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(Scientific American)   Closest Exoplanet to Earth, Proxima Centauri, could be "Highly Habitable" and we could find out in as soon as 10-20,000 years, or never depending on technology   ( scientificamerican.com) divider line
    More: Interesting, Star, Proxima Centauri, Astronomical unit, Planet, Ocean, Goddard Space Flight Center, Del Genio, Earth  
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1055 clicks; posted to Geek » on 14 Sep 2018 at 12:20 PM (10 days ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2018-09-14 12:09:55 PM  
Sounds like a job for, SPAAAAAACE FOOORCE!
 
2018-09-14 12:22:45 PM  
So, between 2028AD and 22018AD?  Or 12018AD to 22018AD?

/or ACE, if you prefer
 
2018-09-14 12:27:30 PM  
Seems less exciting since they had to assume there was an ocean.
 
2018-09-14 12:28:06 PM  
img.fark.netView Full Size
 
2018-09-14 12:31:43 PM  

End_Of_Line: [img.fark.net image 425x425]


Don't play cards with them
 
2018-09-14 12:32:29 PM  
If you are on a vessel going a significant fraction of the speed of light (lets say .5C), what would happen if you hit a small rock?
 
2018-09-14 12:33:00 PM  
I doubt we will ever leave the solar system. In a few hundred years, we could have outposts on Mars, and cities on the moon, but I don't think we will ever achieve practical FTL or even near FTL travel.
 
2018-09-14 12:34:17 PM  

End_Of_Line: [img.fark.net image 425x425]


Look here. These are my three wives: Pestilence, Famine, and Death. Do you think I married them for their personalities? Their personalities could shatter entire planets!
 
2018-09-14 12:35:02 PM  

Tricky Chicken: If you are on a vessel going a significant fraction of the speed of light (lets say .5C), what would happen if you hit a small rock?


The last thing you would see is your ass.
 
2018-09-14 12:35:56 PM  
We're going to annihilate ourselves long before then.
 
2018-09-14 12:40:21 PM  

BadReligion: I doubt we will ever leave the solar system.


We already have. Voyager 1 is interstellar.
 
2018-09-14 12:41:52 PM  
Yes that is the situation subby!
 
2018-09-14 12:43:58 PM  

This text is now purple: BadReligion: I doubt we will ever leave the solar system.

We already have. Voyager 1 is interstellar.


I am not talking about a space probe. I am talking humans. In our current biological form.
 
2018-09-14 12:47:33 PM  
Worth it for the mugs.
img.fark.netView Full Size
 
2018-09-14 12:56:57 PM  

Tricky Chicken: If you are on a vessel going a significant fraction of the speed of light (lets say .5C), what would happen if you hit a small rock?


I'm pretty sure the rock would be completely annihilated. Why?
 
2018-09-14 12:56:58 PM  

BadReligion: This text is now purple: BadReligion: I doubt we will ever leave the solar system.

We already have. Voyager 1 is interstellar.

I am not talking about a space probe. I am talking humans. In our current biological form.


It still hasn't reached the oort cloud even.
 
2018-09-14 12:59:07 PM  
Haven't we already observed Proxima Centauri blasting the surface of that planet with a strong enough solar flare to sterilize the planet's surface?

Why, yes, we have.
 
2018-09-14 12:59:26 PM  

D_PaulAngel: Tricky Chicken: If you are on a vessel going a significant fraction of the speed of light (lets say .5C), what would happen if you hit a small rock?

I'm pretty sure the rock would be completely annihilated. Why?


I'm more interested in the effects on the vessel.  Completely annihilating a rock should liberate a large amount of energy.
 
2018-09-14 01:14:38 PM  
CTRL-F "orion" [no hits].
I had a too long argument with ditty last time this came up about the details of this (and don't have time to calculate the energy released by an H-bomb, convert it to photons, figure out the momentum, and plug that back into wherever in the derivation of the rocket equation momentum slides in.  I'm deeply suspicious of the 30,000s Isp figure), but we've had the technology to get to Proxima (or Alpha) Centauri in under a century since roughly the 1960s (the only thing to argue is how *much* under.  Ditty and most Orion write-ups said just a few years, but the rocket equation doesn't relinquish its tyranny easily).

There is the issue that Dyson wasn't aware of the effects of the magnetosphere (the Van Allen belts seem to have surprised everyone), so naively blasting off of Cape Canaveral would have been much more dangerous than they thought.  Blasting off of Antarctica would have avoided the belts and should give results similar to the original calculations (from the book Project Orion, by Dyson's son George
Dyson).  But I'd hate to have to build the Orion on Antarctica.  Drag it by ship?  Construct it by module?  Sea launch once the Arctic Ocean melts?
 
2018-09-14 01:15:06 PM  

skyotter: Worth it for the mugs.
[img.fark.net image 339x127]


Came for this.

For the mug!
 
2018-09-14 01:15:55 PM  

Tricky Chicken: BadReligion: This text is now purple: BadReligion: I doubt we will ever leave the solar system.

We already have. Voyager 1 is interstellar.

I am not talking about a space probe. I am talking humans. In our current biological form.

It still hasn't reached the oort cloud even.


It crossed the heloipause and entered the interstellar medium back in 2012.
 
2018-09-14 01:26:36 PM  
Venus and Mars are also in the Goldilocks zone. So good luck. We're all counting on you.
 
2018-09-14 01:32:47 PM  
You mean Proxima Centauri b, right?   Because Proxima Centauri is a star, not an exoplanet.

Also, make sure you stay away from these:

i.ebayimg.comView Full Size


And these:

bisbos.comView Full Size
 
2018-09-14 01:38:57 PM  
Actually, if we wanted to do a fly-by, and were willing to spend the money and take the risk, we could have a probe pass by Proxima Centauri in about 45 to 50 years.  If we wanted to stop in the system and observe it long term, we could get there in about 90 to 100 years.

It's actually quite doable from an engineering standpoint using existing technology, but it would be very expensive, relatively risky from a safety standpoint, and it would require a change to international law.
 
2018-09-14 01:49:40 PM  

BadReligion: I doubt we will ever leave the solar system. In a few hundred years, we could have outposts on Mars, and cities on the moon, but I don't think we will ever achieve practical FTL or even near FTL travel.


I think once real AI comes into being, all bets or even guesses are out. Interdimensional travel could be possible
 
2018-09-14 01:50:38 PM  

dittybopper: You mean Proxima Centauri b, right?   Because Proxima Centauri is a star, not an exoplanet.

Also, make sure you stay away from these:

[i.ebayimg.com image 300x209]

And these:

[bisbos.com image 600x388]


... Terran Trade Authority handbook?
 
2018-09-14 01:52:05 PM  
I was assured we would have warp drive technology by the end of this century. That is, only if we can find a way to make huge profits from it.
 
2018-09-14 01:52:38 PM  

give me doughnuts: Tricky Chicken: BadReligion: This text is now purple: BadReligion: I doubt we will ever leave the solar system.

We already have. Voyager 1 is interstellar.

I am not talking about a space probe. I am talking humans. In our current biological form.

It still hasn't reached the oort cloud even.

It crossed the heloipause and entered the interstellar medium back in 2012.


Yes, you aren't disagreeing with me.
 
2018-09-14 01:58:28 PM  

Tricky Chicken: BadReligion: This text is now purple: BadReligion: I doubt we will ever leave the solar system.

We already have. Voyager 1 is interstellar.

I am not talking about a space probe. I am talking humans. In our current biological form.

It still hasn't reached the oort cloud even.


... Okay? That's still in interstellar space
 
2018-09-14 01:58:31 PM  
Sorry to busy killing the brown people and liberating their minerals.
 
2018-09-14 02:01:49 PM  

meanmutton: Tricky Chicken: BadReligion: This text is now purple: BadReligion: I doubt we will ever leave the solar system.

We already have. Voyager 1 is interstellar.

I am not talking about a space probe. I am talking humans. In our current biological form.

It still hasn't reached the oort cloud even.

... Okay? That's still in interstellar space


Yet still within our solar system.
 
2018-09-14 02:12:09 PM  
From TFA:

"Del Genio and his colleagues had to make some reasonable guesses about the exoplanet Proxima Centauri b - namely, that it had an ocean and an atmosphere on its surface - for their work to proceed."

Yep. And if my grandmother had wheels, she would be a wagon.
 
2018-09-14 02:22:11 PM  

yet_another_wumpus: CTRL-F "orion" [no hits].
I had a too long argument with ditty last time this came up about the details of this (and don't have time to calculate the energy released by an H-bomb, convert it to photons, figure out the momentum, and plug that back into wherever in the derivation of the rocket equation momentum slides in.  I'm deeply suspicious of the 30,000s Isp figure), but we've had the technology to get to Proxima (or Alpha) Centauri in under a century since roughly the 1960s (the only thing to argue is how *much* under.  Ditty and most Orion write-ups said just a few years, but the rocket equation doesn't relinquish its tyranny easily).

There is the issue that Dyson wasn't aware of the effects of the magnetosphere (the Van Allen belts seem to have surprised everyone), so naively blasting off of Cape Canaveral would have been much more dangerous than they thought.  Blasting off of Antarctica would have avoided the belts and should give results similar to the original calculations (from the book Project Orion, by Dyson's son George
Dyson).  But I'd hate to have to build the Orion on Antarctica.  Drag it by ship?  Construct it by module?  Sea launch once the Arctic Ocean melts?


You know what?  Instead of arguing with you again, I'll just point people to the NASA documents about it and let them decide who is right.

Nuclear Pulse Propulsion: Orion and Beyond
https://ntrs.nasa.gov/archive/nasa/ca​s​i.ntrs.nasa.gov/20000096503.pdf

Effective specific impulse of external nuclear pulse propulsion systems
https://ntrs.nasa.gov/archive/nasa/ca​s​i.ntrs.nasa.gov/19720025114.pdf
 
2018-09-14 02:29:08 PM  

Tricky Chicken: If you are on a vessel going a significant fraction of the speed of light (lets say .5C), what would happen if you hit a small rock?


Nothing, duh. Rocks don't have lights.
 
2018-09-14 02:43:08 PM  

Keyser_Soze_Death: End_Of_Line: [img.fark.net image 425x425]
Look here. These are
my three wives: Pestilence, Famine, and Death. Do you think I married them for their personalities? Their personalities could shatter entire planets!


Babylon 5 was the best written sci-fi show, IMHO.
 
2018-09-14 02:48:56 PM  

Tricky Chicken: If you are on a vessel going a significant fraction of the speed of light (lets say .5C), what would happen if you hit a small rock?


img.fark.netView Full Size
 
2018-09-14 03:11:46 PM  
Helm, set course for Proxima Centauri, warp 6.

Engage.
 
2018-09-14 03:23:56 PM  
Remember all those articles a few months back pointing out the Centauris have regular gigantic solar flares that would sterilize any planets?

I guess the author doesn't.
 
2018-09-14 03:35:00 PM  

BadReligion: I doubt we will ever leave the solar system. In a few hundred years, we could have outposts on Mars, and cities on the moon, but I don't think we will ever achieve practical FTL or even near FTL travel.


My thoughts on the matter?
Humanity won't go much farther than the solar system.  Humanity's (future) progeny AI which are not limited to our environmental limitations?  Yes.  We already throw their primitive ancestors into orbit.
 
2018-09-14 04:01:49 PM  

Tricky Chicken: If you are on a vessel going a significant fraction of the speed of light (lets say .5C), what would happen if you hit a small rock?


media0.giphy.comView Full Size
 
2018-09-14 04:44:33 PM  

Tricky Chicken: If you are on a vessel going a significant fraction of the speed of light (lets say .5C), what would happen if you hit a small rock?


A 1kg rock impacting a spacecraft at .5C would release 1.12344E+16 J of energy.

That's about what was released to create Meteor Crater.

img.fark.netView Full Size


Bottom line: No more spacecraft.
 
2018-09-14 04:45:02 PM  

Tricky Chicken: If you are on a vessel going a significant fraction of the speed of light (lets say .5C), what would happen if you hit a small rock?


Just make sure you aren't behind a dump truck on the interstellar highway.
 
2018-09-14 04:59:53 PM  
Cool. But let's do some math.

At 1 light speed, it is 4.2 light years away, thus 4.2 years away by light.

At 0.5 ls, 9.4 ly, 9.4 travel time.

At 0.25, 18.8 ly distant, 18.8 travel time (plus acceleration time, of course, so about 20 years.

At 0.125, 37.6 ly. About 40 years away.

We haven't ever gone any where near those speeds but an immortal or long-lived species, a crew in deep freeze hibernation or a century ship could do it. But the slower they go, the more it will cost in terms of people years. Mind you, the trip will seem a lot shorter to passengers and crew at relativistic speeds.

Lewis Carroll wrote a poem on the subject of stellar distances.

Facts
by Lewis Carroll

Were I to take an iron gun,
And fire it off towards the sun; 
I grant 'twould reach its mark at last,
But not till many years had passed. 

But should that bullet change its force,
And to the planets take its course,
'Twould never reach the nearest star,
Because it is so very far.
 
2018-09-14 05:01:03 PM  
Damned facts. They are so cold and stubborn. No wonder Republicans hate them.
 
2018-09-14 05:03:12 PM  
I disagree with the article, I think the "dark side" would see plenty of starlight.
 
2018-09-14 05:08:44 PM  
If you want to space travel beyond local jaunts at slow speeds, you will have to sweep the area in front of you with magnetic plows. Because at relativistic speed, even atom nuclei become dangerous cosmic particles going the same speed or faster than you are.

Mind you, they thought of possible solutions to cosmic particles in the 1950s. What you do is use a giant shield ahead of you, something the size of a small planet or asteroid. You can hollow out an asteroid and use atomic bombs to accerate it. The bombs can explode above or on the surface, while you are safe deep below.

Over time the moonlet on which you travel will be sandblasted by the nuclear bombs on one side, by cosmic particles and space dust on the other, and come to look rather like our Moon, smoother on one side, lots of big craters on the other.

But a ship the size of an asteroid could make the trip at low light speeds and survive long enough to get a crew or passengers to Alpha Centauri. A century ship would be the best we could do for a while, but perhaps magical Star Trek and Star Wars science will one day become available.

In the meantime, don't be afraid of the BEM. They are so far away they can barely perceive us, let alone attack us with anything short of massive lasers or possibly propaganda campaigns.

Descartes looked at the heavens and trembled in fear, but I think of all that space in terms of insulation, and feel safe at least, although it is a bore having no neighbours to play with,
 
2018-09-14 05:46:33 PM  

brantgoose: If you want to space travel beyond local jaunts at slow speeds, you will have to sweep the area in front of you with magnetic plows. Because at relativistic speed, even atom nuclei become dangerous cosmic particles going the same speed or faster than you are.

Mind you, they thought of possible solutions to cosmic particles in the 1950s. What you do is use a giant shield ahead of you, something the size of a small planet or asteroid. You can hollow out an asteroid and use atomic bombs to accerate it. The bombs can explode above or on the surface, while you are safe deep below.

Over time the moonlet on which you travel will be sandblasted by the nuclear bombs on one side, by cosmic particles and space dust on the other, and come to look rather like our Moon, smoother on one side, lots of big craters on the other.

But a ship the size of an asteroid could make the trip at low light speeds and survive long enough to get a crew or passengers to Alpha Centauri. A century ship would be the best we could do for a while, but perhaps magical Star Trek and Star Wars science will one day become available.

In the meantime, don't be afraid of the BEM. They are so far away they can barely perceive us, let alone attack us with anything short of massive lasers or possibly propaganda campaigns.

Descartes looked at the heavens and trembled in fear, but I think of all that space in terms of insulation, and feel safe at least, although it is a bore having no neighbours to play with,


What happens when an AI figures out a way around Fermat's principle? With higher-dimensional calculus of variations, who knows what is really possible. If you understand the math I am getting at and in the Denver area, I would be happy to share a drink with you.
Knowing whyKaluza-Klein theory is wrong is required for a free drink
 
2018-09-14 05:47:33 PM  
Proxima Centauri's output is extremely unstable, which makes it a very poor colonization candidate.
 
2018-09-14 05:56:09 PM  

jake_lex: Haven't we already observed Proxima Centauri blasting the surface of that planet with a strong enough solar flare to sterilize the planet's surface?

Why, yes, we have.


Hey, that's awesome! I hate moving into a new place when the previous tenants didn't clean it well enough.
 
2018-09-14 05:56:34 PM  

brantgoose: A century ship would be the best we could do for a while, but perhaps magical Star Trek and Star Wars science will one day become available.


Any and all efforts to seal some people in a fully-stocked 'habitat' or 'sealed ecosystem'  right here on Earth for only  a few months  have failed miserably.

A "Century Ship' , allowing a bunch of people to live for 20 or 40 or 60 years will be almost infinitely more difficult to achieve than 0.5C or 0.25C velocities....
 
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