The Closest Planet outside of the Solar System

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-19959531

I've waited for this one to come along for quite a while now. OK, so at 1,200 celsius, we cannot live there, but given that most exoplanet-owning stars have more than just the 1, and that this system is made up of 2 large stars (3rd is a midget), then maybe the prospect of a new Earth isn't as far away as we might think.

Just got to get out there then.

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Eris Falling said:

Just got to get out there then.

travel to alpha centauri, get mindraped by xenofungus!

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Eris Falling said:

Just got to get out there then.

The fastest man-made object, Voyager 1, if it were pointed at alpha centauri would take some 70,000 years to get there.

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A point worth thinking through - if there is no trace of extraterrestial life actively scouting outer space, is any life form actually capable of evolving to the point that it'd be able to achieve such a goal?

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The Universe it's self is biological although our puny view of life would not accommodate that assertion I believe it is the true nature of the cosmos.

Given that view, for life to evolve on other planets similar to in which we observe here on Earth is a predisposition of creationism of the cosmos. With great certainty it should be known the Universe is riddled with planets containing life very similar to Earth. Even though we have very limited observations in this field our perception of actuality manifests it's self in what is known reality what is actually true about the nature of existence is completely different than our perception of actuality which is what we call reality.

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j4rio said:

A point worth thinking through - if there is no trace of extraterrestial life actively scouting outer space, is any life form actually capable of evolving to the point that it'd be able to achieve such a goal?

That would depend on the type of environment in which the civilization in question has evolved in; as well as on the overall dominant traits within the genetic makeup of the said civilization. There are numerous possibilities. Different species are able to adapt at differing rates under differing conditions. It's impossible to give just one short answer which would universally apply.

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Quasar said:

Good thing NASA's working on the warp drive :P

The idea of working as a flight attendant on interplanetary flights in addition to the regular transatlantic flights sounds so awesome! However, sadly, there doesn't seem to be a realistic chance of this happening within my lifetime. *sigh*
Perhaps this could be happening after about four generations of our species down the road.

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DarkJedi188 said:

The idea of working as a flight attendant on interplanetary flights in addition to the regular transatlantic flights sounds so awesome! However, sadly, there doesn't seem to be a realistic chance of this happening within my lifetime. *sigh*
Perhaps this could be happening after about four generations of our species down the road.

I don't know; that there's a theoretical framework already built within which warp drive may be possible, given verification of the theory, then it becomes a matter of manufacturing processes. Provided it IS verified (and oh god I hope it will be), then we could even see it within our lifetimes, however dimly. Say around 2090-2100. That's my optimistic hope.

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IIRC it is possible - with just today's technology - to achieve 3% of the speed of light, through nuclear propulsion, I think (don't hold me to this, read it quite a while ago)
As a percentage it seems quite little but I did some calculations.

Speed: 5580 miles/second
The moon and back - 2 minutes

Another thing worth considering is the cost of this technology. And by the turn of the century I would supposedly be 103, which compared to most of the people on DW is quite young. Even if I was still alive at that time, I doubt I'd be up to the journey.

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Eris Falling said:

Speed: 5580 miles/second
The moon and back - 2 minutes

Anyone inside this ship would be dead instantly lol.

Using the moon is a really bad example, as is using the max speed to determine travel time. You have to slowly accelerate up to your max speed, before you reach the halfway point, then turn the ship around and accelerate down at the same rate.

With that said even at .03c, according to your math, it would still take 136 years for a one way journey, which doesn't include acceleration/deceleration which could add 10-15% additional travel time.

Which sucks because how much nuclear weaponry would be brought along as fuel? They certainly pack a punch, but 1 or 2 or 100 bombs aren't going to be enough. That takes up valuable space and eventually you're going to have to add more fuel just to haul more fuel.

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j4rio said:

A point worth thinking through - if there is no trace of extraterrestial life actively scouting outer space, is any life form actually capable of evolving to the point that it'd be able to achieve such a goal?


Supposedly we're one of the more advanced beings in the universe right now as the universe is supposedly "young." I'll have to find the article I saw that in and post it...

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The guys who leave here at subluminal velocities would be really pissed off when a warp vessel that leaves decades after they did passes up their gray heads and long beards like they're sitting still :P

When I said warp drive I really wasn't kidding. They have a team investigating the ability to locally disturb spacetime around a vessel and use the deformation to push the vessel at speeds that would be greater than that of light in "normal" space. Somehow this doesn't violate relativity, but that's all I know about it :P

PRIMEVAL said:

Supposedly we're one of the more advanced beings in the universe right now as the universe is supposedly "young." I'll have to find the article I saw that in and post it...

If the universe is approximately 14 billion years old, and the Earth is approximately 4 billion years old, that's nearly a 3rd of the age of the universe that it took for the conditions of life to arise here. Consider that you can take off quite a bit at the beginning too, for it took generations worth of stars dying in order to populate the galaxy with enough heavy elements to build anything other than more stars. It really doesn't leave that much time, on a universal timescale ;)

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Quasar said:

I don't know; that there's a theoretical framework already built within which warp drive may be possible, given verification of the theory, then it becomes a matter of manufacturing processes. Provided it IS verified (and oh god I hope it will be), then we could even see it within our lifetimes, however dimly. Say around 2090-2100. That's my optimistic hope.

*Fingers crossed* Alright then. Hopefully I'll still be a living old geezer from 2090-2100, despite the fact that my 100th birthday would be in July of 2084 and sadly not everyone lives past 100.
Maybe we'll have some special pills which slow the aging process by the time that this warp drive is finished?
Or maybe I'll have natural longevity due to my abstinence from tobacco, and due to my almost non-existent alcohol consumption, and due to my frequent hiking?
Oh man.

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Pottus said:

FTL travel is very conceivable when you couple quantum time variance

http://ntrs.nasa.gov/archive/nasa/casi.ntrs.nasa.gov/20120010663_2012010645.pdf

Oh? I dare you to explain the basic mathematical framework of this paper to us, that which would destroy our understanding of general relativity as humanity knows it and would've caused quite the uproar when it was published...but it didn't. My guess is you have misunderstood what the paper was about. We understand reference frames and time dilatation and how they alter perceived time frames at luminal velocities. But they do not alter or circumvent c for travelers or observers even if time dilation made a traveler perceive a 10 year journey as happening in only 3 or 4.

with the nature of the Higgs Boson (Ability to reduce mass to that of a photon)

http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/cosmicvariance/2012/03/20/technological-applications-of-the-higgs-boson/

"the ability to reduce matter to the mass of a photon" I assume, however, this article says nothing of the sort, or anything at all really. Which it wouldn't because photons have 0 mass, which is the very reason they can travel as they do. Matter without mass is literally nonexistent with or without the mysterious magical powers of the higgs boson to do whatever we want to accomplish with it.

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As long as there's going to be artificial gravity aboard the vehicle, along with some transparent forcefields for creating beautiful unobtrusive viewports, I don't care what the engines will function like or how powerful they will be.
Tourism is what really drives the transportation industry. :)

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DarkJedi188 said:

As long as there's going to be artificial gravity aboard the vehicle

I know how shallow it sounds, but muscle atrophy (amongst many other little factors which sully the romanticised image of space travel) is something I couldn't handle even if I had the opportunity to go into space with the current way of getting there. And vanity isn't even the only issue.

Unless there's some freakishly advanced developments in science and technology in my lifetime which makes space travel comfortable and affordable, I'm content with looking at photos and videos of the cosmos.

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RTC_Marine said:

Its nice to hear some kind of warp drive is possible, however I always liked the idea of this too

Such technology could still provide the "impulse" engine you need to do pre-warp acceleration ;)

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It's idiotic that people ejaculate all over each other fantasizing about living on other planets, but nobody talks about inhabiting our 7th continent, a place undoubtedly a trillion times more friendly than any place outside our planet.

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AndrewB said:

It's idiotic that people ejaculate all over each other fantasizing about living on other planets, but nobody talks about inhabiting our 7th continent, a place undoubtedly a trillion times more friendly than any place outside our planet.

Well, there are pesky international treaties preventing permanent habitation in antarctica.

With that said though, the amount of fetishization of the nerd rapture and technology in general, bordering on religious idolatry is quite bothersome and worrying tbh. If for nothing else because it makes honest discussion on topics like this almost impossible.

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AndrewB said:

It's idiotic that people ejaculate all over each other fantasizing about living on other planets, but nobody talks about inhabiting our 7th continent, a place undoubtedly a trillion times more friendly than any place outside our planet.

Well, there just could be a chance that by traveling to other planets we could meet a species which would be intelligent enough to teach us how to build and use such technology which would allow us to terraform a new planet for ourselves once our Earth becomes too polluted and/or uninhabitable; or perhaps would allow us to create a new artificial Sun for ourselves once our own current Sun expands from a yellow dwarf into some kind of red giant, causing our solar system to become uninhabitable.
There's just so many possibilities and opportunities for ensuring our survival, as well as so many risks for dooming ourselves. But it's a two-edged sword which gives meaning to our existence.

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You still didn't make it to the moon and you pretend to make it to a planet located 4 light years from Earth?

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