when I was in the Air Force.  SETI can't see it because when well done it appears to be white noise.  WoMD in space creates a situation where to be seen means to be dead if there are other players with hostile intent.  Since I support an indefinitely old model of the universe that implies players with hostile intent do in fact exist.  The successful way to nullify WoMD in space is the Superstealth [Dan Ust] or Stealth Nomadic Dispersed SND [Dennis May] strategy.  Your civilization is camoflaged, on the move, and decentralized.  We don't see aliens because they have a military strategy not to be seen.  Elements of this strategy are seen in nature and in modern warfare.  As WoMD proliferate on Earth I expect to see more of it. Dennis

Maybe Earth is just an off limits because it'd foolish to visit us, as the Mad Titan once explained.

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http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/03/130312152047.htm Earth-Sized Planets in Habitable Zones Are More Common Than Previously Thought According to his findings, "The average distance to the nearest potentially habitable planet is about seven light years. That is about half the distance of previous estimates," Kopparapu said. "There are about eight cool stars within 10 light-years, so conservatively, we should expect to find about three Earth-size planets in the habitable zones."

Prometheus and Pandora, here we come! Sorry. The prospects just kinda sprang into my mind.

An amazing fact (one of the few that astound me) is that there are some exoplanets that rain diamonds.

>

Where are the aliens? Why aren't they here?

--Brant

I have discussed this in various forums on line for over ten years. My solution to the Fermi Paradox http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fermi_paradox is essentially a military solution. Encoded broad band impulse radio is the way to communicate in secure military channels - common knowledge when I was in the Air Force. SETI can't see it because when well done it appears to be white noise. WoMD in space creates a situation where to be seen means to be dead if there are other players with hostile intent. Since I support an indefinitely old model of the universe that implies players with hostile intent do in fact exist. The successful way to nullify WoMD in space is the Superstealth [Dan Ust] or Stealth Nomadic Dispersed SND [Dennis May] strategy. Your civilization is camoflaged, on the move, and decentralized. We don't see aliens because they have a military strategy not to be seen. Elements of this strategy are seen in nature and in modern warfare. As WoMD proliferate on Earth I expect to see more of it. Dennis
Maybe Earth is just an off limits because it'd foolish to visit us, as the Mad Titan once explained.

With our current technology and even ion-drive we will not see Pandora (which orbits Proxima Centuri) for ten thousand years which is as long it will take us to get their. We earthlings only live about 100 years. And if we do not achieve 9/10 the speed of light (which we won't) the relativistic time dilation will not help us a bit.

Forget about star travel. It ain't going to happen with technology in hand or even advanced technology being contemplated.

Yodah says: do not hold your breath until to the stars we travel, else blue turn you will.

Ba'al Chatzaf

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