Wednesday, July 18, 2007

The Aliens Are Coming!, A Priimer

Here is a list of some of our closest stars

Sol- 93 million miles, sometimes

Proxima Centauri, 4.2 light years

Rigil Kentauris, 4.3 light years

Leo, 7.7 light years.

Let's make, for sake of argument, the following assumptions:

1. There is life on other planets revolving around at least on of these suns.

2. We want to go there.

OK, a light year is a distance, not a time. In fact, it is the distance light can travel in, you guessed it, a year.

The speed of light is 186,000 miles per second, or 700 million miles an hour.

A light year is 6 million million miles


6 000 000 000 000 miles.

The Helios spacecraft orbits our sun at mach 227 (227 times the speed of sound) The speed of sound is 761ish mph.

So, 761 X 227 = (wait gotta use my toes)= about 17, 000 mph.
And that's the fastest thing we got going.

Any one else beside Bou still with me?

If we travelled at the speed of light it would takes us 4.2 years to get to our next closest star.
Our fastest spacecraft is 41,000 times slower!
Even if we travelled at a tenth of the speed of light, it would take 42 years to get to Centauri.

What's the point of this?

It is so far and it would take so long that is would eat up an incredible amount of resources. And just think of all the beer we'd have to make. We would have to have a functioning city on the spacecraft before we even left.

Let's just go explore the ocean.

That is all

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