Well done Astronomy Ireland. - Our 'important' galaxy?

11 years 6 months ago #67829 by pj30something
I have to say that i think the lastest edition of "Astronomy & Space" magazine is one of the best yet (if not the best).

It's crammed full of REALLY interesting articles and images. I particularly enjoyed the article titled "Everything you ever wanted to know about astronomy................".

HOWEVER.............

There is one line in the article that says "our galaxy is no less or no more important then any other galaxy in the universe".

In one sense....................that is correct.

BUT

I feel that the mere fact that OUR galaxy is the only known galaxy in the entire universe to contain life makes it a damn sight MORE important then any other galaxy in the universe.

THAT WE KNOW OF.....................our galaxy has one thing that NO OTHER galaxy in the universe has..................LIFE

Kinda singles this galaxy out as obscenely more important.

Although i do believe that many millions of other galaxies harbour life................it remains to be proven.

So in THAT respect, we are no more important then those other galaxies that harbour life.....................BUT until we find proof of life in other galaxies....................our galaxy is pretty damn special and unique.

P.S.~~~Some interesting books advertised in this months mag. I may just purchase a couple of them.

Paul C
My next scope is going to be a Vixen VMC200L Catadioptric OTA

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11 years 6 months ago #67832 by voyager
That' a very anthropocentric point of view. It is more important TO US, but not in any objective way.

Bart.

My Home Page - www.bartbusschots.ie

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11 years 6 months ago #67834 by dave_lillis
Its certainly important if not note worthy to us, but its not like our opinion makes any difference to the universe or changes whats beyond our galaxy.

I for one find it impossible to believe that this planet of ours is the only one with life on it.

Dave L. on facebook , See my images in flickr
IFAS Rep. Shannonside Astronomy Club (Limerick)

Carrying around my 20" obsession is going to kill me,
but what a way to go. :)
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11 years 6 months ago #67838 by pj30something
Replied by pj30something on topic Well done Astronomy Ireland. - Our 'important' galaxy?
That' a very anthropocentric point of view. It is more important TO US, but not in any objective way.


Yes the fact that our galaxy is the only known galaxy to harbour life IS important to us, but not only because it contains life but more importantly it gives us a basis to work on in in our search for life in other galaxies.

More important "TO US"...............is searching for and finding OTHER LIFE IN OTHER GALAXIES. But even if we NEVER find it..............the importance is our longing and willingness and ability to keep on searching.

To ME.................."the meaning of life" is to try and find other life. To know just exactly what our point and position in the universe is.

Humans by nature as inquizitive animals. In our search for extra-terrestrial life.............all we are seeking is an answer as to why/how we exist.

Paul C
My next scope is going to be a Vixen VMC200L Catadioptric OTA

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11 years 6 months ago #67841 by carlobeirnes


I for one find it impossible to believe that this planet of ours is the only one with life on it.


I would have to agree with you there Dave.

I personally think that the universe is to big for us to be alone. What makes us so special. There are 4 hundred billion stars in our galaxy alone
and if one percent of them had life there would be millions of civilizations out there. I know we are at the right distance from the sun and all that but there are just to many stars & two many galaxies out there for it just to be us. I would love to here others peoples opinions on this. it's just the distances involved are just to great for us to find out.

Carl O’Beirnes,
Scopes and Space Ltd,
Unit A8 Airside Enterprise Centre,
Swords, Co Dublin,
Ireland.
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11 years 6 months ago #67843 by pj30something
Replied by pj30something on topic Well done Astronomy Ireland. - Our 'important' galaxy?
I personally think that the universe is to big for us to be alone. What makes us so special. There are 4 hundred billion stars in our galaxy alone
and if one percent of them had life there would be millions of civilizations out there. I know we are at the right distance from the sun and all that but there are just to many stars & two many galaxies out there for it just to be us.


EXACTLY.

In MY mind......................the notion that we are alone is simply ignorant.

Paul C
My next scope is going to be a Vixen VMC200L Catadioptric OTA

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11 years 6 months ago #67845 by albertw

In MY mind......................the notion that we are alone is simply ignorant.


It is however currently factual. Despite our searches we've found zero life elsewhere and in fact zero evidence that life has ever been anywhere.

Might be there might not. Speculation on it is philosophy, religion, or sci-fi.

Albert White MSc FRAS
Chairperson, International Dark Sky Association - Irish Section
www.darksky.ie/

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11 years 6 months ago #67846 by pj30something
Replied by pj30something on topic Well done Astronomy Ireland. - Our 'important' galaxy?
It is however currently factual. Despite our searches we've found zero life elsewhere and in fact zero evidence that life has ever been anywhere.

THUS FAR. Our search continues. I dont think we (humans) will ever give up the search. Nor should we.

We wouldnt be human if we did.

Paul C
My next scope is going to be a Vixen VMC200L Catadioptric OTA

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11 years 6 months ago #67847 by DaveGrennan
We have absolutely NO evidence whatsoever to suggest there are other life forms out there. NONE WHATSOEVER!! Don't forget that guys.

If you fall into the trap of thinking that something is true just because it can be then you find your self in the same scientific pot as the flat earth society.

Science is about empirical evidence. The vastness of the universe does not consititute such.

PJ, thanks for the comments on this months mag.

Regards and Clear Skies,

Dave.
J41 - Raheny Observatory.
www.webtreatz.com
Equipment List here

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11 years 6 months ago #67848 by pj30something
Replied by pj30something on topic Well done Astronomy Ireland. - Our 'important' galaxy?
We have absolutely NO evidence whatsoever to suggest there are other life forms out there. NONE WHATSOEVER!! Don't forget that guys.

NOR do we have ANY evidence whatsoever to suggest that there are NOT any other life forms out there......................NONE.

So as the article states...................."it is the unanswerable question".

Cuz we simply do not know................what we do not know. So how can any of us be right?

Thats why i LOVED this article in the magazine so much...............CUZ IT MAKES US THINK.

Paul C
My next scope is going to be a Vixen VMC200L Catadioptric OTA

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11 years 6 months ago #67849 by pj30something
Replied by pj30something on topic Well done Astronomy Ireland. - Our 'important' galaxy?
iI dont mean to argue here anything published in the mag. I really just want to say well done..............cuz i feel this issue is the the best yet.

Keep up the great work guys.

Paul C
My next scope is going to be a Vixen VMC200L Catadioptric OTA

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11 years 6 months ago #67850 by DaveGrennan

NOR do we have ANY evidence whatsoever to suggest that there are NOT any other life forms out there......................NONE.


Thats not entirely true PJ. All our empirical tests to date have turned up nothing. Thats is not proof, but it is evidence. I have no evidence that there isn't a painted lady dancing outside my window but that wouldn't justify me in beleiving that there is.

You are dead right that the only truth is that we don't know. There is of course the possibility that any life is so remote that we may never contact it or even know about it's existance.

What I'm really driving out is the assertation which is thrown around a lot 'There MUST be life out there'. MUST is an absolute and again the only absolute is that we don't know.

Of course one day we might come across a race not unlike 'The Borg' in star-trek or 'The Wraith' from stargate atlantis and then we might fondly look back on the days when we didn't know about such horrors. The lyrics of a song spring to mind. 'Don't wish too hard because they may come true and you can't help them' Scared yet?

Regards and Clear Skies,

Dave.
J41 - Raheny Observatory.
www.webtreatz.com
Equipment List here

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11 years 6 months ago #67851 by albertw

NOR do we have ANY evidence whatsoever to suggest that there are NOT any other life forms out there......................NONE.


There no evidence that there isn't a teapot orbiting Saturn, but we don't have to go out and prove its not there. The burden of proof is on those suggesting it is there. Similarly with ET life.

Albert White MSc FRAS
Chairperson, International Dark Sky Association - Irish Section
www.darksky.ie/

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11 years 6 months ago #67852 by DaveGrennan

Keep up the great work guys.


Paul it would be great if you sent your comments to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. They would perk up the mag team, no end.

ANyway thanks again.

Regards and Clear Skies,

Dave.
J41 - Raheny Observatory.
www.webtreatz.com
Equipment List here

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11 years 6 months ago #67853 by JohnMurphy
PJ - Nice sentiments. I agree with most of what you are saying.

I am basically a sceptic, but in my experience over the last 10 years dealing in large numbers, it has shown to me that if it is at least possible then it is more than likely probable. Life of course does exist elswhere in our Universe. We may never find out for sure but statistically is is virtually a dead cert. I'd bet my kids lives on it, though I also know, given the vast distances in spacetime, we will probably never know for sure.

When we talk about importance here (of Galaxies) what are we actually saying? And regardless of what importance we assign - what difference will that make? Nature and the cosmos will decide our fates regardless of our "importance". To this end I support the likes of SETI, though I don't think that other "genuine" science projects that will provide beneficial, quantifiable results should suffer because of limited funding (SETI is expendable).

So WE are the most important Galaxy in the Universe, simply because we live here. I would also support the idea that my house is the most important house in the Universe because I and my family live in it. If push comes to Shove then I will do all I can to ensure that my house and my family survive, therefore to me these are the most important things in the Universe. This may all be biological programming but its not something I can ignore or even consider arguing with.

John Murphy - IAS
Check Out [url=http://www.flickr.com/photos/jcmurphy/[/url]

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11 years 6 months ago #67854 by pj30something
Replied by pj30something on topic Well done Astronomy Ireland. - Our 'important' galaxy?
Paul it would be great if you sent your comments to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. They would perk up the mag team, no end.


I do like to question things i dont fully understand. I'm sure many people feel the same as i do. Maybe my "gobshite" questions wll help many people.

Paul C
My next scope is going to be a Vixen VMC200L Catadioptric OTA

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11 years 6 months ago #67864 by Petermark

our galaxy has one thing that NO OTHER galaxy in the universe has..................LIFE

Not so Paul.

My girlfriend comes from another galaxy.
(Possibly even another universe.)

Mark.
Anybody who says that Earthshine is reflected Sunshine is talking Moonshine.

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11 years 6 months ago #67865 by dmcdona
So, if we were to find life in another galaxy, how important would our galaxy be then?

As for the teapot around Saturn, I understand from sources that this is precisely what NASA have been hunting for for over 50 years and the subject of the press announcement next week.

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11 years 6 months ago #67866 by Petermark
What's life anyway?

We living things are just mechanisms built by the DNA molecule for the purposes of replicating the DNA molecule.

We have but one purpose: reproduce.
And then we die, as Woodie Allen would say.

When we have replicated our DNA the DNA literally throws us away.
We all end up in the grave...but not the DNA which built us!

This "Life" thing is probably a common phenomemon throughout the universe.

Mark.
Anybody who says that Earthshine is reflected Sunshine is talking Moonshine.

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11 years 6 months ago #67868 by gnason

To this end I support the likes of SETI, though I don't think that other "genuine" science projects that will provide beneficial, quantifiable results should suffer because of limited funding (SETI is expendable).


SETI does not receive state funding, that ended I think in 1992 when the US Congress voted to stop supporting it. So SETI is no longer "expendable" in the sense that state funds can be switched to what others may perceive as more worthwhile projects. That already happened. SETI is now privately funded so anyone who supports it financially or by any other means is doing so voluntarily. Much of that funding may very well be at risk if SETI does not detect a signal in the near future, a fact stated in its own Roadmap for the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence titled SETI 2020.

NASA has its own Astrobiology Roadmap focusing on how did life begin, is there life elsewhere in the Universe etc.

Gordon

SDAS

Stargazer am I
It seems that I was born
to chart the evening sky

Mark Knopfler - Sailing to Philadelphia

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11 years 6 months ago #67870 by gnason
All this talk of finding life in other galaxies is somewhat strange...nobody is even looking for life in other galaxies. At the moment, we haven't even found evidence for life in any other part of our own galaxy let alone any form of biosphere in our solar system and that is where searches are focused.

I go along with that article; our galaxy has no inherent characteristics that make it special, nor indeed has our Sun any unique characteristics to the other solar-like stars in our galaxy, which make up about 5% of all the stars.

All the belief that there is sentient life elsewhere matters not a jot without evidence. It's a sobering thought that of the estimated 50 billion speciations on Earth, only one ended in a species that was able to develop language and possessed the creativity and intelligence that has humans where we are today.

As reagrds sentient alien life, the Fermi Paradox is still alive and well. When you apply all the other various filters laid out in Stephen Webb's excellent book "Where is Everybody", your belief may be severely tempered. I do however think we should continue looking.

Gordon

SDAS

Stargazer am I
It seems that I was born
to chart the evening sky

Mark Knopfler - Sailing to Philadelphia

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11 years 6 months ago #67876 by mia

As for the teapot around Saturn,


There's a teapot in Sagittarius....


I'll get me coat :wink:

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11 years 6 months ago #67879 by dave_lillis
The issue of importance is not really relevant, my couch is important to me, I dont think it matters much to anyone else though.
In terms of evidence, I can say I believe there is life out there, but I cant say I know there is life out there.

Dave L. on facebook , See my images in flickr
IFAS Rep. Shannonside Astronomy Club (Limerick)

Carrying around my 20" obsession is going to kill me,
but what a way to go. :)
+ 12"LX200, MK67, Meade2045, 4"refractor

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11 years 6 months ago #67928 by EPK
Given the chemical make-up of life,I'm a believer of the theory that life was invented by water as a means of transporting itself.
As I've said on another thread, we may not be alone, but we may also never find this out, and even if we aren't alone, with the limitations of light-speed travel we may as well be.

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11 years 6 months ago #67929 by Vagelis Tsamis
Replied by Vagelis Tsamis on topic Well done Astronomy Ireland. - Our 'important' galaxy?

Given the chemical make-up of life,I'm a believer of the theory that life was invented by water as a means of transporting itself.


Why not? And perhaps Water was invented by Oxygen and Hydrogen, as a means of transporting themselves and passionatelly hanging around together :D
On second thoughts, everything was invented by the Quark, as a means of veriety in his boring quark-world. :lol:

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