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Proxima Centauri - Possible Earth like planet found

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posted on Aug, 19 2016 @ 10:56 PM
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So close, and yet so far.

There might well be a civilisation of intelligent beings there, but they might not hear us, and we can't hear them, at least yet. ... Or it could be inhabited by semi-sentient fungus and mind worms.

Time to make Sid Meier's Alpha Centauri a reality. They could even name this planet Chiron.




posted on Aug, 20 2016 @ 04:23 AM
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a reply to: OneGoal

Wonderful news and all that, but please: it isn’t


Hawking's solar sail.


Konstantin Tsiolkovsky first proposed using the pressure of sunlight to propel spacecraft through space and suggested, ‘using tremendous mirrors of very thin sheets to utilize the pressure of sunlight to attain cosmic velocities.’ Friedrich Zander (Tsander) published a technical paper in 1925 that included technical analysis of solar sailing. Zander wrote of "using tremendous mirrors of very thin sheets" and "using the pressure of sunlight to attain cosmic velocities".

I read a science-fiction story about solar sails in 1975. Stephen Hawking was just an ankle-biter then.


edit on 20/8/16 by Astyanax because: I do.



posted on Aug, 20 2016 @ 04:51 AM
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As long as its not LV426......

How ironic if we launch a probe in the next 10 years or so, that will take 100 years to travel there.

In the mean time, say in the next 50 years, we discover Warp drive or Magnetic superhighways, that can get us there in 12 Earth months......and we effectively Pass our little probe, we sent 50 years earlier..........

I know, I know...too much Start Trek and every other SiFi of the past 100 years......

Still, if you believe some threads from "Insiders" we already have the Naval Space Command, and have been travelling to the Stars for years........



posted on Aug, 20 2016 @ 07:42 AM
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a reply to: Astyanax

Suppose the size of the sail would depend on different factors but lets face it said sail would be very fragile. Could it really stand up to the journey time while remaining intact and/or functional?

I imagine any stellar debris or other particular matter it may encounter in journey or at such velocity would rip the thing apart, just as it probably would the any ship it is attached to.

We need some form of shielding both magnetic and conventional that can deflect and retard any incoming matter before we are ready to undertake such a journey not to mention a robust propulsion system that sustains a significant percentage of light speed.



posted on Aug, 20 2016 @ 11:20 AM
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Once you're travelling at a reasonable fraction of the speed of light, an impact with any type of matter is going to result in the loss of a spacecraft, unless that craft has (as you note) massive conventional and magnetic shielding. Shielding of the conventional type would be very heavy; magnetic shielding doesn't exist yet, might be fairly massive as well, and would probably have fairly high power requirements.

One of the benefits of a light sail/solar sail type craft is that it would be relatively low-mass and relatively low-cost. If the craft is boosted by lasers, like the proposed Breakthrough Starshot probe, the most expensive bits are the lasers, which stay in Earth orbit and can be used to boost other sail ships through the solar system or on other interstellar missions.

Sure, the sails are delicate, but by being low-mass and low-cost, you can launch large numbers of them, which increases the odds that a few will arrive in the target system successfully.



posted on Aug, 20 2016 @ 12:55 PM
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a reply to: PhloydPhan

Actually the closer you get to c, the more impingent photons get blueshifted up in fequency so your solar yacht will be sailing through a perfect storm of gamma particles. Not good for the human crew.

And of course any actual dust grains would explode against the sail with kiloton force.


edit on 20/8/16 by Astyanax because: of my slower than light brainpower.



posted on Aug, 20 2016 @ 01:02 PM
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a reply to: gort51

There's an SF story about that too. Can't remember the author or title. Maybe Poul Anderson. Too lazy to google.



posted on Aug, 20 2016 @ 01:08 PM
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a reply to: PhloydPhan

Low mass yes. Low cost definitely not.

Check out the engineering requirements. A membrane just a couple of molecules thick would still have to have the area of Manhattan to carry a decent payload. Keeping it stiff is a design requirement well beyond our current tech to meet. The thing will probably cost, like, $10,000 a square foot by the time that is perfected.

Actual figures extracted from where the sun don't shine, but you get the picture.



posted on Aug, 20 2016 @ 03:53 PM
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a reply to: Astyanax

I don't think anyone is suggesting sending a manned spacecraft to Proxima Centauri or anywhere else. Radiation issues aside, any manned craft would be far too massive for this kind of propulsion. I was talking about solar sails/light sails in reference to Breakthrough Starshot, which both OccamsRazor04 and I referenced on the first page of this thread. It proposes to send a series of unmanned probes to Alpha Centauri (not Proxima, but the same neighborhood) using a laser-boosted light sail.

As for cost, I said that solar sails/light sails would be relatively low cost interstellar probes. Compared to any science space science mission conducted so far, they'd be quite expensive when compared with anything but the Apollo program. However, compared to any other type of realistic near-future interstellar propulsion system, like the nuclear Orion pulse engine, which would require a spacecraft the size of a naval vessel and would make even Apollo seem cheap.



posted on Aug, 20 2016 @ 11:01 PM
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a reply to: PhloydPhan

Oh, I don't believe any meaningful kind of of interstellar travel will ever be possible.



posted on Aug, 20 2016 @ 11:20 PM
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a reply to: Astyanax

I disagree. I just don't think it'll be the intergalactic society building kind with warp drives and stuff, but...

I think self contained Space Arks will be feasible in the future. Instead of creating an intergalactic society we'll be colonizing new places, terraforming planets, etc.

Each new planet/moon will be effectively isolated from the rest. Eventually we'll run into colonies of ourselves, may not even recognize ourselves by then.

Of course, when you take a Space Ark somewhere, turning around or going somewhere else is no small demand. So ending up somewhere inhabited even by ourselves becomes a very complicated scenario...



posted on Aug, 20 2016 @ 11:30 PM
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a reply to: Puppylove


I think self contained Space Arks will be feasible in the future.

By the time the Space Ark reaches its destination, the crew would have reverted to savagery and be worshipping the ship's power plant as a god. That is, If they still haven't finished wiping each other out in mating battles and fights over food.


edit on 20/8/16 by Astyanax because: of Typhon.



posted on Aug, 20 2016 @ 11:36 PM
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a reply to: Astyanax

Why would that necessarily happen? Is there something about space arks that necessitate an inability to pass on knowledge?



posted on Aug, 20 2016 @ 11:47 PM
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a reply to: Puppylove

There is something about humanity that pevents it.

Namely that we are animals that fight to the death over status, mates and territory.

Allow me to draw your attention to the history of the Pitcairn Islands .


edit on 20/8/16 by Astyanax because: of the letter E.



posted on Aug, 20 2016 @ 11:52 PM
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a reply to: Astyanax

Not really a great example unless you ignore the people involved, the culture of the time and the circumstances, so pretty much unless you ignore everything.



posted on Aug, 20 2016 @ 11:58 PM
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a reply to: Puppylove

There are any number of similar examples. Still, as illusions go, the belief that humans have a starfaring future is harmless and uplifting, so I won't attempt to dissuade you. I only wish I could still believe it myself.



posted on Aug, 21 2016 @ 07:24 AM
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a reply to: Astyanax

I think we have a fair chance at becoming a type one civilization with the eventual capability of colonizing our own star system as long as we don't destroy ourselves before mastering our energy and resource dilemma.

Humanity requires a significant paradigm shift through to achieve such and will never do so while we fight and squabble over petty religious differences and the limited resources we still have available.



posted on Aug, 22 2016 @ 03:29 AM
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a reply to: Puppylove

I think we will undertake interstellar travel before we terraform any worlds. First, I am guessing most of these worlds that don't have atmospheres, don't for reasons that are going to be so difficult to overcome even if we could get materials there, it might be impossible. When you consider how far the supply chains will be stretched, this feat becomes almost unimaginably difficult.

Sending probes to a potential planet in the proxima centauri system is exciting. If something could be developed within 10 years that could reach the system in 25 years, I might even still be alive to know whether a true habitable planet has been found. Given that humans will probably still be fiddling around with whether humans can reach Mars and live there with a constant supply of ships dropping Cargo for the next 50 years, I don't think there is any danger of humans passing the probes.

Developing a workable interstellar craft within 100 to 125 years seems like it should be doable. I am not sure warp drives are even possible. But, something that can go 25% the speed of light and reach proxima centauri in 16 years seems doable. A crew of 16 - 20 people with a wide variety of skills and 50% of each sex with the idea they will reproduce. They will all need to be young and well educated. Highly dangerous, but, if it can be proven the planet is habitable, it is inevitable that such a mission(s) will take place. Once this works once, I think the scenarios where humans could populate the galaxy within a fairly short period will happen. I wonder how long then before we identify other intelligent life....



posted on Aug, 22 2016 @ 03:42 AM
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a reply to: OneGoal

As the years go by... i swear The Last Starfighter seems to become more believable every year



posted on Aug, 23 2016 @ 09:08 AM
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The European Space Agency ( ESO ) will hold a press conference tomorrow, Wednesday, August 24th, at 1 p.m. Central European Time ( Noon GMT/UT, 7 a.m.EDT, 4 a.m. PDT ). It's expected that they will reveal the information about a new Earth-like planet discovered in orbit the very nearby star Proxima Centauri.



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