Page 1 of 3
1
2
3
LastLast
  1. #1

    Once upon a time in a Galaxy far, far away (intergalactic travel)

    Once upon a time in a galaxy far, far away


    I'd like to present a scenario for you:

    In the case that traveling faster than light or using 'shortcuts' via wormholes isn't possible, the conclusion must be that whoever is out there and whatever kind of technology they may possess, they'll be 'grounded' in their own galaxy unless they are up for spending millions of years traveling to even their nearest neighbor.


    Example:
    The Milky Way's nearest big neighbor, M31 - The Andromeda Galaxy, is 2.6 million Light Years away from us. Meaning that even if one could travel at the Speed of Light, one would have to be on the move for 2.6 million years - and that's just the nearest big neighbor. (There are some smaller galaxies closer than Andromeda but Andromeda is a good reference point and people know about it. In either case it's practically 'next door' in relative terms.)

    Being able to do this however means having reached an extremely advanced level of technology - we're talking 300,000 KM/Sec or 1,080,000,000 KM/Hour. So let's ask ourselves how likely it is that there's even ONE of those civilizations for every galaxy out there. Well, who knows. There might be 100 per galaxy or there might be 1 per 100 galaxies. Or none at all. What's likely or not isn't the topic however - the goal is to paint a picture of how it really is if FTL (Faster Than Light) is impossible and 'shortcuts' through time and space just isn't happening for any civilization, no matter how technologically advanced they are.

    One could talk about cryonic hibernation (the freezing of a body to suspend it) for long travels but we're still talking such vast distances that even if a civilization out there did endeavour on such a massive project (to travel millions of Light Years - just to reach their nearest neighbor), they'd still be unable to go very far in relative terms. As in they wouldn't be able to cover say even 0.1% of the total distance between peripherals (if there even are any peripherals - the 'edge' isn't really where we see it but much further out!) in the vast expanse known as the Universe.

    So.. somewhere out there there might be this hyper-advanced civilization who have overcome all the hurdles (surviving all the things that could go wrong over a long period of time basically) of reaching such a point that they are at the very technological limitation (or the intergalactic speed limit, which would be the Speed of Light, if you will. And remember, no 'shortucts' either)..

    .. yet in reality they have to be content with only having the opportunity to explore their own galaxy. Let's say they live in a galaxy the size of the Milky Way. 250,000,000,000 stars (some say this number might be 4x higher but that's another story). The Milky Way is roughly 100,000 Light Years in diameter. Traveling from one end of their galaxy to the other would thus require them to be on the move for 100,000 years. Or in case they were only really interested in their local star cluster within their galaxy, they'd still have to travel up to 5,000 years to cover enough ground to even be able to plot out a small circle on their map of their galaxy and say they've explored this part. All this at a speed of over 1 billion KM/hour, the Speed of Light, mind you.

    Estimates are that there are at least 100 billion galaxies in the universe, but this number is probably much higher. Most scientists would probably give you the number 200 billion if asked but if you inquired more thoroughly with those sames scientists, they'd easily give you numbers such as 500 billion or even 1,000 billion, it's just hard to say.

    The reason for this is that wherever you are in the universe, you are in the center of the universe. Picture a circle around your location and that is the entire universe. The edges of the circle is 13.7 billion Light Years away. Now let's say someone 5 billlion Light Years away from you does the exact same thing. He too would be at the center of the universe and the edges of his circle would also be 13.7 billion Light Years away and those two circles would overlap each other. This is because the edge is as far away as the light has traveled since the supposed beginning of time and we can not see any further. But meanwhile, the universe have expanded and the edges are actually much further out - and there are galaxies there too that we can't see.

    If you ever laid down on a football field and looked around, you'd see a lot of grass. Some person figured out that there are about half a billion straws of grass on an average football field - multiply by 1,000 and you have 500 billion. One straw of grass for every galaxy out there. Ish.

    Once upon a time in a galaxy far, far away..

    God bless you.

  2. #2
    Einstein would like a word...

    Imagine a hypothetical spaceship with advanced technologies capable of accelerating at 1g indefinitely (such that the environment is comfortable for someone used to gravity on Earth). Let's set off towards Andromeda, halfway there we turn around and decelerate at 1g until we arrive. The spaceship will have travelled 2.6 Mly but the people onboard will only have experienced the passing of roughly 29 years. Quite reasonable really... just don't expect a hug from your wife when you get home.

  3. #3
    That was pretty awesome. Mind-boggling how tiny we are.

  4. #4
    Herald of the Titans
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    all over the world
    Posts
    2,503
    im still waiting for nasa to say the voyager satellites have been picked up by aliens. being that far out and still being able to transmit data back to earth is quite impressive

  5. #5
    Download the game/simulator SpaceEngine and have fun... It simulates the entire universe (as much as we have discovered, then it randomly generates new galaxies ). It's pretty amazing flying around at 100000000000000x the speed of light and seeing galaxies fly past you...

    It's free too.

  6. #6
    Scarab Lord JfmC's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Antwerp City
    Posts
    4,306
    Faster then light travel is possible, its called warpdrive. What it does isn't propel a spacecraft faster then light (because that is impossible), it destraxts an extracts spacetime, and because there is no limit to the speed at wich spacetime can extract, there is no limit to the speed a warp drive can go.

    SpaceTime is a bendable fabric (this has been tested and proven), we don't know how we have to do it yet, but it is possible.
    And if you don't believe me then you just have to know that man used to think we would never be able to fly.

    nice read tough
    Quote Originally Posted by derpkitteh View Post
    I'm proud to be xenophobic.
    Quote Originally Posted by qu1rex View Post
    Leaving the EU would not in any way pose a negative impact on the UK's economy or means/ability to trade with countries within the EU.

  7. #7
    Scarab Lord slime's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    USA PA
    Posts
    4,095
    Nice Victorious. Makes me feel that if we can do it virtually, we will one day do it in reality. Guess OP's glass is half empty.

  8. #8
    I am Murloc! The Fiend's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Location
    Merry ol' England.
    Posts
    5,554
    Quote Originally Posted by JfmC View Post
    Faster then light travel is possible, its called warpdrive. What it does isn't propel a spacecraft faster then light (because that is impossible), it destraxts an extracts spacetime, and because there is no limit to the speed at wich spacetime can extract, there is no limit to the speed a warp drive can go.

    SpaceTime is a bendable fabric (this has been tested and proven), we don't know how we have to do it yet, but it is possible.
    And if you don't believe me then you just have to know that man used to think we would never be able to fly.

    nice read tough
    Common theory is bending spacetime around the craft like a bubble will allow it to go and beyond light speeds.

    There is the other one of simply triangulating the point in spacetime with wish to go to and folding space around so you can literally skip all the distance to get there, but I think both require hilariously large amounts of energy.
    "What do you seek within the mountain?"

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by dokilar View Post
    im still waiting for nasa to say the voyager satellites have been picked up by aliens. being that far out and still being able to transmit data back to earth is quite impressive
    Damn the world will flip if that would to happen. All the petty rivalries and grudges between nations will all of sudden seem a lot less important. We have an intelligent and potentially far more advance alien civilisation coming to "visit" us. If they are hostile, it's not going to end like Independence Day or Duke Nukum 3D. They are going to exterminate us like we exterminate pest from our homes and farms. We are fucked.

  10. #10
    Scarab Lord JfmC's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Antwerp City
    Posts
    4,306
    Quote Originally Posted by The Fiend View Post
    Common theory is bending spacetime around the craft like a bubble will allow it to go and beyond light speeds.

    There is the other one of simply triangulating the point in spacetime with wish to go to and folding space around so you can literally skip all the distance to get there, but I think both require hilariously large amounts of energy.
    Well we just need to work out how to get cold fusion to work (or create a reactor that can handle hot fusion)
    Also Nasa is already researching this shizzle

    http://io9.com/5963263/how-nasa-will...rst-warp-drive

    We have still got a long way to go, but if we don't blow ourselves up, we will manage to pull it of somewhere in the future (50-500 years)
    Quote Originally Posted by derpkitteh View Post
    I'm proud to be xenophobic.
    Quote Originally Posted by qu1rex View Post
    Leaving the EU would not in any way pose a negative impact on the UK's economy or means/ability to trade with countries within the EU.

  11. #11
    I am Murloc! The Fiend's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Location
    Merry ol' England.
    Posts
    5,554
    Quote Originally Posted by JfmC View Post
    Well we just need to work out how to get cold fusion to work (or create a reactor that can handle hot fusion)
    Also Nasa is already researching this shizzle

    http://io9.com/5963263/how-nasa-will...rst-warp-drive

    We have still got a long way to go, but if we don't blow ourselves up, we will manage to pull it of somewhere in the future (50-500 years)
    Once we have fusion technology down we can leapfrog straight away into Dark matter, and that would easily give us the energy we need for warpdrives.

    All we need then is a way to simulate gravity on ships without a big ass wheel and we'll be soaring fine in the big black.
    "What do you seek within the mountain?"

  12. #12
    Scarab Lord JfmC's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Antwerp City
    Posts
    4,306
    Quote Originally Posted by The Fiend View Post
    Once we have fusion technology down we can leapfrog straight away into Dark matter, and that would easily give us the energy we need for warpdrives.

    All we need then is a way to simulate gravity on ships without a big ass wheel and we'll be soaring fine in the big black.
    Lets ignore all the cosmic radiation, who needs working body's anyway?
    Quote Originally Posted by derpkitteh View Post
    I'm proud to be xenophobic.
    Quote Originally Posted by qu1rex View Post
    Leaving the EU would not in any way pose a negative impact on the UK's economy or means/ability to trade with countries within the EU.

  13. #13
    I am Murloc! The Fiend's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Location
    Merry ol' England.
    Posts
    5,554
    Quote Originally Posted by JfmC View Post
    Lets ignore all the cosmic radiation, who needs working body's anyway?
    Bollocks to fears of radiation! Thats what stops us from using Nuclear engines on spacecraft right now!

    And the weight.

    But mostly the FEAR!

    Edit: besides, I want superpowers.
    "What do you seek within the mountain?"

  14. #14
    Herald of the Titans
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    all over the world
    Posts
    2,503
    takes 17 hours to transmit the data from voyager 1 back to earth lol. when they shot around the gravity field of jupiter it was going over 35,000 mph, thats retarded. it apparently would take about 40,000 years to reach the nearest star. man space is pretty fascinating shit

  15. #15
    Thanks for the awesome read! But

    Quote Originally Posted by bjornh View Post
    The reason for this is that wherever you are in the universe, you are in the center of the universe. Picture a circle around your location and that is the entire universe. The edges of the circle is 13.7 billion Light Years away.
    Isn't this the same as saying the so called 'Big Bang' didn't occur 13.7 billion years ago? Because my mind boggles now, if you can see 13.7 billion years away in time wherever in the universe you may be... Then the universe is bigger then 13.7 billion years right? Or am I missing something? Because no I don't think I'm smarter then all these scientists but help me out on this I just don't get it.

  16. #16
    Scarab Lord JfmC's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Antwerp City
    Posts
    4,306
    Quote Originally Posted by Furell View Post
    Thanks for the awesome read! But



    Isn't this the same as saying the so called 'Big Bang' didn't occur 13.7 billion years ago? Because my mind boggles now, if you can see 13.7 billion years away in time wherever in the universe you may be... Then the universe is bigger then 13.7 billion years right? Or am I missing something? Because no I don't think I'm smarter then all these scientists but help me out on this I just don't get it.
    I'm going to cheat and let Morgan Freeman do the explaining, everybody loves when Morgan Freeman explains stuff
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ORSqcaqkI08
    Quote Originally Posted by derpkitteh View Post
    I'm proud to be xenophobic.
    Quote Originally Posted by qu1rex View Post
    Leaving the EU would not in any way pose a negative impact on the UK's economy or means/ability to trade with countries within the EU.

  17. #17
    Elemental Lord Dezerte's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Sweden
    Posts
    8,038
    Quote Originally Posted by Furell View Post
    Thanks for the awesome read! But



    Isn't this the same as saying the so called 'Big Bang' didn't occur 13.7 billion years ago? Because my mind boggles now, if you can see 13.7 billion years away in time wherever in the universe you may be... Then the universe is bigger then 13.7 billion years right? Or am I missing something? Because no I don't think I'm smarter then all these scientists but help me out on this I just don't get it.
    We know the Big Bang occurred 13.7 billions of years ago because that's how far light has traveled. The universe could in fact be much much bigger, we just can't see it because that light hasn't had time to reach us yet.

    We don't know if there's an edge to the universe, we don't even know if it even makes sense for our universe to have an edge (space-time could curve in on itself essentially creating a infinite loop)
    To declare that a personal, inner experience gives certainty about the workings of the universe is to assign far too much value to one’s subjective sense of conviction.
    I’m not that arrogant.

    The brain, marvelous instrument though it is, isn’t infallible. It can misfire, seize or hallucinate, and it can do so in a way that’s utterly indistinguishable from reality to the person experiencing it.

  18. #18
    Quote Originally Posted by bjornh View Post
    God bless you.
    Why ?

  19. #19
    Quote Originally Posted by Furell View Post
    Isn't this the same as saying the so called 'Big Bang' didn't occur 13.7 billion years ago? Because my mind boggles now, if you can see 13.7 billion years away in time wherever in the universe you may be... Then the universe is bigger then 13.7 billion years right? Or am I missing something? Because no I don't think I'm smarter then all these scientists but help me out on this I just don't get it.

    They worked out when all the galaxies 'converged' to a single point, which is where the 'beginning of the Universe' comes from. Time and space seem to bend slightly in extremes (or at least, our perceptions do).

    And the Universe is larger then 13.7 billion light years across. It expanded in all directions, so its actually at least 27.4 billion light years across.

    And that says nothing for what we might not actually be able to see outside.

    The Universe is so huge that we likely will never understand it fully, and every time we think we've figured it out the Universe suprises us. We'll never explore even 1% of it, we can't even discover is as fast as its expanding.

    And that comforts me, somehow. Knowing how truely tiny and unimportant we are. Our concerns don't concern anything else in the entire Universe, and they don't concern us. There could be a trillion civilisations out there, and we'd never know. The chances of even finding non-intelligent life out there is so remote, not because of how unlikely it is but because how far we'd have to travel to see it.

    The only way we could travel the stars is if we migrated on huge ships that could sustain a large population indefinately. And by the time we got there, hundreds of generations may have passed, and who arrives may not be even human anymore.

    Amazing thoughts.

  20. #20
    There's not a single question mark in the OP which kind of fills me with feelings of freedom and confusion.

    Anyway, assuming there is no FTL travel or short-cuts of anykind, physical intergalactic travel doesn't sounds very... reasonable. Which makes me think of alternatives. Namely non-physical 'travel' and time travel, if assumed to be possible. The idea of time traveling through space is a rather simple one, if the nearest galaxy is 2,6m light years away from us today, this surely wasn't the case 10, 100, or 1000 million years ago. Neither will it be 2,6m light years away from us 10, 100 or 1000 million years in the future. For intergalactic travel to be reasonable, we need to get to the correct place in time before starting to move around in space. Sort of like if you wanted to go to australia, you'd have to wait for the exact date a plane leaves from an airport, it's not that smart of an idea to just start walking or driving towards australia right NOW. If you can't get to the mountain, just wait and perhaps eventually the mountain will get to you... no matter what you decide to do, you're going to have to wait a long time anyway before you get to the other galaxy.

    The other approach to this scenario in my point of view would be a form of traveling as energy/data, opposed to physically moving matter across galaxies. If you are capable of physically sending a space ship to a destination 2,6million light years away, surely you must have the means of sending some kind of data stream too? A set of instructions, a blueprint of sorts. When this stream of energy reaches a suitable destination, it has such an effect on matter that matter begins to rearrange itself in certain forms and shapes, eventually creating members of your own race. Now, this creation process might be limited by certain laws of nature, forcing it to go through rigorous evolution iteration after iteration until we are where we want to be evolutionwise. By then, there would be a highly evolved civilization with great technology at its disposal. Slowly this civilization begins to understand it's origins - after all, it has no memory of "creating itself". They might even pick up the source of origin from somewhere in the sky, the stream of energy/data that made them be. Now that they are evolved, they could be able to actually understand the data inside this transmission, it might contain information about the history, motives etc of their 'original self' and they would be able to essentially pick up right where they left when the stream of energy was sent from the other galaxy millions of years ago.

    If you think about it, there could be a different version of us, going through whatever evolutionary phase in every single galaxy out there. We wouldn't be able to communicate directly with them, but we could eventually begin to understand messages left by us to us millions or billions of years ago, maybe even pass our own messages to be heard by "future generations" millions of years in the future, long after we are physically dead. After all, it's the passage of information to future generations what matters, and this can be achieved by many other ways besides fucking each other and spreading genetic data.

    Such fascinating possibilities...

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •