## How far and how big are the stars from the Earth?

We are in a galaxy with a lot of stars. It is estimated to contain 100–400 billion stars, The nearest galaxy to ours is Andromeda, but the stars within our galaxy, the Milky Way, are from about 4 light years away to about 100,000 light years away. We can see the Milky Way with the naked eye, and it looks, to the naked eye, like a light smear of milk across the night sky. You can’t see the individual stars that are far away, even within our own galaxy. In the Milky Way galaxy there are, as I said, many stars, but in our night sky we can only see about 9,096 individual stars.

## Why aren’t humans drilling into the center of the Earth?

by Wayne Boyd

I’m a hypothetical billionaire, so let’s discuss financing this project and the chances of success, what we’ll need to get it done, and so forth. Theoretically, it would seem possible.

At the south pole the earth is 12,715 and a half miles in diameter, or about 7900 miles to the center, but at the equator the diameter is 12,756.32 kilometers or 7,926.41 miles to the center. The earth is thicker at the equator and it would take a deeper hole to drill from there. We can make a drill 12.7 miles shorter if we drill from Antarctica. So let’s start drilling there.

From Antarctica, our drill will need to be 3,950.5 miles long to reach the center of the Earth. That’s 300 miles longer than the distance between New York and Paris.

To build a drill like that we’ll have to use a modular design. We’ll start with a shorter drill bit and keep making it longer as we drill deeper until it reaches 3,950.5 miles long.

The drill would need to be really thick and made of some really strong stuff to get through granite and just generally tough layers of rock. A drill tip with diamond heads is probably the way to go. As we drill down, the bit will get dull from time to time and we’ll have to pull the whole drill bit out to replace the head. That might have to be done several times a day.

Can you imagine being 2,000 miles deep at some point and have to pull the whole bit out to replace the head? Sounds like a logistic problem that might slow us down.

Eventually, at some depth or other, we’re going to encounter molten rock. In the core itself is molten iron. Our drill bit will melt. All that trouble for nothing.

It doesn’t sound practical to drill to the center-most point of the earth by drilling from anywhere.

## If I went into space with an open bottle and then sealed it, what would be inside the bottle?

by Wayne Boyd

A lot of space.

In theory, space is nothing, so the bottle will have a vacuum – an empty bottle. In reality, space is not empty, just mostly empty, so the bottle might have a molecule or two, but most likely it will have nothing.

## If the first radio signals went into space over a hundred years ago and were received by a populated world how long at 10% speed of light would it take to get a visit or attack?

by Wayne Boyd – Philosopher, blogger, published author

Well, first of all, know that, as you pointed out in your question, we’ve been broadcasting radio signals for about a hundred years or so, which creates a radio bubble around SOL, our sun, with a radius of about 100 light years. So first lets look at how many stars are within that bubble.

According to A stars within 100 light-years

there are about 76 stars of type “A” within that distance, which is not very many compared to the estimated 100 to 400 billion stars thought to be in our own Milky Way Galaxy.

Of those stars, there just aren’t that many candidates for habitable planets in orbit around them.

At present speed and existing technology we could reach the nearest star system proxima centauri in about 10,000 years, which is 4 light years away. We can assume the aliens would have similar problems. If we could go as fast as 4.5% the speed of light, about 140 times faster than any spacecraft we have yet to create, then we could reach our nearest neighbor in about 100 years.

I really don’t think you need to worry. We don’t even know if microscopic alien life exists anywhere other than Earth, and we don’t have any evidence that anything more advanced is anywhere near us in the Milky Way Galaxy. Anyone who wanted to travel hundreds of years to try to invade us would be nuts.

## How would life be for us if we were to colonize a super-Earth, assuming the planet is not too far from ours?

by Wayne Boyd – Philosopher, blogger, published author

I don’t know why I’d want to move over to that planet. I’d rather keep working to make things better on this planet. Also, I imagine it might be pretty expensive to move, then I have to buy some land and a house over there, make new friends, and so on. Too much trouble for me.

So to answer your question “How would life be for us if we were to colonize a super-Earth” I would think some people would migrate over there and some people or most people would stay here. I mean, people already have their lives set up here, why move over there?

## How big is the Moon compared to the Sun and Earth?

by Wayne Boyd

This is an interesting question. I’m going to answer it with illustrations.

In answer to “How big is the Moon compared to the Sun and Earth?” I’m going to give you some illustrations that will put all of this into perspective. First, let’s look at a comparison of our Moon with Pluto and other dwarf planets in our solar system. Here’s a picture to illustrate.

So here you can see our Moon is quite large! In fact, it’s so large, it’s bigger than all of the known dwarf planets in our solar system, including Pluto!

Even though the Moon is bigger than Pluto, it’s not big compared to Earth. Here’s the comparison of that.

So the moon is relatively small compared to our big Earth. But when you bring the Sun into the mix, then you have to understand that Earth itself is not very big. In fact, the Sun is so big it dwarfs even Jupiter. Here’s the image of that comparison:

So to sum up, our Moon is big compared to Pluto and other dwarf planets in our solar system, but small compared to Earth. Earth itself is like a pebble of sand compared to the size of our Sun. Fortunately for us, the sun is also a long way away, and therefore looms the same relative size as the Moon in our sky.

I hope that sheds some light on the subject! Thanks for asking a cool question.

## Is anybody out there?

In fact, had a giant asteroid not killed off the dinosaurs, homo sapiens might never have evolved. If it weren’t for that chance cataclysmic encounter from space, Earth might even now be ruled by dinosaurs.

By Wayne Boyd

In the early days of Hollywood and television, we used to think that life on other planets was common. Science fiction movies about invasions from the planet Mars or Venus were normal. HG Wells wrote War of the Worlds which later became a radio show and still later several big screen adaptations and it was about Martians invading Earth.

Even as our imagination thrived our knowledge of the cosmos grew. We sent probes and rovers throughout the solar system and beyond. We gazed into the stars with our space telescopes. We took images from non-visible light and radio waves. Great minds like Einstein and Hawking churned it over. Finally, after all that, we came to a startling if not disappointing realization: Planets other than Earth that support life, if they exist at all, appear to be the exception rather than the rule. There is no warmongering Martian civilization waiting to invade Earth. There are no lovely ladies lounging around on Venus. It’s true not only for our own solar system, but for all the exoplanets we’ve detected so far.

Our understanding of distances in space developed, especially between stars. Distances, it turned out, were vast. The more we knew the less likely it seemed anyone would go star hopping. That not only applies to us, but the aliens as well, if any extraterrestrial sentient beings exist at all! There will be no warp drives, no faster than light travel, and no light speed travel. It just isn’t possible. We can’t go there and they can’t come here.

Recently, there’s been some reports of UFOs in the news, and that’s always been there from the 1950s on. There is no evidence that unidentified flying objects are extraterrestrial in origin. It is unlikely for the simple reason that to travel from one star to the next would take tens of thousands of years. Sadly, and perhaps fortunately, no one is traveling from star to star. The best we can hope for is that we can visit other planets in our own solar system. Maybe one of them might at least have some microbes.

Once we figured out that there wasn’t much chance of advanced, intelligent life elsewhere within our own solar system, then we hoped we would find it on planets around other stars. Remember the movie Avatar? Supposedly that took place around Alpha Centauri, one of our closest group of stars. So if we can’t find life here then for sure it’s going to be on the closest star!

Yet, as we peered into the solar systems of other stars we came to a new understanding: most planets that we’re able to detect outside of our own solar system are hostile environments. There’s something weird about almost all of them, and so the prospect of finding life orbiting on a planet near our closest star is kind of unlikely. There’s no “Avatar” on Alpha Centauri.

Intelligent alien life is not impossible. The universe is a big place. The point is that we now know it to be rare. So rare, in fact, that it might exist nowhere other than here. At least as far as we can see so far.

In fact, had a giant asteroid not killed off the dinosaurs, homo sapiens might never have evolved. If it weren’t for that chance cataclysmic encounter from space, Earth might even now be ruled by dinosaurs.

Therefore, even if a planet were in an ideal goldilocks region around it’s star, and even if on the off chance single cell organisms had developed there, we have no reason to suspect that a homo-erectus kind of being might have developed there.

We really could be the only ones out there.

## How would humanity react if there was a giant drawing of Pluto the dog on Pluto the dwarf planet? Would people pay much attention?

Probably! Especially since Pluto was not named after the dog Pluto, but after the Roman god of death, Pluto, since it was farthest from the sun and therefore considered to be very cold. Pluto used to be considered a planet, rather than a dwarf planet, and historically the planets were named after Greek Gods.

As for Pluto and dogs, Pluto has a few moons, one of which is named after a dog. Kerberos is named after the multi headed dog who is supposedly guarding the entrance to the underworld (in Greek mythology).

Here’s Pluto and it’s moons.

## Is the Coronavirus Keeping “Us” Home?

Is staying at home an option only for the elite?

Even while newscasters claim the coronavirus is “keeping us home,” millions of people are not able to stay home at all. Staying at home has become the norm for the privileged, not for the practical working man or woman.

Those staying at home can often work by computer or phone, or are sick. Not everyone is privileged to have that freedom in order to make a living.

While fortunate folks are able to stay at home, others are not. To those that are not able to stay at home, those that claim the coronavirus is keeping us home seem like an elite and privileged group.