On what planet should we build the first non-Earth city?

I know. It’s sad. Depressing really. Humans will never build a city off our planet Earth.

I say this because of distances. Even if we were to find a planetary candidate, it would take hundreds or thousands or more years to go one way to visit it just to see if the candidate is really like we need, what to speak of building a city.

Distances in space are unimaginably big. Let’s say the nearest star is 4 light years away. There is no guarantee there is life over there, but to travel that 4 light years will not take 4 years, or 40 years. At the fastest speed ever achieved it would take at least 150 years each way.

Suppose we wanted to take a closer look at the Trappist-1 system, 40 light years away. It is the next best candidate for life. That would take a mere 1,500 to 2,000 years to go one way just to see if anything really was habitable, what to speak of building a city.

Sadly, this is indeed science fiction. We want it to happen, so badly, but it never will happen. At most we might leave some foot prints on Mars and send some robotic systems to the moons of Jupiter and Saturn, but that’s it. Long before our sun blows up, life on Earth will be extinguished.

Have the space missions carried out to date ended up as well as possible, and, for that reason, there haven’t fortunately been any fatalities in space?

Weird

Okay. I admit it.

I confess.

This is a weird blog. It’s my blog and I post whatever I want on it and I get, for some reason, a whole lot of traffic.

I post about weird stuff. Space. Occasionally politics. Life and death stuff. Philosophy. Linux. Weird stuff. At all times of the day.

Now I want to tell you about Cassini–Huygens. It’s an unmanned spacecraft sent to the planet Saturn. It is a Flagship-class NASA–ESA–ASI robotic spacecraft. Cassini is the fourth space probe to visit Saturn and the first to enter orbit, and its mission is ongoing as of April 2017.

That last paragraph was mostly plagiarized which I can do. Sue me.

The Moon is not as Close as you Think!

Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune could all fit in the gap between the Earth and our Moon with about 4,990 miles to spare

Think of Earth as a basketball and the moon like a tennis ball. How far would you have to place them apart to approximate the distance between the Earth and Moon? Five feet? Ten feet? Twenty feet? Nope! Further even then that! A tennis ball would then have to be about 24 feet from the basketball to be of the proper scale. Farther than most people visualize.

This is how it looks (See image). Kind of surprising. The moon looks bigger to us than that, doesn’t it? Well, no it doesn’t. Our minds eye just makes it look bigger. Hold your thumb out at arms length. The tip of your thumb at that distance more than covers the moon. Still, the moon is the biggest thing in the night sky, and it really stands out much brighter and bigger than all the stars, relatively.

Surprisingly, people really do think the Moon is closer to the Earth than it is. You can see from the photo taking a “mere trip to the Moon” is no easy task!

Here’s a statistic for you! Think how big Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune, the gas giants, are in relationship to our tiny Earth.

Yet our Moon is so far from Earth that Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune could all fit in the gap with about 4,990 miles to spare (using the average Earth-moon distance of 238,555 miles).

Solar_System_3

How Big does a Moon Have to Be?

Not very big! It would just have to be natural. Not made by man! And it wouldn’t have to be there for very long either. Just long enough for it to be in orbit.

The astronomical community doesn’t have a definition for moon other than it has to be a natural object. Thus captured asteroids can be moons. It’s even possible for a moon to have a moon!

Mars has two moons, neither of which are large enough to be round. Objects in space get round due to their own gravity. The first image above is Deimos and the second is Phobos, the Martian Moons. Deimos (top) is the smallest. It has a mean radius of 3.9 miles.

Do you think life on other planets will ever be found?

Some of my readers embrace my pessimism. Some hate it!

Finding life on other planets is the Holy Grail of science. The final punch in the age-old fight between scientists and creationists. It runs deep.

It would finally prove life can exist elsewhere. To date no proof exists.

There are candidates right here in our own solar system with some moons in orbit around Saturn and Jupiter. They are going to spend a lot of money to look. They had hope for Mars. That hope faded quickly when we realized Mars is dead.

My gut feeling is on the side of pessimism, though.