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mv Wrote:Consider: if an Earth-side planet is present at 40 times the distance from Sun (40AU is the averaged Pluto-Sun distance), then the length of the orbit is 1600x the length of the Earth orbit.... perhaps this would take a bit longer to clear?
That's what I was thinking too. The distances overthere are huge. The odds that two objects cross each other and collide or get stuck by gravity is minimal.
By "Blet" we mean one object every 100 million km or so...

Moreover the more distant from the sun, the slower is the orbiting movement. So it takes even longer than that.
Far from the sun orbits are less stable, and more sensible to other objects. Hence their eliptical shape.

Even if it's the size of Earth beyond the Kuyper Belt, the orbit is likely to be irregular. Not to say loose.
Something between a normal planet and a rogue planet.
Methane on Mars? Holy Cow, you know what that almost certainly means, right?

[Image: Curiosity.jpg]
Quote: you know what that almost certainly means

but of course.... it means that AGW is not the only area of science where data is routinely raped .... but then we always knew it S6
(02-08-2015, 10:13 PM)John L Wrote: [ -> ]Methane on Mars? Holy Cow,

Cow farts are migrating to Mars?
It means abiotic methan can be found near the surface. With some luck they will find abiotic oil too. S5
(02-11-2015, 05:48 PM)Fredledingue Wrote: [ -> ]Rover Oportunity rebooted after ScanDisk ran successfuly and fixed memory problems... after 10 years!


Quote:Keeping a ten-year old rover operational is an amazing feat of technical skill. The engineers have been using the RAM memory which is temporary to send instructions every few days to the rover. But each time the rover’s memory freezes, it has to reboot and that means the instructions in RAM get wiped out. So now the team on Earth is prepping to do a partial lobotomy on the rover’s seventh flash memory bank. Talk about a long distance operation. But it will be worth it if they succeed because Opportunity should then be ready to continue the mission.

I'm surprised we are able to do all this if we are so prone to intercoursing things up as badly as many would have us believe. Maybe there really is room for thinking positive. Spiteful
Interesting, this long-distance upload. Seems like a perfect target for hacker-types - and not just the Chinese, North Koreans, or Russians. What Hacker-nerd doesn't dream of inserting themselves into the Starship Enterprise (or the closest they can get to it) and make the news?
Space probe Dawn reaches Ceres
Nice pictures in perspective!
[Image: ?m=02&d=20150306&t=2&i=1030129331&w=580&...XMPEB250R6]

John, astronomy news are the last things which make me dream and show me that we, as a civilization are not totaly decadent. Overexpensive, not very efficient, very slowly progressing technologicaly, but keeping it up is already good.

WmL, maybe the rover crashed because some russian or chinese hackers tried to pirate it?
Fred, that is really nice to know, that they actually arrived and are in orbit around it. I believe Ceres is the largest dwarf planet in the asteroid belt.

Oh. and speaking of astronomy and outer space, I was listening to Beck this morning, and he made some reference to Fermi's Equation. I believe he titled it that way. I think I remembered Fermi's Paradox, but I never really paid all that much attention to studying it. I really shouldn't have because it is quite legendary, about that day he came up with it at a lunch with other physicists at Los Alamos in 1950.

Its really interesting that we haven't been visited by ETs. Unless, of course, you are a believer in UFOs, Ancient Aliens, and whatnot. And it may be possible, but there is just so much chaff, muddying things, that nobody really knows for certain.

I know I have written about this before, but somehow I just believe that "faster than light"(ftl) travel is just too energy intensive that its virtually impossible to attain. We know that as one approaches the speed of light, the object's mass builds up astronomically. It simply becomes more inefficient to boost that mass at higher acceleration, and the energy requirement would have to be continuous. And even if we ever did break the light speed barrier, the time to reach other stars are still prohibitive. Its just not practical. And if there was exploration, it would almost certainly have to be a one way trip. Expansion in the galaxy would just be too time intensive. And only a wormhole/fold-point would make it practical. But a wormhole would be pretty rare, and it would be based on gravitational attraction with another body.

I just believe that there is so much room in this solar system to support trillions of humans, and do so comfortably. Huge O'Neil Cylinders, constructed from carbon would make this totally feasible. We could have a huge harvesting system for shaking loose the Oort Cloud's comets and sending them into the inner system, so they could be caught and harvested for resources. The sky would literally be the limit.
Here's what looks to have been a very close call: 'Scholz's Star' Grazed Our Solar System 70,000 Years Ago

Quote:A dim red dwarf and its brown-dwarf companion likely grazed the outer edges of the solar system 70,000 years ago in what scientists say was the closest encounter ever between our sun and another star.

At its closest approach, the binary pair — known together as "Scholz's star" — passed by the sun at a distance of less than 1 light-year, according to a study of the binary's velocity, researchers said.

Here's the official announcement from SAAO: A neighbourhood star’s close shave with our solar system
It appears that for the first time, scientists may have located a possible "earth like" world, orbiting around another sun.

Mystery 'noise' could be an Earth-like world: Strange signals suggest habitable planet exists 22 light years away

It appears that the planet, Gliese 581d, was not discovered until last year. And now it is claimed that mysterious signals may be coming from it.

That would be very interesting, as Gliese 581 is a red dwarf M3 class star. They are quite small, and the habitable zone would have to be very close in. And the smaller the star, as with most red dwarfs, the habitable planet is much more likely to be tidally locked. In other words no rotation.

From what I have read on one or more other places, it appears that the 'K' class suns, which are a bit smaller and a bit less luminous than with 'G' stars, such as our own, are more likely to harbor life. The stars are more stable, less likely to flare periodically, and they last for billions of years longer than a 'G' class star.

JL Wrote:I know I have written about this before, but somehow I just believe that "faster than light"(ftl) travel is just too energy intensive

I think that reaching 1/100 the speed of light would be a wonderful achievement but feasible. Today our space probes travel at ± 1/3000 light speed. If we could increase the speed 30x, a probe could reach Proxima or Barnardt in 500 years.
(The Barnardt Star has also the advantage of being aligned with the Sun's eliptic, whereas the journey to Proxima is almost perpendicular. This too is important)

If we want to ever make a fly by of another star, we must think for future generations and desing probes which can survive thousands of years.

Another problem is that probes should have huge anteneas to send signals to Earth. We will have to send communication spacecrafts every 50 or 100 years to relay the signal. No transmitter would be strong enough to sent a signal as far as 5 LY away.

I also think that we should flock comets (at least one) on Earth's orbit to get essential components for space fuel and water.
Building material can be found on the Moon.

IMO, it's more urgent to work on Moon mining than traveling to Mars (where we won't do anything anyway).
The Moon is the only source of material outside of Earth, accessible with our current technologies. Only when the first lunar production unit will be operational the space exploration could go further.
We can't reasonably continue to lift everything from Earths with these huge rockets!

The problem with mining asteroids is that they are very far from Earth and when they come closer they travel too fast to be stoped or to give us the time to do anything on them. Their orbit is such that they come close to earth at very long intervals, like several decades. If we could land a mining unit on an asteroid we would have to wait for it to come back every 10 or 20 years to deliver the material...

I'm skeptical about the datas on exo-planets, especialy small ones. I don't think we are able to observe reliably planets smaller than Jupiter. These things are too far. So many things can interfers with the observations!
I'm not sure if the Webb Telescope will be able to do it... but we need to discover planets with surface gravity equal or lower but not higher than Earth's. Otherwise it will be useless for humans. Planets "twice the mass of Earth" are already of no interrest.
Fred, somewhere in the pile of threads, and posts, I once speculated on what I really thought would be the result of man's venture into space. But I have searched high and low, and cannot find it. Its probably under my nose, and I'm entering the wrong words in the 'Search' mode.

In fact, that really needs a separate thread on just that subject. In my original posts, I stated that once we manage to get out there commercially, via space elevator, asteroids will be outlawed from entering the earth's gravity well. Those that are allowed will be special circumstances and done so with the greatest caution. All it takes is for one of them to get loose and impact the planet, and we are talking about millions of lives lost, at a minimum.

Here's how I envision it. Asteroids will be either mined in place, or moved inward to the earth's LaGrange/Trojan points, where they will be harvested for usable material. Excess material will be placed in orbit in a huge pile where gravitationally it will remain in place while in stable orbit, for future use in habitats.

All harvested material will be bundled within carbon mesh and placed in a higher or lower orbit, so as to drift toward earth. If processed at L4 point, they will be moved into slightly higher orbit, and left to drift on their own and be picked up once they arrive near earth. If processed at L5 point, they will be moved into slightly lower orbit, where they too will drift on their own and also be picked up for processing.

[Image: etrojan4.gif]

All processing will be done at the moon's LaGrange points, and the finished products will be moved to the planet, or to other locations within earth's gravity well. This way, there is a smooth supply chain, and no danger of large objects crashing into earth.

That's the most logical thing we humans will follow as we colonize space. And here's another thing. Initially there will be habitats in geostationary orbit above earth, and also at the moon's LaGrange L4 and L5 points. But eventually there will be many huge habits located between geostationary earth orbit and the moon's gravity well. There can be huge numbers of very large habitats, which can accommodate billions of people. And the wealth of resources in this solar system alone could offer untold wealth to all.

I suspect the entire solar system will eventually house trillions of humans, living well, and enjoying their life in space. And travel to the other stars will be a sideline issue. It will be there, but unless we can come up with a means of traveling to them in a reasonable time, they will pretty much be on their own, and not under our direct influence. Science fiction is great reading and thinking, but even without what it discusses, humans will still be doing quite well right here, living off our own natural resources, for a long time.
Yes, Lagrange points are good places to park asteroid for mining without risking them to hit Earth by mistake (human failure).

In fact we already have at least one asteroid at L4! and other near Earth objects incuding a large one called Cruithne (no idea how to pronounce that!).

One of these rock could be use for mining, thought they are still far away for our technology. It still takes months to reach them while the Moon is only 3 days off.
But the Moon has gravity... Wikipedia talks not about travel time, but about energy spent to reach an object.
I don't know what is the most interresting energywise: The Moon or one of these asteroids...
Fred, I agree that in the beginning, humans will bring asteroids into earth's gravity well, including the moon's LaGrange points. And they will do this until the first huge incident where large numbers of earthbound people are killed. It will involve an accident, or an intentional incident. And Then this will be halted faster than a New Yawk Minute. It'll never be allowed to occur again.

That's why the earth L4 and L5 points will become the center of industry for raw materials. Inside earth's gravity well, the industry will be the production of finished goods, which get the raw materials from L4 and L5. Its just a whole lot safer for everyone. The only chance of an accident will be one of those large nets, filled with raw materials, which would be able to break up on entering the outer atmosphere, and burning up before striking the ground.

This will be a Huge issue in the future, once we establish space industries. I guarantee it.
The comet compared to L.A.
You can imagine the picture is taken one millisecond before impact...
[Image: 11147856_871577199573030_423166936840777...af8de641ef]
Something tells me that the comet in the picture is the one that the European Space Agency used for the landing experiment a few months ago. The overall shape looks like it.

However, at that point in time, it would look nothing like that. It would be melting fast, and shedding pieces like mad. In fact, it will most likely be calved into numerous pieces, with multiple impacts, like Shoemaker Levy 9 in 1994. It will still do terrible damage though. S4
Yes it's this commet, I refered to (its name is terrible because it's composed of two russian or ukrainian scientist's names. It's almost impossible to remember)

It would be perhaps extremely rare because in space everything tend to move in circular trajectories, but would the comet or asteroid also split before hiting the ground if it went straight, verticaly to the ground, instead of lateraly?
(04-11-2015, 03:31 PM)Fredledingue Wrote: [ -> ]It would be perhaps extremely rare because in space everything tend to move in circular trajectories, but would the comet or asteroid also split before hiting the ground if it went straight, verticaly to the ground, instead of lateraly?

No telling. Its composition would most likely determine that. Fortunately, they rarely enter perpendicular to the ground. Either way, it would be a giant catastrophe.
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