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Space. The ultimate hurdle?


I’m starting to get worried. I don’t think the dreams of some to explore space will ever occur.

Space, it seems, is destined to be the ultimate final frontier. And one that may remain out of our reach.

Oh don’t get me wrong. I am not expecting us to get to colonising the solar system in the next 10,000 years let alone take the big hop to the next star. And yes I am assuming that we somehow find someway to travel close to the speed of light without getting flattened into time.

But even if we discover all these wonderful sci fi inventions, there is another problem.

Space is expanding.

I better clarify that. What astronomers mean by this is the distances between solar systems and galaxies is expanding. Now this creates a huge problem. You see, when we look out into the night skies, the stars we see are like looking back in time. The whole speed of light thing.

So if a star is say 10 million  light years away, that is actually the time it has taken for light to reach us. If the distance between us remained constant, theoretically, one could use some sci fi like spaceship to travel at warp speed or whatever to get there.

But if space is expanding, the star we originally planned to arrive at won’t be there. It would have moved. Sure we can sit down and try and work out where the star system maybe by the time we get there and aim the ship at that spot, but space is not only  growing out but up and down and forwards and backwards all at the same time.

On top of that you got to work out all the gravitation pulls, if any, other galaxies have on each other as space actually continues to grow.

Further, you then have to calculate where the earth would be if you every wanted to go back.

Ironically, they may actually be able to do this; create modelling that would help us try and figure out where and how space may decide to grow by smashing two particles together and watching what you get.

And what you get is hot. Damn hot.

Physicists using the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) at CERN, the European Centre for Nuclear Research, smashed heavy lead ions together at close to the speed of light, generating temperatures of more than 1.6 trillion degrees Celsius, a hundred thousand times hotter than the centre of the Sun.

But you don’t just get the heat of a mini big bang. You get the symmetry and beauty of physics.

This is what happens when you collide two particles together. A massive eruption of physics in time and space.

So what you say? I mean its only a particle. Well. You might be interested in seeing a picture of the known universe.

Of course the picture in from CERN is something that is a few milliseconds old and very small. And the picture of the universe is about 13 billion years old and is a lot larger, but I think you can see a family resemblance.

Space is just so damn… spacey. And big. Really really big.

Okay. Doesn’t matter! If I got a chance I would take it!

Mind you traversing the solar system is going to take time and attempting to go further is going to mean it sure will take a longer time.

Damn. I sure hope space travel is not boring.

A. Ghebranious 2011 (All Rights Reserved)

From → Science

One Comment
  1. Jennifer Baratta permalink

    Well said Ash as the US space program winds down we wonder how wil we get into space. I hope we find out before we have to leave earth to make room for people.

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