Planet X, life on other planets, cryogenic sleep until we return to Earth... but overrun by apes. It all sounds so exciting, and terrifying at the same time. However, is it even realistic? Or is it all just nonsense from Science Fiction? Before I go on a rant on all the cool things that are and could possibly be out there... let's start by trying to answer this one question: Will we ever reach another constellation?
First things first, what is a light year?
It's important to know what a light year is first because it is used to measure distance in space.
Light Year: The distance travelled by light in 365 days.
To clarify, nothing is faster than the speed of light at 300,000 kilometres per second. So now that we know what a light year is, let's take a look at the closest star to the sun.
What is the closest constellation?
Alpha Centauri is a star system of just two stars: Alpha Centauri A and Alpha Centauri B. Since these two stars are so close together, we see them as one. Together, they make the constellation known as Centaurus.
This makes Centaurus the closest constellation to the Sun at about 4.3 light years away. Long story short, this means that Alpha Centauri roughly is about 40 trillion km away from us.
How long would it take us to reach Alpha Centauri?
As of right now, our space travel has advanced to a speed of roughly 50,000 km/h. With Centaurus being 40 trillion km away, it would take 92,816 years for any spaceship from Earth to reach the closest constellation. In other words, there is no possible way that we would live long enough to see any space ship reach that far in the solar system.
What if we built a faster spaceship?
Now let us say our research and technology continues and we create a spaceship that can consistently travel at 100,000 km/h. With this new hypothetical space ship, it would still take 46,408 years. In other words, there is no conceivable way that we shall ever visit another star in our lifetime. The distances are too vast and the times are far too long. I'm sorry to be the bearer of bad news.
Space travel is just Science-Fiction.
With movies like Passengers (2016) starring Jennifer Lawrence and Chris Pratt, I use to think that space travel was within our reach and possible as soon as cryogenic sleep is perfected. However, I was very wrong. As mentioned above, the closest star is Alpha Centauri, and I don't have the patience to wait 46,408 years... even in fictional cryogenic sleep. If we can't get to Alpha Centauri, we will never find a planet X either. In other words, when we destroy this planet with pollution or this planet is harmed from other causes... we won't have another planet to go to.
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About the Author
I started blogging about two years ago and my collection of blogs and articles is getting pretty impressive. I’ve taken online classes for writing and even some classes about the art of blogging itself. It would be really awesome if you join the adventure and maybe even help me think of what to write about next. If you would like to submit some feedback or ideas, you can always tweet me on Twitter.
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A sleek look, easy operation. “Astronomy Magazine - Interactive Star Charts, Planets, Meteors, Comets, Telescopes.” Astronomy.com, www.astronomy.com/.