Wednesday, February 18, 2009

New World

John Hancock building seen from Navy Pier, Chicago.

Galileo's telescope was first used as an aid to sailors. In Galileo's time trade was by sea, and the New World was across the oceans. Over centuries millions would make the one-way journey. Today we are on the edge of another great ocean.

From the American Association for Advancement of Science (AAAS) meeting in Chicago: Dr. Alan Boss says our galaxy could contain billions of planets similar to Earth. He bases that on the simple assertion that every G-type star like our Sun has at least one planet in a habitable zone. Press Release The galaxy has over 250 billion stars, a number whicxh is hard to imagine. Humans in their folly try to match Nature with trillion-dollar deficits, but those are not pleasant to behold. It is better to dream of the future.

Someday a giant Starship will voyage across light-years on the first human interstellar mission. Its destination will be an Earthlike world in another solar system. Even at relativistic speeds the journey will take years, so the mission will be one-way. A self-sustaining ecosystem like Earth, the ship will be filled with plants and gardens for oxygen and food. Arriving in orbit, the Starship will launch a Space Shuttle carrying two astronauts. The first man and woman will step onto a New World.



Blogger Stephen said...

There may be hundreds of billions of stars in the galaxy, but f & g type stars aren't that common, right? The argument would make much more sense if we knew the percentage of the more common smaller stars that have habitable zone planets.

We find ourselves half way out from the center of a pretty large galaxy around a g type star. It may be because that's where life needs to be. After all, if we could have found ourselves orbiting an "m" class star, we'd be much more likely to be there.

8:23 PM  

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