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Asperion
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Astronomers have discovered the primary world of some alien life that exists in some scifi story, be it ST, SW, B5, Farscape,  or essentially any other scifi.  The only catch is that this is the real world and real astronomy with real equipment and scientists,  nothing fantastic or using terms and technology that does not actually exist. On each post someone will state one alien and then the next person will have to state how the current science community would see that planet. 

 

First up: Vulcan 

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21 hours ago, Tjack said:

I don’t quite see what your going for, could you do an example?

 

I am going for a situation where modern astronomers find stated world,  how would they react to the discovery? Would they determine the presence of life? Chemical make up? Size,  orientation? Whatever else they were going for when looking at astronomical bodies. If there is any thing else,  feel free to mention it. 

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   Using real world equipment kind of limits things. Vulcan is supposed to be orbiting the star 40 Iridani. (“My name is Tjack and I’m a Star Trek geek.”  “HI, TJACK.”)  Real world astronomers can barely see the star itself, let alone the nature of the planets surrounding it. And for science fiction that’s relatively close. What are you going to do for Alderaan or Tatooine that are by definition in “another galaxy far, far away”?

   The question could be a lot of fun, but you’ve got to open up your criteria a little more.

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4 hours ago, Tjack said:

   Using real world equipment kind of limits things. Vulcan is supposed to be orbiting the star 40 Iridani. (“My name is Tjack and I’m a Star Trek geek.”  “HI, TJACK.”)  Real world astronomers can barely see the star itself, let alone the nature of the planets surrounding it. And for science fiction that’s relatively close. What are you going to do for Alderaan or Tatooine that are by definition in “another galaxy far, far away”?

   The question could be a lot of fun, but you’ve got to open up your criteria a little more.

 

On the bright side, Motie Prime would still look like a Mote.

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The question is still a little vague. As to astronomers' reaction, the first would be something like, "Holy F***ing S***, there's life on that planet!"

 

As to how this could be detected: It starts with spectroscopy. Brief explanation for the layman: When you spread light out into a rainbow, there may be dark lines in the band of colors. These occur because each chemical element absorbs specific frequencies of light. So if you spread out the light reflecting off a planet, the dark lines will show you what gases are in the planet's atmosphere. (If it has one.)

 

Some combinations of gases are difficult to explain without the presence of life, because the gases will react with each other. For instance, if alien astronomers studied the light bouncing off Earth, they'd find it's mostly nitrogen with some oxygen and smidgens of other gases -- including methane. Oxygen is ferociously reactive: It would degrade the methane into carbon dioxide and water vapor within a century or less. Therefore, something on the planet is continuously putting out methane. (And oxygen too, but for now let's just talk about the methane.) Namely, life.

 

And if the aliens look extra-hard, they will find other gases that can only be explained by industrial pollution. At that point, they can conclude that earthlife is intelligent... though perhaps not wise.

 

Human instruments are not yet powerful and precise enough to do this, but we know how to build them. We may be able to examine the atmospheres of exoplanets in a few decades.

 

And, yeah, there's also the SETI approach of listening for radio signals from other civilizations, but that's less a question of scientific detective work and more a question of getting lucky (in detecting the signal at all) and then figuring out what it means.

 

OR: If the question is what would happen if astronomers detected a specific alien civilization that we all thought was fictional, the first thought would be that it was an elaborate hoax. We can't be detecting Vulcans, or Narns, or whoever, because they are made up.

 

If  hoax could be ruled out, we'd have a real puzzle. Probably the least disturbing explanation that would be proposed is that some aliens are posing as our fictional creations because they think we'll accept them more easily that way. Various sub-options for why they might do this. Posibilities get weirder from there, such as the aliens having secretly planted their image into pop culture to prepare us for contact; the Universe being a computer simulation and information has been leaking between domains; or the Universe is psychoreactive and will manifest whatever a sufficient number of people imagine.

 

Is that the sort of thing you were getting at?

 

Dean Shomshak

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On 7/17/2021 at 5:46 AM, Asperion said:

Astronomers have discovered the primary world of some alien life that exists in some scifi story, be it ST, SW, B5, Farscape,  or essentially any other scifi.  The only catch is that this is the real world and real astronomy with real equipment and scientists,  nothing fantastic or using terms and technology that does not actually exist. On each post someone will state one alien and then the next person will have to state how the current science community would see that planet. 

 

First up: Vulcan 

 

Hi Asperion, I'll play:

 

Latest Discovery:  Vulcan!

 

Scientists today announced the discovery of decipherable binary radio transmissions from the direction of 40 Eridani.  Very faint EM signals had been noted from that system for many years, but were never decoded.  In retrospect, it appears these were incidental EM emissions from an advancing technological society.  The first messages deciphered, similar to those of Earth's own SETI program, begin with simple universal mathematics and progressed quickly to sophisticated systems of logic, and, finally, enough language to provide a brief description of these extrasolar intelligences and their world.  The results will shock you.  please turn to p27...

Spoiler

...continued from cover story.

 

It appears that the intelligences of 40 Eridani live on an arid, world, with higher gravity and thinner atmosphere than Earth, under the harsh light of 3 suns.  The are humanoid, tall, gaunt, have pointed ears, value peace and above all, logic  ... and call themselves Vulcans!   Obviously, there is much speculation that the transmissions could be a hoax, so scientists are unwilling to commit themselves until more evidence is in, but they hasten to point out that any reply we do send will take 17 years to reach Mr. Spock's ancestors.   So the whole question may be settled as early as 2055.

 

Next Planet:  Barsoom

 

(yes, the hard part will be explaining how scientists have /missed/ this one for so long...)

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On 7/23/2021 at 3:04 PM, Opal said:

 

 

Next Planet:  Barsoom

 

Despite decades of probes, scans,  and other forms of information gathering that say this place is a lifeless husk,  Perseverance has stumbled upon a cliff that is difficult to explain by the local geological features.  When attempting to get samples,  a portal opens and inside it discovers a strange complex featuring unknown lifeforms.  Beyond the rough human type body and general ability to use tools,  very little can be found out about them at this time. 

 

Newest Find: Centari Prime 

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