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← Hubble directly observes planet orbiting Fomalhaut

Hubble directly observes planet orbiting Fomalhaut - Comments

Kit Finn's Avatar Comment 1 by Kit Finn

Wow, beautiful, that's really brightened up my day!

Fri, 14 Nov 2008 00:07:00 UTC | #270097

BlazingArrow74's Avatar Comment 2 by BlazingArrow74

... Absolutely-Encouraging News ... Hopefully more discoveries of this kind will yield better funding for cosmic research worldwide ... It's just unfortunate that Fomalhaut will burn out too quickly to support life as we know it ...

Fri, 14 Nov 2008 00:30:00 UTC | #270105

Dr Doctor's Avatar Comment 3 by Dr Doctor

The Hubble has proved its worth a million times over. Fomalhaut is a mere nipper, and if that nipper can carry planets then that says a lot about the probability of planets around other systems.

I'm looking forward to the JWST, and hopefully the better net based access to the public data from the get-go.

Fri, 14 Nov 2008 00:36:00 UTC | #270108

Degsy's Avatar Comment 4 by Degsy

Jaw-dropping stuff. I was wondering if anyone would know where to, or how to get hold of a poster-sized image of this sort of thing?
Any feedback would be greatly appreciated.

Fri, 14 Nov 2008 00:36:00 UTC | #270109

Quetzalcoatl's Avatar Comment 6 by Quetzalcoatl

Absolutely bloody marvellous. Extremely cool. Splendid. And this is just the first planet to be directly observed- the next decade wil be very exciting!

Fri, 14 Nov 2008 00:41:00 UTC | #270114

Dr Doctor's Avatar Comment 5 by Dr Doctor

http://www.skyimagelab.com/

Although this is one of the few occassions where the artist impression (can't remember where I saw it) is more beautiful than the images produced so far.

Fri, 14 Nov 2008 00:41:00 UTC | #270113

Dr Doctor's Avatar Comment 7 by Dr Doctor

This image here:

http://us.st12.yimg.com/us.st.yimg.com/I/skyimage_2023_105781970

Having seen that, can anyone religous truly claim a monopoly on beauty and awe?

My biggest disappointment was even with my rather enormous telescope that will give me a hernia one of these days is that my eyes, even after several hours, are not good enough to take in the beauty of the night sky the way other amateur astronomers can. I've lost count of the times someone with a less capable telescope says "Can you see that [describes breathtaking effect]", when I look at it I don't see anything near what they describe.

Fri, 14 Nov 2008 00:49:00 UTC | #270118

Quetzalcoatl's Avatar Comment 8 by Quetzalcoatl

Dr Doctor-

I honestly don't get why people don't want to spend money on space research and science when it gives us things like this.

Fri, 14 Nov 2008 01:00:00 UTC | #270123

GandalfGrey's Avatar Comment 9 by GandalfGrey

It's the Eye of Sauron !

Great picture indeed.

Fri, 14 Nov 2008 01:08:00 UTC | #270126

SaganTheCat's Avatar Comment 10 by SaganTheCat

Having seen that, can anyone religous truly claim a monopoly on beauty and awe'


If only!

Can't remember if it was New scientist or The Guardian but there was an online gallery of stunning pictures of distant galaxies etc (probably from Hubble). I was in awe looking through them and loved the comments made by readers, was about to make my own when I got to the bottom and read "how can anyone see such beauty and not believe in God"

that kinda spoiled the mood for me

Fri, 14 Nov 2008 01:21:00 UTC | #270130

Disbelief's Avatar Comment 11 by Disbelief

Awesome! I just wonder how long it will be before we get to directly observe somewhere habitable. First contact can't be far away.

Fri, 14 Nov 2008 01:30:00 UTC | #270132

Laurie Fraser's Avatar Comment 12 by Laurie Fraser

Wonderful, wonderful, wonderful. Suck on that, religoids!

Or should I say - explain that, religoids.

Fri, 14 Nov 2008 01:35:00 UTC | #270133

Vaal's Avatar Comment 13 by Vaal

Excellent news. How can anyone not be awestruck and motivated by cutting-edge science. How paltry and absurd is the default "Goddit" position. What small minds and microscopic world views.

I always like it when religious dogma is given another kicking. Of course, the "head in the sand mentality" seems impervious to reason, blind to evidence. If it contradicts a fictional book written by desert nomads thousands of years ago, then it can't possibly be true can it?

When the religdroids quote biblical verse, they might as well be quoting Harry Potter, or Peter Pan. It doesn't mean anything. It is utter bollox.

Fri, 14 Nov 2008 01:49:00 UTC | #270148

Laurie Fraser's Avatar Comment 14 by Laurie Fraser

Vaal - right on, brother!

Fri, 14 Nov 2008 01:51:00 UTC | #270149

Osmano's Avatar Comment 15 by Osmano

"I honestly don't get why people don't want to spend money on space research and science when it gives us things like this."

Because beyond curiosity these things don't have much value, their work is important but it somehow seems wasteful when the world is in recession.

Fri, 14 Nov 2008 02:35:00 UTC | #270167

Quetzalcoatl's Avatar Comment 16 by Quetzalcoatl

Osmano-

The global recession is a very recent occurrence. People have been objecting for far longer than that. And I would question your definition of "not much value".

Fri, 14 Nov 2008 02:37:00 UTC | #270168

Brian English's Avatar Comment 17 by Brian English

The argument that money spent on research is of no value is wrong on many levels. It's not like Governments aren't pork-barreling, favoring lobbyists, repaying those who gave them the nod and all that anyway. Wars, like Iraq and Afghanistan, have cost probably a 100 years worth of research funding. If you want to be thrifty, look at the billions spent monthly on shelling a shit country further into shitdom, so that the mullahs end up in power over those poor folk.

Fri, 14 Nov 2008 02:42:00 UTC | #270172

friendlypig's Avatar Comment 18 by friendlypig

.. Jupiter on steroids.

Just so cool.

Fri, 14 Nov 2008 03:04:00 UTC | #270182

Geraint's Avatar Comment 19 by Geraint

I wonder if it's coincidence that this came out at the same time as the images of the planetary system round HR8799.

Fri, 14 Nov 2008 03:08:00 UTC | #270186

Osmano's Avatar Comment 20 by Osmano

The thirst for knowledge is of course what makes us human, this needs to be balanced with social responsibility.

Of course, observing things by telescope is relatively inexpensive. Manned spaceflight is extravagant.

Fri, 14 Nov 2008 03:13:00 UTC | #270190

Vaal's Avatar Comment 21 by Vaal

15. Comment #283919 by Osmano

Because beyond curiosity these things don't have much value

Money spent on furthering mankind's knowledge is never a waste, just the opposite.

The money wasted on armaments, wars, supporting corrupt regimes is a completely different matter. How much richer a species, in every respect we would be, if we didn't devote such immense resources trying to murder each other. It is obscene.

Fri, 14 Nov 2008 03:14:00 UTC | #270192

Quetzalcoatl's Avatar Comment 22 by Quetzalcoatl

Spaceflight is not extravagant. It is a vital step towards the colonisation of the solar system at large, and making use of the resources that are available out there. Resources which, if current population growth continues, the Earth will desperately need.

Fri, 14 Nov 2008 03:21:00 UTC | #270200

Brian English's Avatar Comment 23 by Brian English

The thirst for knowledge is of course what makes us human, this needs to be balanced with social responsibility.
False dichotomy. As I pointed out before, we are very irresponsible with spending on pork-barelling, welfare for the rich, wars, and whatever. The amount spent on science research is miniscule in comparison. But you'd like us to believe that we have to balance social responsibility on the back of science research. How about stop phony wars on drugs and awful wars on countries like Iraq? The money saved would easily fix social responsibility and leave plenty of change for science.

Fri, 14 Nov 2008 03:24:00 UTC | #270201

Greyman's Avatar Comment 24 by Greyman

19. Comment #283938 by Geraint on November 14, 2008 at 3:08 am

I wonder if it's coincidence that this came out at the same time as the images of the planetary system round HR8799.

Possibly not.  Once the instrumentation and techniques has reached the point of being able to detect these things if you look in the rigth place, it then becomes a question of: just how common is the right place to look?

Fri, 14 Nov 2008 03:29:00 UTC | #270206

Osmano's Avatar Comment 25 by Osmano

Where did I say that Iraq and the war on drugs were good ways to spend money? Just because we're being wasteful there doesn't count as an argument for Spaceflight.

Fri, 14 Nov 2008 03:33:00 UTC | #270208

Vaal's Avatar Comment 26 by Vaal

Quetz

Hear hear. Imagine how much we could have done with the money wasted on recent wars, if dedicated to Space research. We would be opening up the solar system to mankind, with all those huge resources available instead of pillaging the finite Earth.

Space elevator research, more efficient faster drives, rocket technology. All of these would open up new technologies, new innovations, new employment opportunities, new goals, new incentives, new horizons, new wealth.

Fri, 14 Nov 2008 03:35:00 UTC | #270209

Brian English's Avatar Comment 27 by Brian English

Just because we're being wasteful there doesn't count as an argument for Spaceflight.
Doesn't count against spaceflight either. You were trying to equate spaceflight as being wasteful in comparison to social responsibility. That argument will only fly when we're being lean and mean in all other areas that aren't as useful as science. Which we are not.

Fri, 14 Nov 2008 03:39:00 UTC | #270211

Quetzalcoatl's Avatar Comment 28 by Quetzalcoatl

Everyone-

After the idea was discussed at a recent RD.net meeting in Oxford as well as yesterday, I have put some preliminary ideas together for a children's book. The book is intended to showcase some of the more exciting and unusual creatures that have lived on our planet, with the aim of getting children interested and hopefully teaching them some things about evolution and the age of the Earth. Please read my post on the thread I have set up on the subject:

http://richarddawkins.net/forum/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=63668

All suggestions and criticism will be gratefully received. Thank you in advance.

Fri, 14 Nov 2008 03:44:00 UTC | #270215

Osmano's Avatar Comment 29 by Osmano

An example being India and China planning to send people to the moon. For what purpose? This is in a country where there's still grinding poverty for a lot of people. Of course they have enough money to try and combat both, but it's still extravagant to be undertaking missions at a cost of billions for minimal scientific value when your country still has so many problems?

Most of our knowledge about the Solar system comes from unmanned robotic space craft, which are cheaper, safer, and more scientifically valuable. Manned spaceflight is much more about national prestige then it is about science.

Fri, 14 Nov 2008 03:48:00 UTC | #270219

Vaal's Avatar Comment 30 by Vaal

Quetz

Good idea. Have you thought of including ancient humans as well?

Make sure none of the creatures have fish-hooks in. :-)

Fri, 14 Nov 2008 03:52:00 UTC | #270221