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(Christian Science Monitor)   Scientists invent telescope upgrade to allow spying on Alpha Centauri. Next up - nerve staples   ( csmonitor.com) divider line
    More: Cool, Solar System, Breakthrough Initiatives, Sun, Alpha Centauri, billionaire-backed Breakthrough Initiatives, Large Telescope, Breakthrough Initiatives project, Star  
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1551 clicks; posted to Geek » on 11 Jan 2017 at 3:10 PM (35 weeks ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2017-01-11 01:17:23 PM  
img.fark.net
 
2017-01-11 01:21:32 PM  
"I'm doing great with the Drones. I love the Drones!"
-Donald Trump
 
2017-01-11 01:30:57 PM  
It's about time!
img.fark.net
 
2017-01-11 02:50:37 PM  
OMG, I miss that game so much.
 
2017-01-11 03:31:40 PM  

urger: [img.fark.net image 300x111]


Either that picture is tiny or I have eaten the Fungus.
 
2017-01-11 03:32:56 PM  
tng.trekcore.com
 
2017-01-11 03:39:18 PM  
I know the odds of Proxima b actually being habitable are low, the odds of it being inhabited lower still, and the odds of there being someone there to say, "Hi!" to are next to zero... but I still hope.

It'd be so awesome to have someone for humanity to talk to that's close enough for some kind of conversation (and hell, maybe even send a few ambassadors to each other) but too far away for us to start a war with.
 
2017-01-11 03:39:34 PM  
Don't let Trump get ahold of a Punishment Sphere.

/Republicans are like an alliance of the Lord's Believers and Morgan Industries.
 
2017-01-11 03:41:11 PM  
Sister Miriam and Chairman Yang deserve each other.
 
2017-01-11 03:46:32 PM  
I'd better rush build the Hunter Seeker Algorithim.
 
2017-01-11 03:47:18 PM  

Unsung_Hero: but too far away for us to start a war with.


Are you kidding me.  A war would be great.  It would really drive development of transportation between the two.
 
2017-01-11 03:53:31 PM  
It's all about the organic superlubricant.

/no more 50 gallon drum of lube for me
 
2017-01-11 04:01:25 PM  

Ishkur: It's all about the organic superlubricant.

/no more 50 gallon drum of lube for me


You really need to keep an eye on it, though. It'll try and slide away from you first chance it gets.
 
2017-01-11 04:01:39 PM  

Unsung_Hero: I know the odds of Proxima b actually being habitable are low, the odds of it being inhabited lower still, and the odds of there being someone there to say, "Hi!" to are next to zero... but I still hope.

It'd be so awesome to have someone for humanity to talk to that's close enough for some kind of conversation (and hell, maybe even send a few ambassadors to each other) but too far away for us to start a war with.


Once we exchanged ideas about religion, it would lead directly to the elimination of one or the other species.  Perhaps both.
 
2017-01-11 04:02:16 PM  

Saiga410: Are you kidding me. A war would be great. It would really drive development of transportation between the two.


The first civilization to launch a near-c projectile at the other wins.  A big fusion drive pushing a large asteroid would do it, and that's not so far beyond our current tech you could label it 'implausible'.
 
2017-01-11 04:03:03 PM  

Unsung_Hero: but too far away for us to start a war with.


Just because it takes 10+ years for our nukes to get there doesn't mean we won't send them.
 
2017-01-11 04:03:35 PM  

Marcus Aurelius: Once we exchanged ideas about religion, it would lead directly to the elimination of one or the other species. Perhaps both.


"Religion? You guys still have that?... Uhh, gotta go... bye!"
 
2017-01-11 04:07:05 PM  

Unsung_Hero: but too far away for us to start a war with.


Oh, I'm sure we'd find a way.  We're assholes like that.
 
2017-01-11 04:07:24 PM  

MindStalker: Just because it takes 10+ years for our nukes to get there doesn't mean we won't send them.


More like 40-80 years, depending on the engine tech (we can do 80ish right now, in theory... 40 would require finishing the development of some tech that is in the pipeline).

And we wouldn't bother sending nukes when just not decelerating before 'landing' would be far, far more effective.
 
2017-01-11 04:09:17 PM  

Priapetic: Unsung_Hero: but too far away for us to start a war with.

Oh, I'm sure we'd find a way.  We're assholes like that.


Don't start a war with the Strogg.
 
2017-01-11 04:13:29 PM  

Unsung_Hero: MindStalker: Just because it takes 10+ years for our nukes to get there doesn't mean we won't send them.

More like 40-80 years, depending on the engine tech (we can do 80ish right now, in theory... 40 would require finishing the development of some tech that is in the pipeline).

And we wouldn't bother sending nukes when just not decelerating before 'landing' would be far, far more effective.


The nukes would be to target any defensive craft..
 
2017-01-11 04:32:48 PM  

MindStalker: The nukes would be to target any defensive craft..


Something coming at you at 0.1c (sorry, my previous post said 'near-c', which we can't do for any appreciable mass with any tech we can presently imagine)... it's going to go through those defensive craft even if they're perfectly positioned, and even if completely destroyed your ball of plasma will do pretty much the same amount of damage when it strikes the planet.

Mind you, the enemy might just notice the radiation produced by your high-velocity 'slug' striking hydrogen molecules and figure out what you're doing, then build their own slug to target yours.  They'd have decades to do so, and all they have to do is strike it while it's still far enough away that a minor course variance means it misses their planet entirely.

It could be a fun game.
 
2017-01-11 04:33:31 PM  
Ok physics geeks.  I have a question based on this quote FTA:

"Dragged behind laser-propelled "light-sails," the theoretical spacecraft would make the one-way trip in about two decades, traveling at the blistering rate of one-fifth the speed of light."

Am I crazy, or wouldn't something the size of said theoretical spacecraft generate a fairly large explosion if it encountered a speck of dust while going that fast?
 
2017-01-11 04:35:12 PM  

MindStalker: Unsung_Hero: MindStalker: Just because it takes 10+ years for our nukes to get there doesn't mean we won't send them.

More like 40-80 years, depending on the engine tech (we can do 80ish right now, in theory... 40 would require finishing the development of some tech that is in the pipeline).

And we wouldn't bother sending nukes when just not decelerating before 'landing' would be far, far more effective.

The nukes would be to target any defensive craft..


What for?  The kinetic energy of a 1000Kg "rod from God" moving at a fifth the speed of light is about 1.8 x 10^18 Joules but a 5MT nuke is only about 5 * 10^12 Joules.  Six orders of magnitude difference.
 
2017-01-11 04:50:32 PM  

Cataholic: one-fifth the speed of light.


It's crazy fast. Look into Whipple shields for to see how fast collisions are handled now.
 
2017-01-11 04:51:35 PM  
Yes, but it's unlikely. In movies they like to show asteroid belts as something to duck and weave in, rather than the miles-apart pieces of rock they really are. Interstellar space is even more sparse.
 
2017-01-11 04:52:42 PM  

Unsung_Hero: Saiga410: Are you kidding me. A war would be great. It would really drive development of transportation between the two.

The first civilization to launch a near-c projectile at the other wins.  A big fusion drive pushing a large asteroid would do it, and that's not so far beyond our current tech you could label it 'implausible'.


We are the bugs
 
2017-01-11 05:00:25 PM  

Destructor: Cataholic: one-fifth the speed of light.

It's crazy fast. Look into Whipple shields for to see how fast collisions are handled now.


Yeah but is it plaid?
 
2017-01-11 05:10:26 PM  
Shazam999: Destructor: Look into Whipple shields for to see how fast collisions are handled now.

Yeah but is it plaid?


No, but it gets angry if you squeeze the Charmin.
 
2017-01-11 05:15:02 PM  

Destructor: Cataholic: one-fifth the speed of light.

It's crazy fast. Look into Whipple shields for to see how fast collisions are handled now.


From the Wiki:  "a type of hypervelocity impact shield used to protect manned and unmanned spacecraft from collisions with micrometeoroids and orbital debris whose velocities generally range between 3 and 18 kilometres per second (1.9 and 11.2 mi/s)."

1/5 the speed of light would be roughly 60,000 kilometers per second.

/ps...here's what would happen if a baseball were traveling at the speed of light.

http://what-if.xkcd.com/1/
 
2017-01-11 05:24:42 PM  

Cataholic: Ok physics geeks.  I have a question based on this quote FTA:

"Dragged behind laser-propelled "light-sails," the theoretical spacecraft would make the one-way trip in about two decades, traveling at the blistering rate of one-fifth the speed of light."

Am I crazy, or wouldn't something the size of said theoretical spacecraft generate a fairly large explosion if it encountered a speck of dust while going that fast?


Yes, it would make a very pretty light show.  They've done calculations that seem to indicate the probe would have a pretty good chance of avoiding any dust though.

I still don't understand this probe.  I believe we can cram down an instrument package into a few grams.  I believe we could build enough laser power to boost it to a good chunk of light speed.  I believe it could get to AC in a human lifespan.

I *don't* believe that we can build a transmission device weighing on the order of a gram that can communicate across 4+ light years.  Sorry, unless you completely rewrite physics it's just not happening.
 
2017-01-11 05:29:26 PM  
img.fark.net
 
2017-01-11 05:36:36 PM  
Wake me up when we can get a good view of Omicron Persei 8

huh...Omericron Persei 8...OP8..opiate.

img.fark.net

whooooooooaaaa
 
2017-01-11 05:39:52 PM  

Cataholic: From the Wiki: "a type of hypervelocity impact shield used to protect manned and unmanned spacecraft from collisions with micrometeoroids and orbital debris whose velocities generally range between 3 and 18 kilometres per second (1.9 and 11.2 mi/s)."

1/5 the speed of light would be roughly 60,000 kilometers per second.


That's what's possible now if we're talking super delicate and light space craft.

Everything has got to be pretty much a guess without doing the engineering... Sloping Whipple shield armor flying a few kilometers in front of it? Maybe thousands of sheets of Whipple armor, gradually edging the speck of dirt away from your sensitive bits could do the trick. Do we even know what the micro asteroid density in interstellar space is?

This problem used to seem easy when you proposed massive space going vessels with huge ice-berg like ablative shielding (Project Orion, of course).

But just gently pushing something along on photon farts... Good luck with that.
 
2017-01-11 05:43:36 PM  

Glockenspiel Hero: Cataholic: Ok physics geeks.  I have a question based on this quote FTA:

"Dragged behind laser-propelled "light-sails," the theoretical spacecraft would make the one-way trip in about two decades, traveling at the blistering rate of one-fifth the speed of light."

Am I crazy, or wouldn't something the size of said theoretical spacecraft generate a fairly large explosion if it encountered a speck of dust while going that fast?

Yes, it would make a very pretty light show.  They've done calculations that seem to indicate the probe would have a pretty good chance of avoiding any dust though.

I still don't understand this probe.  I believe we can cram down an instrument package into a few grams.  I believe we could build enough laser power to boost it to a good chunk of light speed.  I believe it could get to AC in a human lifespan.

I *don't* believe that we can build a transmission device weighing on the order of a gram that can communicate across 4+ light years.  Sorry, unless you completely rewrite physics it's just not happening.


No problem. All the probe needs is a small piece of anti-matter (in suitable containment). Once it hits the target, the ensuing flash should be easily visible over four light years.
 
2017-01-11 06:07:42 PM  

dennysgod: Wake me up when we can get a good view of Omicron Persei 8

huh...Omericron Persei 8...OP8..opiate.

[img.fark.net image 317x199]

whooooooooaaaa


"Single Female Lawyer" has been replaced by "Ice-Cream Loving Spacegal".
 
2017-01-11 06:14:51 PM  
Be wary of the Dark Forest and the chain of suspicion. Maybe it's for the best if we keep quiet.

urger: [img.fark.net image 300x111]


Give me some credit; make me legible.

"As the Americans learned so painfully in Earth's final century, free flow of information is the only safeguard against tyranny. The once-chained people whose leaders at last lose their grip on information flow will soon burst with freedom and vitality, but the free nation gradually constricting its grip on public discourse has begun its rapid slide into despotism. Beware of he who would deny you access to information, for in his heart he dreams himself your master."
 
2017-01-11 06:18:19 PM  

Silverstaff: Don't let Hillary get ahold of a Punishment Sphere.

/Democrats are like an alliance of the Lord's Believers and Morgan Industries.


Fixed.
 
2017-01-11 06:28:52 PM  

MindStalker: Unsung_Hero: MindStalker: Just because it takes 10+ years for our nukes to get there doesn't mean we won't send them.

More like 40-80 years, depending on the engine tech (we can do 80ish right now, in theory... 40 would require finishing the development of some tech that is in the pipeline).

And we wouldn't bother sending nukes when just not decelerating before 'landing' would be far, far more effective.

The nukes would be to target any defensive craft..


Nukes?

Just send rocks with enough velocity.
 
2017-01-11 06:36:51 PM  
Can it see into Uranus?
 
2017-01-11 06:39:38 PM  

doglover: Just send rocks with enough velocity.


It's time to admit it - if Proxima b has intelligent life forms, they're going to be thinking the same damn thing.  Can we risk them shooting first?  If we don't get an 80 year lead on them, we could end up with an unavoidable mutual destruction scenario.

We have to start building Project Orion-based missiles right away.  Worst case, we hit a barren rock.  Best case, we save mankind.
 
2017-01-11 06:56:44 PM  
I volunteer for Wallfacer.
 
2017-01-11 06:59:06 PM  
I say we send a family with a couple of hot daughters there in a flying saucer-like spacecraft.
 
2017-01-11 07:07:52 PM  

Cataholic: Destructor: Cataholic: one-fifth the speed of light.

It's crazy fast. Look into Whipple shields for to see how fast collisions are handled now.

From the Wiki:  "a type of hypervelocity impact shield used to protect manned and unmanned spacecraft from collisions with micrometeoroids and orbital debris whose velocities generally range between 3 and 18 kilometres per second (1.9 and 11.2 mi/s)."

1/5 the speed of light would be roughly 60,000 kilometers per second.

/ps...here's what would happen if a baseball were traveling at the speed of light.

http://what-if.xkcd.com/1/


Interstellar space is really, really, really, really empty.
 
2017-01-11 07:10:08 PM  

Marcus Aurelius: Interstellar space is really, really, really, really empty.


Funny thing though... it's not empty enough when you're traveling really long distances at decent fractions of c.

Also, we're talking about what happens when the interstellar missile reaches its target, not what happens to it during the trip to that target.
 
2017-01-11 07:10:54 PM  

Destructor: This problem used to seem easy when you proposed massive space going vessels with huge ice-berg like ablative shielding (Project Orion, of course).


Water ice shielding for the win.
 
2017-01-11 07:12:16 PM  

Unsung_Hero: Marcus Aurelius: Interstellar space is really, really, really, really empty.

Funny thing though... it's not empty enough when you're traveling really long distances at decent fractions of c.

Also, we're talking about what happens when the interstellar missile reaches its target, not what happens to it during the trip to that target.


At a velocity of c/5, any massive particle in front of you may as well be a cosmic ray.

A minimum 30 feet of ice shielding will be required.
 
2017-01-11 07:20:58 PM  
After that, building a wall to keep out those illegal mind worms! (you know the rest)
 
2017-01-11 07:24:56 PM  

Marcus Aurelius: At a velocity of c/5, any massive particle in front of you may as well be a cosmic ray.A minimum 30 feet of ice shielding will be required.


I don't see us making anything go faster than 0.05c relative to Earth any time soon, but even so... we're talking about a massive object already anyway for an Orion-based missile - around 1x10^6 kg was the lower end for a human-carrying Project Orion design, and it could go much higher.  As it doesn't need room for people, or supplies... it can just be a rock we pick up from the asteroid belt, so that entire mass can also be shielding for the small mass that is controlling the drive system.

Cosmic rays aren't going to be an issue for the aft end of such a device.
 
2017-01-11 07:28:23 PM  

jbb3141: Silverstaff: Don't let Hillary get ahold of a Punishment Sphere.

/Democrats are like an alliance of the Lord's Believers and Morgan Industries.

Fixed.


img.fark.net

. . .and if you knew anything at all about the game we're referencing, you'd know why that was a really, REALLY lame effort.
 
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