Galaxy-to-galaxy starship voyages: mission impossible? (science video)
Isaac Arthur drops by to discuss the size of the cosmos and the prospect of venturing outside of our galaxy. It is an intriguing subject that is both thrilling and amazing. So be ready to embark on a space adventure!
Starting with our own solar system, which is a mere dot in the huge Milky Way galaxy, let’s examine the rest of the cosmos. To put that in perspective, our solar system would be little larger than a pinhead if the Milky Way were a dinner plate. It would take us 100,000 years to reach the Milky Way if we could move at the speed of light (186,000 miles per second). Yet, due to the gravitational attraction of all the planets and stars in our galaxy, moving in a straight line is not possible.
Let’s now look at the prospect of visiting distant galaxies. Regrettably, that is not achievable with the technology we have today. To go to the closest galaxy, Andromeda, even if humans could move at the speed of light, would take billions of years. We shouldn’t let this discourage us, though. Humans have historically achieved things that were previously regarded as impossibilities. For instance, we made it to the moon! Who knows what the future will bring, then?
It’s feasible that we will create technology that will enable us to bend space-time and go faster than the speed of light. Even while it might look like science fiction, it might actually happen in the future. As an alternative, we may launch robotic explorers to investigate different galaxies. These probes might be artificially intelligent, enabling them to adapt to various settings and transmit data and photos.
But let’s not lose sight of the amazing voyage through the cosmos that we have already begun. Our planet is speeding through space as it orbits the sun, which is revolving around the Milky Way’s nucleus. So, whether or not we ever reach the stars, we are already a part of something incredible.