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Space.. it's big!

Discussion in 'Off Topic' started by JAy3001, Aug 11, 2019.

  1. JAy3001

    JAy3001 Android Expert
    Thread Starter

    This is a daft thread. :cool:

    So any sci-fi fan has heard the term "light years away" etc etc and then off zooms the ship with its warp drive and appears at its destination moments later. Now I've always wondered just how far a "light year" is but never got round to it.

    I finally did today and it blew my mind..

    1 light year is a mere 5,878,625,373,200 miles away!!! :eek:

    So with this in mind I thought "how far is Proxima Centauri", our nearest star. Turns out that is 4.22 light years away or 24,807,799,074,904 miles away.. :oops:

    These are crazy figures, especially when you think that our furthest probe in space is the Voyger 1 probe that is travelling at around 38,000 miles per hour (in 2014) it would take the probe 17,500 YEARS !! to reach 1 light year away from planet earth at it's current speed.. :eek:

    My goodness space is BIG, it's enough to give you an anxiety attack. :p

     


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  2. Best Answer:
    Post #11 by Hadron, Aug 12, 2019 (3 points)
  3. GameTheory

    GameTheory Android Expert

    Oh, I hope this thread stays popular. I love this space stuff. It's a big black hole of interesting topics and theories. ;)

    Think we're the only human-like species in the universe? I think there's more, but we're too far apart to discover each other. I wonder if they're more advanced or primitive than us.
     
  4. olbriar

    olbriar  
    Moderator

    Space is so vast that they call it space :) Considering there are around 11 billion planets in what is considered the goldilock zone (conducive to life as we know it) in just our galaxy. Then multiply that by the incredible number of galaxys that we can see.. and our vision is primitive. Considering what we can't see...
    I think there is a great chance there is life form elsewhere. I think only the simple minded would exclude the possibility due to the sheer number of possible life giving planets. And who is to say that life doesn't exist beyond carbon based? Oh we of such narrow thinking.
     
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  5. ocnbrze

    ocnbrze DON'T PANIC!!!!!!!!!

  6. JAy3001

    JAy3001 Android Expert
    Thread Starter

    When you consider the vast number of galaxy's and planets there has to be other intelligent life out there. Whether they choose to become space faring or broadcast their existence is another thing.
    The crazy thing is that we are continually finding more planets, stars and universes; even within our own galaxy.

    Indeed, we dont know what is out there. :oops::p

    One of the things that always bugs me with sci-fi films are the spaceships, I mean the ones that have been built in space and never touch an atmosphere. Why do we insist that they look aerodynamic when there is no atmosphere or gravity to effect motion?
     
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  7. Dannydet

    Dannydet Extreme Android User

    Correct.
    A spaceship could be a huge box with no need for aerodynamics.
    Just read an article about the mapping of the universe.
    We are but a spec in something that is not even comprehensible.
    Enjoy the ride, people.
     
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  8. Hadron

    Hadron Smoke me a kipper...
    VIP Member

    OK, I'll play devil's advocate: why does there "have to be"?

    Let's start with one simple fact: we have only one data point for any of this. This means that we have no alternative but to consider Earth as "typical" in terms of the probabilities, speeds of development, conditions needed, but if there is in reality only one place in the universe where life started nothing we know about how life starts or develops would look any different from how it does to us now. If you have a single measurement you have to assume that represents the true value (within experimental errors) but you cannot know that you weren't unlucky and didn't get a highly atypical value. Extrapolation from a single data point is very risky.

    So what do we know?

    We don't know how life starts, and we don't know what conditions are needed. You hear people talking about theories (often different ones), but we don't actually know. Therefore we don't know how easy that process is, or how common the conditions are. The one thing we know that's favourable is that it happened rather quickly on Earth, but if in fact it's very difficult and we just happened to be lucky here we would not be able to tell.

    Then there's the development of complex life. This would appear to be difficult: for 6/7 or so of the history of life there were no multicellular organisms. Maybe we were unlucky that it took so long? Or maybe we were lucky that it happened so quickly? We don't know. But planetary conditions can change a lot in a few billion years, so if something takes a long time there's a risk that it may not get the time it needs.

    Related to that: how likely is it that a planet can maintain liveable conditions for long enough? If it's too small it will lose volatiles (Mars). If it lacks a strong magnetic field it is similarly vulnerable. If it is large enough but lacks plate tectonics it's vulnerable to accumulation of greenhouse gases (Venus). These are a couple of things we can see from our single solar system, but there may be other vulnerabilities that we've not considered because we don't have a nearby example. We do know that the Earth's magnetic field relative to its size is anomalously large, possibly related to the event that gave it an unusually large satellite (which also helps stabilise its axis, again producing longer-term stability of conditions for any life trying to evolve there). If intelligence takes time then we can probably rule out dense clusters of stars, places where the orbits of planets or debris belts/clouds are likely to be disturbed on timescales of tens or hundreds of millions of years.

    And of course we have no idea whether evolution of anything like the sort of intelligence that we mean when we talk of "intelligent life" is likely or absurdly unlikely, nor how long it's likely to take. However while this might appear simpler than the leap to multicellular life (based on our single data point) I will note that it's almost certainly more vulnerable to disruption. And as Arthur Clarke noted, the survival value of such intelligence is not yet proven: we're certainly doing our best to collapse our civilisation and ecosystem within the first few millenia of recorded history.

    I'm only scratching the surface here, but this post is already too long and so I'll stop now. My point is that there are huge uncertainties in any aspect of this question, and so I would never accept any statement that there "has to be" anything (again, whether that statement is positive or negative). The one thing I am sure of is that if we could turn the clock back 4.5 billion years and run everything again there would not be a bunch of bipedal apes discussing it at this point (but whether that would mean that some entirely different organism would be busy colonising the galaxy or the Earth would be a snowball inhabited by nothing more complex than cyanobacteria, I would not like to take a bet on).
     
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  9. Deleted User

    Deleted User Guest

    Wow this thread has really expanded into something big. Who knows, before long we may have the answer to that ultimate question. Maybe something more conclusive than '42' :D
     
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  10. Hadron

    Hadron Smoke me a kipper...
    VIP Member

    That answer is definitive. Now you just need to work out what the question is...
     
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  11. Steven58

    Moderator

    I don't know. Archer, Kirk, Picard, Sisk, Janeway and Skywalker have no trouble going fast. No big deal for them, therefore not a big deal for me either.
     
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  12. Hadron

    Hadron Smoke me a kipper...
    VIP Member

    Would you mind nipping over to the planning office at Alpha Centauri then? Just to make sure that there are no demolitions scheduled for our solar system...
     
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  13. Steven58

    Moderator

    I dunno. They mentioned that they weren't too happy with all the sub-par crap floating around the Keiper Belt.
     
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  14. Deleted User

    Deleted User Guest

    So the probability is that going back 4.5 billion years and starting exactly from that roughly known point/time of earths origin it's highly unlikely to end in the same current human species 'design', developmental state of 'human' intelligence, earth resources and so on because we got lucky with the make up and strength of unusually positioned satellite planets among many other factors.... is really very interesting.

    Makes me now think how unlikely other advanced life is.

    I can't get involved in any intellectual discussion about that, but I thank our fizzichist.

    Two thoughts that I think demonstrate my knowledge and prowess in deductive reasoning:

    I) if humans evolved differently then women would not have been nearly as seductive and attractive

    2) and if Sir Isaac Newton had not invented gravity very late in the evolutionary process

    .... then in either case we (and bathroom designers) were all screwed.
     
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  15. JAy3001

    JAy3001 Android Expert
    Thread Starter

    Lol That's quite a reply @Hadron .

    As you say we only have one example to base our evidence on; on what is inteilgent life. And I was not just thinking of our only example of "greetings, carbon based bipeds". ;)

    By the way, there is no "Best Anwser" in this thread as there is no question to answer, just fun stuff to discuss and blow our minds. :D
     
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  16. bcrichster

    bcrichster ROMinator
    Moderator

    OK.. For real - for real, I swear on my life: I've seen a pulsing (not flashing) "something" in our skies at night (central FL), bouncing around like a damn super bouncy ball, doing what's potentially thousands of miles between jumps/bounces, it was mind boggling, tbh.. Then the B2 Stealth that went after it (came from Cape Canaveral direction) banked upwards towards it right above my area (the air pressure was intense) and as soon as it lined up with the direction of that bouncing light, the light shot away so fast, it literally left a streak of light for a split second.. That B2 Stealth didn't stand a chance, Str8 up. We humans seriously have some catching up to do to compete with whatever tech the bouncy light was using, Lol.
    Edit: in case anyone was wondering, that pulsing light seemed to come from the Orion area..
     
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  17. GameTheory

    GameTheory Android Expert

    Maybe just lights from US aircraft reflecting off the layered clouds which made it look like a fast bouncing object? Dunno, just trying to make sense of it outside of aliens.

    It could've just been Superman. He does help the US military test their aircrafts. :rolleyes: :p
     
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  18. JAy3001

    JAy3001 Android Expert
    Thread Starter

    So UFOs.. I use to be very much into this scene when I was younger, until the whole misinformation crap landed!! Congrats on that btw U.S Gov.. :p

    The term UFO has been hijacked a little in modern times, with most people jumping the gun if you mention them and think your stark raving mad as your talking about aliens. But in truth it is just an Unidentified Flying Object. There doesn't have to be a green alien bobbing about inside. :p

    Soo, as I use to love that idea (aliens darting around up high probing us in our sleep) I'm more inclined to believe that these events could well be us travelling thru time visiting.. after all there is practically nothing we humans cannot invent if we put out minds together.

    One of my favourite books is by the late Arthur C Clarke and Steven Baxter and it's called The Light of Other Days. The book is about the discovery of worm hole technology and how it transforms human life. Imagine being about to place a camera right in the heart of a disaster from anywhere on the planet, or sligning this camera thru time to see how historical events actually occurred.. now imagine this tech becoming cheap enough for everyone to use, simple thing as sending the camera back to see you dad or mum or gran... its deep tho, there is no hiding from the worm hole cameras, society begins to change...

    Damn, I'm going to have to read this one again now.. :p

    https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B0046A9MT0/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_apa_i_0VBuDbKXRQZCA
     

    Attached Files:

    #17 JAy3001, Aug 12, 2019
    Last edited: Aug 12, 2019
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  19. Dannydet

    Dannydet Extreme Android User

    Everything we see and know is relative to only us.
    What exactly is the known universe and are we just a byproduct of the meteor that destroyed the dinosaurs?
    What scale is our known universe if it's just a pinpoint to something else?
    We can talk about it but will never know
     
  20. Hadron

    Hadron Smoke me a kipper...
    VIP Member

    Quite literally true. We perceive only a fraction of our environment (a limited range of chemicals we can smell or taste, a narrow range of the electromagnetic spectrum we can see through very imperfect optical instruments, etc), and from this we build a model of the world. What we see, hear, touch etc isn't reality, but a model derived from the partial, limited sensory information we have available, interpreted by our brains.

    I suspect that if we were presented with something truly alien, something that really didn't fit into our experience, we'd not only have difficulty describing it but would probably have difficulty clearly seeing it.
     
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  21. Steven58

    Moderator

    If we can't fathom it, it is likely Einstein or Hawking already thought of it. ;)
     
  22. GameTheory

    GameTheory Android Expert

    Well I think people had that mentality pre 2000s. I think these days folks know very well what UFO is and that alien doesn't necessarily mean some green creature like we see in movies.

    For some reason this reminded me of Interstellar.

    True that! In an interview with folks from Nasa they claimed that for the Apollo 11 mission they had more primitive communication tech than what's found in our mobile phones today. Nasa still can't believe that man landed on the moon then with such low tech.
     
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  23. bcrichster

    bcrichster ROMinator
    Moderator

    Dude.. There's no F'n way we have anything that could move like I seen that thing move, without turning humans into a complete milkshake of goo.. Think about it.. Thousands of miles per bounce and like 2-3 bounces per second, the math is a bit beyond me atm but I'm pretty sure we'd be dead, being inside a car or ANYTHING after moving around like that thing did. Metabolically impossible, I'd think. But like I said earlier, we sure have some catching up to do to compete with that tech
     
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  24. no one

    no one Android Expert

    If you've ever met my uncle, you would not doubt the existence of extraterrestrial lifeforms.
     
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  25. GameTheory

    GameTheory Android Expert

    Sign him up to AF and have him join us in this thread. ;)
     
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  26. Steven58

    Moderator

    Have you never heard of inertial dampeners? Geesh! :)
     
    Dannydet likes this.
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