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"If K2-18 b has life, what will it be on your table?" Topic

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Personal logo Parzival Supporting Member of TMP17 Sep 2023 9:55 a.m. PST


The link is to the serious science stuff. But for gaming, we can get wilder.
Let's go full bore and declare that life exists there, is intelligent, capable of space travel, and headed our way with aggressive intent.

What sort of beings would YOU make them?

JMcCarroll17 Sep 2023 4:20 p.m. PST

Dang!! Just another race wanting our females.

Maybe we can get a talking cow to greet them and make them believe cows are dominant species on Earth?

NCC171718 Sep 2023 1:32 p.m. PST

I suspect they will realize right away that cats are the dominant species….

Zephyr119 Sep 2023 8:42 p.m. PST

K2-18 b lifeforms can best be represented on the battlefield by a scoop of Jell-O (scale doesn't matter.) Green and blue predominate, but other colors/flavors can be used to represent specialized units…

Augustus20 Sep 2023 9:41 a.m. PST

At 120 light years away….they are making alot of assumptions IMHO.

I think we are likely so far removed from another lifeform you can talk to it might as well not exist.

On the other hand, we should be literally bumping into "advanced" civilizations. In theory there should be a massive number ahead of us on the tech chain.

The scary thought I keep running into is, what if we are the first to make it this far? That is a scary thought indeed.

Personal logo Parzival Supporting Member of TMP20 Sep 2023 10:51 a.m. PST

…or the last.

Keep in mind that 120 years puts us at the receiving end of light (and other emissions) generated on/reflected from K2-18b concurrent with 1903 AD here on Earth— barely 8 years after Marconi's invention of radio communication (via wireless telegraphy), 3 years after the invention of audio transmission via radio, and 2 years after Marconi's first trans-Atlantic radio signal! So if intelligent life on K2-18b both evolved and developed technologically at roughly the same rate as ours, we would only just now be hoping to receive ANY evidence of nascent radio transmission from them— and vice versa, to them from us. Consider also that we ourselves have only been listening for extraterrestrial EM signals for about a half a century or so, and even then we don't know quite what to look for.

So the reason we may not have encountered evidence of intelligent beings is because the ability to have such evidence propagate through the galaxy and be picked up by us (or in the other direction by them) will take any intelligent society a considerable period of time to discover. We all might simply be roughly the same age, or, even if of not the same age, so distant that the years of travel for the signal mean that it has yet to arrive. In short, they may well be out there— we just can't see each other yet.

Finally, DMS is produced on Earth by phytoplankton, and those could be detectable by equivalent to Webb telescope technology based at K2-18b. But they would be wrong to assume that the only life on our planet is phytoplankton, wouldn't they? So the same applies here— if there is phytoplankton (or a sort) on K2-18b, then that's evidence there is indeed likely life in other forms— and most likely in as great variety as Earth supports. Because that's what life does; it doesn't stick with one rigid form. It tries ‘em all. And one of the forms it tries is human-level intelligence.

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