Interstellar travel

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Chris Peterson
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Re: Interstellar travel

Post by Chris Peterson » Sat Dec 12, 2020 4:05 pm

Ann wrote:
Sat Dec 12, 2020 5:37 am
TommyJ wrote:
Thu Dec 10, 2020 12:23 pm

It looks like we are in for the most active phase in the development of space technologies in the near future. Which will lead to new solutions to the problem you described
It is utterly impossible for human beings to even begin to grasp the reality of the vastness of space.
I disagree. If you work regularly with such distances, it becomes quite comfortable to grasp them. I think the problem comes from trying to compare them to everyday distances. You will never understand light years if you frame them as a trillion times the distance to the supermarket. The trick is to learn to simply treat them as light years.
Chris

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Ann
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Re: Interstellar travel

Post by Ann » Sat Dec 12, 2020 8:16 pm

Chris Peterson wrote:
Sat Dec 12, 2020 4:05 pm
Ann wrote:
Sat Dec 12, 2020 5:37 am
TommyJ wrote:
Thu Dec 10, 2020 12:23 pm

It looks like we are in for the most active phase in the development of space technologies in the near future. Which will lead to new solutions to the problem you described
It is utterly impossible for human beings to even begin to grasp the reality of the vastness of space.
I disagree. If you work regularly with such distances, it becomes quite comfortable to grasp them. I think the problem comes from trying to compare them to everyday distances. You will never understand light years if you frame them as a trillion times the distance to the supermarket. The trick is to learn to simply treat them as light years.
I wholeheartedly agree, Chris. I meant that people who think it is going to be easy, or at least quite feasible, for human beings to travel to other stars should try to compare the distance to Alpha Centauri with the distance to, if not the supermarket, at least the distance to Pluto.

I think that people who believe it is going to be an exciting adventure to send humans to other solar systems have seen too much science fiction. I also think that many of them vastly underestimate the true distances between stars in our part of the galaxy.

I suspect that many of these optimists somehow compare the crossing of oceans back in the day with future manned missions to other stars. My point is that these things are not comparable at all.

Ann
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Chris Peterson
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Re: Interstellar travel

Post by Chris Peterson » Sat Dec 12, 2020 8:24 pm

Ann wrote:
Sat Dec 12, 2020 8:16 pm
Chris Peterson wrote:
Sat Dec 12, 2020 4:05 pm
Ann wrote:
Sat Dec 12, 2020 5:37 am


It is utterly impossible for human beings to even begin to grasp the reality of the vastness of space.
I disagree. If you work regularly with such distances, it becomes quite comfortable to grasp them. I think the problem comes from trying to compare them to everyday distances. You will never understand light years if you frame them as a trillion times the distance to the supermarket. The trick is to learn to simply treat them as light years.
I wholeheartedly agree, Chris. I meant that people who think it is going to be easy, or at least quite feasible, for human beings to travel to other stars should try to compare the distance to Alpha Centauri with the distance to, if not the supermarket, at least the distance to Pluto.

I think that people who believe it is going to be an exciting adventure to send humans to other solar systems have seen too much science fiction. I also think that many of them vastly underestimate the true distances between stars in our part of the galaxy.

I suspect that many of these optimists somehow compare the crossing of oceans back in the day with future manned missions to other stars. My point is that these things are not comparable at all.

Ann
Yes. It's not that we can't grasp the distances involved, it's that most people don't.
Chris

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Re: Interstellar travel

Post by TommyJ » Mon Dec 14, 2020 11:11 am

Ann wrote:
Sat Dec 12, 2020 5:37 am
TommyJ wrote:
Thu Dec 10, 2020 12:23 pm

It looks like we are in for the most active phase in the development of space technologies in the near future. Which will lead to new solutions to the problem you described
It is utterly impossible for human beings to even begin to grasp the reality of the vastness of space.

It is impossible for the human mind to fully grasp even the true distance to the nearest star system from our own, Alpha Centauri.

I'm not sure that it is humanly possible to fully grasp the distance to Pluto.

I challenge you to have a try. Click on the link below, find the scroll function and start scrolling right. Don't give up until you get to Pluto.

https://joshworth.com/dev/pixelspace/pi ... ystem.html

When you have reached Pluto (it will take you some time, and please make sure you don't miss any of the other planets while you're scrolling), then try to mentally prepare yourself for the trip to Alpha Centauri.

Let's compare the distance to Pluto with the distance to Alpha Centauri. For simplicity's sake, let's use quite round figures. The average distance to Pluto is a little less than four and a half light-hours. That is to say, on average it takes light a little less than four and a half hours to go from the Sun to Pluto.

It takes light about 4.367 years to go from the Sun to Alpha Centauri (or vice versa). So the distance to Alpha Centauri is approximately as long in light-years as the distance to Pluto is in light-hours. And in view of the fact that there are 8 765.81277 hours in a year, we can say that the distance to Alpha Centauri is ~8,000 times longer than the distance to Pluto.

Did you click on the link I gave you, and did you scroll all the way to Pluto?

Good. Now do the same thing all over 8,000 times, and you have begun to sort of grasp the distance to Alpha Centauri.

You have begun to sort of grasp it. Remember that in that link, the size of the Moon is one pixel. So to fully grasp the distance to Alpha Centauri, you have to multiply the 8,000 scrollings to Pluto with the factor it would take to cover the true size of the disk of the Moon with dots the size of one pixel.

Ann

Everything is possible. Especially what you can imagine. And the fact that you cannot imagine someone else could already imagine.
There are enough people on the planet who can think in terms of a city, country, continent, planet, solar system, galaxy, and even the universe. The fact that not everyone has such a scale of thinking does not mean anything.
As long as we have dreamers, inventors, scientists, and fanatics of their business, we can hope that one of them will think of a better way to do what most now seem to be impossible.
Once upon a time people thought that the Earth stands on three whales))

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Re: Interstellar travel

Post by Chris Peterson » Mon Dec 14, 2020 1:29 pm

TommyJ wrote:
Mon Dec 14, 2020 11:11 am
Everything is possible. Especially what you can imagine.
Well, no. And no.
Chris

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Re: Interstellar travel

Post by TommyJ » Tue Dec 15, 2020 9:35 am

Apparently, for some reason, I stuck in a conversation with a man whose imagination is only enough to eat food prepared by devices that someone with a not so limited imagination invented, put on clothes made on other inventions of dreamers, get into the car that people invented, who in their time were called eccentrics, go to an office invented by other people, work on other inventions of dreamers and come back. But thinking, imagining, comparing the size of progress in a short period of time - no ...

Da Vinci designed a helicopter and a parachute 5 centuries ago. Jules Verne predicted submarines long before they appeared.
The story of the Titanic in the book was described several years before the incident. These facts are unlikely to be able to tell you about the infinity of human intelligence, right?

Here is an example closer to the modern world. The guys from the Skyrora team. They were able to build a space company from scratch to launch satellites into orbit and cargo to the ISS in 3 years.

(https://www.skyrora.com/blog/satellites)

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Ann
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Re: Interstellar travel

Post by Ann » Tue Dec 15, 2020 10:12 am

TommyJ wrote:
Tue Dec 15, 2020 9:35 am
Apparently, for some reason, I stuck in a conversation with a man whose imagination is only enough to eat food prepared by devices that someone with a not so limited imagination invented, put on clothes made on other inventions of dreamers, get into the car that people invented, who in their time were called eccentrics, go to an office invented by other people, work on other inventions of dreamers and come back. But thinking, imagining, comparing the size of progress in a short period of time - no ...

Da Vinci designed a helicopter and a parachute 5 centuries ago. Jules Verne predicted submarines long before they appeared.
The story of the Titanic in the book was described several years before the incident. These facts are unlikely to be able to tell you about the infinity of human intelligence, right?

Here is an example closer to the modern world. The guys from the Skyrora team. They were able to build a space company from scratch to launch satellites into orbit and cargo to the ISS in 3 years.

(https://www.skyrora.com/blog/satellites)
Human ingenuity is perfectly capable of building spacecraft suitable for launching humans into low orbit around the Earth.

Indeed, humanity is also able to send people to the Moon. The United States of America sent twelve men to the Moon and brought them back safely in the late sixties and early seventies. And it may well prove possible to send humans safely to Mars, although it may not be possible to bring them back safely again.

But you are talking about sending humans to other solar systems. And you suggest we do so because it is possible to imagine doing so.

I think your ability to imagine things is somewhat limited, because you are probably incapable of even beginning to imagine the true vastness of space. I also think that you are unfamiliar with Einstein's theory of relativity, which has passed every test it has been put through with flying colors ever since Einstein first proposed it some 100 years ago. And Einstein's theory of relativity forbids objects made of matter, such as spacecraft and people, to travel faster than - or even as fast as - light.

Did you open the link I sent you, and did you scroll all the way to Pluto?

https://joshworth.com/dev/pixelspace/pi ... ystem.html

Ann
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Re: Interstellar travel

Post by KayBur » Tue Dec 15, 2020 1:26 pm

Hmm, and if we consider such travel not in terms of speed, but considering the possibility of artificial sleep? Decades can pass on Earth, and the days of sleeping people are like a day. Of course, this is also science fiction today. But who knows what might be possible in 30-50 years?

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Re: Interstellar travel

Post by neufer » Tue Dec 15, 2020 2:25 pm

Click to play embedded YouTube video.
KayBur wrote:
Tue Dec 15, 2020 1:26 pm

Of course, this is also science fiction today.

But who knows what might be possible in 30-50 years?
When man landed on the Moon 50 years ago everyone thought there would be thriving colonies on Mars by now.

(Instead, Rice can't even play Texas ...
without first injecting bleach & artificial lights.)
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Re: Interstellar travel

Post by Chris Peterson » Tue Dec 15, 2020 2:37 pm

KayBur wrote:
Tue Dec 15, 2020 1:26 pm
Hmm, and if we consider such travel not in terms of speed, but considering the possibility of artificial sleep? Decades can pass on Earth, and the days of sleeping people are like a day. Of course, this is also science fiction today. But who knows what might be possible in 30-50 years?
It's not really about what is possible, but about what is probable. It is not part of our culture or constitution to think in terms longer than a few years, perhaps a lifetime at most. Any possible mechanism for traveling between stars requires thinking in terms of millennia. Combine that with the massive resources that would be required, and there's simply no way this will happen, unless we become so different from our current selves that "human" may no longer apply.
Chris

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Re: Interstellar travel

Post by Fred the Cat » Wed Dec 16, 2020 2:19 am

The need to explore seems imbedded in our species. What happens when the boundaries are no longer conquerable? It makes me think that’s why our imagination will continue to dream despite impracticability. :ssmile:
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Re: Interstellar travel

Post by Chris Peterson » Wed Dec 16, 2020 1:44 pm

Fred the Cat wrote:
Wed Dec 16, 2020 2:19 am
The need to explore seems imbedded in our species. What happens when the boundaries are no longer conquerable? It makes me think that’s why our imagination will continue to dream despite impracticability. :ssmile:
We're not exactly running out of opportunities to explore locally!
Chris

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Re: Interstellar travel

Post by neufer » Wed Dec 16, 2020 2:13 pm

Chris Peterson wrote:
Wed Dec 16, 2020 1:44 pm
Fred the Cat wrote:
Wed Dec 16, 2020 2:19 am

The need to explore seems imbedded in our species. What happens when the boundaries are no longer conquerable? It makes me think that’s why our imagination will continue to dream despite impracticability. :ssmile:
We're not exactly running out of opportunities to explore locally!
"Think galactically, explore locally"
Art Neuendorffer

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Re: Interstellar travel

Post by TommyJ » Wed Dec 16, 2020 2:57 pm

Ann wrote:
Tue Dec 15, 2020 10:12 am
TommyJ wrote:
Tue Dec 15, 2020 9:35 am
Apparently, for some reason, I stuck in a conversation with a man whose imagination is only enough to eat food prepared by devices that someone with a not so limited imagination invented, put on clothes made on other inventions of dreamers, get into the car that people invented, who in their time were called eccentrics, go to an office invented by other people, work on other inventions of dreamers and come back. But thinking, imagining, comparing the size of progress in a short period of time - no ...

Da Vinci designed a helicopter and a parachute 5 centuries ago. Jules Verne predicted submarines long before they appeared.
The story of the Titanic in the book was described several years before the incident. These facts are unlikely to be able to tell you about the infinity of human intelligence, right?

Here is an example closer to the modern world. The guys from the Skyrora team. They were able to build a space company from scratch to launch satellites into orbit and cargo to the ISS in 3 years.

(https://www.skyrora.com/blog/satellites)
Human ingenuity is perfectly capable of building spacecraft suitable for launching humans into low orbit around the Earth.

Indeed, humanity is also able to send people to the Moon. The United States of America sent twelve men to the Moon and brought them back safely in the late sixties and early seventies. And it may well prove possible to send humans safely to Mars, although it may not be possible to bring them back safely again.

But you are talking about sending humans to other solar systems. And you suggest we do so because it is possible to imagine doing so.

I think your ability to imagine things is somewhat limited, because you are probably incapable of even beginning to imagine the true vastness of space. I also think that you are unfamiliar with Einstein's theory of relativity, which has passed every test it has been put through with flying colors ever since Einstein first proposed it some 100 years ago. And Einstein's theory of relativity forbids objects made of matter, such as spacecraft and people, to travel faster than - or even as fast as - light.

Did you open the link I sent you, and did you scroll all the way to Pluto?

https://joshworth.com/dev/pixelspace/pi ... ystem.html

Ann

100 years is not enough to test a theory. Taking into account the very beginning of the intensive development of human science. Also, the theory of relativity doesn't really stand the test of time. We are still far from creating a unified theory that can explain the universe. Now, these theories are more like crutches for our brains. First, the theory of relativity.

Second: theory of quantum entanglement. Third: the theory of the multiverse.

You think in terms of the theories currently available. Most of whom were perceived as completely delusional at the beginning of their journey. I try not to limit my imagination to the currently available theories. We will be shocked how much theories will change even in the next 100 years. Not to mention the longer terms.

So, I didn't want this conversation.

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Re: Interstellar travel

Post by Chris Peterson » Wed Dec 16, 2020 3:09 pm

TommyJ wrote:
Wed Dec 16, 2020 2:57 pm
100 years is not enough to test a theory.
Yes, it is.
Also, the theory of relativity doesn't really stand the test of time.
Yes, it does.
We are still far from creating a unified theory that can explain the universe.
Assuming there even is a unified theory, it isn't going to invalidate general relativity.
Second: theory of quantum entanglement.
What about it? Entanglement isn't a theory, it is an observation which is explained by theories of QM. And it applies to particles, not to anything else. It is irrelevant to interstellar travel.
Third: the theory of the multiverse.
Hypotheses would would better describe these ideas. And again, irrelevant to interstellar travel.
You think in terms of the theories currently available.
As we should. Especially given the great strength of most of those theories.
We will be shocked how much theories will change even in the next 100 years.
Very unlikely that we'll see any of our major scientific theories change very much.

You are dangerously close to stepping into this forum's forbidden realm of pseudoscience.
Chris

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Re: Interstellar travel

Post by KayBur » Thu Jan 14, 2021 11:14 am

Chris Peterson wrote:
Tue Dec 15, 2020 2:37 pm
KayBur wrote:
Tue Dec 15, 2020 1:26 pm
Hmm, and if we consider such travel not in terms of speed, but considering the possibility of artificial sleep? Decades can pass on Earth, and the days of sleeping people are like a day. Of course, this is also science fiction today. But who knows what might be possible in 30-50 years?
It's not really about what is possible, but about what is probable. It is not part of our culture or constitution to think in terms longer than a few years, perhaps a lifetime at most. Any possible mechanism for traveling between stars requires thinking in terms of millennia. Combine that with the massive resources that would be required, and there's simply no way this will happen, unless we become so different from our current selves that "human" may no longer apply.
This is an interesting argument. But sometimes you want to dream about something unreal, fantastic. After all, many fantastic things have already become reality. Of course, we still need to progress for a very long time to some things, but if we do not dream, go beyond the ordinary, then there will be no progress.