Comet, Space and You

Hats Off to the ESA folks!

So we landed a man made device, a probe if you will on a comet. The probe or “lander,” Philea was named after an Obelisk found in the Nile some years ago.  The reports are that it bounced upon impact.

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The comet traveling at over 41K miles per hour was a moving target to say the least.

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The mission is to learn more about comet and the creation of the universe. The mission is already a huge success in that the ESA was able to launch a spacecraft, negotiate several gravity assist from different planets, the earth 3 times as the matter of fact and I think Jupiter just to get the thing going fast enough to reach the comet.  Not only did they reach it, they had the day planned “November 12th” as when they would land the probe.

Many of you have no idea how huge this is and why this is important. If this comet had been going to hit the earth; it would be a life-ender, period.  Game Over…!

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 That is what it would look like if we could just set it on LA.

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As a perpetual geek, I like this example better, who know a Borg Cube was that big?

We need to be pouring resources into these types of projects as one day we may very well need to deflect one of these bad boys and it would be nice to know that we can do it.  The first step of course is; can we even get to one.

As a science fiction writer I often wonder why it has taken this long to try this sort of thing.  Could it be that we are pissing away too many of our resources on those that refuse to work or those that want a war with anyone for anything?

You can’t really blame the technology, as the technology that landed man on the moon was less than what you have in your calculator, much less your smart phone.

Most of you have no idea where we are in this galaxy?

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Let me shed some light on space travel for you.  I won’t use math so, just read along.

As you sit there at your computer reading this, you are currently spinning around the outside of this globe at 1000 mph.  The reason you have night and day is because the globe has a rotational velocity of 1,000 MPH or for my Non-American or metric friends that is a RV of .47 km/sec.

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Now as you are rotating along blissfully unaware of it, you are also orbiting the sun at a whopping 67,000 MPH or 29.8km/sec!

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Celestial mechanics fascinate me.   It requires some out of the box thinking.

So let me throw in a few more fun facts for you.

Not only are you happily moving at 1000 mph as well 67,000 mph you are also moving in other ways.

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Notice that fuzzy little blob of light at the bottom of the photo.

You see, the Milky Way is also in motion.  We are located in one of the arms of the milky way that has a RV of 600,000 mph!

Our current position in our rotation of this arm of the milky last time was 225 million years ago. The last time we were here, Dinosaurs were just making the scene.

If that is not enough to expand your thinking, let me add one more fun fact for you.

Scientist calculate that one day, 4 billion years from now our nearest galaxy; Andromeda will be paying us a visit..  Through the Hubble we have seen other galaxies in some sort of dance as they re-establish themselves into a cohesive galaxy, so we know that it happens.

According to those who know, Andromeda is making an approach to the Milky Way at 110km/sec or roughly 247,000,000 mph.  My thoughts on this are that Andromeda is not the only galaxy in motion here.  My thoughts are that we too are in motion; which adds yet another movement to your “space motion.”  For sake of argument lets assume that the speed that Andromeda is headed here is half its and half ours.  That would mean on your Y axis you would be moving 123,500,000 MPH.

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I think that would also tie up the loose ends about the red-shifting and blue-shifting expanding shrinking universe questions.  Blue shifting, we are moving toward it, red away…That simple.

If you go back and look at the traditional picture of the solar system and instead of looking down on it imagine you are looking at the sun in the solar plane, the earth and all of the other “stuff” that is orbiting the sun is being dragged on the Y axis as well as the X axis.  All of the orbits make perfect sense to me.  The Y axis begs the question “why?”

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What form of gravity is large enough to drag galaxies around?  Are they being dragged or pushed?

There is also of course this whole space time thing that muddies the water.  If time is relative, does our velocity through space in all of these different directions have anything to do with it?  Time and Gravity are the enigmas, and I believe tied together in major ways.

So if my musings interests you, please let me know.  If you pass along my thoughts please give me credit for them.  Link this page or what have you.  Science fiction “what I like to write,” interest me in that a lot of it turns into science fact.

-Best

c Copyright all rights reserved 11/2014

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