Tuesday, February 07, 2017

Sailing To Another Galaxy

Earth/ Sky News tells us of a concept developed by some phsycists that might enable man to travel to our nearest galaxy, Alpha Centauri, within 20 years. That system being four light years away, which means it would take four years for just light to travel that far and we can't go light speed...yet.

The Breakthrough Starshot plan would use solar sails- the description reminiscent of the solar sail craft used by Captain Cisco in Star Trek's Deep Space Nine show. Pretty neat, but I won't be volunteering for that mission. I wouldn't want to go anywhere unless I knew I could make it back.


At 10:03 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Correction. Alpha Sentauri is a star system within our own Milky Way galaxy.

The closest galaxy to us is the Andromeda galaxy at 2.5 million light years. Unless we invent a wormhole-style portal you see in scifi TV shows, humans will never visit another galaxy.

The technology to watch is the RF resonant cavity thruster (or the "EM Drive"). It's interesting for its simplicity, the fact it doesn't use propellant, and that it's breaking an accepted law of physics if is really works. Preliminary tests suggest it might work, and it's not understood why. NASA had a peer-reviewed paper about the EM Drive published in November.

It will be tested later this year. In December, China claimed to have already successfully tested one.

For context, the EM Drive would get us to Mars in 70 days, compared to the 7 months it takes now.... because we'd no longer be dependent upon slingshotting around gravitational bodies (and waiting for the bodies to be in the right place, to boot).

The EM Drive builds thrust slowly, so it's even more effective over greater distances. We could send a probe to Alpha Centauri. The catch is that the EM Drive also requires a long time to slow down.

At 3:20 PM, Blogger Rick Wentworth said...

i dont care about traveling to other places
i just wish the governments here would show ET to us NOW
aint no other reason for trump to make the CIA his first official government stop after taking office .
i believe
i believe
i believe
and i believe i will die before we know for sure

At 4:10 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Rest assured, if intelligent aliens had visited Earth, they probably wouldn't have made their presence known. Despite what movies tell us, they wouldn't need our planet for natural resources (it's far easier to harvest resources on a planet without semi-intelligent life, or an atmosphere for that matter, and they really wouldn't need to target planets specifically for resources), or humans for meat, or cow anuses for, well, who knows why they'd like cow anuses.

If aliens had an interest in us, they could eliminate us without our knowing they'd arrived. Or, their interest is peaceful and they could observe us without our awareness. We're talking about a species advanced enough for interstellar travel, which suggests technology far outstripping our own.

More likely, no, they haven't visited. Space is a big place, and we haven't been making noise in space for very long. The Earth is a needle in a haystack, albeit a haystack so large I can't give you a comparison that would give its size justice or allow you to easily comprehend its enormity.

At 8:37 PM, Anonymous Rusty said...

Pretty sure you were just insulted Rick.

At 7:22 AM, Blogger Henchman Of Justice said...

Cave man painter draws a vivid description of the past.

Go with the cave man, not America.


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