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Cryonic
01-06-2013, 08:58 PM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=08LBltePDZw

This animated flight through the universe was made by Miguel Aragon of Johns Hopkins University with Mark Subbarao of the Adler Planetarium and Alex Szalay of Johns Hopkins. There are close to 400,000 galaxies in the animation, with images of the actual galaxies in these positions (or in some cases their near cousins in type) derived from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS) Data Release 7. Vast as this slice of the universe seems, its most distant reach is to redshift 0.1, corresponding to roughly 1.3 billion light years from Earth. The Baryon Oscillation Spectroscopic Survey (BOSS) spectroscopic data in Data Release 9 includes well over half a million galaxies at redshifts up to 0.8 – roughly 7 billion light years distant – and over a hundred thousand quasars to redshift 3.0 and beyond.

http://newscenter.lbl.gov/news-releases/2012/08/08/boss-sdss-dr9/

The Third Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS-III) has issued Data Release 9 (DR9), the first public release of data from the Baryon Oscillation Spectroscopic Survey (BOSS). In this release BOSS, the largest of SDSS-III’s four surveys, provides spectra for 535,995 newly observed galaxies, 102,100 quasars, and 116,474 stars, plus new information about objects in previous Sloan surveys (SDSS-I and II).

“This is just the first of three data releases from BOSS,” says David Schlegel of the U.S. Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab), an astrophysicist in the Lab’s Physics Division and BOSS’s principal investigator. “By the time BOSS is complete, we will have surveyed more of the sky, out to a distance twice as deep, for a volume more than five times greater than SDSS has surveyed before – a larger volume of the universe than all previous spectroscopic surveys combined.”

Spectroscopy yields a wealth of information about astronomical objects including their motion (called redshift and written “z”), their composition, and sometimes also the density of the gas and other material that lies between them and observers on Earth. The BOSS spectra are now freely available at http://sdss3.org to a public that includes amateur astronomers, astronomy professionals who are not members of the SDSS-III collaboration, and high-school science teachers and their students.

The new release lists spectra for galaxies with redshifts up to z = 0.8 (roughly 7 billion light years away) and quasars with redshifts between z = 2.1 and 3.5 (from 10 to 11.5 billion light years away). When BOSS is complete it will have measured 1.5 million galaxies and at least 150,000 quasars, as well as many thousands of stars and other “ancillary” objects for scientific projects other than BOSS’s main goal.

The key to the history of the universe

BOSS is designed to measure baryon acoustic oscillation (BAO), the large-scale clustering of matter in the universe. BAO began as rippling fluctuations (“sound waves”) in the hot, dense soup of matter and radiation that made up the early universe. As the universe expanded it cooled. Finally atoms formed and radiation went its own way; the density ripples left their marks as temperature variations in the cosmic microwave background (CMB), where they can be detected today.

The CMB came into being 380,000 years after the big bang, over 13.6 billion years ago, and continues to stretch across the entire sky as the universe expands. Peaks in CMB temperature variation occur about half a billion light years apart, at the same angle, viewed from Earth, as peaks in the large-scale galactic structure that evolved billions of years later. The regions of higher density in the CMB were in fact the sources of galaxy formation; they correspond to regions where galaxies cluster, along with intergalactic gas and concentrations of much more massive underlying dark matter. The natural “standard ruler” marking peaks in clustering can be applied not only across the sky but in all three dimensions, backward in time to the CMB.

Distant quasars provide another way of measuring BAO and the distribution of matter in the universe. Quasars are the brightest objects in the distant universe, whose spectra bristle with individually shifted absorption lines, a “Lyman-alpha forest” unique to each that reveals the clumping of intergalactic gas and underlying dark matter between the quasar and Earth.

Marks on the cosmic ruler

Schlegel has called BAO “an inconveniently sized ruler,” requiring “a huge volume of the universe just to fit the ruler inside,” but it’s a precision tool for tracking the universe’s expansion history, and for probing the nature of gravity and the mysterious dark energy that’s causing expansion to accelerate.

To fill the huge volume, BOSS had to find more and fainter objects in the sky at greater distances than SDSS had attempted before. The camera system and spectrographs of the 2.5-meter Sloan Foundation Telescope at the Apache Point Observatory in New Mexico had to be completely rebuilt.

SDSS uses “plug plates” at the telescope’s focal plane, aluminum disks with holes drilled to match the precise position of previously imaged target objects. SDSS-I and II plug plates had only 640 holes apiece, each covering three arcseconds; BOSS is using 2,000 plug plates with 1,000 holes apiece, each covering a tight two arcseconds to reduce light that’s not from the target.

Optical fibers are plugged into the holes every day by hand, to guide the light from each target to a spectrograph. While weather conditions vary night to night, observations on the best nights use up to nine plug plates. For BOSS, the spectrographs were rebuilt with new optics and new CCD detectors designed and fabricated at Berkeley Lab.

“Light from distant galaxies arrives at Earth redshifted into the infrared,” says Natalie Roe, director of Berkeley Lab’s Physics Division and BOSS’s instrument scientist, who led construction of the spectrographs. “We optimized the BOSS spectrographs for mapping exactly these galaxies.”

Working with Schlegel and Adam Bolton at the University of Utah, Berkeley Lab’s Stephen Bailey is in charge of daily “extraction pipeline” operations that convert raw data from the telescope into useful spectra and quantities derived from them, ready for scientific analysis. Data storage and the extraction pipeline run on the Riemann Linux cluster of Berkeley Lab’s High-Performance Computing Services Group; the data is copied from Riemann to the University of Utah, New York University, Johns Hopkins University, and the National Energy Research Scientific Computing Center (NERSC) at Berkeley Lab. The Lab also hosts the SDSS-III website, http://sdss3.org, from which the data can be downloaded.

“Data releases are a proud tradition for SDSS, and the first BOSS data greatly increase the SDSS store of information,” Bailey says. “Members of the SDSS-III collaboration get first crack at it – with barely enough time to write up their results – but three times as many papers based on the data are published by scientists outside the collaboration.”

Says Schlegel, “SDSS-III is already the most used of all surveys from any telescope in the world, including the Keck telescopes and the Hubble Space Telescope. With DR9, BOSS contributes a huge information increase for all kinds of scientific investigations, from quasars to how stars evolve to really odd objects like galaxy-scale strong gravitational lenses. Meanwhile the BOSS BAO survey is over two-thirds finished, and ahead of schedule – we’re well on our way to the best measure of BAO that will be made for a long time. All the data BOSS collects will be available to anyone who can use it.”

inkpen3d
01-07-2013, 01:49 AM
Thanks for posting this!

It's nice to see for "real", as opposed to just computer simulations, the sheets and filaments of galaxies threading between massive voids.

Rather chilling to realise that even though the volume of space shown in this video is truly enormous, it only represents a very tiny fragment of the universe as a whole!

ksnoad
01-07-2013, 02:22 AM
Blimey! That is a lot of space ;)

Nice.

Kev xx

arsad
01-07-2013, 05:57 AM
We are just dust particles in a vast empty space... ;)

Impressive to see!
Especially as these are galaxys and not stars, so our solar system
would be infinite small even in this animation that covers only a
tiny bit of the known universe.

Kaptive
01-07-2013, 08:37 AM
The idea that we are the only planet in the universe with intelligent life... or life full stop is as crazy as saying the Earth is flat when you see this video. Mind blowing perspective on how insignificant we really are in the grand scheme of things. Thanks for sharing!

warmiak
01-07-2013, 09:36 AM
The real question is not so much if there is life out there but how common it is - given the size of the universe, if it is very rare then , as far as we are concerned, we are the only planet out there with intelligent life anyway.

Even if we ever get to the point where we can travel at speeds close to the speed of light, if life is relatively rare (say a few million light years apart), it won't do us any good anyway.

Kaptive
01-07-2013, 12:38 PM
The real question is not so much if there is life out there but how common it is - given the size of the universe, if it is very rare then , as far as we are concerned, we are the only planet out there with intelligent life anyway.

Even if we ever get to the point where we can travel at speeds close to the speed of light, if life is relatively rare (say a few million light years apart), it won't do us any good anyway.

Unless we work out a way to create artificial wormholes and fold space :D ...haha, you never know. The question then is whether we'll survive long enough to get to that level of intelligence/ability.

shrox
01-07-2013, 03:29 PM
When we visualize these things, we see them in a way that is physically impossible. In this the camera are moving a million times faster than the speed of light, some theories say the closest visual analogy would be a point of light directly ahead of you and a point of light directly behind you.

Oh, 'tis woe in this mortal frame!

Rayek
01-07-2013, 09:21 PM
When we visualize these things, we see them in a way that is physically impossible. In this the camera are moving a million times faster than the speed of light, some theories say the closest visual analogy would be a point of light directly ahead of you and a point of light directly behind you.

Oh, 'tis woe in this mortal frame!

That depends: if warping space turns out to be a physical possibility, I would imagine that each fold ("jump") would require so much energy that it would only be possible to jump a limited number of light years in distance (almost like loading a capacitor). Then synchronizing each timed jump to 1/60 or more per second would look to us as if we were traveling at a much higher speed. Not unlike a movie where each frame is only shown for a split second, and our visually limited brain is fooled into thinking that the images actually move.

Of course, this is theoretical, but would work - we would see ourselves traveling through the universe like in this video.

Btw, have you seen how many galaxies seem to be clustered together? According to Arp galaxies are born from other galaxies, starting out as quasars, and evolving into galaxies themselves. Redshift may have a very different cause as well - his observations show that redshift of galaxies and other objects seems to be quantized.

And as for life: cosmologists and physicists are finally seeing how, aside from entropy, that, as a natural law, energetic systems on all levels try to achieve ever higher energy states. As a natural consequence, life could be as abundant and prevalent in the universe as there are stars...


A much more interesting universe unfolds, ever evolving, never-ending. No reason for a theoretical big bang (which by now has too many observations going against it anyway in my opinion, and far too many ptolemaic constructs added to it, for it to remain convincing as a cosmological theory.

Oops, I digress. Lovely video, that ;-)

Cryonic
01-07-2013, 09:42 PM
We used to think we were alone and what little existed revolved around us... Then we grew up, a little, and learned that we revolve around something larger than ourselves. Then we grew up, a little more, and learned that what we revolved around revolves around (and threw) something much larger than it. But we thought, we're still special as there aren't other worlds other than us... Then we grew up, a little more, and started to find out just how common other places really are... With each step the values plugged into the, now (now being a relative term vs the time humans have been around) known, Drake equation get larger and the results of its output continues to grow... Number of known stars, the number of stars with planets around them, the number of planets that might support life, etc...
We might be a small speck of dust in the vastness of the Universe, but we are still special, even if the whole of the Universe is teeming with life, as most of the Universe is, as far as we know, uninhabitable (the vacuum between the realms of matter). Reminds me of the episode of Star Trek: TNG when they travel back to late 1800s California and Guinan is talks about the fact that even if humans were just one diamond amongst millions, we're still a diamond. Precious and beautiful. And only created under pressure and heat, heheh :)

shrox
01-07-2013, 10:10 PM
...Of course, this is theoretical, but would work - we would see ourselves traveling through the universe like in this video...

As a smooth flying motion as shown in the video, space would not "look" like that. Any photons outside of your vector would not be detectable as they are nearly standing still in relation to your velocity, that's why only a point of light directly ahead of you would be visible. It's like driving through raindrops, only those aligned with your car strike it. Only the photons aligned with your eye strike the rods and cones, but then again how would your retina even detect photons and transmit them to your brain? How relative is relative, as the nerve impulses that travel from the retina to the brain are essentially photons of a sort too. Same with a video camera, but a film camera might at least capture the point of light in front.

Stuff like this does make me wish I could see the universe in the same fashion we can animate it.

Rayek
01-07-2013, 10:20 PM
As a smooth flying motion as shown in the video, space would not "look" like that. Any photons outside of your vector would not be detectable as they are nearly standing still in relation to your velocity, that's why only a point of light directly ahead of you would be visible. It's like driving through raindrops, only those aligned with your car strike it. Only the photons aligned with your eye strike the rods and cones, but then again how would your retina even detect photons and transmit them to your brain? How relative is relative, as the nerve impulses that travel from the retina to the brain are essentially photons of a sort too. Same with a video camera, but a film camera might at least capture the point of light in front.

Stuff like this does make me wish I could see the universe in the same fashion we can animate it.

You haven't read my post very well - Between each "jump" the ship would actually stand absolutely still or move at very slow speed - in that moment light would be registered as normal. "Jumping" from point to point, and at each point be at a complete standstill position, and repeat this pattern every 1/60 of a second (or more, preferably) would result in our brain thinking we are traveling at a far higher speed than the speed of light, and at the same time still see our surroundings as if at slow or no travel speed at all. We may need a computer enhanced image to smooth the transition a bit between frames, though, depending on the distance between jumps.

shrox
01-07-2013, 10:43 PM
You haven't read my post very well - Between each "jump" the ship would actually stand absolutely still or move at very slow speed - in that moment light would be registered as normal. "Jumping" from point to point, and at each point be at a complete standstill position, and repeat this pattern every 1/60 of a second (or more, preferably) would result in our brain thinking we are traveling at a far higher speed than the speed of light, and at the same time still see our surroundings as if at slow or no travel speed at all. We may need a computer enhanced image to smooth the transition a bit between frames, though, depending on the distance between jumps.

Yes, I did read your post, I was simply talking about the video as shown, the implication is that the viewer is flying smoothly through the universe. I was talking about how the AVERAGE viewer would think of it.

DigitalSorcery8
01-08-2013, 12:37 AM
The real question is not so much if there is life out there but how common it is - given the size of the universe, if it is very rare then , as far as we are concerned, we are the only planet out there with intelligent life anyway.

Even if we ever get to the point where we can travel at speeds close to the speed of light, if life is relatively rare (say a few million light years apart), it won't do us any good anyway.
If it ends up being THAT rare, that would mean there would only be about one planet in an entire galaxy that might have intelligent life. Our galaxy is only 100,000 light years across. If life were a few million light years apart, then the nearest to our galaxy would be Andromeda at about 2.5 million light years away. Considering the number of planets they've been discovering and those with apparent water on them in our own galaxy alone... I don't think that intelligent life will end up being THAT rare. ;) Then again... maybe intelligent life only last so long before they end up destroying themselves. Remember the Krell..... :)

mike_stening
01-08-2013, 02:37 AM
wow, felt small watching that,
then read the above posts, now just feel stupid, durrrr

warmiak
01-08-2013, 04:55 AM
True.

Frankly, the fact that we haven't seen any signs of life out there ( monitoring signals from outer space - CETI etc ) means nothing really ....

If you think about it , we have been doing it for about 30-50 years now and given that we are dealing here with vast distances ( it takes 100 000 years for a radio signal to travel across our galaxy) - we really don't know anything.

Of course, another thing is that perhaps we are looking for "wrong" kind of signals ... who knows what sort of life forms are out here and what sort of medium they use to communicate.

Yeah, we really don't know anything at this point ...

PS.

We have been generating our own signals as well but again, these things are out there traveling at the speed of light so the earliest human originated radio signals are still only about 90-100 light years away and that's just enough to cover only a microscopic portion of our galactic neighborhood.

sandman300
01-08-2013, 01:36 PM
The idea that we are the only planet in the universe with intelligent life... or life full stop is as crazy as saying the Earth is flat when you see this video. Mind blowing perspective on how insignificant we really are in the grand scheme of things. Thanks for sharing!
I don't see how there is any relationship between the two. It is very interesting to see.

Probability of ET Life Arbitrarily Small, Say Astrobiologists (http://www.technologyreview.com/view/424795/probability-of-et-life-arbitrarily-small-say-astrobiologists/)

prometheus
01-08-2013, 05:43 PM
isn´t it about time to snort some spice, just to change our minds in order to be able to fold space?
The space program is to slow and we ain´t getting anywere...except older.

I wish some Ellie Arroway figure could pick up a signal in that vast noise ...
By the way...have you guys been lending your computer to the S.E.T.I project?


Everyone seems to glide in to the question if we are alone and how many and how intelligent etc...There´s the absolute truth of what is ..and of that we know nothing, we can only speculate in terms of
probability.

It is intriguing to speculate though, personally I believe there might be a couple of civilization´s in some galaxy, but when closing in..I belive there are a lot of planets with premordial life, and some fewer with
even further development in evolution, but for some reason I have been thinking the past years that a civilization at our level might be very very sparse in our own galaxy, and also that this civilization should
be living at the same timeline as our.

Michael

shrox
01-08-2013, 05:56 PM
We could be the first.

prometheus
01-08-2013, 10:57 PM
We could be the first.


We could be the first.

That thought has crossed my mind, at least the first civilization reaching this kind of level, not entirely impossible that it is so.
Scary isn´t it?...no contact to look forward too, but then again we are left here at the rim of our galaxy in not knowing that.

The Probability of that might be a little off though...I suppose there are far more older galaxies than ours that has been traveled much further out and more
likely that those could have civilizations.

I´m curious if our location and similar locations at the rim of the galaxy actually holds more conditions for life reaching a long developed state, than around stars in the middle of the galaxy?

Another question that scifi writers and scientist argue about, are they hostile?

Steven Hawking is warning us for that and mentions that we should not reveal our selfs.

I actually believe that will not be the case, most of the times, I do not believe a civilization will survive that long on it´s own planet unless living in a very high degree of symbios
within it´s environment, I sense that more to be true than saying that such species will conquer and use all resources on one planet and then move on to the next to do the same, that´s
what Steven says, and hint´s to how our own history looks with christoffer columbus and what happened to the indians.

I do not see history to be some sort of constant of how we would act in the future..so ..no I do not chime in to that belief.
Edit...uhmm, I think Ive been discussing this somewhere else on the forum ..some time ago.

Michael

Rayek
01-08-2013, 11:28 PM
We could be the first.

A very anthropocentric thought. ;-) And statistically an infinitesimally small chance for that to have happened in this universe.

shrox
01-09-2013, 12:20 AM
A very anthropocentric thought. ;-) And statistically an infinitesimally small chance for that to have happened in this universe.

I meant first in a lonely way.

RebelHill
01-09-2013, 02:26 AM
A very anthropocentric thought. ;-) And statistically an infinitesimally small chance for that to have happened in this universe.

Well... lets say the estimated age of the universe (~14bn yrs) is right-enough... Our solar system began forming 6-8bn yrs ago... the earth became "fully formed" 4-5bny ago... Life began ~3bny ago... and for 2bny there was nothing but simple single celled life until some freak accident got one cell inside another, and BOTH survived to create complex cellular life. Then another ~500myrs of complex single celled life, before finally u start to get the first multi-cellular organisms.

We may not be the first... but given the time scales involved (and the seemingly rare event of simple life becoming complex)... there's a very good statistical chance of us being one of the first, in this galaxy or any other.

safetyman
01-09-2013, 05:22 AM
While I believe that intelligent, questioning life is a rarity in the universe, I don't believe for one second that we are "alone". If that's true, then what a massive waste of space, with all the wonderful and beautiful things around us and no one else to see them.

lardbros
01-09-2013, 05:57 AM
Cool, and ultimately humbling animation... and tonnes of info to chew over for weeks...

Could you go into any more detail about the production of this, pitfalls, data-handling etc? Wondering how LightWave was capable of handling this kind of data.

warmiak
01-09-2013, 06:53 AM
While I believe that intelligent, questioning life is a rarity in the universe, I don't believe for one second that we are "alone". If that's true, then what a massive waste of space, with all the wonderful and beautiful things around us and no one else to see them.

Who is to say what is to be considered waste of space :-) ?

Things just are the way they are and the fact that "nobody" can appreciate them is irrelevant ... or in other words, there is no evidence that the universe was made with us (or anyone/anything else) in mind.

inkpen3d
01-09-2013, 07:44 AM
I have to agree with RebelHill on this one - there may be plenty of planets out there orbiting in the Goldilocks zone of their parent star, and life may well have evolved on these worlds, but it may never have evolved beyond simple bacteria!

One other point to consider - our planet might be fairly rare in respect of its Moon. This has several important implications for the evolution of life on earth:


It is now widely accepted that about 4.6 billion years ago the young proto-earth suffered an off-centre collision with a small planet (called Theia) roughly the size of Mars. The resulting debris cloud was ejected into orbit about the earth and fairly rapidly re-aggregated to form the Moon. The vast amount of kinetic energy released during this collision resulted in the surfaces of both the earth and the moon being seas of molten magma for many millions of years after the impact event. A direct result of this impact would be that all the water originally present on the proto-earth was driven off during the collision with Theia. All the water now on the earth was delivered later by comets and asteroids (during the late heavy bombardment ~3.85 billion years ago?) or by volcanic out-gassing from the the earth's interior. Therefore, when compared to other planets that formed within the Goldilocks zone of their parent star, it could be that the earth is anomalous in that it is relatively "dry" - the normal earth-equivalent could be a "waterworld" having an world-spanning ocean tens or hundreds of kilometres thick - so land for any life to colonise!

The earth's moon is unusual in that it is very large compared to the size of its parent body and, as a result, its gravitational influence has had a stabilising effect on the tilt of the earth's rotational axis - without the moon's influence the earth's rotational axis would have flipped chaotically by large angles (e.g. as in the case of Mars) causing major disruptions to the earth's climate every few tens or hundreds of millions of years.

After its formation the moon orbited rapidly and close to the earth (i.e. 10x closer than today). This raised huge tides in both the early oceans and on land surfaces. Tides of up to 300 metres would have swept around the planet. These huge tidal ranges must have had a direct impact on early life and its evolution. [Note, the energy/angular-momentum transfer of the tides within the earth-moon system cause the moon to gradually recede from the earth and at the same time slowly reduces the rotational period of the earth - from its early value of a 6 hour day, to its present 24 hours.]

About 500 million years ago, the lunar tides (by now much subdued) and their resulting inter-tidal zones on sea shores most accelerated the evolution of life's colonisation of the land - the inter-tidal zones are very inhospitable environment for aquatic life and would have been a region acting as a driving force for the evolution air-breathing mechanisms, limbs, and ways of protecting against dessication.


That the presence of the moon could possibly have had such a major influence on the evolution of life on this planet of course begs the question - how many other earth-moon type systems are out there in the galaxy and the cosmos at large?

The Late Heavy Bombardment ~3.85 billion years ago that I referred to above was possibly triggered by the reorganisation of the orbits of the gas-giants in outer solar system - as these gas-giants jostled for position they would have caused major disruption to the Kuiper belt objects sending many of them plunging in towards the inner solar system, some of which then ended up impacting with the terrestrial planets including the earth and its moon. This bombardment was no trivial event (as can be seem by the large impact scars on the surface of the moon) each one causing significant or major environmental perturbations (e.g. 22 000 impact craters formed > 12 km diameter, 40 impacts craters ~1000 km diameter, and several with a diameter ~5000 km - for comparison the KT extinction event crater is about 180km diameter). These impacts would have a significant influence on the early evolution of life.

Add to that the unique series of mass-extinction events that life on earth has suffered over the aeons and how these have diverted the course of evolution (e.g. the Permian-Triasic event 251 million years ago that killed 90 - 96% of all species and paved the way for the rise of the dinosaurs. And then of course, the infamous K-T extinction event 65 million years ago that cleared out the dinosaurs leaving the stage clear for the mammals to take over). Then again, looking more recently, you have to consider the set of environmental changes, such as the drying out of the plains in central Africa and the ice-ages, that influenced or even promoted the evolution of our own species.

All in all, it has been and extraordinary and remarkable set of "rolls of the dice" on both the cosmic and local environmental scales that have resulted in a (somewhat) intelligent species of ape to end up contemplating the universe!

warmiak
01-09-2013, 08:03 AM
inkpen3d

All these events indeed seem rare and unlikely to repeat anywhere else but ... you have to consider that the universe we are talking about is composed of literally trillions of solar-like systems which makes is quite improbable not to have quite a few systems out there with similar conditions.

On another note, our definition of intelligent life is not necessary the only definition - there are literally unlimited ways for evolution to take its course and we really have no idea what's out there - or to put it another way, I see no reason not to expect some extremely aggressive life forms out there with acid for blood and really nasty looking , slimy and elongated snouts.

RebelHill
01-09-2013, 08:28 AM
there are literally unlimited ways for evolution to take its course

Actually... there's a constantly growing body of evidence to show that this isnt the case. Convergence between "disconnected" species has been observed many many times... leading many to believe that for a given environment, there are only a few distinct ways in which life forms can successfully survive,as such, you wind up with species with no (recent) common ancestor who, nevertheless, evolve into almost the same form (distinguishable only via phylogenetics).

Ink's case for the moon, or something similar (such as large, near eath sized moons around giant planets) also holds a lot of weight, and it may well be the case that life can only take hold given a VERY specific "near-cosmic" environment, and that complex, and by extension, intelligent, life can only ever occur in such environments that are very stable over billions of years.

inkpen3d
01-09-2013, 08:44 AM
inkpen3d

All these events indeed seem rare and unlikely to repeat anywhere else but ... you have to consider that the universe we are talking about is composed of literally trillions of solar-like systems which makes is quite improbable not to have quite a few systems out there with similar conditions.

On another note, our definition of intelligent life is not necessary the only definition - there are literally unlimited ways for evolution to take its course and we really have no idea what's out there - or to put it another way, I see no reason not to expect some extremely aggressive life forms out there with acid for blood and really nasty looking , slimy and elongated snouts.

Totally agree with you on all counts! It's a big universe out there - for all intents and purposes, infinite - so anything can and will happen (within the bounds set by physics, etc).

My take on the whole situation is that, spread over both space and time, we might be a pretty isolated event. If there are currently any other planets with some form of resident intelligent life out there, they are probably so remote from us (e.g. on the other side of this galaxy, or in some other galaxy millions of light years distant) that they might well as not exist since detecting and communicating with them will be next to impossible.

As far as we are concerned, this planet earth with all its diverse forms of life is the only one that we are ever going to know (at least in any detail) so we must take extremely good care of it (e.g. by curbing our own expanding population and our exploitation of natural resources and land). There will almost certainly not be any visiting aliens to benevolently dig us out of our own squalid mess and there are certainly no other worlds in this solar system that would make a long-term stable alternative home to which the human race could run away to if we screw up this planet (which we look as though we are well down the path to doing so). Any habitable worlds in other solar systems are so damned far away that again, given the limits imposed by physics, they might as well not be there!

inkpen3d
01-09-2013, 09:53 AM
Actually... there's a constantly growing body of evidence to show that this isnt the case. Convergence between "disconnected" species has been observed many many times... leading many to believe that for a given environment, there are only a few distinct ways in which life forms can successfully survive,as such, you wind up with species with no (recent) common ancestor who, nevertheless, evolve into almost the same form (distinguishable only via phylogenetics).

Ink's case for the moon, or something similar (such as large, near eath sized moons around giant planets) also holds a lot of weight, and it may well be the case that life can only take hold given a VERY specific "near-cosmic" environment, and that complex, and by extension, intelligent, life can only ever occur in such environments that are very stable over billions of years.

Agreed!

It is probably the case that physics and chemistry and therefore biochemistry constrains quite tightly just what elements in the periodic table can form the basis for life (e.g. silicon cannot form long stable chains in the same way as carbon atoms do, and it is carbon that forms the long chain organic molecules, such as RNA, DNA and proteins, that are the building blocks of life here on earth).

Similarly, there will be constraints on the type environment in which the processes of life can get started. For example, you might have all the elements (and simple organic compounds) necessary for the formation of life present on the surface of Saturn's moon Titan. However, if the temperature is too low (i.e. there is no energy flow available) in that environment to allow even simple (bio)chemical reactions to take place, then life will not evolve and flourish (i.e. it will be stuck almost indefinitely at the initial stages in a natural deep freeze). So all this talk of possible low temperature life on Titan is a load of hot air! ;)

Likewise, there are, for example, only a few ways that you can evolve an efficient way of moving about on land with a surface gravity of 1G - you slither like a snake or worm, slide like a slug or snail, crawl about on multiple legs like a millipede, or run/hop around on 2, 4, 6, or 8 legs (there's probably a very good reason you don't see any one-legged hopping species, they'd be prone to falling over - not good when you're being chased by a predator!). How exactly you end up with these various body plans is interesting, but almost irrelevant. But what you will end up with is, as RebelHill says, one of a very few possible designs, each one constrained by physics, and these will be the best solution to solve a particular environmental problem. That's why, for example, the marine reptiles called Ichthyosaurs, which swam the seas 245 to 90 million years ago, so closely resemble present day Dolphins - physics constrained the way that marine reptiles and marine mammals could become fast swimming predators of fish!

shrox
01-09-2013, 10:07 AM
Actually... there's a constantly growing body of evidence to show that this isnt the case. Convergence between "disconnected" species has been observed many many times... leading many to believe that for a given environment, there are only a few distinct ways in which life forms can successfully survive,as such, you wind up with species with no (recent) common ancestor who, nevertheless, evolve into almost the same form (distinguishable only via phylogenetics).

Ink's case for the moon, or something similar (such as large, near eath sized moons around giant planets) also holds a lot of weight, and it may well be the case that life can only take hold given a VERY specific "near-cosmic" environment, and that complex, and by extension, intelligent, life can only ever occur in such environments that are very stable over billions of years.

Yep. Legos only snap together in certain ways.

RebelHill
01-09-2013, 12:32 PM
the marine reptiles called Ichthyosaurs, which swam the seas 245 to 90 million years ago, so closely resemble present day Dolphins

Yup, yup... Dinosaurs and mammals most recent common ancestor was the "group" most often referred to as the "amniotes", which branched into 2 lineages ~350mya... with dinos and mammals each emerging from each respective branch ~250mya... yet each has gone on to independently produce similar creatures (body plan/shape/detail wise). Another good example are the ceratopsidae and modern rhinos... similar environments, diets... we might say, "ecological niches" and oh look, so very similar looking too.

The most successful solutions will always have a higher probability of being produced multiple times.

shrox
01-09-2013, 12:50 PM
...The most successful solutions will always have a higher probability of being produced multiple times.

Similar problem, similar solution.

inkpen3d
01-09-2013, 12:58 PM
The interesting thought experiment is what happens if you change just one variable - say, increasing the mass of the planet - all other things being equal, how does this impact on the evolution of life on this type of planet? Does plate tectonics ever get kick-started - if not, then you don't get proto-cells evolving at the site of alkali hydrothermal vents along sea floor spreading zones? Does a bigger planet have the same iron core driven dynamo that generates a magnetic field that here on earth protects us (and equally importantly, the atmosphere) from the major effects of the solar wind and cosmic rays? On Mars the switching off of its magnetic field a few billion years ago meant that the atmosphere was gradually eroded away into space.

sandman300
01-09-2013, 02:58 PM
The most successful solutions will always have a higher probability of being produced multiple times.
Unless your talking about social behavior or tools, it is very unlikely 2 different creatures will independently develop the exact same or even similar genetic variation. And even then it is not likely that full blown advantages developed in a single generation, more likely over the course of thousands of years if not longer, and even then there is a lot of luck involved in surviving long enough to evolve. The moths example (http://animals.about.com/cs/evolution/a/aa090901a.htm) shows how sudden changes in environment can take an undesirable trait and make it the best one.

I find it so interesting how infinitesimally small the chances are that humans ever managed to evolve to the point we have. There are so many things that can cause extinction level events. Then we turn our eyes to the sky to see a star explode and we wonder if there had been intelligent life there but then we have to remember that star had exploded long ago.

I do like the space map though, now they just need to plot the movements of all those objects with respect to how they effect each others movements.

RebelHill
01-09-2013, 03:58 PM
it is very unlikely 2 different creatures will independently develop the exact same or even similar genetic variation.

Im afraid you couldnt be more wrong.

Take the good ol reliable example of the eye... It's evolved multiple times in isolation in different species and lineages, and whattaya know, the genes that code for the cellular components of all the different eyes are increadibly similar, yet there are many examples of such genes that have not been inherited from an earlier "parent" species.

Thousands and millions of years is absolutely right... but the same traits emerge again and again.

btw... for anyone interested... I recommend these guys...

http://www.amazon.com/Evolution-Second-Edition-Douglas-Futuyma/dp/0878932232/
http://www.amazon.com/Introduction-Paleobiology-Fossil-Record-Michael/dp/1405141573/

Ill admit the second can be a pretty dull read in many ways... but the detail is solid gold.

DigitalSorcery8
01-09-2013, 07:02 PM
On another note, our definition of intelligent life is not necessary the only definition - there are literally unlimited ways for evolution to take its course and we really have no idea what's out there - or to put it another way, I see no reason not to expect some extremely aggressive life forms out there with acid for blood and really nasty looking , slimy and elongated snouts.


Actually... there's a constantly growing body of evidence to show that this isnt the case. Convergence between "disconnected" species has been observed many many times... leading many to believe that for a given environment, there are only a few distinct ways in which life forms can successfully survive,as such, you wind up with species with no (recent) common ancestor who, nevertheless, evolve into almost the same form (distinguishable only via phylogenetics).

I think what warmiak is saying is that there are potentially other possibilities of evolution as opposed to carbon-based. Perhaps other forms of life have developed without the base of carbon? We're not talking about two competing forms of life in the same ecosystem, but forms of life based on completely different biologies in star systems that have developed very differently from our own. There is no body of evidence against that, since nothing has yet been discovered. And since no life outside of Earth HAS been discovered, it's all only speculation.

Cryonic
01-09-2013, 10:05 PM
(e.g. silicon cannot form long stable chains in the same way as carbon atoms do, and it is carbon that forms the long chain organic molecules, such as RNA, DNA and proteins, that are the building blocks of life here on earth).

Silicon does form stable, long chain molecules... Glass, SiO2 is a very stable long chain molecule.

The problem is the order of magnitude difference of availability of the other atoms. The atoms that make up life, are, proportionately the same in abundance as they are in the universe. Hydrogen, Carbon, Nitrogen, Oxygen are the 4 most common elements (not counting the Noble Gases that aren't useful as they don't react with anything). So, by chance, it makes sense that life ends up being composed from hydrogen and carbon rather than silicon.

RebelHill
01-10-2013, 02:50 AM
Totally true, there are no examples of any non earth original life from which to sample... however the principle that emerges from the observation of convergences is the summary I mentioned... the most successful solutions have a higher chance of being repeated, and so play out time and time again.

But what we do have are samples of all the possible chemical elements available in the universe, on this or any other planet, and being able to observe their chemistries and reactions tells us a lot about what could and couldn't happen. You're not gonna get life based on gold, or that breathes lithium... ur just not. And once you start to knock out candidates like this, the pool of possibility becomes increasingly smaller.

Ofc one would expect there to be differences in life forms from different worlds... but deep, fundamental differences... not really.

If aliens have invented cars... you can bet your butt the wheels are round.

inkpen3d
01-10-2013, 04:35 AM
Silicon does form stable, long chain molecules... Glass, SiO2 is a very stable long chain molecule.

The problem is the order of magnitude difference of availability of the other atoms. The atoms that make up life, are, proportionately the same in abundance as they are in the universe. Hydrogen, Carbon, Nitrogen, Oxygen are the 4 most common elements (not counting the Noble Gases that aren't useful as they don't react with anything). So, by chance, it makes sense that life ends up being composed from hydrogen and carbon rather than silicon.

Sorry, but your statement about Silicon being a viable alternative to Carbon as a basis for life is a common misconception:

Glass (SiO2) is an amorphous solid in which the Oxygen atoms are bound to adjacent Silicon atoms by s single covalent bond to form a non-regular mesh-like lattice somewhat resembling old rusty chicken-wire with the Si atoms located at the nodes of the mesh. However, as mentioned, the lattice is non-regular and so cannot be called a true crystal, hence why it's amorphous. The main point I am making here is that glass is not a long chain polymer where you have ...-Si-Si-Si-Si-..., unlike carbon, which can form ...-C-C-C-C-... chains.

When hydrogen atoms occupy the "free" bonds of a chain of Silicon atoms they form compounds called Silanes (these are analagous to the alkane hydrocarbons such as butane, C4H10). However, unlike the alkanes, long chain Silanes are highly reactive and decompose readily. Silicones are long chains molecules formed from alternating silicon and oxygen atoms (i.e. ...-O-Si-O-Si-O-Si-O-...) and although more stable than Silanes, still decompose more readily (however, they are slightly more stable in a sulphuric acid environment, but even so, do eventually decompose). So, compared to Silicon, Carbon can form long stable polymers.

Also, Silicon does not readily interact with other elements and so does not form such a diverse range of compounds compared to Carbon. Yet another nail in the coffin for Silicon is the fact that it does not readily form double covalent bonds, which are key in a huge range of biochemical reactions and biomolecular interactions.

So, all in all, Silicon chemistry is really "boring" compared to Carbon chemistry - thank goodness, or I would have spent most of my university biochemistry lectures asleep and I would have definitely topped myself when I took an organic chemistry module!

Regarding the relative abundances of the elements: Given the fact that on earth (and other similar terrestrial planets) Silicon is ~925 times more abundant than Carbon and yet the biochemistry of life is based around Carbon, in itself speaks volumes! However, I suppose you could also argue that life is based around Carbon because it was (possibly) "seeded" by Carbon-based organic molecules that hitched a ride on-board the comets and asteroids that bombarded the early earth (i.e. these organic molecules were synthesised over many aeons by [e.g.] the action of UV starlight on simpler atoms and molecules within the vast interstellar clouds of gas and dust from which the solar system was formed). But then again, you still have the fact that during the past 4.6 billion years the more abundant Silicon has not managed to inveigled its way into any of the common biochemical pathways of life!

safetyman
01-10-2013, 05:14 AM
I look at the glass as half full when it comes this discussion. Scientists on Earth have only a small sample size to study -- we live in our own experiment and make certain educated assumptions based on what we are able to observe.

For instance, the Earth ~ Moon thing: Just because we haven't observed something like this happening elsewhere (and what happened is "educated" theory anyway), doesn't mean it can't happen again, and again, and again. It's only been within the last couple of decades that we've changed our tune on the number of black holes that are purported to exist. Nature doesn't just spit out random one-shot instances, and then just stop. Sure, there is room for things to happen rarely due to a series of seemingly random circumstances, but since we are all made of stars, and there are plenty of stars out there with more being born every second, it's a pretty good bet that the soup that made us is going to come together more than once.

Scientist 1: Look! There's a solar system, and there's another. Oh, look at that! There's a galaxy, and another and another! Look at that cluster! Man oh man, there are thousands of them... I can't fathom how many stars must be in there!!

Scientist 2: My conclusion is that we are unique in the universe due to an unfortunate series of events (bodies colliding with each other in their early stages of life) that just happened to occur in this one rare instance. Oh, and I recently changed my mind -- the Earth is not flat like I first theorized.

lardbros
01-10-2013, 05:43 AM
Blimey... a lot of info... shame we couldn't hear a bit more on the generation and development of the animation than who knows the most and who has the biggest reproductive orbs (aptly linking to planets) ;)

:D
Only messing... thought I'd spark the debate a bit! ;)

it's actually interesting to read everyone's thoughts. I have my own views on this subject that annoys one of the scientists in my office like mad... but I get annoyed with 'the latest theory' thing... the theories always change, and whatever people know RIGHT now is always to the best of their knowledge/current scientific understanding.
I prefer to think anything is possible under the right conditions... and remain with a completely open mind, therefore I don't have to change any misconceptions when scientific theory changes! ;) We don't even know how lightning happens or exactly why volcanic eruptions have lightning storms in them... yessss, there are theories, and some very educated ones too, but these guys will be the first to admit they're not 100% sure...
Love a good debate about this stuff!

inkpen3d
01-10-2013, 05:45 AM
I look at the glass as half full when it comes this discussion. Scientists on Earth have only a small sample size to study -- we live in our own experiment and make certain educated assumptions based on what we are able to observe.

For instance, the Earth ~ Moon thing: Just because we haven't observed something like this happening elsewhere (and what happened is "educated" theory anyway), doesn't mean it can't happen again, and again, and again. It's only been within the last couple of decades that we've changed our tune on the number of black holes that are purported to exist. Nature doesn't just spit out random one-shot instances, and then just stop. Sure, there is room for things to happen rarely due to a series of seemingly random circumstances, but since we are all made of stars, and there are plenty of stars out there with more being born every second, it's a pretty good bet that the soup that made us is going to come together more than once.

Scientist 1: Look! There's a solar system, and there's another. Oh, look at that! There's a galaxy, and another and another! Look at that cluster! Man oh man, there are thousands of them... I can't fathom how many stars must be in there!!

Scientist 2: My conclusion is that we are unique in the universe due to an unfortunate series of events (bodies colliding with each other in their early stages of life) that just happened to occur in this one rare instance. Oh, and I recently changed my mind -- the Earth is not flat like I first theorized.

Have to agree with you there - we are all speculating based on a sample size of one (i.e. this planet).

However, check out this recent interesting article: http://phys.org/news/2011-07-astrophysicists-logic-downplay-probability-extraterrestrial.html - "Instead of assuming that life would naturally evolve if conditions were similar to that found here on Earth, the two [authors] use Bayesian reasoning to show that just because we evolved in such conditions, doesn’t mean that the same occurrence would necessarily happen elsewhere; using evidence of our own existence doesn’t show anything they argue, other than that we are here."

HarverdGrad
01-10-2013, 06:30 AM
..faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen
-GOD

Yep. I'm the guy that passes out biblical comics on Halloween (it's cheaper than buying candy).. suck it!

RebelHill
01-10-2013, 06:49 AM
the theories always change
Depends on what considers the "details" of the theory. The "theory" that things always fall (under gravity) hasn't changed... but the details of what makes it so have. The theories of geometry laid out by Plato and Euclid... havent changed. The theories of thermodynamics... havent changed. The theory of evolution... hasnt changed (just the details of exactly which species was a precursor to which other).

I prefer to think anything is possible under the right conditions!
That's fine, and probably quite true... but its dependent on which conditions actually exist. You dont get square stars, or planets... anywhere that people have looked (and they've looked at a lot). Why, because the conditions that would be needed to facilitate such an outcome plain dont exist in the universe.

sandman300
01-10-2013, 09:00 AM
Im afraid you couldnt be more wrong.

Take the good ol reliable example of the eye... It's evolved multiple times in isolation in different species and lineages, and whattaya know, the genes that code for the cellular components of all the different eyes are increadibly similar,
As far as I'm aware, there is not really anywhere on earth, that you find life, that can really be considered isolated. We know for certain that every landmass that has life on it was accessible in one way or another for at least some period of time. There is a good reason for the similarities, the evolved from the same DNA. When it all comes down to it, all life on earth spawned from the same primordial ooze. I guess there is the possibility that this first life began in more than one place but the chances of that are so remote and the original lifeforms were so basic that it really doesn't matter.


yet there are many examples of such genes that have not been inherited from an earlier "parent" species.

Thousands and millions of years is absolutely right... but the same traits emerge again and again.
Since evolution is really all about the circumstances dictating what traits help a species to survive, it's not that strange that some traits should disappear, just look at the appendix, pinky toe, or even whales (http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/evolution/library/03/4/l_034_05.html)

cagey5
01-10-2013, 09:21 AM
So far as I'm aware the only planets anyone has ever seen are those within our own solar system. The rest have been observed due to light fluctuation as they pass in front of their sun or gravitational induced wobble of said sun. In which case we have a very small sample on which to determine planet shape. For what it's worth I fully believe and expect all other planets to be sperical obloids :)

RebelHill
01-10-2013, 09:30 AM
As far as I'm aware, there is not really anywhere on earth, that you find life, that can really be considered isolated.

When I say "in isolation" I mean genetic isolation...

You have a species, which "branches" into 2 distinct species... both evolve (or their further baranches evolve, eventually) a very similar gene that does much the same job, yet neither inherited this gene precursor from their common ancestor.

As for exoplanets, cagey... you are mostly right... but in the last couple of years there have been a couple which have been imaged directly... and they were round.

inkpen3d
01-10-2013, 09:51 AM
When people talk about all life on earth having a single origin way back when our planet was young, what they are really referring to is the Last Universal Common Ancestor (LUCA). This is the entity from which all life on the planet has inherited the genes that orchestrate the fundamental biochemical processes in the cell.

This LUCA does not in any way preclude the possibility that there were many unrelated origins of life in different locations and earlier times on the planet, some of which may very well have arisen at the same time and possibly lived alongside each other. Many of these initiations of life might have been false starts or evolutionary dead-ends, and some may have been obliterated by one of the globally catastrophic comet/asteroid impacts that were so common in that era.

Our LUCA may simply be the one life-form that came to dominate, possibly ousting all its peers, and its descendants eventually branching out into the major kingdoms of life that we see today.

RebelHill
01-10-2013, 10:30 AM
When people talk about all life on earth having a single origin way back when our planet was young, ....

Stargazing live much?

inkpen3d
01-10-2013, 10:51 AM
Stargazing live much?

Do you mean, have I been stargazing much, or have I been watching Stargazing Live on the BBC?

If you mean the program, then yes. Excellent mini-series and always good for a laugh with Dara O'Briain and Brian Cox poking fun at each other!

If you in fact meant real stargazing, then no not recently - the weather has just been to awful for (polite) words.

[BTW, my avatar image of Jupiter was taken a few years ago with my 10" telescope using a web cam to capture an avi a few minutes long of the object and then processed this through some free s/w called Registax that automatically selects, aligns and stacks the best frames.]

shrox
01-10-2013, 11:37 AM
It's possible life could have "started" in a few different places on the same planet. There could have been more than one "very first organism", separated in time by hours or millions of years. Some might have started then sputtered out. The idea of just one progenitor for ALL life, I am not sure. Similar conditions on various parts of the globe could have prompted similar results.

inkpen3d
01-10-2013, 11:40 AM
It's possible life could have "started" in a few different places on the same planet. There could have been more than one "very first organism", separated in time by hours or millions of years. Some might have started then sputtered out. The idea of just one progenitor for ALL life, I am not sure. Similar conditions on various parts of the globe could have prompted similar results.

Yes, that's what I was attempting to say, but I didn't explain it very well.

RebelHill
01-10-2013, 11:46 AM
have I been watching Stargazing Live on the BBC?

That one... given that the bit you posted on LUAC and the possibilities of "alternative" forms tht got outcompeted is virtually word for word what their astrobio guy was on about last night (or night before)...

I do love Dara...

inkpen3d
01-10-2013, 11:56 AM
That one... given that the bit you posted on LUAC and the possibilities of "alternative" forms tht got outcompeted is virtually word for word what their astrobio guy was on about last night (or night before)...

I do love Dara...

Nah, I've done a lot of reading around the subject of LUCA, especially with respect to RNA/DNA and conserved biochemical pathways and enzyme complexes such as ATP Synthase.

Yep, Dara's the best - has my daughter in fits of laughter without fail.

RebelHill
01-10-2013, 12:03 PM
Im sure, Im sure... I was only messing... seeing as it was topical.

sandman300
01-10-2013, 12:11 PM
shrox

It's possible life could have "started" in a few different places on the same planet. There could have been more than one "very first organism", separated in time by hours or millions of years. Some might have started then sputtered out. The idea of just one progenitor for ALL life, I am not sure. Similar conditions on various parts of the globe could have prompted similar results.
It's possible, but even knowing how it happened we have yet to be able to reproduce it.
The First Life on Earth (http://paleobiology.si.edu/geotime/main/htmlversion/archean3.html)

shrox
01-10-2013, 12:25 PM
I guess the only life that would matter is the most recent and successful line.

prometheus
01-10-2013, 01:36 PM
By the way, has anyone seen any universe simulator that could create stars and planets that would also create life circumstances with atmosphere etc?
It doesn´t have to be completly realisticly, but with some sort of intent to simulate what´s out there, I guess it would take ridiculous amount of code and programming to try and simulate all that.

Haven´t tried spore yet...maybe should.
would be fun to mess around with system simulations, and just tweak a few parameters and then the solar system would create one or two planets with life ..and also depending on what is set, the system
will generate life forms based on that, but it shouldn´t be you that design it completly (as it seems in spore) it should be taken care of from the systems Major rules

Michael

sandman300
01-10-2013, 01:59 PM
A Company called Serif has a piece of software called Redshift 7 Compact, I don't have it but it looks interesting.
http://www.serif.com/AllProducts/Extras/OtherSoftware/Redshift7Compact.htm

shrox
01-10-2013, 02:14 PM
A great 3D space exploration program:

http://www.shatters.net/celestia/

prometheus
01-10-2013, 04:28 PM
yeah..I got celestia..and universe sandbox, I think universe sandbox is the only one letting you create your own planets stars etc.
Red shift seem´s to be more just exploration software.

I´m curious if there were a mix of something like univerrse sandbox, and spore?
Im no game player...but this type of game simulation of playing god and create planets and being able to control some directions in Governing space and physics law´s ..more realistic or lesser doesnt matter that much
but at least giving a sense of creation of life, that would be fun.

So once you pick some planet types based on size rotation, mass/gravity etc, you should be able to throw them in to orbit around some stars and some rules will decide if and how many will gather in the golden
lock zone.
Further rules will decide how many planets will carry water/oceans and land etc.
By choosing a time line slider you should be able to drag through evolution and see species evolve.

Of course this would probably take a massive amount of coding and research I guess, and that to only give a poor proy simulation that wouldn´t be near realism either.
would be a fun exploration simulation game though, where you can pick from a list where planets and species would have evolved, and further more go back in timeline to see species evolution line, and
see wich species would have been extinct.

inkpen3d
01-11-2013, 03:43 AM
By the way, has anyone seen any universe simulator that could create stars and planets that would also create life circumstances with atmosphere etc?

To produce a really, really accurate simulation of the creation of stars and planets and the evolution of life on some of these worlds you'd need a truly massive computational system that could not only resolve particle interactions down to the subatomic scale but also capture the large-scale interactions of matter in the simulated universe. Of course, as you let this awesome system run, you might notice from your god-like perspective that on one of those simulated planets harbouring intelligent life a creature asking the question on something akin to an internet forum "...has anyone seen any universe simulator that could create stars and planets that would also create life circumstances with atmosphere etc?"

;)

Peter (the real version)

RebelHill
01-11-2013, 03:54 AM
To produce a really, really accurate simulation of the creation of stars and planets and the evolution of life on some of these worlds you'd need a truly massive computational system that could not only resolve particle interactions down to the subatomic scale but also capture the large-scale interactions of matter in the simulated universe. Of course, as you let this awesome system run, you might notice from your god-like perspective that on one of those simulated planets harbouring intelligent life a creature asking the question on something akin to an internet forum "...has anyone seen any universe simulator that could create stars and planets that would also create life circumstances with atmosphere etc?"

Oh crap... a universe WITHIN a universe... now there's a rabbit hole that only keep on going.

But as for the computational requirements you mention... yeah, no way. Since you'd need (minimum) 1 bit of data for each "smallest particle", a min 1 electron to "be" it, plus a storage medium to hold it... You'd need a computer built out of a total amount of matter greater than the "matter scale" of the universe you were simulating, and to run the simulation up till, lets say, this point in time, would take (minimum) the age of the universe.

inkpen3d
01-11-2013, 04:27 AM
Oh crap... a universe WITHIN a universe... now there's a rabbit hole that only keep on going.

But as for the computational requirements you mention... yeah, no way. Since you'd need (minimum) 1 bit of data for each "smallest particle", a min 1 electron to "be" it, plus a storage medium to hold it... You'd need a computer built out of a total amount of matter greater than the "matter scale" of the universe you were simulating, and to run the simulation up till, lets say, this point in time, would take (minimum) the age of the universe.

Sigh! You're stuck in the quaint old digital computer mind-set! Think quantum computers on a massive scale! Or even creating a pocket universe all of your own - all the physical laws, energy and (ultimately) matter will be created for you and time will run independently inside this pinched off universe. Being outside its time-frame you could observe the evolution of this universe at your leisure and maybe once in a while stick your omnipotent finger in and stir things up a bit! Who knows, some bunch of idiots inside that pocket universe might even begin to worship you! :D

safetyman
01-11-2013, 05:27 AM
Oh crap... a universe WITHIN a universe... now there's a rabbit hole that only keep on going.

But as for the computational requirements you mention... yeah, no way. Since you'd need (minimum) 1 bit of data for each "smallest particle", a min 1 electron to "be" it, plus a storage medium to hold it... You'd need a computer built out of a total amount of matter greater than the "matter scale" of the universe you were simulating, and to run the simulation up till, lets say, this point in time, would take (minimum) the age of the universe.

Well, that will go with my 1:1 scale map of the world, but I can't remember how to fold it (ala Steven Wright).

prometheus
01-11-2013, 06:38 AM
yaa..that would be realistic simulation wise..but not so realistic to acheive computer and coding wise.
Forget about such detailed realistic simulation, until 50 years perhaps..and for ordinary desktop.

of course you can´t go down to such detailed level..you would have to skip a lot, but some principals should be there...and I tdon´t think that
would be impossible to do simplified with interesting outcome.

let´s start by simulating fluids and fully volumetric clouds and skies with godrays, in realtime...soon perhaps?

Michael

Titus
01-11-2013, 08:43 AM
I'm amazed there's intelligent life in this planet.

- - - Updated - - -

I'm amazed there's intelligent life in this planet.

warmiak
01-11-2013, 09:42 AM
Oh crap... a universe WITHIN a universe... now there's a rabbit hole that only keep on going.

But as for the computational requirements you mention... yeah, no way. Since you'd need (minimum) 1 bit of data for each "smallest particle", a min 1 electron to "be" it, plus a storage medium to hold it... You'd need a computer built out of a total amount of matter greater than the "matter scale" of the universe you were simulating, and to run the simulation up till, lets say, this point in time, would take (minimum) the age of the universe.

Since the matter in the universe appears to be distributed evenly .. you don't have to simulate every particle and huge amounts of matter ... you just need to simulate a statistically reasonable sample - a mini universe if you will.


The real problem here is that we don't know what to simulate since we still have no clue about things like this so called "dark matter" etc ...

RebelHill
01-11-2013, 10:01 AM
Makes no difference... u still need 1+n "pieces" of "computer matter" to simulate 1 piece of "simUniverse matter"... ergo, irrespective of size, your computer always needs to be bigger than the universe you're simulating... So even if your mini universe consists of just one planet... you need a computer bigger than 1 planet.

arsad
01-11-2013, 10:33 AM
Isn't there an app for this? Apple says there is an app for everything! ;)

shrox
01-11-2013, 10:52 AM
Makes no difference... u still need 1+n "pieces" of "computer matter" to simulate 1 piece of "simUniverse matter"... ergo, irrespective of size, your computer always needs to be bigger than the universe you're simulating... So even if your mini universe consists of just one planet... you need a computer bigger than 1 planet.

What might "zero" be in such a computer? Empty space, except space is not truly empty. It could be assumed that such a computer has some goal in it's operations.

I hope it's not just cosmic Solitaire.

warmiak
01-11-2013, 11:05 AM
Makes no difference... u still need 1+n "pieces" of "computer matter" to simulate 1 piece of "simUniverse matter"... ergo, irrespective of size, your computer always needs to be bigger than the universe you're simulating... So even if your mini universe consists of just one planet... you need a computer bigger than 1 planet.

Makes no sense to me ... simulating != recreating reality.

Golden Spindle
05-04-2013, 02:06 AM
My IMac could have rendered that in a few minutes. Hehehe