Monday, April 30, 2007

The Exo Life wager - as it stands April 30th 2007.

Wager 1.

When will we observe the first Earth-like planet (Earth twin)
outside our own solar system?
--That is, a planet of roughly the same size, in the habitable zone around its star,
with an atmosphere, suitable for terraforming and eventually human settlements. --

See previous posts for details -
As of April 24th 07 - It almost looks like Jan has already won
this wager.
Certainly, If the Exo Earth around Gliese 581 is rocky,
has an atmosphere and is suitable for human settlement
- this in is a win for Jan!

But we need confirmation on the atmosphere and its rocky'ness. And
we need furher information on whether its 2G gravity pull is within the
definition of a "twin Earth".
All of this will probably be settled in the coming years -
but sofar wager 1 looks like a win for Jan.

Wager 2.

When will we discover the first certain signs of life outside Earth?
--A measurement on an exoplanets atmosphere that indicates life,
a fossil on Mars, bacteria in deep space or something else that
proves life outside the ecosphere of Earth.

Jan Holst Jensen:
Uncertain about detection of fossils and bacteria. But bets on
discovery of an exoplanet, with an atmosphere that indicates the
presence of life before 2020.

Simon Laub:
Bets on discovery of a fossil or a living bacteria (like structure)
or life structures (something that has the "feel" of life)
to be discovered inside our solar system and outside Earth -
within the next 50 years. I.e. before 2057.

And exoplanet with an atmosphere that indicates the presence of life
follows from one of the many interesting missions, such as Kepler, that will
be launched in the next decade. So Simon bets on discovery of an exo planet
with life before 2017.

Wager 3.

When will we have the first signal from exo life?
-- Direct observation of exo life.
A SETI signal, or a spacecraft that observes exo life
(fossils, bacteria), or a signal (a roar or likewise) from exo life,
or footprints or .. in short - when will we have direct signs of (exo) life.

Jan Holst Jensen:
Before 2050 we will have observed an exo planet with highlevel animals comparable
to vertebrates.

Simon Laub:
Thinks there will be a discovery of some kind of extraterrestrial life
within the solar system within the next 50 years. Probably very primitive
though. Direct discovery of life outside the solar system will take new technologies
in rocket design. And apparently rockettechnologies aren't proceeding that fast.
So the bet here is as bad as a 100 - 150 years from now - which is really just to say in some very distant future.

The hope rest on SETI signals.
We will have a SETI signal within the next 50 years. So, before 2057 we will have
our signal from exo life.

Wager 4.

When will we have our first signal from intelligent exo life?
I.e. exo life complex enough to
be on par with some of the intelligent species we have here on Earth.

Jan Holst Jensen:
Will be observed before 5060 - or never :-)

Simon Laub:
Obviously, the Fermi paradox still reigns - and could leave one
believing that we will never find intelligent extraterrestrtial life -

However, it just takes one brilliant new theory on how signals
are sent accross deep space to suddenly have a whole new approach.
So with advances in signal capabilities and general physics knowledge we
will come to explore whole new ways of communicating. Eventually, we
will tumble on a SETI signal- And it will happen before

revised April 30th 2007.

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