Tag: comet

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

Asteroids and Meteors Oh My!

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As a writer of science fiction, I was rather amused by the media trying to get “science savvy” calling on “experts” to explain the events of the last day or so.

The one theme that was consistent with all of the explanations was that the meteorite in Russia was not connected to DA14.

One writer pulled out her “slide rule” and gave us a lesson in probabilities and statistics leaving us empirical evidence that the Russian meteorite was simply a coincidence.

A small light show in the middle of the night, I would have bought as one can go out and watch the stars and on most any given night see a “falling star” or two.

When we have an event like the one in Russia at the same time that we have a huge rock flying by earth at a mere 17,000 miles away; I find that hard to stomach that it is a “coincidence.”  I was willing however to let it go as this is their field of expertise.

Last night the 15th of February we had another event similar in nature happen over San Francisco.   The reporter with a minor in math will most probably need to revisit her table of mantissa, as statistically speaking; the odds of these events having nothing to do with DA14, just went astronomical (pardon the pun).

We need to look at how these rocks are formed in the first place.  Exactly like this planet that we call home, they were first formed from “dust.”  Static electricity is most likely the cause of the first clumping of dust until the clumps became large enough to have some sort of gravity, even micro gravity.

In the scheme of things, speaking in an astronomical time frame, we have rocks, than we have larger rocks.  Those rocks now have substantial gravity and they pull in even more “stuff” until they are the size of planets.

Not all rocks make planets but because of gravity anything in orbit around another spatial body is in fact falling.  The planet we are on is falling; as well as the other planets in our solar system.  Because of the speed and the angle of our “fall” we are instead in orbit around the sun as the moon is in orbit around us.

Rocks in space are falling as well.  Many in fact are in an orbit between mars and Jupiter in the asteroid belt known as “the main belt.”  Within this region of space reside many such rocks and even some dwarf planets.  There is another belt called the Kuiper belt which Pluto resides in.

These rocks and planets all have gravity and every now and then some event happens to cause one to fall or be knocked out of its orbit.  As there is nothing to offer resistance to such a rock it does not take long to pick up quit a bit of velocity on its way toward the sun.

My theory is that these rocks with their own gravity carry other smaller rocks with them that may very well have been in some sort of orbit around them.  I think that is what we experienced this February.  I believe that DA14 had some “friends” that it carried with it on its way towards the sun, and that is what came in to our atmosphere over Russia and San Francisco.  There may have been more that hit us that we don’t know about.  ¾ of our globe is uninhabited as it is covered with water. There is no stellar detection grid “yet” so we really have no idea if there were more or not.  When statistics do not make sense, you need to look for another answer.

There is an upside to this.  If my theory is right, this gives credibility to the “tractor” scenario of adjusting the orbit of other spatial bodies.  If those other rocks were indeed in orbit around or gravitationally attached to DA14, a moving larger rock, then we can and should proceed to figure out how to build such a tractor, and test it; as it is simply a matter of time when another life ending event such as the rock that killed the dinosaurs will happen again.

-Best to you and those that you care about.