“The American people will never knowingly adopt Socialism. But under the name of ‘liberalism’ they will adopt every fragment of the Socialist program, until one day America will be a Socialist nation, without knowing how it happened.”

Socialist Party presidential candidate Norman Thomas

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Life is probably closer than 1,400 light years away

Regular reader Dave alerted me to this story:

As any nerd can tell you, the Cygnus constellation is 1,400 light years away. That's where the Kepler telescope found a very-Earth-like planet called Kepler-452b. It's the best bet we have of finding life that evolved similar to ours, according to delusioned scientists. Why are they delusional?

1,400 light years away, that's why. Why can't we look for life instead, on the planet orbiting Epsilon Eridani which is only 10.5 light years away?

Surely Elon Musk is working on a revolutionary propulsion system that can move a spacecraft "manned" with robots at maybe 0.1c. Then people about 110 years from now can be awed by that promising data.

Who cares about what's happening 1,400 light years away?


Bill said...

Because FTL will be invented someday.

0.1c is wildly beyond our current capability. That's 30,000 kilometers per second! Voyager 1 is going 17 kilometers per second and is the fastest man made object at this time. That's a factor of nearly 2000.

Ed said...

Yeah, but Voyager wasn't designed for speed. I'll bet if sheer velicity were the object, somebody could come up with a reasonably fast system, given adequate funding and maybe 10 years. It wouldn't have to be a large craft, really nothing but engine, fuel, and an advanced robot with a camera and some mechanism to send signal back over 10.5 light years of distance. Currently I doubt we have the capability to send or receive directed signals over that distance, but I could be wrong.

Bill said...

It will take something like advanced nuclear powered ion electric propulsion or Ad Astra Rocket's VASIMR. Chemical fuels don't have the specific impulse.

Like I said, somebody will invent FTL. Don't ask me what exactly.

Ed said...

Didn't Einstein prove that FTL was impossible? If we can achieve some fraction of warp speed, that would be good enough.....not for you and me to see the results, but a few generations down the road will get to see it.

Bill said...

Impossible in normal space. I'm the farthest thing from a theoretical physicist, but I believe it's possible in theory by wormholes and the like.