Welcome, Guest

Author Topic: Sad about distances in the universe in regard to alien life  (Read 448 times)

DeVoiD

  • **
  • Posts: 17
I have always been fascinated by the possibility of alien life somewhere out there in the universe, and that we may be/have been visited.

Then I bought this AMAZING Universe Sandbox simulation, and one of the first things I did was the tutorial where you select the sun, and then do a pulse of light, so that you can actually see how fast light it travelling.

It gave me a great understanding visually of the vast distances between objects, and honestly that saddened me.

To me, it meant we have never had a visitor from another planet, and we will probably never visit any of the planets that have been discovered, that are in the green (habitable) zone, that may contain some kind of life form.

The only way to get to any of those planets, is to bend or warp space.  Even if we got to near light speed, we are still talking years!

I don't see us figuring out a way to bend or warp space, I don't think it will ever happen.  That is a sad thought.  we get glimpses of these amazing things way out there in space, but we will never set foot on them.

Has anyone else had the same thought about that?

Devoid.

RobotWillie

  • *
  • Posts: 2
Re: Sad about distances in the universe in regard to alien life
« Reply #1 on: July 05, 2020, 12:43:37 PM »
Yes it is very sobering to think even the closest star system of Alpha and Promixa Centauri would take just over 4 light years to travel to, and thats light years, so it would take us much longer. But there is a program being looked into to send a probe there using special laser technology by maybe the end of the century, I think the goal was to do it for the 100th anniversary of the moon landing, so 2069. And that it would take decades to reach it but at least we would have finally visited another star system even if it didn't have life.

But Promixa B hasn't been ruled out yet for life anyway either so. Its just so close to the star they figure it has no real atmosphere, which is likely red dwarfs being so active with flares that it strips away the atmospheres of most the planets that orbit them.

But what you talk about isn't even anything compared to what scientists and astronomers are sure the future holds in a few trillion years, they are certain by then that the acceleration of the expansion of the universe will have by then caused most galaxies to drift from one another making it so no outside galaxies could be seen anymore much less visited besides maybe a dwarf one orbiting your home one. Thus any theoretical civilization that might be born into this time would not have ever known other galaxies ever existed and they would believe their galaxy was the whole of the universe.

Pretty cheerful stuff isn't it.

tkulogo

  • *****
  • Posts: 132
Re: Sad about distances in the universe in regard to alien life
« Reply #2 on: July 06, 2020, 04:34:07 AM »
It seems sad, but that because you're looking at it in the short span of the human lifetime. It has been estimated that using technologies (nuclear reactors and ion drives that are are both currently in use), the human race will populate the entire galaxy in only 50 million years. This sounds impossibly long, but that's only one fifth of an orbit of the sun around the galaxy.

Physics_Hacker

  • *****
  • Posts: 439
Re: Sad about distances in the universe in regard to alien life
« Reply #3 on: July 10, 2020, 04:03:19 AM »
There is one redeeming thing. Relativistic time dilation. It's usually portrayed as a problem, but if it turns out there really is no workable way to travel faster than light, it may be the biggest blessing we've got. If we can build a ship that can reach high enough speeds, we can get literally anywhere within a human lifetime - a human on the ship, that is. Of course, for the rest of the universe, the trip will take longer, to the point that if we could build a fast enough ship, one could get all the way to Andromeda and the humans on board might end up old but alive, while human civilization is now solidly just a memory, just another part of the fossil record of the third rock from Sol. Of course...that's not very practical, but going for closer targets could be. If the aim is to get us out into the stars, using relativistic time dilation to avoid having to use generational ships could work wonderfully, even if the catch is that they likely could never come back but also that they would, in effect, be completely cut off from Earth and our solar system. But again, if the aim is to keep humanity around, keep our eggs in many baskets rather than one, it could work. It many not serve well for meeting alien life (as they could just be ruins by the time we get there) but just for getting us out there, it works.

Cesare

  • *****
  • Posts: 656
  • Universe Sandbox 2 is my favourite simulator.
    • Cesare Vesdani
Re: Sad about distances in the universe in regard to alien life
« Reply #4 on: July 10, 2020, 10:03:01 PM »
There's no distance limit in Universe Sandbox.

DeVoiD

  • **
  • Posts: 17
Re: Sad about distances in the universe in regard to alien life
« Reply #5 on: July 13, 2020, 11:47:43 AM »
RobotWillie: That is very sobering! all the galaxies shooting off into space, so that any "new" race would think they are the only galaxy in the universe!  wow!  I didn't think of that, expansive universe!

tkulogo: of course im thinking it in terms of a human life, my own!! and you cant honestly think humans will be around in 50 million years! no way! Earths resources will be long gone by then, and don't start talking about asteroid mining coming to the rescue!  if we haven't killed each other off, we will have poisoned this planet to the point that it will no longer host life (other than maybe moss and bacteria).

Physics_Hacker: Its not going to happen, any kind of space/time dilation, or bending of space/time via a spaceship, its not,  I wish it, but its impossible.  As for people going out as far as their life span, no one can really say how long a person will live, plus they will have to take/grow anything they will need along the way.  What about water? they cant make that from the vacuum of space, any more than they could do that for the air they breath.  Without bending space, the distances are too great, then comes how to stock all the resources you would need, plus you cant live in micro-gravity that long, you would be really buggered even if you found a planet with any kind of gravity! you would shatter on landing!

Cesare: Why are you following around all my posts, and posting just BS crap?  Go stalk some other guy, or better yet, leave your basement and get some sunlight, it will be good for you.  Seriously.

Anyway, the rest of the "normal" people:  Thank you for posting, lots of really interesting stuff there, and also about the expanding universe, never thought of that!  Still though, sobering, and sad.  AT least we have probes eh? using laser to blast it as fast as they can, that's awesome, but I don't know if ill still be around and have my mind by the time that comes around.

Thanks again everyone (except "you know who"),
DeVoiD
« Last Edit: July 20, 2020, 05:21:53 AM by DeVoiD »

tkulogo

  • *****
  • Posts: 132
Re: Sad about distances in the universe in regard to alien life
« Reply #6 on: July 16, 2020, 11:53:08 AM »
DeVoiD: "you cant honestly think humans will be around in 50 million years! no way! Earths resources will be long gone by then." I never even considered the idea that humans will remain only on planet earth. The world's 8th wealthiest person is bending all his will toward creating a self-sustaining Martian colony and he done the impossible in the past like other people put on their shoes. I can't believe that not only he will fail, but all others that come after him will fail all the way out to the end of civilization. Have some optimism; the future will be great.

DeVoiD

  • **
  • Posts: 17
Re: Sad about distances in the universe in regard to alien life
« Reply #7 on: July 20, 2020, 05:31:11 AM »
DeVoiD: "you cant honestly think humans will be around in 50 million years! no way! Earths resources will be long gone by then." I never even considered the idea that humans will remain only on planet earth. The world's 8th wealthiest person is bending all his will toward creating a self-sustaining Martian colony and he done the impossible in the past like other people put on their shoes. I can't believe that not only he will fail, but all others that come after him will fail all the way out to the end of civilization. Have some optimism; the future will be great.

I suppose you are talking about Elon Musk here.  His team has done some very cool things, but doing the "impossible", no I don't believe his team has done anything impossible  Reusable rockets?  that's just a lot of brilliant people figuring the math, and amazing engineers (and many other smart people) designing the end product.  Remember he might be the person thinking stuff up, but at the end of he day, its the people he hires that make all of that a reality.  But done the impossible, no they have not.

Maybe, just maybe they will get people not just on Mars, but have some kind of sustainable colony there.  But unless they can somehow start terraforming the planet, its still very dangerous, and without provisions lots of things could kill all the colonists very quickly; solar radiation, cant make air - as in polar ice to create air - runs out because of over use - wind storm, twisters, and the list goes on.

Even if it does happen, they are just an outpost, nothing more.  No malls with people buying their next sporty jacket, or an extra pair of socks, no pub where you get in a fight and use your light saber to save your life! none of that.  Sorry, but its not going to happen, especially in that tiny speck that is the life time of the people here now, or a vast ocean of time.

DeVoiD

tkulogo

  • *****
  • Posts: 132
Re: Sad about distances in the universe in regard to alien life
« Reply #8 on: July 20, 2020, 07:40:44 AM »
Musk is doing what he's doing to relieve that type of pessimism from as many people as possible.

DeVoiD

  • **
  • Posts: 17
Re: Sad about distances in the universe in regard to alien life
« Reply #9 on: July 21, 2020, 05:35:54 AM »
Musk is doing what he's doing to relieve that type of pessimism from as many people as possible.

If by pessimist, you mean me, id say that I am a realist.....

...... and he is doing it for the glory and money.  He has a slightly inflated ego, just like most CEO's and other entrepreneurs, and this kind of thing, when its pulled off successfully feeds that ego.

DeVoiD

tkulogo

  • *****
  • Posts: 132
Re: Sad about distances in the universe in regard to alien life
« Reply #10 on: July 21, 2020, 08:20:39 AM »
I don't think any one has ever made a rocket company to make money. Glory sure, but not money.


DeVoiD

  • **
  • Posts: 17
Re: Sad about distances in the universe in regard to alien life
« Reply #11 on: July 21, 2020, 09:57:59 AM »
I don't think any one has ever made a rocket company to make money. Glory sure, but not money.

That's exactly what his company is doing, its on the stock exchange and its shareholders expect a profit year over year (whether we are in a recession or not).

DeVoiD

tkulogo

  • *****
  • Posts: 132
Re: Sad about distances in the universe in regard to alien life
« Reply #12 on: July 21, 2020, 10:56:45 AM »
SpaceX is privately held and not on the stock exchange. It also looks like the world first profitable private rocket company, so while it might be making money, no one really expected it to.

DeVoiD

  • **
  • Posts: 17
Re: Sad about distances in the universe in regard to alien life
« Reply #13 on: July 22, 2020, 07:29:34 AM »
Yeah, but he puts money he makes in his other businesses into SpaceX.  He cashed out a part of his stock bonuses from his other company and put that into SpaceX.

I'm sure his motivation on creating a rocket company was to get to Mars, but a part of that path was knowing if he could pull off the rocket technology, then he was very likely to get all the government contracts via NASA, to get equipment and people into space (to the ISS), and that would be some vast amounts of money, which he could plow back into the company for his end goal.

Anyway, somewhat off topic; after all its about the vast distances involved in space, and how we wont get to a habitable planet, or have "visitors" to ours. <sigh>

Hope the day is a happy one so far, for all out there.

DeVoiD

tkulogo

  • *****
  • Posts: 132
Re: Sad about distances in the universe in regard to alien life
« Reply #14 on: July 22, 2020, 08:45:43 AM »
He used money from the sale of PayPal to fund SpaceX. The sale of PayPal isn't something he wanted, but he ousted from his CEO position there 2 years before the sale. That money wasn't stock bonuses.

Are you talking about the more recent SpaceX funding rounds? I've always wondered who was making those investments. If you found that, please send me a link. I'd really like to know how much Google has been investing.