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Old 01-11-2002, 02:04 PM   #1
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The Fate of Mother Earth as told by CNN

Found yet another hysteria-inspiring article on CNN today:

(as if this doesn't happen in one way or another every day)

Planet discovered orbiting around red giant star
January 11, 2002 Posted: 12:03 PM EST (1703 GMT)


By Richard Stenger
CNN Sci-Tech

(CNN) -- Astronomers announced this week that they spotted the first planet orbiting a giant star, a find that could offer a tantalizing glimpse into the fate of the Earth.

While scientists have identified a host of other planets around other stars, this one is unique in how different its parent star is compared with the sun, astronomers said.

Iota Draconis has burned through its hydrogen fuel and become a red giant, boasting a radius 13 times greater than the sun. The transition is common for many stars as they approach death.

"Until now, it was not known if planets existed around giant stars," said Sabine Frink of the University of California at San Diego, who, with colleagues, presented the findings at a meeting of the American Astronomical Society.

"This provides the first evidence that planets at Earthlike distances can survive the evolution of their host star into a giant," Frink said.

Iota Draconis resides about 100 light-years away in the constellation Drago, just east of the Big Dipper. Its planet completes a highly elliptical orbit about once every 1.5 years and has an estimated mass about nine times that of Jupiter.

The planet was identified using the indirect wobble technique, whereby astronomers measure its gravitational tug on its parent star. Its true mass could be slightly higher, in which case it might be a brown dwarf, a middling object between stars and planets.

The sun will likely become a red giant. And astronomers have long wondered which planets in our solar system will survive the change. If the Earth hangs on, it will not be pretty.

Our comfortable home will endure about 60 times more radiation, pushing the temperature up at least twice as high as the boiling point of water. The oceans will evaporate and the water vapor will escape the atmosphere because of the sizzling heat, the astronomers said.

"Observing the fate of this companion to a dying star is a reminder of the ultimate fate of our own Earth," said one of the researchers, Debra Fisher of the University of California at Berkeley.

Earth has time to bide before the calamity. Our middle-aged sun will not balloon into its terminal phase for several billion years.

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Old 01-11-2002, 02:08 PM   #2
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OK, that wasn't fun to read.

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Old 01-11-2002, 02:39 PM   #3
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Oh, good. Something to look forward to.
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Old 01-11-2002, 02:58 PM   #4
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I wouldn't sweat it. You're talking about something that won't happen for 100 million years at least. And by that time, we'll be long gone anyhow....
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Old 01-11-2002, 07:07 PM   #5
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no offence to the poster of this topic, but seriously this sort of thing is rediculous.

theres a billion trillion ways to die. anyone who worries about this, will more likely get crushed by a mutant catipilar that has 500 legs and has the Mcdonalds logo on it.

whats the best way to die? so many choices, dont let this one worry you.

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Old 01-11-2002, 07:12 PM   #6
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Look at it this way, it would likely take about 500 years to completely terraform Mars into a liveable but cold atmosphere... Assuming that the sun did in fact expand, while it would destroy all life here on earth we can be long gone by then, I have great faith in science. Plus its not like its just going to expand 13 times its size in a matter of the next week, so dont sweat it people. Id be more worried about being gunned down in the street, or having an airplane crashed into my house then having then sun expand... geeze
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Old 01-11-2002, 07:13 PM   #7
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"Oh, recycling is useless, Lis. Once the sun burns out, our planet is doomed! You're just making sure we spend our last days using inferior products."

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Old 01-11-2002, 07:15 PM   #8
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Might I also add that planets such as Jupiter and Saturn have acted as a barrier to prevent us from being destroyed by innumerable asteroids because of their large size and gravitaional pull? They could potentially also explode and kill us all, or turn into suns themselves over time, so again, dont worry about our sun destorying us, all life passes in one way or another.
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Old 01-11-2002, 07:19 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally posted by ~unforgettableFOXfire~:
I have great faith in science.
ive talked to you a few times, you seem like an alright guy, but both posts you just did scare me and that one line especially. keep your modified bears, ill take the natural ones.

its only partly a joke. the rest is scary.


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Old 01-11-2002, 09:53 PM   #10
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While quite conceivable, this article belongs in the same bucket as 'Anything you enjoy eating causes cancer' and 'scientists find non-conformist people more likely to commit suicide': ie. don't sweat the small stuff, or the faraway stuff.

Remember in 1994 when a bunch of asteroids crashed into Jupiter? People were freaking about that too ('Nuclear winter, bubonic plague, we is rooned!').
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Old 01-12-2002, 02:25 AM   #11
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You guys are so funny! I'm not actually worried about this! I was just making light of yet another story on CNN.com that was forecasting doomsday!
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Old 01-12-2002, 03:03 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally posted by HelloAngel:
You guys are so funny! I'm not actually worried about this! I was just making light of yet another story on CNN.com that was forecasting doomsday!
I don't think anyone imagines you were actually worried. I for one share your satirical sentiments.

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Old 01-13-2002, 11:06 PM   #13
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Well, were not eternal. One day, we will be an extinguished specie and one day the Earth will no longuer be, but while were here lets make it enjoyable for everyone.

But that thought, that we aren't eternal, is somewhat scary. Everything becomes so obselete. The system in wich we live in seems no longer important.

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